On tour with Dismember, the guys from Hatesphere took a while (say half an hour) to talk to me and my colleague Gilles in their tour bus. We had a lot of fun. You can read the live review from the venue Willemeen at Arnhem here.
How is this tour going so far?
Pepe: "I think it’s going well, I’m having fun."
Joller: "This is the fourth night, it’s just starting. We’re all a bit hung over from last night."
Where did you play last night?
Joller: "In Belgium, at the Vosselaar."
How were the reactions from the fans?
Joller: "Really good, there weren’t that many people last night, but it seemed like everybody had fun."
How long are you touring?
Joller: "For 3,5 weeks."
I noticed you guys keep a tourblog on MySpace?
Pepe: "Exactly, to keep people updated on our funny days."
We’re still waiting for the drunk photo’s…
Pepe: "Oh yeah, I think they’ll come today actually from last night."
Besides contacting your fans on the internet, are you meeting them in person, like before or after the shows?
Pepe: "Yeah we sell all the merchandise ourselves, so people can come talk to us any time. You should stay for the afterparty too."
Do you get a lot of positive or negative reactions from the fans after almost everybody in the band left?
Pepe: "I think we get positive response. They react really good. They’re kind of watching like (Pepe is doing a hesitating face) “is this cool?” and then “yeah it’s cool”. Of course some people don’t like it, but that’s how it should be, we can’t satisfy everyone. Some people like the changes and some don’t."
Joller: "Generally mostly positive. People are aware that it’s different now, but it’s still Hatesphere. People seem to like it."
How is it for you to sing in Hatesphere?
Joller: "A whole lot of fun, but it’s hard. Big shoes to fill after Jacob."
Was it a favourite band of yours before?
Joller: "Haha well actually… I always listened to Hatesphere and always went to the Hatesphere shows that were in Copenhagen, my town. So, I’ve been a fan, yes."
Did you know them personally?
Joller: "No, I never talked to them."
How did you know they were looking for a singer? Was it posted on the website that there were auditions?
Joller: "Yeah I saw it, but I didn’t wrote them. A friend of mine knew Dennis and said I should try and make a call, so that was it and we played a set together."
And did you have to sing songs of Hatesphere?
Joller: "Yeah. I practiced on 5 songs. We played them and they seemed to think it was all right, so here we are."
Were there a lot of contesting people?
Pepe: "We got quite a lot of interested people, lots of males."
Were there always females then?
Pepe: "No… You should’ve like…"
Pepe: "No, there weren’t any females actually, but there were lots of interested people. People weren’t that good though, but it was very cool to see that many were interested, there were males form the US, from Basil."
Did they all fly to Denmark? Or did they send in YouTube movies?
Pepe: "We asked for an e-mail and they did. Then we just choose the best, contacted them and asked if they would come. Some of them never wrote me back after that, maybe they were too scared. At the auditions we had people from Italy, Scotland, Germany and Denmark coming."
How many people were there?
Pepe: "We had like 10 for the auditions."
All in one day?
Pepe: "No, like two weekends. Joller didn’t actually apply for the job in the beginning. So we didn’t know that he was there. We choose another singer and he suddenly said he couldn’t do it and then we contacted Joller, because through Dennis we had heard we should check him out and we did and luckily he was good."
Pepe: "And the cool thing was he is from Denmark as well. The guy we almost choose was from Italy, that’s a long way from Denmark."
You got a language barrier then. You can make jokes about him, without him even noticing.
Jakob: "Yeah, it was kind of funny too."
Pepe: "Joller was totally unknown to most of our fans. That was cool to get a totally unknown person who kicked ass."
How old are you?
But you’re in another band too right?
Joller: "I’m in 2 other bands."
Do you still have the time for them now you’re in Hatesphere?
Joller: "Unfortunately I’ll have to quite one of them, because they’re also coming up and I don’t have the time to be there a hundred percent. I would be a burden to them so we have to take our separate rows. But it’s okay, I’m still in one other band, going strong."
Were there any funny candidates at the auditions?
All: "Oh yeah!!"
Did you record it?
Pepe: "Actually we promised this guy not to publish it."
Oh come on give us a premiere!
Pepe: "You wouldn’t even believe it. Actually the other guitar player Jacob, during the audition, he had to leave the room because he was laughing so hard. He couldn’t do it in front of this guy, he sucked so bad."
Why did you choose him to come to Denmark?
Pepe: "Why we choose him to come was because he was from Arhus where we live as well, or where I live, and where our rehearsal room is. It would be so easy. Anyway, it was quite fun, now we’ve got something to laugh about."
Something for the next DVD?
Pepe: "It could have been very funny. He actually mentioned in a mail to me he didn’t want us to publish it. Even before he came to the audition, because we had let him know we would videotape it. He was like “okay, as long as it doesn’t end up on YouTube” and we then we were like “no of course, it won’t”. But when we heard him we understood why he said it…Are you gonna write this in the interview? I think he knows who he is."
Haha don’t worry, we don’t mention names.
How did you find the other band members?
Pepe: "That was because of the American tour. Dennis should have played the drums in that one, like a stand in. Our other drummer couldn’t make it that time. That’s why the other band members went away as well, because they didn’t have the time for it anymore. So we had to have in Dennis for that tour and Micheal had the same problem as the drummer, he had kids and all that. So we had been in contact with Mixen as well."
But now you chose someone who doesn’t have kids. You invested in the future.
Are you still in good contact with the other bandmembers?
"Yeah, In Aarhus where I live we played three weeks ago and all of them were there."
The studio of Jacob is also there, right? Are you still going to record there?
Pepe: "I don’t know."
Jakob: "I’m actually going to record there in the summer with my other band."
What other band are you in?
Jakob: "It’s called The Downward Candidate
. We’re not signed yet, but we’re recording a whole album trying to get us signed."
You should send a copy to Metalrage.
I think a lot of people want to know how the new material is going to sound. How much influence did you (Pepe) have on previous albums? Did you write all the stuff?
Pepe: "Almost, yes."
So we can expect a similar sound?
Pepe: "Yeah, of course it’s going to be a bit different, but that’s the charm. It wouldn’t be fair to anybody to make the same album. We don’t like to experiment that much, but we still do some different stuff. I don’t know how this album is going to sound yet. The other band members had some influence, because I wrote the songs with the drummer for example and Heinz wrote a bit, but it was mainly me who wrote the guitar riffs. So, we don’t know what the direction is going to be, but it will still be Hatesphere."
Are you writing at the moment?
"No, we’ve been rehearsing on the new songs and we’re doing that on tour as well."
I think Joller is still practicing his lyrics.
Joller: "Haha yes, but the plan is I’m going to write lyrics for the album. It’s not something new to me, I write the lyrics for my other bands too."
Pepe: "It’s good that our bass player is like half American, well he’s not, but he’s got some American blood."
So his vocabulary is good?
Pepe: "Yeah, I think he can be our judge."
Joller: "I think we’re going to sit down together and write some stuff."
Pepe: "As long it’s something about blood..."
Pepe: "That’s going to be so cool."
Have you ever considered writing a Danish song?
Pepe: "We did once, we made a football song. It’s on our website, you can download it there."
What’s the football club called?
Pepe: "AGF. We wrote this tribute song, for a tribute CD. All the songs were in Danish. It’s called (something in Danish), translated it means ‘when is it Sunday again?’. It was fun and it became another song of us, it’s called 'We are the Enemy' which came out on the Killing EP, but I don’t quite see the point in putting a Danish song on the album."
Are you a football fan?
Are you still following it now you’re on tour?
Pepe: "Yeah, I check out all the websites, but they’re on a break now and they’re like doing test games."
Joller: "They’re preparing for losing."
Pepe: "Joller is always betting on the safe winners. Kind of lame, but that’s how he is. I like to follow my heart."
Jakob: "I don’t give a shit about this."
Pepe: "He’s just ignorant, he comes from another part of the country. He can’t help it."
You just like other things?
Jakob: "I like a lot of other things, but football…"
Pepe: "Like pizza..."
Jakob: "And my girlfriend and myself kind of sometimes as well. I like fishing actually. It’s a hobby of mine from way before I ever started playing music, I went fishing a lot."
Joller: "We should go fishing."
To distress from the tour.
Jakob: "Yeah exactly, I don’t do it very often now, but I do like spending time with the ocean."
Pepe: "Haha ‘spending time with the ocean’. Wow!"
You shouldn’t write lyrics with him.
Joller: "Haha, yeah they would be about the ocean. The thing I like about football is you get drunk and yell for hours."
Pepe: "It’s kind of like a Hatesphere show."
What are you doing when you’re on tour? What did you do today?
Joller: "Most of us like to walk around, just see where we are and check out the sites. I went to a café today and had a cappuccino with Mixen and just relaxed in the town."
Pepe: ‘Spending time with the town’
Joller: "Experiencing other countries. Of course watching movies, we can’t walk around all day."
Pepe: "Jakob and I were very active today. We went into the city as well and found a fitness centre. Pumping iron."
When you’re at home, do you play football yourself?
On a high level?
Pepe: "I wouldn’t call it high, but I call it not bad either. There are so many people playing football in Denmark, like in Holland. I play in a club now, but it’s very small, a just for fun club. We started it with a couple of friends. When I moved to Arhus I had a break for 2 years and then a friend of mine asked me if I wanted to come play."
What is your position?
Pepe: "The last three or four matches I played the attack, how do you call that? I attacked people, but I forgot the word."
Joller: "A striker."
Pepe: "I love you man."
10 points! Something about music again, how are the other bands on this tour?
"Musically or personally?"
"What we’ve been experiencing so far is that they’re cool guys and that’s the most important thing."
Jakob: "There is no room for assholes when you’re on a bus like this."
Pepe: "I like Dismember a lot actually, that old school Swedish death metal sound."
Joller: "Yesterday I was out there headbanging almost half of the show, really drunk too."
What other bands would you like to tour with?
Pepe: "Swedish bands, we’ve been touring quite a lot with them and it’s been great fun. And Slayer of course."
You like these old Swedish death metal bands?
All: "Yeah, Entombed, At the Gates."
Is there any possibility that you go on tour this summer?
Pepe: "It’s not like we’re going to tour like tour tour tour, but we’re gonna play as many festivals as possible. Some new fans can join the band now that we’ve got some new faces."
Of course, 19 year old girls?
Pepe: "Even 15 year olds."
Jakob: "And 50."
Joller: "Right, no it’s just showing the new face of the band."
Joller, how is it to sing other persons lyrics?
Joller: "It’s weird when you’re practicing, but when you go play live the important thing is to have a good show. Still it’s hard to learn all the songs walking around with my mp3 player."
Did Jacob (old singer) say anything to you about how you’re singing the songs?
Joller: "No, I haven’t had the time to sit down and talk, unfortunately."
How was it the first time you played with Hatesphere, were you nervous?
Joller: "Nerve wrecking. I think I went to the toilet 8 times that day. We had one show, my first show and then the day after we played at the Danish Metal Awards. It was kind of stressful because I joined 12 days before. I had to learn a full headlining set, of course I was really nervous, I’m still nervous…"
You haven’t gone to the toilet yet.
What are your favourite songs?
Joller: "Right now I think it’s 'Disbeliever' and 'Only The Strongest'."
Jakob: "For a long time it has been 'Damned Below Judas' from the new album."
Pepe: "Tonight it’s the first time we’ll play that song live, a premiere. 'Damned Below Judas' and '500 Dead People' is always good."
Final question, what’s the most embarrassing CD in your CD collection?
All: Singing: “I’m gonna miss you.”
Pepe: "I mostly got metal CD’s actually."
Joller: "I got the Pussycat Dolls, I actually kinda like some of it."
Pepe: "You’ve got a Danish band called Aqua."
“I’m a barbie girl”
Pepe: "Yeah amazing."
Mixen: "Amazing piece of shit."
Do you have something to add?
Mixen: “I’m a barbie boy, in a barbie world.”