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The Haunted

By: David E. Gehlke

Peter Dolving, the lead singer of The Haunted, was supposed to call Blistering on at least two, maybe three occasions, but it wasn’t meant to be. Instead, we did "battle" in an exchange of e-mails, and frankly, it was probably better that way, as his curt and snappy remarks might have been too much for someone who is used to atypical responses like, “We feel this is our best album to date; we hope everyone likes it.” Suffice to say, this wasn’t one of those interviews.

So here’s Dolving, a few weeks prior to the release of The Haunted’s excellent and much-maligned “The Dead Eye,” an album that has already ruffled more than a few feathers in the underground. The man just does not care about your opinion or mine, which is fine, even if he did bag on his band’s self-titled album, the definitive thrash record of the last 10 years.

The following is probably one of the more candid interviews we’ve had on Blistering, with Dolving ranting about everything from his blog postings, "The Dead Eye" and the overall insecurity of a scene that once heralded The Haunted as the next At The Gates. Read on for some priceless, thought-provoking material.

Blistering: You have been getting a lot of press lately from your blog postings. What exactly are you trying to accomplish with these?
Peter Dolving:
What is anyone who writes a blog trying to achieve? Really, it's a kind of reflective thing. Very instant feedback, and the fact that it's there for anyone who cares to read it makes it a perfect forum for a guy like myself. Low-attention-span gen. Or something. Honestly, I just like to write, and it's such [a] prestige-free environment. No [one] sends you letters of refusal, instead you get A, nothing; B, hate mail; or C, appreciation. I like it.

Blistering: Does it surprise you how many people respond in such a negative, almost ignorant fashion to your blogs?
I got my first death threats because of my blogging back in 1999. I don't know what to say. I don't consider it the fact that people say they hate my guts something of a problem; fuck that, I had that my entire life. I sincerely hope no one tries to kill me, but it's not like I'll shut my mouth because someone tries to bad-mouth me.
I'm 37 years old. A recovering addict. Some people consider me a low-level rock star. I've gone through so much nasty crap that most people would up and kill themselves in sheer disbelief of life's capacity for hurt. Me? I am fucking happy to be alive. I'm 6 foot 3, 180 pounds of mean Scandinavian guy, and I ain't going to keel over 'cause some crybaby on the Internet considers me gay or not "evil" enough. Shit, I knew evil by the age of 3. [Boo hoo] little buddies. Nope, I got me some goodness and intend to feel that stuff.

Blistering: You've been back in the band for almost three years. Does it feel like you never left?
Hell no. Feels like I was away just for as long as I needed. There is no way I could have been a functioning member of the band back then, though at the time I thought I left band for other reasons. I think it's pretty obvious to me now that I left because I was a mess. End of story.

Blistering: Could the Dolving of '98 do what the Dolving of '06 is doing? Meaning, if you had the same mind-set and attitude you had back in those days, would you be able to be in The Haunted of today?
In many ways I have the same attitude and mind-set. But I think it's easier being honest these days about who I am and what I want to do—not that it's always easy, but I'm not expecting someone to jump out of nowhere at any given time and go for me. Besides, when it comes down to it, I've come to understand I'm no more fucked up than any average Joe, and that's still fucked-up enough. Difference is, I write, talk and sing about it.

Blistering: Your vocals on the new album are reminiscent of your work in the Peter Dolving Band. How did that come about?
Notice the self-evident madness here: "Hey Peter Dolving, how come you sing more like, um, Peter Dolving?" But thank you for mentioning my other band, aka BringTheWarHome.
As far as there being way more clean vocals on this record than any of the previous Haunted albums, I give credit to [Haunted members] Anders [Bjorler], Jonas [Bjorler] and Per [Moller Jensen]. They encouraged me. Me, I'm obviously the chicken here not having had enough faith in myself and our fans to do something I actually like. I guess it's a scale-tipper for a lot of kids, you know: Scream-bloody-murder-guts-on-the-walls-drilling-a-hole-in-your-own-head-with-an-ink-pen-AND-living-to-tell-about-it kind of vocals, OR Hi-I'm-Dough-the-steroid-tone-deaf-retard kind of vocals. I mean, it's all a matter of taste right? Besides, every death metal guy I know who has gotten to know me thinks I'm weird, and that is just fine by me.

Blistering: What was it like to finally write as a band?
Really, really good. I feel like it's something I've dreamt about for years. "Houston! We have contact!" I mean, that's what a band should be, isn't it? I think a lot of folks really get confused in that whole situation turning into some kind of seriously fucked-up power circus of intra personal campaigning, electioneering and passing out sucker punches at each other's ego with[out] even having a clue what you're really doing. Hello! MUSIC! The other stuff is the business part.

Blistering: Lyrically, it seems like you're being more observant and critical than ever before. What was on your mind this time out?
Me being the downfall of myself and finding I was completely utterly to the brim spilling over, hopelessly sitting in the stairs of my own smoldering emotional ruins, sick of it being that way. Naturally, that's bound to set any curious fucker like me on a wild goose chase looking for answers elsewhere, since I've avoided certain issues with a great deal of effort over the years.

Blistering: What inspired some of the more experimental, dare I say "alternative"-sounding songs, like "The Drowning" or "The Medusa"?
Wow, here’s a scary question. We're a metal band, and code says, "NEVER EVER ADMIT YOU LISTEN TO ANY OTHER MUSIC THAN HEAVY MUTHERFUCKIN METAL." So I'll admit—we do. Radiohead, [The] Cure, Red Lorry Yellow Lorry, [The] Mars Volta, this Swedish band Kent, Depeche Mode, The Cult, Bauhaus, Sisters Of Mercy, Muse, The Clash, Planes Mistaken For Stars (I know, they're kinda metal grey zone.), I Am Kloot, The Doors, Deep Purple, King Crimson, Siouxsee [sic] And The Banshees, Einsturzende Neubauten, Front 242, Laibach, Cocteau Twins, Massive Attack, Squarepusher, Aphex Twin, This Mortal Coil, The Smiths, The Eagles (ouch!) and a shit load of the '60s tunes our parents fed us on. Yep, it's all part of the musical youth of that band called The Haunted.

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