P. Lidén - Vocals
P. Nilson - Guitars
M. Zetterberg - Drums
E. Åström - Bass
They released their third album "Genocide", they are Terrorama and today we'll talk with Peter Lidén, founder of the band and owner of I Hate Records, we have many questions so let's start.
Welcome on Aristocrazia Webzine Peter, how is this end of year going?
Peter: Hello Gabriele! Well due to some circumstances I didn’t manage to answer until late January... Better late than never, I suppose. Besides that things are fine around here; tons of projects in the pipeline as always.
Who is Peter Lidén? How did he fall in love with metal? When and why were Terrorama born?
It's not easy to describe oneself like that; I'm simply myself, and care as little as possible about what other people think and say. Since 2008 I Hate has been my full-time job, hobby etc. It's mainly about hard and monotonous work and never having enough money, but also interesting and sometimes even good times. I'm also an old fart, turning thirty-ive during the year. Just like so many othersI got into Iron Maiden in the beginning. I picked up a copy of "Seventh Son..." in 1989/90 and that started it all. After a while I discovered Bathory/Kreator/Celtic Frost etc. I can't say just one album did it for me, it was more a process of slow development which shaped me over the years. Terrorama was officially formed in 2001 as a contra revolution againstall that was/is shitty. There are few bands I really enjoy within the genre in which we work, and it was even worse ten-fifteen years ago, so the time was right to create something that stood out and could satisfy my own musical needs and ambitions. We work towards that thesis still.
How did you choose your moniker?
This was a long time ago, but I remember us going through tons of suggestions before we agreed on Terrorama. Like everyone else we tried our best to come up with something as original as possible. For me Terrorama should be interpreted as "a great view of terror".
"Genocide" describes the horror of a power held only by one person, is this a severe observation about the real world or a warning saying that the world can be better compared to how it has been? We always risk something like this.
To begin with Terrorama is not a political band; we have no aim to influence people one way or the other. "Genocide" deals with events that occurred throughout human history, events I strongly believe will take place again (probably at this very moment). It is not a matter of good and evil (or similar man-made concepts), more a description of what we are capable of; and that is open for interpretation. In some respects the future indeed looks bleak.
About the music, Terrorama are a band coherent which didn't change so much from what they have been loving to play for almost ten years, sometimes this can be viewed as an artistic ultraconservative policy, but isn't it too easy to follow the trends?
For me personally, every album has been a big progression from its predecessor. Compared to our debut, "Genocide" has better songwriting (and structure), it's tighter played, and also rawer and more brutal than ever before. We will always stand firm within the genre (no matter if we are labeled as Thrash/Death/Black or whatever), but there is always room for improvement. We have been around for twelve years now and will hopefully last twelve more years. In the end it's about personal satisfaction.If other people enjoy your creations it's also fine – I take it as a push to work even harder in the future. Trends/Trendies come and go, something I notice very easily through my I Hate-distro/mailorder. 4 years ago almost everyone bought everything connected to Thrash, but during the last 2 years it has been mainly about Doom/Heavy (preferably with some "cool" occult image involved).
How do you write the songs, who is the songwriter and who the lyrics writer? How much is the historical research important? I ask this since your lyrical themes are about historical facts that sometimes have been interpreted in a not so realistic way.
The music itself is a group effort; concept/lyrics are handled by me alone. There's rarely an "absolute truth" when it comes to historical events. The victors always write history and are free to exploit it for apologetic propaganda purposes. It is also very easy to simplify everything by creating an "evil scapegoat", alone responsible for all gruesome deeds committed. Revisionism is something that's always present; for instance I doubt we will see China & Japan come to terms on the Nanking Massacre in the near future...
Are Terrorama friends besides being a band? It seems a stupid question, but looking at those bands that change their members every day it's evident the the communication between them is not important, so I'd like to understand how your line-up works and if its members are friends even outside it.
Well, I'm the only original member left since the official foundation in 2001, but for me it has always been natural to work with people whom I can maintain both a friendly and professional relationship. After our 2008-abum, "Omnipotence", we decided to part ways with our original drummer, which in some respectswas a painful but also necessary step to take; a band can’t have one individual who lets the others down on too many occasions, it kills the moral within the group. Even though five years have passed, the situation is still a bit tense when I sometimes happen to run into the guy. Besides this episode, the relationships with former and current members have never caused any problems.
Did you perform live recently? And did you play tracks from "Genocide" live?
In December last year we performed live in Stockholm, Sweden, together with mighty German legends Protector. This was also the official "release party" for the Genocide-album (the CD-version. LP & cassette coming later). We went through the majority of the new album and I must say it felt great to let the new album’s aggression permeate throughout the entire club/vault.
You are the owner of a very interesting label, I Hate, why did Terrorama got released by other labels?
I've always had the opinion that you can't really be objective towards something you've had a part in creating - it would not feel honest to promote/try to sell material written by myself. And obviously it's also better to let someone else invest the money needed for studio/promotion/printing etc., haha. In some respects I also feel it's way too easy to get a record deal these days (or ten years ago), so maybe this also speaks against releasing (full-length)-stuff under my own wings.
When did you found it and which are the first band and first album that you released through it?
I Hate started in 2002. From 2002-2008 it was made up of me and Ola Blomkvist(Griftegård, Wardenclyffe etc.). From 2008 I run the label myself. I & Ola still have a good relationship however; he quit the label for personal reasons. We initially worked with a local band called Sargatanas Reign for a 7" EP and a full-length. The idea was that we could help each other get started. It worked out decently for both parties. Later on, Sargatanas Reign signed to Regain Recs. (just before that label was put to rest however) and released another album. And I Hate has come a long way since then as well.
You live the music both as the one who composes and plays and the one who organizes, promotes and distributes it. Which are the main problems of the musical world?
Greed, falseness and big egoes.
People often talk about labels and compromises, people that got paid to put bands in their roster and stuff. How do you run your label? Which are the risks of signing a new band? And how do you choose the bands that you'd like to sign or that you'd like to re-release the albums of?
I would say that no deal/signing has been similar to another. Obviously I work with music/artists I support(or supported in some cases). Even though I Hate is not THAT big of a label I still get around 100-150 bands sending download-links, promos or similar every month. Although, many of these links/promos are probably sent out to 100 other random labels as well. This lackluster attitude is something I dislike strongly. Obviously I want to work with artists who really want to be on I Hate in particular, understand the scene/underground, and have good contacts, know how to promote themselves and have a decent understanding of how things work in this "industry". If you have created some great music and can answer "yes" on all the abovementioned criterias; please get in touch, haha. Since 2008 I Hate is my full-time job, I manage to survive, but it’s a lot of hard work and still at the end of the month I'm more or less broke when the bills are paid. It's no glamour whatsoever, but for me it's still better to be your own boss than working your ass off for someone else. My finances are limited, so investments/signings must also be based on sales expectations. Maybe that is not "trvekvlt" enough for some individuals, but that is something I live with every day. I take the risk, thus I must be careful to stay in business.
Vinyl had a comeback, cds are still fundamental, mp3s are the good and the bad of this millennium, the Internet is a double edged weapon that often created problems, anyway in the metal world we don't feel so many problems since it's a world made by passionate, can we say something like this or am I too optimistic?
The lack of sales have forced artists on all levels to perform live as often as possible, at least in Sweden we have three times as many metal-related gigs compared to 10-15 years ago. This has created a good climate for new people to get into the "scene". Indeed there are still a lot of passionate people around, who buy tons of metal, but I doubt that goes for the general "hardrocker"; it's much easier to download everything and keep it on your computer, sadly. But if I didn't believe that true dedication will finally prevail, I wouldn't be in this business, hehe.
Looking at the growing number of self-productions I think that bands don't trust so much labels, is it true?
This is really all about what you expect/need from a label in the first place. What do you want from a label, as anyone can release an album by themselves these days? With financial support comes the possibility to record properly and get some promotion done, maybe also the opportunity to do some extra gigs, and of course distribution. I'd say that distribution is the most important thing, if the album is not available through easy access very few people will pick it up at all, no matter how high quality the recording contains. If you can successfully take care of these details yourself, the label is not needed. Judging from my experience 99% would benefit from working with a serious label, but of course it is always a gamble for both parties. The contrast; are you really into metal to become a star/famous? I thought it was partly an underground ideology for the chosen few? Why do you care so much if you don't get praised/hyped everywhere and don't make the big magazines? Failing artists always seem to blame the label for "lack of promotion", while the label usually sees the artists as the culprit when sales don't live up to expectations.
How are you relations with zines (web or paper), have you ever had the sensation that I Hate releases sometimes were not considered as they deserved?
I have no complaints as long as the web- or paper zines are noncommercial, it's up to each and everyone what to include in their publications. When speaking about bigger magazines however, it's always about bribes/corruption; the more investments made into the magazine, the more features on your artists (and better grades obviously). Some magazines even publish a list of how much advertisement-cash I must spend in order to get one feature or two features etc. This is a very common strategy within Metal Media (and surely everywhere else).
How much is it hard to fight the rip-offers that often create problems to review websites and to the ones who distribute music like you?
In some respects it's the nature of man to rip off and/or create problems for each other. Of course I've dealt with thesekinds of lowlifes during the years, it's an everlasting problem. Don Quixote probably had more luck battling the windmills...
If you could release the debut albums of three bands of your nations on I Hate, which bands would you choose?
That's a difficult question to answer. I like the attitude of upcoming bands like Aggressive Mutilator, Tungsten Axe, Acolytes Of Moros and Eidomantum, but I have no idea if I will ever work with any of them.
The first album you bought? The one that made you fall in love with metal? And the last one that you decided to buy?
I've answered most of this in your 2nd question already I believe. My last purchase was the re-issue of Dark Half's "Reborn"-album, great Mexican Death Metal from '92. I love the sound of late 80s/early 90s South American Thrash (Death/Thrash), and it's surely an influence present in the Terrorama songwriting.
Which are the programs for Terrorama and I Hate's 2013?
Terrorama: Currently we wait for the vinyl version of "Genocide" and later on also the cassette version to be released. We will soon record a cover version of Sax (CZ) for a 4-way split 7" to be released by To The Death Recs. sometime during the year. I Hate: During February the full-length debut album by Deathstorm (AUT) – "As Death Awakes" will be out, same goes for Damnations Hammer (UK) – "Disciples Of The Hex" and Ocean Chief (SWE) – "Sten". Much more to come, but at least I can promise a new album by Jex Thoth during the first half of the year.
The interview is finished, thanks for the time spent with us, you can leave on last message for our readers...
Thanks a lot Gabriele! I appreciated this well-worked interview! Listen to some Terrorama samples here: http://terrorama.bandcamp.com/. Follow I Hate-activities here: www.ihate.se. Catch current artists here: www.youtube.com/user/ihaterecords/videos or http://ihate.bandcamp.com/.