Exploring the seeds: an interview with Pete Flesh of The Pete Flesh Deathtrip

TPFD Photo2

One of the albums which certainly made a strong and lingering impression this year has been Mortui Vivos Docent from The Pete Flesh Deathtrip, and it should be said that since we posted are review of it a few weeks ago the release has continued to persuade and seduce with its darkest fearful creative journey and surpass what we originally said about it. The solo project of Pete Flesh (ex- Deceiver, Thrown, Maze of Torment), The Pete Flesh Deathtrip is a project which brings fresh venom and breath to death cored extreme metal. Taking the opportunity to find out much more about the album and the man himself, Pete explained about how he creates his music, what drives his thoughts, and how he is doubtful he could return to being just part of a band.

Hi Pete and thank you for taking time out to talk with us.

No problem, grateful for the support.

Before we look at and talk about your new album Mortui Vivos Docent can we ask about your background? What sparked firstly your interest in music, inspirations etc. and in metal in particular?

I remember the first time I heard and saw pics of WASP. I had heard and listened to bands like Deep Purple, Kiss etc. But this was something different, I fell for the rawness. The same goes with the first time I heard Bathory or Tormentor. To be creative has always been in my nature since I was a kid. Then when I tried the guitar I have simply not stopped doing songs since. And that has been more important to me, to find new ways to do songs than actually trying to be the next Yngvie Malmsteen; just trying to find different atmospheres and expressions towards different experiences through life.

Did you take music lessons when young or was it a sudden discovery of a passion to play that emerged and led you to developing alone?

I took 3 lessons then I quit, just because I thought it was more satisfying doing my own stuff. Something I regret today. But I have my own style which you can hear directly when I play.

Is there a particular instrument and style you have a greater passion for and enjoy exploring the most?

Well, I must say the guitar as I write most of the songs on that instrument, even if I don´t see myself as a pure guitar player. I also like to play other instruments to explore different ways to create a song. On every album I try at least to have some songs that have the roots from other instruments, like bass or piano. I also like to explore and develop in the rhythm sections for every album, some details here and there.

You played in Maze of Torment, Embryo, Thrown, and Deceiver before starting up solo project Flesh. What was the spark or trigger that led you to go down that road creatively emotionally?

I think it was the fact that I always think in terms of song-writing, that I get the whole picture and not just some riffs here and there. Sometimes it would get frustrating to have this whole idea to a song, but the out-come would maybe be 70%. Some would maybe say that I´m an egotist, but I see myself like someone with strong ideas, ideas where all dedication is needed to get the songs rightful form… And my ideas mostly have no thinking at all towards any success, genre or what other people would think, and that often fails when you are in a band. I´m really proud of my past, and there is a lot of great stuff released, like the debut album of Maze of Torment or the last one with Deceiver.

Was it a bigger step in reality to have a whole project in your hands and imagination than you envisaged or a natural and fluid evolution for your music?

It was hard to make a decision to leave Maze of Torment, the band was my dedication for 12 years. That was the first step towards where I am today. Then I had some years where I tried out different stuff, did the project Thrown etc. But all that was needed in the evolution. There was no bigger problem for me regarding emotions to put down Deceiver and Thrown, I did most of the music and work anyway. It was harder for me to come to the conclusion that I should only focus on one thing and that all of my ideas and expressions can be gathered at one place, like in The Pete Flesh Deathtrip. Today now it´s done and I think back I only see everything as natural steps.

Is there a big personal aspect to your own music lyrically and musically, your songs a reflection of your inside thoughts on things and you see and come across?

Yes, it is. Everything I do must have full dedication towards all reflections and expressions I create through songs. Sometimes it has failed because of studio, members or producer choices, that the ideas not always have been understood. But you go through all that, everyone does to get experiences. The experiences then either make you give up or simply get you stronger in what you believe in and what you want to do.

What inspires your lyrical side predominantly?Mortui Vivos Docent Cover

The dead and death in general; its surroundings and the topics that have been created because of it. Just like the music, this comes natural for me.

You renamed the band to The Pete Flesh Deathtrip from simply Flesh, was this forced upon you as I read somewhere or down to a deliberate intent?

No, not forced but “recommended”. But the main reason was that I only was going to create music for this now and I wanted something more personal. If I had wanted to continue just under the name Flesh, I think there would not have been any bigger problem. Flesh and The Pete Flesh Deathtrip is the same thing for me, the idea is still the same and I even use the old Flesh logo in the inner-sleeve of the new album, just to show people.

As we mentioned earlier Mortui Vivos Docent is your new very recently album, your fourth. How has your music and imagination on the album evolved from those early days of Flesh and across all releases?

If you compare to the first one, “Dödsångest”, I would say that it still has the same formulas, but developed. I had for example never, and I mean never, done vocals before that one. And you can hear it, but it has the same kind of dedication like today. “Temple of Whores” and “Worship the Soul of Disgust” I see as progression albums. Lots of stuff going on in my personal life and other music stuff. If you would take the best of those 2 albums and record it in the same studio as the new one it would become a killer album. Sometimes I play with that thought.

Do you deliberately explore certain aspects and ideas or each release or an artist that lets the music naturally evolve itself and thus each release?

I would say that the seeds to my creations come from the same place, only that I try to develop and explore different stuff in different views from each release. I try to do songs that capture the essence from what I feel at that right moment. I can´t erase my past and influences that have built up the person I am, I will always have stuff that marks my way of playing and how I do songs. But I will always try to find those small details that keep it interesting for me, to create and explore new territories.

There was a five year gap between Mortui Vivos Docent and its predecessor Worship the Soul of Disgust. Any particular reason for that extended gap, and how much of that time was involved in the creation of the new album?

Lots of personal stuff that was going on in my life, elements that had to be sorted out. I was still doing music, but I was in this state of mind that everything had to have its time. I had at that point created music, manic, for over 20 years. I had to take that time to find again that “innocent” feeling, when everything was new and you had not recorded any album yet. This has only been good for me; I have a better way today to see the structures in things. The next album will for sure not take this long; the inspiration is there, more than ever.

As with your previous albums you used session musicians on the album, notably Micke Broberg for some of the vocals and Andreas Jonsson (Tyrant, The Black, Vinertand) for drums. Was this approach always the intention from day one and if you ever expanded the band line-up do you think it would unbalance or in some way diminish the current potency of your music?

No, the idea to use them was not there from the beginning, it was a progress that grew through the process. First my idea was to play the drums myself. When I put that news out on MySpace I got a mail from Andreas directly -“I like Flesh too much to let you play the drums, you are not good enough. At least I can´t be worse”. And he was more than right. I was just trying to isolate myself totally from any impact from any other. Flingan that had played on the previous albums had stopped playing and it felt hopeless finding a new session drummer. That Andreas came into the picture was the best thing that could happen for me. He understood the concept of everything and when he recorded the drums in the studio it was pure energy. Micke came into the picture when more or less all songs were done. I had this idea that it would be good with some contrasts in the vocals as there was a lot of it in the music. You know, I only have this kind of vocal style, and sometimes I hear stuff in my head when I do the songs that I can´t really manage vocally. First it was only going to be on one track, then there were two, and suddenly it was half of the album. All this came naturally through the progress of writing lyrics and what I wanted out of the songs. He also wrote some lyrics. Both Andreas and Micke did brilliant work, and to tell the truth, I never thought that there were people out there that I could work this good with, I´m grateful. There will never be any other full-time members in T.P.F.D.T than myself. The reason is simple. This is a solo project and I want to always have the doors open for new ideas. Maybe Andreas and Micke are on the next album as well, maybe not. All depends on how songs etc. progress under the process. Also, even if they are included on the next recording I maybe have this idea that is totally out of their taste, like using an Opera singer as just an example. As a band and full time members you could refuse that. So, this will continue as a solo project.

How do you approach your songwriting generally and how has that changed over the years if at all?

I wait till the inspiration comes to me. Sometimes I tease myself and wait longer then it just explodes. Anyone that can play little guitar are able to fix that fat sound and just do riffs. The riffing part is not hard for me, the hard part is to find the riffs, ideas, structures etc. that in the end will express something and that you can feel dedicated to, simply to create a good song. Also when I start the process in writing a whole album it´s not just about doing single songs, I try slowly to get a picture of a whole album, the expression and atmospheres to it all. I want to have a dynamic to it all. I would say that I in the early days was a bit more stressful in the writing process of a whole album, there are good songs and the structure is there, but to hold it through a whole album has failed sometimes. To put it simple, I know better what I want and how I want to express it today.

TPFD Photo1When you bring in musicians to help bring your songs to life in the studio are they finished and sealed compositions before them or is there still a little room for ideas to be offered and considered?

All the songs are already there, but that doesn´t take away the room for ideas. For example, Andreas did a lot of drum parts that maybe were not was my idea from the beginning, all cred to that. Also on the trax where Micke had done the lyrics he had a lot of say. I had said the parts where the verse, chorus etc. would be, but the expressions in the words, the type of vocals is his and all cred to that. I notice pretty fast that these guys understood the concept to it all, so to collaborate through different ideas was no problem for me. I would never take away their great impact on this album and say that it´s all mine. The only important thing for me is making the album I had in my head and make it good, and they contributed to that. And I must mention the producer Peter Bjärgö (Arcana, Crypt of Kerberos, Tyrant), his role has been as important. I had tons of ideas that he was able to fulfil, like piano stuff, samples etc. so all cred to him as well.

Do you think having spent the past decade writing and creating alone that returning to a band set up would be a struggle for you creatively, losing the sole control etc.?

I have thought about it sometimes, to form something and rehearse like a band. But after 10 seconds of thinking I realize who I am and know that I will be manic about it; I can´t play in a band just for the fun of it. The closest to a band I ever will get, at least it feels like it right now, is if I put T.P.F.D.T into a live situation, but first I must find a second guitarist.

Did you have a core idea or intent when writing Mortui Vivos Docent?

That this would be the most honest and personal album that I had done; to get back to that feeling when I wrote for the first Maze of Torment album. A mixture between that and when I did “The Suicide Kings Occult” with Thrown (one album project where I also plays drums). Simply finding the core to the reason why I crave and are addicted to making music. It all sounds bloody boring and ambitious, it´s only fucking Metal…..well, not to me.

Written over the long period mentioned how much did songs change and evolve from their original conception on the album or are you a person who can leave things alone once a song is ‘finished’?

No song is done until the mastering is finished. For me a song is a breathing thing, it´s a creation, something that follows me during the whole day and night. Most of my social life is gone because I choose this way of life instead, to write. But when the drums are done the big frame, structure is of course done. But then you are able to “colour” the songs in so many ways. I try to go in with small details if I feel like a song will fail. One of the tracks on the new album “The Suicide End”, that a lot seems to like, was a struggle for me. The idea was clear in my head, I heard what I wanted, but it wasn’t there. Everyone had played everything right, the vocals was right and had the right expression and atmosphere, but there was something missing. When Peter and I mixed the album I was fucking furious. For me this song was destroyed, maybe not for someone else, but for me, that millimetre detail that would put the song in its rightful place was not there, and the song was bloody important to me. Then I just tried to turn up the vocals one small step after trying to mix the guitars, drums etc. different, and there it was. For me it was like day and night in differences. Maybe it sounds stupid and obvious for someone else, that it should not have been too hard to notice it directly. But everyone that has a whole writing process in the head also knows that it’s easy to get a bit blind during the mixing process. Tons of things to keep track of to find that special thing that makes the song.

Is there a part of moment of the album which gives you the biggest tingle or thrill inside, something which is the purest part of Pete Flesh?TPFD Logo

Yes, the thing that I just mentioned. Can´t describe that feeling when it turned out exactly as I wanted. Of course a lot of other stuff did as well, but with fewer struggles; the chorus of “Recycle my Death”, the verses in “Burning Darkness”. This is just to mention something, because there is a lot of stuff that I worked really hard with trying to capture. But those two things and the verse in “God of the Crawling Whore”, that is pure Pete Flesh. Other things that give me the thrill, Micke’s and Ia´s brilliant vocals in “Bleed” and his chorus lines in “The Eternal Dawn”. Just brilliant.

Will you be taking the new release into the live arena and if so do you have a regular group of musicians to call on to help?

Nothing is settled yet, there is a lot of work making it happen. But if it would happen I of course want Micke and Andreas to follow. Micke is a skilled musician, so he can also handle the bass. Then I only need to find a second guitar player to work with. This is a process, like an album, that I want to think everything through carefully.

Once more thank you for allowing us to explore your music and creativity.

No problem at all. Thank you for questions that prove your interest for my music.

Any last thoughts you would like to share?

Silvester Anfang

 

Check out the review for Mortui Vivos Docent@  https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2013/07/25/the-pete-flesh-deathtrip-mortui-vivos-docent/

Pete RingMaster

The RingMaster Review 28/08/2013

 

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard from

http://www.audioburger.com

 

ArcticFlame: Shake The Earth

After his impressive debut solo album Death In The Family earlier in the year, songwriter/drummer Mike Paradine returns with his ‘day job’ ArcticFlame and its unleashing of storming new album Shake The Earth. The album is the fourth full length release from the band and is a deeply impressive and invigorating explosion of classic and power metal brought with a distinct and rich imagination.

It has to be said such was the great pleasure brought by The Mike Paradine Group and their aforementioned album, which found acclaim and strong media response including regularly play on the likes of The Bone Orchard podcast from The Reputation Radio Show, that there was a heightened anticipation for the next release from the New Jersey quintet which Paradine founded in 2001. The album feeds those expectations and more with ten majestic slices of metal to captivate and fire up any rock and metal heart. Wonderfully eclectic yet soaked in the classic essences of metal throughout it is a release which concretes the reputation of ArcticFlame as one of the most accomplished and essential bands around.

From those early times when Paradine, upon leaving previous band Balistik Kick, set about forming a band influenced by the traditional metal of Iron Maiden, Judas Priest and Motorhead, ArcticFlame has been on a constant rise. From their first ever gig supporting Thin Lizzy, shared stages with bands such as Motorhead, Overkill, Helloween, WASP, and their well received EP of 2005 through their debut album Primeval Aggressor of 2006 and its successor Declaration of 2008, the band has risen higher and grown stronger stage by stage. Unexpected changes in 2010 could not make an obstacle for the band for long as the new line-up of Paradine, new vocalist Michael Clayton Moore, guitarist Sebastian Garcia, and returning original bassist Jeff Scott, emerged stronger and more determined. 2011 saw Alex Schuster join their ranks as second guitarist and the release of third album Guardian At The Gate which marked the band as one of the most powerful and enthralling melodic metal bands around.

Shake The Earth not only builds on what came before but throws the band up with the giants of the genre, their incendiary sounds and sharp imagination a sonic explosion of skill and passion. The album is a brew of multiple flavours which sets it apart from similar styled releases. Their melodic prowess again runs as a controlled riot throughout whilst the generated energies are as rampant and hungry as any offering anywhere. These strengths are fused with an array of grooves and disharmonies compound the full ignition of the passions, their discordant breath an inspired counter to the scorching and inventive melodies which burn from within every song.

The opener Man Made Man instantly piques interest with its electrified strokes across the ear, their sparks slowly blistering the air whilst heralding the following predatory stomp of badgering riffs and heavily jabbing rhythms. The vocals of Clayton Moore as expected are immense proving he is one of the best metal vocalists around and immersed in the surging guitars sounds, a wonderfully snarling bass from Scott, plus the unmissable power and mighty punches from Paradine, it all combines to show the band is pushing new heights. It is a thunderous start with a song which will rile the passions for fans across the years.

Two Sides Of The Bullet and Last Chance continue the high octane adrenaline riling enjoyment. The first is a pulse racing bruise of a track which fires up any passions still only simmering from the opener whilst the second simply enflames the soul with its abrasive intensity and incisive melodic dazzle. Both offer rock n roll at its best, neither arguably trying to break down boundaries but simply conjuring the freshest most majestic sounds from existing palettes.

The punk rawness of Call In The Priest as it rampages like a bull increases the heart rate whilst songs like Rider Of The Headless Horseman and the excellent Run To Beat The Devil only leave raptures with their melodic charms and insatiable hearts. The last of these three especially shows how the band, their craft and songwriting, has reached yet another level which can only reward fans and music alike.

The album ends with a cover of the Uriah Heep song Rain and the power ballad Seasons In The Cemetery (Gardens Of Stone), the first a vocal and piano treat passing to the second and its orchestral kiss upon the ear brought with a power metal embrace. If there is only one minor quibble about Shake The Earth it is that as it progresses the earlier charging energy dissipates, though the quality remains at the same impressive height, making it a little top heavy in adrenaline. Just a minor complaint and the placing of tracks as they are do allow one to recover the loss of breath which results from the first three quarters of the album.

Shake The Earth is outstanding and easily one of the best melodic metal albums this year, and ArcticFlame… well they simply make the best kind of metal to leave one energised and fulfilled.

http://www.arcticflamemetal.com

RingMaster 11/09/2012

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

The best and easiest way to get your music on iTunes, Amazon and lots more. Click below for details.

Iron Fire – Voyage of the Damned

 

With a trepidation inspired from other power rock albums over the years and their dislike, going into the new album from Danish power metalers Iron Fire was not over appealing but that feeling was swiped fiercely away by the mid-point of the second track, Voyage of the Damned reminding that assumptions are never a great thing.  Admittedly the album will probably still not make the end of year top 10 here but that is down to personal prejudice against the classic rock vocal style employed. Founder and band mastermind Martin Steene is a fine and dramatic vocalist with measured control and expression but despite that his style is not one I enjoy generally, but it has to be said that overall he, the band and the album did nothing less than please with its impressive creative power.

The early days of Iron Fire was an explosive entry into the corridors of rock with much acclaim and promise coning from their 2001 debut album Thunderstorm. From that point things became rocky to simplify it with a completely opposite reaction to follow-up release On the Edge. Though fans were still behind them elsewhere things soured with even their own label appearing disinterested which eventually ended with the band being dropped on the eve of the release of the band’s third album. Under this continued downturn the band found itself containing just Steene as people left. A fighter, Steene  through his disappointment built up his determination accumulating in 2006 with a new Iron Fire album in Revenge. Based upon the fictitious fantastic world of the warrior Cain, a man double crossed and betrayer by his closest friends and allies (wonder what inspired that?), the album now with the support of Napalm Records drew in immense acclaim and positive reaction. The band were back and has since risen to higher stronger heights with their albums Blade of Triumph in 2007, To the Grave of 2009, and the following year Metalmorphosized. During this time shows and tours alongside the likes of Demon, U.D.O., Primal Fear, Saxon, WASP, and Doro added more impact and power to the return of Iron Fire.

Released January 27th again via Napalm, Voyage of the Damned is a powder keg of explosive and at times deeply aggressive riffs and fluid soaring melodies. The release draws on many genres bringing elements of black and death metal, doom, thrash, prog rock, and more, all spicing up their own vibrant and stirring sound. On the album the band is more muscular and threatening than on previous releases without losing its skilled melodic touch, the release hitting hard and with venom whilst enticing and inviting with pleasing melodies and ideas. The quartet of Steene, guitarist Kirk Backarach, bassist Martin Lund, and Fritz Wagner on drums have evolved into an even tighter and mightier band with deep flavours to grab most metal fans.

From the atmospheric doom type opening of ‘The Dark Beyond’, the kind of opening so many bands use now to lead into their releases, the album erupts into the folk metal tinged might of ‘Enter Oblivion OJ-666’. With chunky riffs rapping at the ear within soaring symphonic keys the song is prime metal urgency bringing a heavy dominance upon the senses with fluent breaks into scorching melodies and guitar creativity. The album as it unveils its wares is deeply varied to ensure constant attention. From the further brutal riffage of ‘Taken’ to the industrial veined orchestral grace of ‘Slaughter of Souls’,  and the drama of ‘Leviathan’ to the emotive passion of ballad ‘The Final Odyssey’ the band come from different angles and with consistent effect.

The slightly erratic yet excellent ‘Ten Years In Space’ and the dark energy of ‘Realm of Madness’ stand out on the latter part of the album but as a whole the release is impressive. It is the staggering dangerous intense riffs and varied metal intrusions of multiple sources that lift the album beyond the band’s previous releases. This new heavy intensity suits them and when Steene and the band venture into growls and a less polished rock vocal delivery the songs turn into even stronger beasts. Though personal taste has an impact on one aspect the truth is Voyage of the Damned is a mighty album even these ears will visit often.

RingMaster 17/01/2012

MyFreeCopyright.com Registered & Protected

Photobucket

The best and easiest way to get your music on iTunes, Amazon and lots more. Click below for details.