Over the last decade European Thrash metal has been pushed forward by a great many strong and purposeful bands. The one name that has stood out in the genre and led the way throughout the past eleven years is Danish metalers HateSphere. They have been at the forefront, pushing boundaries and setting the pace for others to follow. Their seventh and latest album The Great Bludgeoning released via Napalm Records sees the quintet once more up the ante and we had the pleasure to talk with founder member and guitarist Peter “Pepe” Hansen about the release and the band.
Hello and thanks for taking time out to talk to The Ringmaster Review.
With the new additions to HateSphere in the past year or so would you introduce all the members?
Mike Park on drums (ex-Mercenary), Esse on vocals (Numbnuts, ex-As We Fight), Jimmy on bass (from Danish punksters Gob Squad), Jakob on guitar (came in the band four years ago, so this is his second album with us) and Pepe on guitar – only original member.
How difficult was it firstly to find replacements that could feel what HateSphere had and needed and how was working with them at first?
We knew them before they joined the band, so that made things a bit easier. But they are all experienced, talented and big HateSphere fans… and that is always a good start. It felt like we all had the same plan and the same expectations. They have all tried a lot before, and they know what to expect, so we are all on the same level.
Which aspect of the band is it hardest to integrate new members into, the writing and creation of songs, live shows, learning some of the older songs but also adding their own flavours to them…..?
I would say the song writing. There’s no doubt about that these guys can play the old songs and perform them live – but to get them into the song writing must be the hardest thing. It is the most important part after all because with no good songs, no good album, there will be no shows, haha. But these guys nailed it, hehe. As soon as we got started, it was obvious that the chemistry was there, so the song writing for the new album went pretty smooth!
Your new and seventh album The Great Bludgeoning was released last month, was it a more of going into the unknown with it bearing in mind the new members to the band compared to other albums in the past?
No, we knew that we had made one hell of an album, so we were confident that most people would like it. The critics will always be there, also the ones still complaining about the line-up changes, but that’s just how things are.
How long in the making has The Great Bludgeoning been?
We started the song writing in December 2010, and finished it off in June 2011 just before entering the studio. So we actually wrote most of the album without a bass player, ‘cause Jimmy entered the band mid-April 2011. We were confident that we would find the right bass player, so we just kept on writing music for the album, and luckily it paid off. We had booked the studio way in advance, so we knew when we had to be done with the album. So there was no time to rest, haha.
Much as we dislike certain terms as all music is new when first presented but there does seem, and I think you have said it yourselves, an old school feel to the album. This was intentional from the outset?
We never agree on how an album should sound beforehand. We simply just write the music that we like on that certain time, and this time around we liked the old school feel to it. As all the new members are old HateSphere and metal fans it was natural that the songs turned out the way they did.
What for you are the differences between The Great Bludgeoning and previous album To The Nines, and did you approach the new release’s creation in a different way to its predecessor?
We most certainly were more confident this time, as we are no longer that affected by all the fuzz created by the line up changes, and all the pressure that comes along with it. We don’t care much about people that wanna dwell in the fact that we got new members. Who cares as long as the music kicks ass? So, as we get older, we get more and more self confident as well, and we brought that to the song writing. The song writing went way more smooth this time around, as we all shared the same vision and kinda came from the same background. We all agreed on making this a metal album with a capitol M.
Anything specific inspire the lyrical contents of the new album, which as ever are highly emotive and aggressive.
The lyrics are for the most part tales of (and views on) everyday life through a more or less dark or pessimistic lens. They are tales of ruined lives, self-hate, greed, thoughtlessness and more. And each song stands either on the victim’s or the offender’s side in the great bludgeoning.
How do you avoid your lyrical intent becoming stale having already six highly charged albums that made a distinct mark on metal?
I really don’t know. I guess that’s why we always change singers, as they all write different kinda lyrics, haha. No, I think it’s like the music. It’s the small details that make the big picture. So, depending on what’s on the lyricists mind, it will always be slightly different lyrics… some times more, some times less
We have a couple of small headliner tours coming up in Europe in the fall of 2011. Then we aim for a European support tour in early 2012, a Scandinavian run in the spring, summer festivals before we go to the US in the fall of 2012. So, lots of stuff to do
Thanks so much for talking to us. With The Great Bludgeoning the proof that thrash metal is still a vibrant genre would you like to end with some last words for those about to revel in the might of the album?
Thank you for the kind words – and thank you to all the fans for buying the album, checking out our music and supporting us. Hope to see all of you on the road!
The Great Bludgeoning is available now via Napalm Records
For more on the band check out their profile @