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Interview with Lars Skolde by Christopher J. Kelter - August 23, 2000

With Hypocrisy's newest offering "Into The Abyss" on music store shelves the band forged ahead into full press mode. Join Lars Skolde and me as we discuss Hypocrisy's newest effort and the band's continued growth.

Rough Edge: Hey, Lars! How are you?

Lars Skolde: I'm great! Where are you from?

Rough Edge: I live in Maryland on the East Coast of the United States; it's about four hours away from New York City.

Lars Skolde: New York City, oh yeah.

Rough Edge: How are things in Sweden?

Lars Skolde: Great!

Rough Edge: Have you been with Hypocrisy since the beginning?

Lars Skolde: Yeah. Peter (Tagtgren) was looking for a drummer when he was doing "Penetralia" in the studio. I was in the studio for a day and I only played on a couple of songs on that first album.

Rough Edge: When you got started did you ever think that Hypocrisy would last for ten albums?

Lars Skolde: No! (much laughter) I had always seen myself as a bad drummer and it seemed like I was waiting for the day that Peter would get a better drummer. (more laughter) But Hypocrisy is not about one person; we all fit very well together in Hypocrisy.

Rough Edge: You've gotten to be a better drummer over the years haven't you?

Lars Skolde: Yes; I feel that it is true that I've gotten better.

Rough Edge: I talked to Bjorn of In Flames and he told me how much more comfortable he was now that he was focusing on the guitar and not having to play drums on CDs.

Lars Skolde: Actually, I think I am a better guitarist than I am as a drummer.

Rough Edge: Really?

Lars Skolde: Yeah, I've been playing guitar since I was 20 years old.

Rough Edge: Has your guitar work been recorded on any albums?

Lars Skolde: I played some guitar on the "Into The Abyss" album.

Rough Edge: It seems that "Into The Abyss" was influenced by Peter's involvement in Lock Up. Song for song the new CD seems more intense, faster, and harder. Did Peter's work with the guys in Napalm Death affect the new CD?

Lars Skolde: Well, it's hard to say. But I do know that I've always been more interested in fast music. I had involvement in three of the faster songs on "Into The Abyss." I think the faster songs and intensity just happened in the studio - it wasn't planned. So maybe Peter was affected by the speed of Lock Up. I know I like the music as it comes.

Rough Edge: It sounds like you and Michael are contributing a lot more in the songwriting process over the last two albums?

Lars Skolde: Yes. Peter did everything for Hypocrisy in the early days - writing, interviews, and all that. I think he was fed up with everything. But we are working as a team now.

Rough Edge: Well, it does seem that "Into The Abyss" is very focused. It seems that the three of you are very comfortable working as a team. 

Lars Skolde: This time we booked the studio for five weeks and we brought riffs in, wrote more riffs, and jammed together. It was really fun to do this record. The last record (the self -titled disc) was much more professional - we were in the studio for eight weeks. It got very boring at the end of the process. "Into The Abyss" was much more fun to make.

Rough Edge: Obviously, when you guys did "The Final Chapter" it seemed like it was a working end to the band. Did getting back into the studio for these last couple of records get the creativity flowing for you guys? Was it a new lease on life?

Lars Skolde: Certainly. Peter wanted to put Hypocrisy on hiatus. After a while I showed him some new ideas in the studio and he wanted to do some more Hypocrisy. I think having fun again has brought a lot back into the band.

Rough Edge: I think music fans in America are starting to pay more attention to the bands coming out of Europe and Scandinavia in particular and CD sales are getting better. How do you see America as a market for you Hypocrisy?

Lars Skolde: I don't do this to sell records. I play music so I can play in front of people. We don't tour as much as we could because Peter is working in the studio so much. But Peter asked me to help him out in the studio and I've been here since January. I don't even know how many copies of each album that we sell! I just like to play music. (chuckles)

Rough Edge: This is what I'm seeing. It seems that Americans are finding European bands that they like and then they are buying an entire band's catalog. It seemed to me that European bands would want to know that this was happening.

Lars Skolde: Well, a few years back I really liked all the records that were coming out of Morrisound Studios. I bought all the albums that Scott Burns produced. I really admired the metal scene coming out of the Tampa area. I'm waiting for the new Morbid Angel to come out!

Rough Edge: A lot of musicians have said that they'd stop playing music if it wasn't fun anymore. It seems that music is still fun for you - is that true?

Lars Skolde: If it wasn't fun I certainly wouldn't be working in music.

Rough Edge: What does the future hold for Hypocrisy? Any plans to tour North America? Any new records on the horizon?

Lars Skolde: We're not going to tour North America right now, but we are hoping to eventually because we had such a good time the last time we were there. In Europe we are going to do a two week tour with Destruction - that will be really cool as Destruction is one of my favorite bands. In September we are going to do a two week tour with Morbid Angel.

Rough Edge: The tour with Morbid Angel will be a hot ticket.

Lars Skolde: I'm really looking forward to that tour because they are another one of my favorite bands.

Rough Edge: Is there anything that you want to say to Rough Edge readers?

Lars Skolde: I really hope that we will be touring America because I really like it over there. Hopefully we'll be there sometime soon.

Rough Edge: Rough Edge will be there when you come here to tour! Thank you!

Lars Skolde: Thank you!

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Copyright 2000 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
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