A METALSUCKS EXCLUSIVE: PETER DOLVING’S FIRST INTERVIEW SINCE LEAVING THE HAUNTED
In February, Peter Dolving quit The Haunted for the second time; last week, he finally opened up about the split via a lengthy blog on his Facebook page and announced the formation of a new band called House of Dolving. Still he has yet to do an interview since he left The Haunted — until now. Grant Fanning, a freelance writer who has contributed in the past to sites such as RVAMAG.com, conducted an interview with Dolving last week, and then offered that interview to MetalSucks. Needless to say, we couldn’t resist!
After the jump, get all of Dolving’s thoughts on his split with The Haunted, House of Dolving, his other projects, his creative process, parenting, his past career in the pizza industry (seriously), what books he’s currently reading, and a whole lot more!
So, we all know what happened with you and The Haunted by now. What took so long for you to come out with this information? Or, did something spark in your brain to feel the need to “spill your guts” so to speak?
I am slow. Seriously. I get very emotional very fast, and being like that I have learned that it’s better to let things clear up and see what is what, so I can sort out what piece goes where. In all this, I really had to see the larger puzzle, and having done so, I still felt it was eating me like a mutherfucker. No matter [the Bjorler brothers’] intentions, the result was just fucked up. I haven’t been able get my kids a fucking birthday present for two years. You understand, that upsets me. Having worked my ass off for the last year and a half repearing my economy, while watching the people who were once sleeping in a bunk next to me cashing out, I figured, “Fuck that;” I never treated them disrespectfully and I just just grew tired of carrying [these feelings] pent up. Some asshat from In Flames or some other other crap band, one of the Iwers, got all pissy about “Ratting out your friends like that…” I say: “Fuck you punk ass bitch.” They stole the fucking food from my table because they were chicken shit and didn’t want to be truthful. But that’s the first wave Gothenburg Death Metal Scene for you right there, a bunch of upper middle class kids cashing in. I used to not know why the fuck I couldn’t relate. Well as I got to know these punks, I understood who they were. There’s a handful of really hardworking dudes in there with those bands that will stand up for people like the Bjoerlers high and dry, while they are being screwed. And so they jump the guy who points out the bullshit. Sad but true. The fear of falling out of the scene or not making enough cash will drive these cocksuckers to anything. No self-respect. No love of the art. No love of the audience. This just grew and grew inside me. So there it is…
You mention your relative disgust with the Bjorlers. Why do you think they haven’t offered the “community” a response? Are they as reclusive as they seem or do you think they feel like they have no retort to your words?
I think they are probably hurt by my words. I very much doubt they even want to accept the result, and they just got pissy when I brought it up and tried to talk about it back then. Well, I’m so sorry, their actions really were what they were, and for whatever reasons the other three [musicians] in The Haunted ended up getting shafted.
Tough fucking luck.
But thing is, it’s not my way to sit around with the weight of their incapacity and deal with shit. Not in my lap. Simple as that.
It’s not like people have been pulling the punches, treating me with overt respct over the last year and a half as I’ve asked me the fans and community for help trying get my general shit up and running again. Peter Iwers from In Flames started his own little radio campaign telling people what a parasite I was, and that I was for “exploiting our fans” in asking for help. The fucker has never written a note for his band, and he still has the balls to take that fat alcoholic plump bullshit on air? Not once. No, for weeks on end. Oh, the beauty of a ripe juicy rot, huh?
The amount of work and time it’s taken me to get music, merch, etc., ready to go again, while keeping my head above surface, paying the rent and feeding my kids, can not be measured in money. Not in a fucking lifetime.
If they had anything to say what would that be? “Um, duh, I’m sorry, man?” It wouldn’t change anything. “You are such a meany for telling the truth Peter!” Yeah right?
One guy related to the band unfriended me with the explanation that he was tired of my negativity, and that I should get a real job, and that “Everyone knows you’re crazy anyway, painting your weird shit!”
Come on!? Are we in kindergarden? Get a fucking life, punk. I have had to call in every fucking favour I have had to repair the damage they have caused. People have called me a fucking beggar for asking for help while I’ve finished Thieves and Liars [with Peter Asp and Scott Reeder], the Rosvo album, and the recordings with Science. See, this is the big difference with all this; I respect myself and the audience, and I know that I have skills and that creating music on the level that I have been over the last couple of years takes time. So at this point it’s get a job, give up the music, and take it up the tailpipe, or go for broke. Well, I decided to do what I fucking do better than most and to be strong and proud of that. THAT’s hardcore. Not being a codependent little pussy opting out because it’s easier to step on one dude than a group of people.
Thank Lucifer for real friends like Fredrik Reinedahl, Tue Madsen, Anders Lundemark, Kim Lantto and Hans Simonen.
So whether you like it or not, telling a fucked-up truth is not being a dick, it’s showing some Goddamned self-respect. They could have spoken truthfully. They didn’t, that’s what all this is about.
Didn’t Anders film the recent Rosvo video? Did you two still have a positive relationship at this point? Did something happen between the time the video was filmed and the time when you “pulled the monsters out of the closet,” so to speak, about your departure from The Haunted?
Yes he did. And I am forever grateful. The guy is insanely talented. Which is part of where my sadness and bitterness lay.
We were fucking friends, dude! He made this amazingly glorifying propagandistic rockfilm to his real love, which is At the Gates, and for some reason he chose to display his sorrow and dismay in the The Haunted’s Roadkill. It’s pretty fucking obvious, I’m sure, even to him. Must be?
Judging by your blog posts, it seems like you still have an amicable relationship with the Jensens [Per and Patrick]. Do you still keep in touch with them? I know Per has played drums on Thieves and Liars, correct?
Per has recorded amazing drums for Thieves and Liars. He is an incredible artist. Like, really, the real deal.
Patrick Jensen and me, sorry, we don’t have anything in common, except for the fact that we played in the same band for years on end. I know him no better after fifteen years than I did efter three months. Cool, huh? The guy is polite, correct, and will never get his ass in a clinch nor a spot on his apron.
How involved were you with the writing of the music in The Haunted? Did the twins tend to control everything? Were they dictators when it came to your vocal parts and lyrics?
When I got back in the band, I was clear that if they wanted me back, I would need free hands vocally and lyrically, as well as a hand in the creation of the arrangements. That worked out pretty much to everyone’s satisfaction. It was hard with all the records, because it was a band with people who wanted songs, but didn’t seem to want to cooperate. I worked my ass off, suggesting, trying, showing how different pieces would work together. You need to understand, except fro Per Möller Jensen, this is a group of indiviuals who believe jamming consist of playing someone else’s songs. They just don’t “get” improvisation. It’s a completely alien concept to them. So we finally found the best way was to just NOT have ANYTHING to do with each other AT ALL when we weren’t on tour. Except send snippets of music [back and forth]. I sent more [music than they did]… true story.
Passive aggressive, anyone?
Through silence, avoiding confrontation, and procrastination, they ended up calling the shots, and we just went along with it. We were dumbasses, all of us.
Thing is, initially it was Patrick Jensen’s band. People need to remember that. How did it turn into something else? We were all to blame — not [just] the twins, all five of us.
Y’know, unfortunatly, some people think conflict is a bad thing. In creativity, it’s not. In life, it’s not. It may be uncomfortable. It may sting a little. But it doesn’t ruin shit completely, unless you’re a total bastard.
The twins… again, you should ask them.
I don’t understand them. I have done my absolute best from my first moment in The Haunted to open shit up. The silence will drive anyone insane. Their sense of humour and loving attitude is amazing when they are open, but then they would go “Bompf!”, like an implosion, for weeks or months on end, and [it was] like working and living with human vacuums. Not very rock n’ roll.
Currently you’ve got Rosvo, Thieves and Liars, Science, and House of Dolving. Is one of those projects your main priority?
House of Dolving, I don’t know what else to call it. I am equally in love with Science, Rosvo, and my solo thing. I’ll be doing an improvisational jazz thing next year with the amazing cellist Nina De Heney and Mårten Magnefors, which is some kind of insane twist on the Delta blues tradition and complete freeform jazz. All of this is music that blows my mind. I love music, I love art. With a fanatic frenzy. I adore it. I worship it. It turns me on. It turns me upsidedown and inside out and I love it. I know that it’s not completely rational, but I just happened to be built that way, and I’ve never pretended it was any different than that.
What inspires you to create art? None of your work seems hollow. I feel a lot of power, pain, strife, BIG emotions in all of this stuff. What makes Peter tick? Is it the coffee?
I don’t think it’s that strange or hard. I’ve done this long enough, and with enough dedication to the craft of creation, completely dedicating myself to the form, to the meaning, the motivation itself; I’ve asked my “What are these words really about? How come I believe in this melodic strophe when played a certain way? How do I REALLY feel when I’m singing these words? Am I making sense in this text? If not, how can I do better in making myself understood?” I really, really want, deep in my heart, to reach you both as a member of an audience and as a fellow human being. I want to communicate my experience as a subjective emotion, and sometimes I even manage channeling the emotions of others through my art. It’s an amazing thing. It doesn’t come for free. I’ve been studying art, painting, drawing, and playing music since before high school. I didn’t get a record deal until I was 23. I never opted for quick solve easy out-sollutions. It may not sound very metal to some. But I ain’t here to take a fuckin vacation. To me, this is work. I am not some slurry overgrown kid on a tourist drunk binge. Lazy people can’t stand me.
But I am a fortunate man, I have it all inside me, it’s not like it’s running out. And if it would, I’d still have so much material that it would keep me busy for a lifetime. For real. I am grateful.
Only an idiot would disrespect that, and I’m sure they will. Graciously, they are not my concern or care anymore.
Can you take me through a normal day in the life of Peter Dolving? From what I can gather, you live away from the city, in a sort of a farm-like sprawl? When you aren’t engaged in playing shows or traveling, what does Peter do from the time you wake up to the time you go to sleep?
It’s different when I have the kids, because they are immensly loveable: demanding, talkative, intelligent and really cool little people who I feel I need to give my time and attention. I am not one of those dads who consider my kids a necessary evil or complicated pets. They are my equals, and they will accomplish great things in their own right, no matter what shape it may take. They’re just younger than me, with less experience.
When I don’t have the kids at the house, mostly, I work. That’s all. I get up late, drink coffe, have breakfast, and go to work and then I work ’til the sun comes back up.
I write and record, there are things that I need to express, pictures and paintings that need my attention.
I used to not have the discipline I have today, and didn’t trust the flow. But along the way, and so many crashed computers later, I’ve realized that it’s all there, my mind and soul, whatever-the-hell one might want to call it, is packed, overflowing. It is a gift. If I try to precondition it or force it into somekind of package to fit into someone elses tight perimeters, I get fucking depressed, so I just up and figured, “Fuck it. I got the skills, I got the drive. Let’s go!” You don’t have to like me as a person, you don’t have to like 99% of the stuff I make, but I am confident that you will thoroughly find stuff you can really get into in my catalogue of words, music and images.
It’s kinda like this –maybe it’s old fashioned, I don’t know — If you want something, you have to go get it. I want to write songs I like, so I’m investing my life and time into it. I want to use my voice in way that I’ve heard amazing singers and songwriters do before me, so I invest my time and life into learning how to, then doing it. Now I know that I will begin touring again later this fall and winter, and I intend to have a great time, so I invest life and time into my body as well as my other work so I can be in good shape. No, I don’t subscribe to the Henry Rollins school of hardness, I’m a yoga kind of guy. Very zen. I know, these are not concepts that sit well with a lot of people in the metal community, but you know what you think about me is really none of my business. How I manage to achieve being a creative, communicative human being and artist, loving man and father, that’s my business.
You’ve been sober for how many years now? What changes in your health have you noticed since you quit drugs?
Over ten years now, except for a relapse back a little over six years ago. Not missing any of the different narcotics, of which alcohol is one. I don’t have hangovers. I don’t have lows in the same ways that people who drink, smoke or do other narcotics do. No more or less.
9. I understand you recently quit taking some kind of a pharmaceutical/prescribed drug? Am I correct? Excuse me if I misread some information. If you don’t mind me asking, what kind of drug were they, and for what were they originally prescribed? Have you noticed changes in your behavior since coming off the drug or drugs?
I may as well have been doing really crappy smack for ten years. Venlafaxin is the name of the drug, the main brandname for that poison is Efexor. Cock-bitch of a pacifying shit concoction.
The deal: I was depressed, working myself to death, and locked into a really fucked -up relationship with the codependent woman who mothered my children. That fucking poison may have saved my life, but it dragged out the pain for ten fucking years. Without that medication, I wouldn’t have managed to stay more than a few weeks with The Haunted — or my ex-wife, for that matter.
I know why people smoke enormous amounts of good pot: self-medication. But for me personally, medicating myself into compliant submission just doesn’t cut it. I don’t like being pacified.
I need me. I am a nice dude. I like feeling the crisp clarity, the frustration, the rage, the joy, the fun, and the flow of lust.
Hell, I dig being me.
Were you prescribed any medications at a young age, possibly for attention deficit disorder or some other neurological disorder? In the United States it is fairly common practice for parents to shove pills down the throats of their children to fix their problems, instead of coaching them and helping them to deal with issues themselves. Do you have any experience with this, when you were a child or maybe even with your own children?
Nope. At home and in school they psyched my ass as hard as they could and when that didn’t help, they tried beating me. Couldn’t stop me, though. Only I could almost do that…
Most parents seem deeply inadequate, ignorant and fearful.
PLEASE don’t fear your kids. No matter how intense they are. They are full of love, full of light, and full of the capacity for great great things. (Unless they are psycopaths, in which case you will know it really quick, and you should get all the professional help you can.) But really, your kids will reflect you and what you are and what you do directly. If you think they’re fucking obnoxious, maybe you should just give them more attention? If they’re very withdrawn, give them room. But always, always, always make sure to speak with them as your equals. They are. Just smaller and with less time here on planet Earth.
Parenting is about participating, ushering and really communicating. So folks, off to the library with you, and be fucking fearless. Fearless. You are all gonna fucking die anyway, and in most parts it will be in agony, that’s just a fact, so deal with that and get back to being a human being.
Let your kids get to know who you are. Get to know them. Life is too short to divert from your emotions through TV, computers, bullshit drama.
Just take a deep breath, ask yourself ,”What am I really feeling?” Go about your shit, it’s okay, a grown man or a woman can cry and walk at the same time, just as we can laugh and be just as fucking efficient. AND DON’T FUCKING PRETEND TO BE SOMEONE YOU ARE NOT to your kids. They know. And if you want respect, you have show it.
Do you follow politics in the United States at all? I’m interested to know your opinion (if you have one) on American politicians, including their almost–refusal to grant homosexuals equal rights in certain states. Other things like birth control, women’s reproductive rights, etc., etc. are also constantly under attack. Do these kinds of issues cause similar political eruptions in your home country? Does it surprise you that a first world nation such as the USA can still have the balls to squash out the rights of certain demographics of people?
I love the American idea of liberty. I really do. You, me. A bill of rights. My stepdad is originally from in Oklahoma City. When they were kids, they really had an trampled earth floor. For real. He’s travelled the world and has done so many things, good and bad, that I am always and forever in awe of this man and the stories he has told me. He has taught me this: say your piece. Let no one take from you what is yours. If the path is blocked, break new ground. And ALWAYS be ready to fight for your rights.
So with that in mind, I think you know where I’m coming from. American politics are not America. They just fucking politics.
ALL politicians are sons of bitches with power and money as their agenda. No matter how goodie two-shoes their morals are. They will make concessions to scum for cash. They will fuck anyone and anything. Modern democracy IS a scam. A very intricate and civil scam. Seriously, I’m so done talking politics. Most people are just fucking idiots when it comes to the subject and I am just too sad and resigned to waste my time and energy with the subject anymore.
Does anyone have the right to rule over your body and what you choose to do with it? No. And fuck no. Bill of rights. Simple as shit. It’s right there. No question.
Can I ask you what you are reading currently?
At the moment I am reading a text on meditation by the Dalai Lama called The Stages of Meditation. It is really really interesting. And I keep returning to this amazing book on gay BDSM called The Leathermans Handbook, by a guy named Larry Townsend. It’s not very sexy, regardless of the funky subject. But it is funny, really informative, strange, and very illustrative of the human condition.
As far as musical equipment goes, what do you use? What is your personal songwriting station looking like these days?
A guitar, a microphone and something to record it on. Really, I have been working in as uncomplicated a manner as possible over the last ten years, and if tech-nerds knew how ordinary and dry my gear is, they would hiss with repulsion.
I swear, everything is in the moment.
To me that’s important. I have a dream to go on tour one day with a group of brave open minded musicians and just have the promotor see it as a challenge to gather up as much weird and cool stuff mixed with the instruments, as good and bad as possible, give us a day, and then we’d play the show. I would love that.
Have you gotten any new tattoos recently?
I am getting two over the course of the next couple of months actually. A protective form on my left shoulder/upper arm and a warrior monk on my back.
What is your favorite meal to cook? If you could submit a recipe to a cookbook, what would it be and what would you call it?
Tortillas with cheese, REALLY hot salsa, and salad. Oh and water and coffee. I should write a cookbook. I’ll name it Shut Up and Eat!
When was the last time you were in a fight, a real physical altercation?
I think last fall, some assbag in the audience in a small town called Jönköping was screwing first with the twins’ equipment, and then he pulled my lead right as I was about to start singing. I took the fucker out. Afterwards I felt really bad about it” “Oh shit, now what did I do?!” But for some reason, the guy didn’t call the cops or hang around waiting. I’m actually kinda grateful nothing went awry given the whole ordeal that happen to Randy [Blythe].
What are you growing in your garden right now?
Peas, beans, plums, and apples. I tried carrots, but this year jack shit happened in there and for some reason the cherries just ain’t happening either. But the yellow plums are really really tasty, as are the green peas.
What is your favorite kind of pizza, and where is your favorite pizza place?
Did you know I used be a pizza-tosser? It was my first job. I started working at my uncle’s place when I was 12, and by the time I was 17, I was throwing those fucker like frisbees, man. A good pizza is a mystery, and amazing. It’s all about the cheese mix and the crust. The dough is key. It has to be handworked. It takes a LOT of work. That kinda sucks before you get the zen of it, but, damn, once you got it, you got magic.
Is there anything else you can tell us about House of Dolving?
I really want to tell people about it, because it’s very loose so far. We’re rehearsing and talking about what songs to play. But loosely, it will be kind of an open-doorish thing. There’s a core band with me, Peter Asp, Johan Reivén and Tibban, who were both in a band called Lok — it was sorta the Swedish equivalent to Clutch back about fifteen years ago. The idea is to play songs from all the bands and projects I’ve been in and am in. So House of Dolving is kind of, well, you know, the House Of Dolving, a load of really cool people playing really cool music.
Do you think we have any business poking around on Mars?
NASA should fucking give me the money, call it a day, and go get a beer. Really.
What is your favorite Olympic event? Do you pay much attention to any of that shit?
All I know about Olympic atheletes is that they fuck like rabbits. And that’s all I care to know.