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Hypocrisy | Into the Abyss | interview | Lars Szoke | metal | Lollipop
Into the Abyss (Nuclear Blast)
An interview with drummer Lars Szoke
by Paul Lee
Eight in the morning is an unmetal time to do an interview, but I'm a sicko morning person, and had been listening to the blistering new Hypocrisy CD since seven to prepare for the interview. I'd had a promo copy sent to me a month before, so I was well-acquainted with the damage it can do. This is by far the most intense album the Swedish trio has released.
If you thought Hypocrisy was going to continue down the road of atmospheric cyber death metal in the vein of their last eponymous release, the new Into The Abyss will stop you dead in your tracks. This is the rawest that Peter, Lars and Mikael have sounded since Obsulum Obscenum (but with the awesome Abyss production and more mature songwriting). Hypocrisy have gone somewhat full circle, reaching back to their more primitive roots while incorporating some of the atmosphere of their last record.
At eight a.m. precisely, drummer Lars Szoke called me from the Abyss Studio ready to spill his guts about the new album and the current state of Hypocrisy.
What are you doing now [in the studio]?
I'm recording Children of Bodom's new album.
Are you producing it?
No, I'm engineering it with Peter [Tägtgren]. He's my boss.
How is Peter as a boss?
Well, we're friends, so it's great.
Are you making a living as a sound engineer at The Abyss?
Yes, I've been doing it since last year. It keeps me busy and I work about eight hours a day.
The Abyss has become a legendary studio.
Like Morrisound Studios in Florida. I used to buy every release that came from there.
Are we going see a Hypocrisy tour here in the U.S.?
I don't know, we haven't figured it out yet. We'll be doing a tour here [in Europe] with Destruction, and then another one in the Fall with Morbid Angel.
Tell me about the new album... It's more brutal than you guys have been in a long time.
I like this direction we're taking better. We were getting too mellow and it was becoming boring. I much prefer the faster material.
It's a bit more traditional death metal.
Yes, but with a Hypocrisy feel. We recorded it in five weeks. We went into the studio and wrote the music there. The last album took two months to record, but this one went much faster.
More spontaneous than some of your past releases? Was it a reaction to the last album?
No, we just wrote what we felt. It's more brutal, like Obsulum Obscenum, which is one of my favorite albums that we've done. Peter thinks so, too.
What do you think of Fourth Dimension now? I hear the Germans worship it...
I like some of the songs on it, but the production sucked. We had to do it at an expensive studio in Sweden.
How's the new remastered version of it?
I didn't know that they re-released it. I'll have to pick it up...
On the new album, the song "Unleash the Beast" is the catchiest tune you guys have done in a while.
It is catchy... We played recently at the Wacken festival and it went over very well.
Are we going to hear more from your other band, The Abyss?
Maybe, but we don't have a lot of time to do it.
What are you listening to these days?
I have a lot of old metal on LPs that I listen to.
What about recent music?
I've been listening to Immortal and Destruction... I also get into the bands that we record here in the studio, the music gets into my head.
What about non-metal?
An English synth-pop band called Mesh. They're excellent!
Does that mean you're into more electronic music?
Yes, stuff like Depeche Mode. Peter has also been listening to a lot of their music.
What are you doing outside of playing in Hypocrisy and working at Abyss studios?
I have my two kids, I play too much PlayStation and drink beers!
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