The Haunted - 19/09/2011

Formed in 1996, THE HAUNTED arose from the ashes of the seminal Gothenburg-style act At The Gates and immediately spearheaded the second coming of the Thrash Metal genre, serving as role models and a massive influence to a movement’s new wave, showcasing a more resolute and up-to-date approach than the initial 80’s generation. Having toured non-stop all over the globe throughout the years, the Swedish quintet have released their seventh album, entitled ‘Unseen’. Once again THE HAUNTED kept true to themselves and their tradition of favouring vision over perception and they have delightfully exploited their vast artistic arsenal to come up with the most inspired and refreshing record they have ever done. Especially Peter Dolving’s vocals anno 2011 embody a freedom and flexibility unheard before on previous releases, something clearly done with intent. ‘Unseen’ recalls the experimental nature of ‘The Dead Eye’ (2006) without diminishing any of the band’s characteristic viciousness and aggression.

 

Recorded with longterm producer and partner in artistic crime, Tue Madsen, at his Antfarm Studio in Denmark (Sick Of It All, Heaven Shall Burn, Dark Tranquillity), ‘Unseen’ contains a vast amount of musical depth and while possibly a challenge for the unaware, the personality of this faultless material will ultimately lead to listening-submission. Now, this development has reached a new climax in ‘Unseen’, the band’s seventh studio album, which is easily the most outstanding amalgamation of THE HAUNTED’s matchless musical diversity and vocalist Peter Dolving’s outspoken, often highly cynical lyrical venom. And…it has become the band’s catchiest, most musical and probably most remarkable album as well!

 

 

In order to find out all there is to know about The Haunted’s latest album we tracked down Peter Dolving (vocals) to answer some questions. Here you can read what he had to say to the readers of Metal-Experience.com.

 

First of all, congrats with your new album, how are you?

 

Peter: I'm doing as well as I could for being a weary, jaded 41-year old culthero, and father of two beautiful and highly intelligent healthy kids. Life has been worse.

 

A couple of years ago we talked about your previous album ‘Versus’, can you give us a little update of what’s been happening since that release?

 

Peter: Very briefly; We've toured, with all that comes with it. We've become a bit older, a bit meaner, and a bit more tired of superficial lifestyle bullshit. Bigger, badder and stranger.

 

After listening to you new album, one thing becomes very clear: ‘Unseen’ is the most catchy and musical album you have delivered to date. Was it a conscious decision to do it this way?

 

Peter: Yes.

 

 

Which approach did you choose to create this album?

 

Peter: We basically decided; Fuck "metal"... Let's just make a shitload of songs, good songs that we like, and then just play them in a way we like. If People like it or not, well, we've never really seen that as our first priority anyway...

 

What were the goals you had in mind when you started to record ‘Unseen’, any elements you definitely wanted to include on the album?

 

Peter: We all love a good melody and a great groove. As we've grown tighter together as a band, having played as much live as we have, it seems we've just gotten better at it as we've gone along, and we've found we enjoy it more than the "One-Two" grind-related material. 

 

This last year I've focused more than ever on just how a song is more than just music and words, how really the wellcrafted gives something more to me as a listener. Both me and Anders have felt strongly about really taking our time with building subtle layers of harmonies. Textures to give the listener a real audio soundscape within the song. I'm understanding just how cool an instrument the human voice is.”

 

In respect to the songwriting, did ideas come easily so that you just had to write them down or was it more of a careful composing thing?

 

Peter: Time. Really. Time is the key to good composition. You spot a good idea quickly, but how to wrap the good idea and turn it into a great song is really where time and craftsmanship plays in. So we just took our time, had patience and worked in a comfortable pace. 

 

Isn’t it hard to challenge yourself and develop new ways of creating music with The Haunted?

 

Peter: Nope. Not really. It's fun more than anything else.

 

How can we imagine you work on new songs, what's the typical writing process like for The Haunted?

 

Peter: Five people sitting at home sending little snippets of music to eachother, making twisted jokes on messenger and drinking lots of coffee. Very strange.

 

How hard was it to come up with a follow-up for ‘Versus’ and what do you think are the main differences between your previous albums and ‘Unseen’?

 

Peter: ‘Unseen’ is a better album. Not really a biggie. We rushed the making of ‘Versus’ and for some reason knew what we wanted to do with what was to become ‘Unseen’ already before we were done recording ‘Versus’. I think we all felt we weren't quite satisfied with what we had in front of us.

 

Could you please describe the implications of the title ‘Unseen’, what does it stand for and is there a special meaning behind it?

 

Peter: You can think about that.

 

About the lyrics, did anything in particular inspire your lyrics and can you tell me something more about them?

 

Peter: I won't talk about lyrics anymore. 20 years of doing this, and if people don't know, care or understand, well that's too bad. Sorry, no disrespect. I'm just sick of it.

 

How important is it to you that people pay attention to your lyrics apart from listening to the music?

 

Peter: It's not. But I personally enjoy music more when I hear good lyrics.

 

If someone was only going to read the lyrics and not listen to the music, what would you hope they would take from them?

 

Peter: Inspiration. Identification. Relief.

 

 

What is the utmost important ingredient for a song according to you?

 

Peter: Presence.

 

How did the recording process proceed and how much time did you spend in the studio?

 

Peter: We did everything in three weeks or so. Worked pretty much office hours. No mysterious Bob Dylan-crap. Just six people in a studio working. Putting the pieces where they should be. Very unromantic. But that's us as a band. Very unromantic. I understand some people have a hard time understanding us, if we were soldiers we'd be a death squad. We're not here to be your little docu-drama, we're here to get the job done. 

 

How would you describe this album to someone that has never listened to the band before?

 

Peter: Well, if you are a person who likes Pantera, Metallica, NiN, hell, any of the heavier bands that stand in the zone between metal and heavy rock, you will like this record.

 

Which element of the CD are you the most proud of?

 

Peter: It's a hell of an album, I like all of it.

 

Can you tell us a little about yourself and the kind of things that motivate you in your writing, your poetry, and your lyrics? What are you personally into?

 

Peter: Life. If that's not enough of an explanation for you to understand what I mean, then you don't have one.

 

Which song is your favourite one to play live? And which song do you find the most challenging one to play live?

 

Peter: “No Ghost” is my favorite. “Motionless” is really a challenge because of the emotional and technical mixture I guess. I really love the song. 

 

What makes The Haunted different from the other heavy metal bands out there?

 

Peter: We are just another band. Really. Possibly what puts us beside a lot of other people in this is the fact that we have no hopes, no illusions, no dreams. We love being up on stage,

and playing our songs, it's the only reason we still do it. We don't see ourselves as the next big thing, and we never really have. We are one hell of a great band, and our fans are

part of that. But are we going to fill Wembley arena? Hardly. Our stuff is most likely too dark and bleak. 

 

Which goals did you have when the band started out and how do those goals stand now?

 

Peter: To make a living doing what we love. 

 

Finally: what does the future hold for The Haunted, any touring plans, and where do you see your musical direction going for the next album?

 

Peter: Retirement? A nice job with a steady paycheck? Chemical lobotomy? A Perineum piercing? What is music? Who gives a shit anyway?

 

Ok, thanks for the interview! 

 

 

Current Members:

Anders Björler - Lead Guitars (1996–2001, 2002–present)

Jonas Björler - Bass (1996–present)

Peter Dolving - Lead Vocals (1996–1998, 2003–present)

Patrik Jensen - Rhythm Guitars (1996–present)

Per Möller Jensen - Drums (1999–present)

 

Former Members:

Adrian Erlandsson - Drums (1996–1999)

John Zwetsloot - Guitar (1996)

Marco Aro - Lead Vocals (1999–2003)

Mike Wead - Live Guitar (2001)

Marcus Sunesson - Session Guitars (2001–2002)

 

Studio albums:

1988 - The Haunted

2000 - Made Me Do It

2003 - One Kill Wonder

2004 - Revolver

2006 - The Dead Eye

2008- Versus

2011 - Unseen