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Interview with Lars Peter Karlsson (The Pete Flesh Deathtrip)


Last Updated on 03:18 AM by Giorgos Tsekas

Mr. Lars Peter Karlsson (aka Pete Flesh) seems a great interlocutor as he has lot of interesting things to talk about. Don’t miss the following discussion as you must not miss his last effort “Svartnad” especially if you are into Blackened Death Metal.

Congratulations for your second album “Svartnad”. How’s the promotion and feedback of the album so far?

– The feedback has been really good so far, which I of course am grateful for, and that itself makes it a little bit easier to spread the word. But other than that the promotion side is mostly DIY work and the help from old contacts. But I am working on that it will get better.

What drove to choose this title for the release?

– For me a title always comes to me, I never force that kind of process. I had the melody and riff, that later became the chorus of the song, in an early stage of the writing process. I just played it one night and heard the word in my head singing over it. You just know when you have found the right title for a song or an album, if I feel strong for it I never question its upcoming. Then you start to work around it and you slowly find its purpose on a deeper level. Svartnad is the Swedish word for blackened.

How much time did you spend composing and recording “Svartnad”, and what did you do different this time, compared to your debut in 2013?

– I would say that I spend around two and a half year on it, including both writing process and studio time. Then you always have riffs, song structures, lyrics etc. that have been around for years but never been used, simply because you want to wait until the right moment and purpose.

The main differences from the debut, ”Mortui Vivos Docent”, is that I changed studio, producer, drummer and I also sing/wrote all the lyrics for ”Svartnad”. On the debut Micke Broberg (Unanimated) guest sing on half of the album and also wrote some lyrics. When it comes to the song writing process I always return to the same kind of source, influences and mental state, but I try to approach it from a different angle every time. This time the album title for sure had a big impact on the final outcome. When it comes to the production there is a big difference, of course the reason is the change of studio and producer. But I like the difference between those two albums in sound/production, makes them more legit to each other.

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Why did you choose to change your band name from Flesh to the Pete Flesh Deathtrip?

– I wanted something that only could be associated with me and the music I create.

Do you prefer working on music alone, or would you like turning into a full member band someday, ideally?

– Yes, I like to work on music alone, especially when I create the structures for a whole album. Then when I am in the studio I have no problem to listen to different ideas from the producer. I am very open for inputs if I notice that there is some thinking behind it. But in general I have a clear vision of what I want to do. No, TPFDT will never be a full member band, that would destroy the whole purpose of what this is. But I will have a full live band, who the others will be I will reveal later this year.

What are some topics discussed in the songs of “Svartnad” and how much time should a listener spend in order to fully get the point?

– There is a lot of existential and philosophical thinking around suicide, depression, hate, angst, wars, death, religion etc. I try to, as much as I can, to put them in a personal outlook and view. When I sing them I really want them to mean something to me. That you as a listener can hear that they are written in a honest way. It´s for sure not unique to write about these topics, I guess mankind always have been attracted to those kinds of subjects, different views on death and melancholy. Then it doesn’t matter if you write music, write books, do movies or do paintings etc. The only thing I can do with them, as those topics comes the most natural for me, is to put them in elements of self-lived situations or through the eyes of a character. It´s impossible for me to say how many spins a listener needs to get the album, some get it directly and some not. If you consume this album in the same way as McDonalds sell food, then you will never get it.

Tell us a few information about the cover artwork, who made it and what does it stand for? – It´s done by a guy called Aybars Altay. He is also a musician and has a band called Seth Ect, also done some movie music. I came across him surfing the net for different artwork artists. He is an brilliant artist in many ways. To use a baphomet, today, in this kind of music genres could simply be suicide and a mockery to yourself, it´s done a million times. But the way it´s done, and with that title, it´s turning more towards a deeper philosophical thought regarding the strong symbolism of how the world will end. It´s not the correct way to read the baphomet, but I like to put things in different angles for people to read and think about. I of course have my own strong reason and meaning for why I use it as a cover for this album, but it´s more fulfilling for myself to see/read others view before I lay out my own.

If you were to choose one track from your new record to someone who hasn’t heard the band before, which would it be and why?

– I usually say that you must listen to the whole album to get it, no compromises. But as I have understod tracks like ”The Sun Will Fail”, ”The Winter Of The Wolves”, ”She Dwells Into The Dark” and ”Svartnad” are the most popular.

Where do you draw your influences from, musically and non-musically? – I read a lot about everything. I listen to a lot of different kind of music. I get influenced by people who are strong enough to go their own way and not are stucked in one lane. I like different expressions and elements  I like to read into different views, even if I don´t agree. I try to put myself in different situations that I am not usually in or comfortable with, just to see if I can learn something from it.

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When did you start getting involved with music? Was Flesh your first serious personal band?

– I think I was around 15 years old when I had my first band. Before that I just played around with the guitar, listen to a lot of music and was obsessed with it. All the different places music could take you too mentally. No, Flesh was not my first band. I have been in bands like Embryo, Maze of Torment, Deceiver, Thrown etc. But since 2009 my only focus is TPFDT.

Which five albums would you consider being profoundly important for the metal scene, the ones every person in the scene must listen to no matter what.

– I don´t want to be a jerk about it, but this is impossible for me to do. There are way to many to just mention 5.

What’s your take on record collecting? Are you a die-hard yourself?

– Of course it´s a good thing. One of the best feeling there is is to hold a new vinyl of a great album (or CD if you prefer that). Because of different reasons, which includes my goals with TPFDT, I am not able to buy as much records these days as I wish to. But to compare that with releasing your own albums and finding a balance in that, it´s more than satisfying. But one day the balance will be even better. The latest vinyl I both was the demo/mini-CD collection with Hypnosia.

Are there any bands you would like to work with for a split release, or musicians that you would like to form a side project with?

– I will never form a side project again, I only focus on TPFDT now days. If I will work with different musicians it will be as guests on a TPFDT album. There is not so many guests on ”Svartnad”, like it was on ”Mortui Vivos Docent”, Micke Broberg (Unanimated), Andreas Jonsson (Vinterland, Tyrant), Peter Bjärgö (Crypt Of Cerberos, Tyrant) etc. I just felt on ”Svartnad” that I wanted to do a more personal focused album. I would only use guests musician if the purpose would be right for the song, dosen´t matter who the person is. It was really close that Andy La Rocque (King Diamond) would do a guest appearance on ”Svartnad”, one of my fave guitarists. Hopefully it will happen for the next album. Actually he had already worked on a solo for ”Mortui Vivos Docent”, but never got used of different reasons. Now when it was time for ”Svartnad” the tour with King Diamond started, so there was no time. I also have a version of the track ”Fallen Bliss” from the debut where John Zwetsloot (ex.Dissection/Cardinal Sin) does a solo. Also not used because of different reasons. Right now I am working on a track with one of my fave Thrash/Death singers from Sweden. I can´t say who it is right now before everything is done. I will use that track with one more for a 7 inch vinyl, that I hope will be out till the beginning of 2017. Still searching for a good label for that release (interested can contact me). Bands to do a split release with? Could be any band actually.

We are living through a period that sees the revival of the old school scene, with many bands worshipping the sound of the Swedish death metal scene of the early nineties. What’s your take on that phenomenon?

– My point is that you can do what you want, I don´t really have any positive or negative take on that. Good music will always have a new revival. I like the new Interment album, but I don´t know if you can call that old school when they have been around since that genre started. My absolute fave Swedish Death Metal album of all time will forever be Dismember ”Like an ever flowing stream”.

Sweden is known for the quality of its metal bands, no matter the genre. Are there any underground local bands you would like to share with us?

– We have a Thrash/Death Metal band called Xenofanes. Then 100 Years that is more indie/metal which features same drummer that I use on ”Svartnad”. Both bands have released their debut albums, check ´em out. Then we of course have Merciless that will do a re-union show soon.

What lies in the future of The Pete Flesh Deathtrip? Any plans you can reveal?

– Right now a lot of focus is put into the promotion of the album. Then starting rehearsals for live shows. Also finishing the possible 7 inch vinyl. And during all this I always write new material. But for now, all focus on ”Svartnad” of course.

Thanks a lot for your time, Metal Invader salutes you! The last comments are yours.

– A big salute to you and Metal Invader for the support, really appreciated. I remember that I did an interview with Metal Invader many years ago with Maze of Torment, it was when you still were a printed magazine.

The gate of the cavern is despair, and its floor is paved with the gravestones of abandoned hopes. There Self must die; there the eagerness, the greed of untamed desire must be slain, for only so can the soul be freed from the empire of Fate.

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