Danish melodic death kings Hatesphere have released their sixth studio album, To The Nines with a vastly altered line-up from their last record. We caught up with sole remaining founding member, Peter “Pepe” Lyse Hansen to talk shop.
How have the massive personnel changes since Serpent Smiles And Killer Eyes affected To The Nines?
“To get in four new guys has meant renewed energy and new ideas – all in all a very fresh feeling. We have been super focused and pissed off this time, so I am sure it has affected the songs. Surely people have been doubting that we could do something good with almost a totally new band, but I think the music speaks for itself! Exactly this doubt from certain fans has made us even more focused, and the trash talking from certain other fans have made us pissed off, so thanks to them, we have made a great album, haha.”
You’re the only remaining member of the original band. Does it still feel like HateSphere?
“I have been playing in this band forever and written practically all the music – so surrendering has never been an option, haha. This band has a very special place in my heart, and the departure of some members wont change that. It helped that we knew four months in advance they were going to leave – that gave us enough time to find the right replacements. We have been really focused on keeping the stardards high! Every member, every song has had to fit to the HateSphere standard – otherwise we would never have continued! Changes have occured in the past in HateSphere as well – and we have continued there as well.”
Your new singer, Jonathan “Joller” Albrechtsen is very young – he was only a teenager when he joined the band. How does it work, having such an age difference within the band?
“Luckily for us Joller doesnt act (at least not all the time) like he is 20, so you really can’t tell the age difference! So we dont think that much about it – actually we dont think about it at all… only about that Joller is lucky that he is so young and already experiencing this! I would have wished that for myself at that age. His work on the album and his live performances really shows us that he is the right guy. On top of that he is super nice to be around – and believe me, that is a very important thing if you play in a band!”
You write the music but how much influence does Joller have on the lyrics?
“Joller and Mixen [Lindberg, bass] have been doing all the lyrics and all the vocal lines on the album and they are very worked through this time – way more than we are used to. It has been a pleasure to be able to rehearse the new songs with vocals before entering the studio – we have never done that before. In the past we have heard the vocals for the first time after they had actually been recorded, and that gave us very few options to change stuff. This time, as soon as we got the music for a song done, Joller and Mixen would have the lyrics done in time for the next rehearsal – so in that sense we were very much prepared before entering the studio.”
Watch the video for ‘To The Nines’ by Hatesphere
What is the general meaning and overall theme of To The Nines?
“The cover and the lyrics for the title song are very closely connected. “To the nines,” means aiming for perfection, setting the highest of standards, and as you can see on the cover, cutting off your ears, losing a part of yourself doesn’t have to affect your ability to do so! It is about what we have been going through as a band the last year and a half. The lyrics are more personal this time but, of course, still with a couple of typical “Blood, beers and Satan” lyrics in between, hehe…”
What is your favourite song on the album and why?
“The world’s most difficult question for me… and you know it! Having to choose one I would take ‘Oceans Of Blood’. This song represents all that HateSphere stands for. It’s fast, it’s groovy, it’s atmospherical, it’s filled with small tempo changes that make it exciting to listen to… and it’s a fantastic live song! I can only recommend you to listen to it.”
Tell us a joke
“But I’m not funny, haha!!! I can only resume : what did the five fingers say to the face? SLAP! That’s as far, as I can go…”
Hatesphere’s sixth studio album, To The Nines is out now on SPV Records.