Hanging With the Hypocrites
An interview with Hypocrisy
by: Gino Filicetti
"Music is everything for me. I work in the studio ten hours a day, seven days a week with bands and plus Hypocrisy it's just music all day long, 24 hours a day."

-- Peter Tagtgren (vocalist, guitarist, keyboardist)

Our world, and death metal along with it, has come a long way since Peter Tagtgren first visited Florida way back in 1990. It was a time when everyone was talking about Tampa Bay and how thrash was dead forever; it was a time when bands like Obituary, Cannibal Corpse and Deicide were state of the art, revolutionaries, trudging throw unknown musical waters, and leaving their tracks on the rest of mankind.

But those times have gone the way of the dodo, my friends. It is now 1996, and survival in the death metal world of today is only for the fittest. Enter Hypocrisy, a band that was started by Peter Tagtgren to prove to Malevolent Creation's Phil Fasciana that if they could do it, so could he. The band began as a one man outfit, and has gone through many lineup changes going anywhere from one to five to four and finally to a stable power trio. The band consists of Peter himself who handles vocals, guitars and keyboards, Mikael Hedlund on bass and Lars Szoke on the skins.

Hypocrisy's latest release, _Abducted_, is an album that proves to the world that death metal need not be as one-dimensional as most people like to think, the album combines many elements to produce a sound that is not only fresh and innovative, but sticks to the roots of this music's heaviness.

Releasing an album in this genre nowadays can prove quite harrowing to many bands trying to make it to the top. For Hypocrisy, it seems the tide is finally turning in their favour; "The record company is putting in more effort and money into advertising and stuff like that. Every album is picking up more and more so that's pretty cool. It's not going downhill and that's a good thing. Every album has sold more than the previous one, so that's really cool." He continues about the response to the album so far, "I did the interviews and it's looking really killer. But it's easier when you know the album's been out for awhile, because then you actually hear stuff from fans and the reviews are coming back. In Europe, the reviews have been giving us 80% and better so that's great. All the people I've talked to in America and Canada like it a lot you know, but it's coming out Feburary 14th, so we'll see what the reaction is going to be with the fans, but so far so good."

As most bands progress in age, they start setting goals for themselves and try to push the envelope just that much more with each release. Hypocrisy, however, doesn't like wasting their time with such trivialities; "Well, we just wrote the songs and didn't worry about how they're going to end up you know? We started recording the album in March and we listened to it, and after a week or so we decided to throw away half of the songs because they weren't good enough and then we started all over again. We went through this process like four times until we had all the songs." As for the lyrical content, Peter relates his restlessness and constant effort to change; "Well, the subject I wanted to take up this time was a little bit different. I wanted to deal with UFOs and stuff like that. I'm a restless person, I can't do the same thing twice and the same goes for my music, that's why two albums never sound the same."

Hypocrisy's past lineup change could make one wonder about the stability of the band in its present form. Peter is quick to reassure me that for once, he thinks this lineup could go a long way seeing as everyone has the right mindset to get things done. But the question comes to mind, is three people enough to pull off the complexity of Hypocrisy's music? "Yeah, but only when it comes to the studio. For our live performances we have a stand in guitarist. He also does some keyboard parts as well as the guitars. You need that to get the thickness and to sound the same as the album."

Also included on _Abducted_ are three tracks that don't seem to fit with the rest of the album. One is an ambient soundscape, the other two being acoustical jaunts. Where did these come from? "Well, that was really just a side project for me that I did two years ago. I wanted to prove to myself that I could do other kinds of music besides just metal. The other guys listened to it and they wanted to put it on the album, but I really wasn't into that. However, a lot of death metal fans we knew thought that it was really cool music and that we should put it on an album so we sat and discussed it and came up with a decision that there shouldn't be any rules about what can go on an album. So we said, 'Let go for it, and we'll worry about it later.'"

As for touring, Hypocrisy is heading out on a European tour in two weeks with Amorphis, but plans for North America are still shrouded in haze; "I have no idea what's going on with America and Canada yet, but we are trying to get something together. One of the guys from Kataklysm is trying to fix up a tour with us."

As the interview drew to a close, I asked Peter what he thought about the scene nowadays. Is it any different than when he first started? "No, I think it was the same thing except that we played what we listened to. But to me, I think it's important to be true to yourself, and stick to whatever you believe in. One day the style of music you play will be hip, but as long as you believe in yourself and you're not a sell out it doesn't matter what kind of music is the trend at the time."

Truer words have never been spoken. Be sure to check out Hypocrisy in your neck of the woods, hopefully sometime soon.

(article submitted 14/3/1996)


CHATS
8/12/2005 J Smit Hypocrisy: Spreading the Disease
9/1/2002 P Schwarz Hypocrisy: Ten Years and Still Humble
7/7/1999 D Rocher Hypocrisy: The Hypocrite's Arising Realm
1/1/1998 A Bromley Hypocrisy: It Ain't Over 'Til the Fat Lady Sings
ALBUMS
7/23/2005 J Smit 8.5 Hypocrisy - Virus
1/25/2004 J Smit 7 Hypocrisy - The Arrival
4/12/2002 A McKay 10 Hypocrisy - 10 Years of Chaos and Confusion
8/12/2000 D Rocher 8 Hypocrisy - Into the Abyss
7/7/1999 D Rocher 10 Hypocrisy - Hypocrisy
6/15/1999 A Bromley 9 Hypocrisy - Hypocrisy
5/19/1999 A Bromley 9 Hypocrisy - Hypocrisy Destroys Wacken
11/17/1997 P Azevedo 9 Hypocrisy - The Final Chapter
5/10/1996 A Wasylyk 4 Hypocrisy - Carved Up
2/9/1996 G Filicetti 8 Hypocrisy - Abducted
GIGS
10/20/2003 J Smit Dimmu Borgir / Hypocrisy / Norther One Step Closer to Armageddon
7/3/2002 P Schwarz Immortal / Hypocrisy Northern Darkness Descends
7/3/2002 P Azevedo Immortal / Hypocrisy / Holocausto Canibal The Night After the Night Before
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