8/29/15

INTERVIEW WITH PETER KARLSSON

INTERVIEW WRITTEN BY: TIM NORDSTEDT.

In our first issue of Goregasmic Magazine I wrote a review of The Pete Flesh Deathtrips album "Mortui vivos Docent". I have been deeply enticed with it’s sound since it got released in 2013, as the album have the rear ability to incorporate the deathish blackened sound of the old Swedish nineties yet still bringing those wicked, brutal melodies forth to the current time without having any puppetstrings attached to any actual era or band, although all too many influences can be drawn nothing would fit a precise description in an accurate way.

   Now the sole creator of the band Peter Karlsson (ex-Maze of Torment, ex-Deceiver, ex-Thrown, ex-Embryo) is working hard to finish his second album under the TPFDT monicker and fifth album all in all including the three albums released under the name ”Flesh”.

   The album bears the title Svartnad (swedish for Blackened) and it will be a darker, more diverse and personal creation. Without a doubt I felt that an interview should be in order to see how things are going and the nice gentlemen behind TPFDT was more than pleased to talk about his project, the work behind it and sharing personal thoughts as a musician, musiclover and generally as a human.

Tim Nordstedt:
Sadly I’ll start off this interview with a formal, boring question and wonder how everything’s going and if you have your sunblock ready so that you can avoid some malignant sunburns that easily occurs in this bright season? 

Peter Karlsson:
   - Hello there Tim!
I’m so goddamn fat and ugly so the best thing for me is if I stay inside and create music regardless of season.


Your upcoming album Svartnad seems to be in the near state to completion and if I’m correct it’s not going to be released on Pulverized like the earlier releases. Is that correct and what label will have the honour  to release this gem?

   - It's pretty much correct. A little more than  half is left of the vocals then some other things before we start to mix the material because of different factors neither me or the producer can be in the studio as often as one once could be.

   It's not like when you went to the Abyss Studio, locked yourself up in eleven days, worked twentythree hours a day, got home and everything was done, a week after you became displeased  with a whole bunch of shit just because you didn´t have the time to be objective. I’m a little bit more pedantic with things nowadays and the whole recording will probably be complete late this summer.

 Pulverized wanted to end the cooperation, I think they where displeased with the change of name and with »Mortui Vivos Docent«. No promotion was made for the release at all. Everything you can find and see regarding TPFDT like flyers, t-shirts, interviews etc. are things that I myself hade to fix.    In a way I can understand them and I don´t have any hard feelings. They’ve treated me well regarding earlier releases and supported them in a good way. I do have a strong idea over how I wish to present TPFDT, something that can’t be justified with only one album.

   Personally I think it will take at least three albums to give people the same objective picture over the whole project like I have now and a record-label will not give you that opportunity in these days and I can understand that, the music-industry isn’t what it once was. I’m still looking for another label, there are two that have shown  interest so far but nothing is decided for sure yet and if things doesn´t turn out like I want to, then I’ll release it myself.



The project had the little more uninspired name ”Flesh” when it started before it became a legal issue over the name and  ”The Pete Flesh Deathtrip” took shape. Did  you ever plan that you would continue as ”Flesh” in this current form instead of starting everything over again as I personally  feel that it´s far from what I heard on the earlier albums with ”Flesh”? I mean, you can´t hardly believe that it´s the same band.

   - There where never a plan from the beginning that I would end up changing the band-name from ”Flesh”. When everything came up and I had to start thinking about changing the name it actually hit me that it´s not a bad idea at all. It´s really hard to explain, even though I’m the one that started everything and could do as I pleased, I still felt locked up inside in some weird way,  mentally.

   When I started ”Flesh” I had other projects like ”Deciever” and ”Thrown” to ventilate my creativity in. I put down those bands when I was in the process of changing the name of ”Flesh”. I felt that I wanted one  place where I could collect everything creative, where one can experiment with all my influences without actually belonging to a certain genre, that the expression will be surrounded by an atmosphere, a feeling, to  find a personal expression. This probably sounds pretty fucking pretentious, but a place where I can find the core for my passion for  music and some other arts, and as I said before, it will take a minimum of three albums before you can find the thin red line.

   ”Mortui Vivos Docent” is just a part of the puzzle, I know that many peopel have the opinion that I took the music a couple of steps to another direction, but I don´t think like that when I`m writing songs. If I had recorded some tracks from the ”Flesh” era with the same guest-musicians the emotion and the atmosphere would’ve been the same. When you look at the big picture it doesn´t  take that much for a song to have a complete different impression in the long run. You can move an octave on a riff, how you play the drumbeats, a couple of lines in a lyric, how much reverb you have over the final production and so on. I was working from a certain feeling I wanted to get out on ”Mortui Vivos Docent”. 

   For example it´s not like Micke from Unanimated is singing on half of the album just so I can say that someone from Unanimated is on the record. He’s only there because of his qualification as a vocalist and had the ability to create the atmosphere  that I was looking for in some of the songs  that I myself couldn’t attain with my voice. Then he wrote some lyrics and I allowed that because we’re more or less off the same piss and vinegar and he have the ability to mediate the same expression out of that perspective, and the participation with Andreas from Vinterland/Tyrant who played drums also have the same explanation to what I wished to accomplish on that album.

   I  had two other drummers listed for that mission that probably would make the recordlabel paste stickers on the cd, where it says "features blablabla from bla-blabla" but I was just out to achieve a certain feeling to the songs, it doesn’t matter in which bands they’re playing or have played in.


Like you said, you have had some guestdrummers since the birth of the band. In Flesh we have Magnus Flink (ex-Deceiver, ex-The Mortician Dead), behind the drumset   and in ”Mortui Vivos Docent” we’ve Andreas Jonsson (Vinterland, The Black, Nunfuck Ritual) picked up the drumsticks. They’re  both skillfull and competent drummers, but  is there any dreamdrummer that you would  like to have spanking the skin on a future release?

   - Completely depends on what kind of album I would like to do, but I would prefer someone that thinks outside the box. If we clone Bill Ward with Dave Lombardo, now  there you have a dreamdrummer!


And let´s evolve the former question even further, you do obviously have the ability to create everything by yourself musicwise with excellency,  but is there any guestmusicians and vocalists, except for Micke Broberg (Unanimated, Born for Burning) and Cecilia Bjärgö (ex-Arcana, ex-Sophia), that you would like to co-operate with? Personally I would think it would be  interesting if you let Jon Zweetslot (Cardinal Sin, ex-Dissection) contribute with a riff for example.

   - I would say Messiah Marcolin (ex-Candlemass), Attila Csihar (Mayhem) and Tom G Warrior (Triptykon, ex-Celtic Frost) being at top of the list. Then there’s one that I wanted to work with for a long time who I probably will be working with on ”Svartnad”, but it´s no one that I want to name until everything’s done. John Zwetsloot actually did a guitarsolo for the track »Fallen Bliss«, but it never came to use duo to the fact that it never became finished. It was just a rough sketch, so to speak then he became a father and alot of personal things that got in between and so on.

   Anyway, it didn’t make it to the recording process, but some collaboration may happen in the future. Andy La Rocque (King Diamond) actually made a  guitarsolo to the song »Recycle My Death« and it bothers me like hell that it didn´t make  it to the album, but there are many explanations according that matter that I don´t even want to talk about it, but things  happen and sometimes you can’t do anything about it. I’ve contacted him regarding the recording for Svartnad and he really wanted  to participate but had a too tight schedule, so there was no time.

   He’s going to fly over to  King and then get on a tour and make a new  album and things like that, but he’s a really great guy - a huge fucking guitar-idol, so I really hope that he can appear on a future  album. By the way, Henke that plays the  drums on Svartnad will also be doing some backvocals. It will be a great adding element to the whole aspect of the album.

And now ofcourse I have to ask you who your new drummer Henke is?

   - Henke is playing in a band called 100 Years with Rogga (Merciless, Satureye). He used to be in Snakestorm as well. It´s also his recording-studio named Lyhört that I’m recording in.


You’ll probably not play live with TPFDT any time soon, but is there any plans to scramble together some talented musicians that you can tolerate in a bus or van for a couple of  weeks and play for an audience? And is there any particular country that you would love to perform in?

   - Absolutely! My ambition is to gather live-musicians so that I can play some gigs now and then, but I doubt that it will a couple of  weeks in a van, but I wouldn´t mind a festival or an occational gig at some clubs. Everything depends on what kind of people I get in contact with.

   My ambition when it comes to live is that it doesn´t have to be an exact version of the albums, it should be some friction in the material. I like the idea that a song is never complete in it’s full just because you recorded it once and songs should be treated as a living thing.

   I really have a weak spot for South America then how it actually would be to play live in those countries is something that I’m not completely aware of. I’ve heard both positive and negative things,  otherwise I really can’t say that I have a dreamland like that. If the ambience is great and the audience goes all out, then it doesn´t really matter where you play.



I’ve been listening to the new song »Demons nor Zarath« and the yet untitled rough mix track without title or vocals a couple of times and to my impression is that the material once again have taken a new  direction. It feels heavier and darker which  makes the label ”Death Doom Blackened” fit more than perfect. Is this something we can   expect throughout the whole material?

   - I would say so that it’s darker, but at the  same time more melodic in some places. For me nothing can be complete darkness in an album if you can´t find some contrasts here and there, but ofcourse it has to fit the whole  picture in general.

   The melodic parts have a  pretty big melancholic emotion in them, there are even more solos on this recording. I’ve really put in some work on them. Mortui Vivos Docent only had two solos on the entire album and then I’ll do the most of the vocals so it will be a more of a personal feeling to it. You can say that songs like »The Suicide End«, »Crave the Fire« and »Burning Darkness« from Mortui Vivos Docent created  the feeling and put the foundation to what would become Svartnad and I think that you really have to be able to digest records that spreads out in different lanes in different directions to really appreciate Svartnad, it´s a little bit like watching a movie.

   I myself am a big fan of early Alice Cooper and King Diamond for example. It´s a bit like the trip  they invite you to with their creations, that you can be able to paint up pictures in your mind with aidance of the music.


After listening to alot of your earlier bands that you’ve been involved with I get the feeling that The Pete Flesh Deathttrip is a channeling of almost all of those projects, but still so entwined together that you easily can miss all the influences in the own sound of TPFDT.

   It was just a thought that started to spin after listening to the new material and small reminders of the band ”Thrown” popped up in the middle of everything. (Peter have already confirmed this through an earlier question but he was awesome enough to answer this question anyway and in another fashion)


   - You’re completely correct there Tim!  I don´t think I can say it better. What I did with Thrown should take a place in TPFDT  and that was the idea from the beginning. Not much of it found it´s place on Mortui Vivos Docent but that’s because I don´t want  to force anything.

   When I´m starting the processions of writing an album I want to find reasons to why I'm doing it so that it can have a real reason to exist. There are many albums where you have just laid riffs upon riffs and compromised alot even if you sought  another direction.

   Sure I can find alot of albums that I’ve played in that I’m happy with but I can never get me through the whole album. I don´t say that it’s anything wrong with it but the purpose of TPFDT is something else. Mortui Vivos Docent is much more primitive than Svartnad but it´s still not going to get softer. It´s just like you put it, darker!



You’re probably also familiar with that alot of bands in this genre and the musicbusiness in general get’s a really big undeserved egoboost after releasing one album, and for some reason some of them thinks that they are rockstars and wants to conquer the world. You on the other hand have participated on multiple releases with alot of famous and not so famous bands and seem to have both feet steadily on the ground, so where would you like to see TPFDT in five years for example?


   - My purposes of making music and being creative serves something much bigger than getting an egoboost and think that you’re something. I’m actually extremely thankful in an almost ridicilous way for the people that  follow my work, really listens to my music and finds interests in what I´m doing. I never take anything for granted! If people knew how bad my selfesteem is when it comes to composing, they would probably laugh at me.  It have taken me years to get to the feeling I have right now and to find something that I myself wanted to express.

    First of all I’ve to focus on doing something that I can be pleased with and I’ve to tackle that with a confidence and then you notice that there are people that finds interest in your work even though it’s not ALOT of them, but they are more and more that recently come to realize the purpose of TPFDT. In five years  TPFDT should at least have released four albums. 

    I never fantasize over how many albums you can sell or how big you wish to  be, it doesn’t work like that for me. The most  important thing is to be creative without any compromises and evolve as a musician, then I really hope that some live-gigs have been played during those five years.


How much do you know about the current expanding metalscene of today now when everything have exploded to thousands of styles and subgenres like Deathcore, Nintendocore, Slam Death Metal, Euro-metal, Cyber Porngrind and all kinds of hybrids with shoegaze and Avantgarde and everything?

   - Oh, I’m trying to catch up a little bit, sit on youtube, get some tips from friends and so on. I really don’t want to be an old relic that sits around and complain that it was better in  the old days and everything new is crap, but at the same I want that the younger generation that you’re complaining about will find and buy your album, that kind of things goes hand in hand with egoboost people too, but  ofcourse my favourite albums are from the past but sometimes I can find a new album that I like. I don´t recognize many of the sub-genres you listed but perhaps I do, but subconsciously, I’m don’t base everything on the label of the genre.

   If I hear something I like, then it can be called whatever, but then I´m not much better on the other hand, I’ve labeled my music as Blackened Death Doom and that should somehow describe TPFDT.

   Even if I’m  not that much into labelling music I think it’s in some way necessary, but to be honest I didn´t come up with that myself. About 90% of the reviews of Mortui Vivos Docent and some response to the song »Demons Nor Zarath« was described with those three words, so I thought If I have to label what I´m doing, then I´m going to use the description the most people have given the music. 


Many metalmusicians nowadays have confessed that they don´t listen to all too much  metal as they’ve gotten their share  and more than so throughout the years, even if they love the genre it´s nice to put  some variation to things. Is this something  that you recognize and would you dare to name-drop some bands that’s not metal that you listen to?

   - I’ve always felt secure with myself in that  perspective, never felt like I’ve to go full out  just because I like metal. It happened that I got into fights because of that, but that was  in the middle of the 90s. Some of my favourites are from the 70s (David Bowie,  The Cure, Sisters of Mercy, Fields of the Nephilim, Thåström, Dead Can Dance, Pink Floyd, Tom Waits, Anna Ternheim, Lars Demian, 16 Horsepower, Leonard Cohen,  Hedningarna, GBH, The Exploited, Strebers….)  well, that list can be made very long, it´s not  really any unusual bands, these are names that can be listed in other interviews with metalbands, but to say that you liked both The Cure and Mayhem in the past could easily lead to deathtreats. 


Now it’s probably a little or way too early to ask, but will the music of TPFDT take new directions and influences, or is it something  that comes subconscously while you are writing songs?

   - I think it appears subconsciously, everything you were listening to in your youth got stuck and will always be there in ones DNA. You always try to find new ways and new angles in different structures in the  music and in the way that you’re composing  music, and to reprogram yourself completely is probably an impossible task, but on the other hand you evolve in other ways in life.

   Like if I’m listening to an album that I really liked when I was young maybe I’ll percieve the music in a different way if I´m listening to it today and relate to it at a whole different level so that the entirety and the expression gets another direction to my own creations. 


I’m still one of the few that likes to read and  learn, that’s why lyrics are of extra importance to me. Now the lyrics in Death/Black Metal might not be of the most intellectual, but still interesting if someone have managed to write something eloquent and interesting.

   Do you have a similiar opinion and is there any album that you would say have the gift of writing?


   - For me lyrics are definetely important, then it can vary when it comes to what I want out of the album I´m listening to for the moment, then in my opinion lyrics can be wellwritten in different ways. Some can be historically correct and take you from point A to Z, then you have the philosophical aspect where the listener can apprehend the sentences in many different ways and sometimes that’s because you really suck at writing and sometimes because it’s like that. Just like the music itself you reflect in different ways when it comes to the lyrics.

   Through the years I’ve been writing so much crap just like many other metal-bands. The riffs have been my main priority. But things can work out really freaking great if it sounds more cool than actually having a purpose.

   When I wrote for the Thrown-album I found a way that made me feel safe and that’s to bring a personal feeling, that I actually mean  the things I sing, not to overthink and make it  honest and in my case that’s when I get the best result. Not that I haven´t wrote something before Thrown that I haven’t been satisfied with, but it´s like I made the comparison with the music that you became satisfied with two or three per album. I’m  not really good with writing a story where everything is completely correct all through. My lyrics are pretty simple and not that difficult, but that’s the purpose of it, that you peel of to the point that you’re able to reach the core of what you want to communicate.

   I can’t say a specific person that I think have written the greatest lyrics, for example I like alot of the lyrics in the first two albums of  Iron Maiden, pretty honest and straight forward, I can appreciate Chris from Autopsy when it comes to splatter, I liked the lyrics of   the latest Celtic Frost-album and you can’t  ignore the early Black Sabbath-albums when   it comes to lyrics. I really liked how Dio wrote  fantasy-related topics, this is really hard to answer, there are so many good lyrics out there from Thåström to Dead. 


The German Death Metal/Grindcore band Dead?

   - No, Per Yngve Ohlin from Morbid/Mayhem.


Hahaha, I almost got worried there for a second. Now let’s take it from the written works from small booklets to the real thing.  Are there any specific authors or books that  you like?

   - The authors that I’ve read the most books from would be Edgar Allan Poe, Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche and Aleister Crowley, not exactly any unusual names when it comes to  people in this scene, but some other works I appreciate would be those of Cormac McCarthy and Hunter Stockton Thompson, then ofcourse I’ve been reading alot from Stephen King when I grew up, Stig Larson to name a Swede and then a whole bunch of  philosophy, pedagogic and psychology but it´s pretty easy to see past the names of the authors when it comes to those books.


And just because I felt like throwing in some completely random question; which song-title would’ve described your life?

   - »Watching from a Distance« with the doom-band WARNING. That album and the  lyrics = really great piece of work! I just remembered another relatively new album that should be named in the lyrics-question, WITCHCRAFT - »Legend«, then I really like NEUROSIS and their lyrics.

   Things are popping up all the time here and I like that guy Mortuus from Funeral Mist and Marduk in  case I should put in something more black metal based.


And as you know we also have alot to do with the movie-industry in this magazine, so I have to ask what you prefer to watch and if there is any movie or movies that you like to pop in to your player more than once?

   - I’m far from moviecrazed as you are Tim, even if I love movies, but Cannibal Holocaust, The Beyond, The Exorcist, Psycho, Nosferatu and Shining are some movies with a moodfull ambience that never leaves the body.

   Just like the music you grow up with it’s something that’s attached to ones DNA. I’ve had a pretty long period where I rather would  sit and watch documentaries and debates, everything from quantum physics to UFOs and pyramides, philosophical agendas, drugs,  life, death, universe, math and sometimes I just grab a burger and watches an episode of Seinfeld or Simpsons. I watched the Fargo-series for a while ago, really good shit! I like shows like Dexter and Breaking Bad too.

   Sometimes I can just watch a movie about pantomime for three hours or other things that people can be completely manic about. I like people with different manias, I can relate alot to it and gets inspired by it. 


Now when we’ve come to an end of this interview I’d like to thank  you  wholeheartedly and pop up the ultimate annoying brainhaemorrhage inducing  question and wonder if you’ve any pretty  words, sentences or why not a half novell  when we’re at it to our faithful readers,  your fans and future fans?

   - Never give up what you believe in, otherwise you’ll just get fat, stupid and ignorant. Read books, watch movies and listen to music that might not be of your acquired taste, Individual thought patterns!    A whole bunch of thanks to you Tim and the rest of Goregasmic for support!

If anyone else  have a question regarding TPFDT, then you’re  welcome to write anytime! /Pete Flesh

https://www.facebook.com/peteflesh/


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