José Carlos Santos of UK's Terrorizer magazine recently conducted an interview with vocalist Peter Dolving of the Swedish metal band THE HAUNTED. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
On his online rants which generated a strong reaction when they were picked up and re-posted by BLABBERMOUTH.NET:
"There's a reason for there not having been any posts there recently. Whoever was posting my personal blogs on Blabbermouth has obviously stopped doing it. . . I'm relieved, actually. I was never writing for Blabbermouth, I was writing for me, and those posts were on my MySpace page. It's kind of a paradox, because now our record company in the U.S. [Century Media] is using my blogs for promotion and I wasn't really ready for that. They're my stuff and it has nothing to do with the band. In a way I'm happy that they found something worthy and of interest in there, but I wasn't ready for them to become some kind of commercial tool; that feels really weird. The company [MySpace] is owned by Rupert fucking Murdoch! I'm an anarchist in a metal band and what I write is being used to promote Rupert Murdoch!"
On not being afraid to use his voice:
"I write continuously. As we start working on ideas for songs, I listen to the material a lot and I look to what it wakes in me. From then on, it's trying to decipher the emotions that come out of music, trying to describe them and make them fit with the music. It takes a lot of time and a lot of work, and it might be painful. You have to go to places where you might not want to go. But that's okay. One of the benefits about it is that I can learn more about myself. It's more than a verbal expression, it's an emotional expression too. Every musician has an emotional expression, no doubt about it, but as a vocalist you get to do it through the use of your own body. It gives you a stronger emotional connection between what you're performing and what it means to you. In that sense, it's more rewarding, but it's also harder at times."
On the mixed reception THE HAUNTED's last album, "The Dead Eye", received:
"'The Dead Eye' was a lot more introspective than anything we've done. It was less communicative in some ways, but it was a very necessary record to make. It was funny, because it was a record that pissed a lot of people off. That's the sign of a good record: people reacted to it! When you do this, music as art, when you choose to do metal instead of something more commercial in a more traditional way, that's what it's supposed to do. That album was a kind of statement in its own right. A lot of metal bands have no intention of provoking people, of treading new ground, and there's a kind of passive and comfortable attitude. It's kind of sad, really. If we look back a couple of years, this was the music that told people to fuck off. We had our own kind of language and attitude; it was a lifestyle. Even if we listened to different things too, we metalheads had this kind of common language and things that we enjoyed together. But somewhere along the way, this orthdox, conformist bullshit got in the way. That's not metal!"
On having that token "cursed" album in THE HAUNTED's discography that is actually great but has the uncool reputation:
"I was talking to Robb Flynn from MACHINE HEAD about that — they've done some similar things and gotten poor reviews — and we agreed that negativity spreads. If a few people out of thousands go, 'That sucks!', and it's fun to say that something sucks, it catches. Then, suddenly, all these people who haven't paid any kind of attention to what you've created are all saying the same thing. The disappointment [we felt] was towards the attitude. We knew that we'd created something that was really great, and we're still getting great feedback from it. It's dense, and it grows on you, so it was kind of disappointing that it ran into that kind of dumbed-down, unintelligent approach of people to music."
Jukka "Jallu'02" Penttinen of Domination conducted an interview with Peter Dolving before THE HAUNTED's October 8, 2008 concert at Club Tavastia in Helsinki, Finland. Watch the 12-minute chat below.