Danish metal act Hatesphere has been pounding the hell out of the metal world with their brutally-engaging, yet fully groove oriented songs since their debut in 2001. Recently, the band went through a complete lineup overhaul, seeing the departure of members Jacob Bredahl, Anders Gyldenøhr, and Mikael Ehlert Hansen. Only Peter “Pepe” Lyse Hansen (the founding member) remained. The shakeup is said to have not happened out of animosity, but more like a ‘shedding of skin’ to see what new things the great band could achieve with a more intense direction than ever before.
The Metal Den’s Randy “Rocket” Cody has conducted
an interview with Pepe of HATESPHERE for TMD’s
ever loyal following of DEN HEADZ all across the globe!
Rocket: Where were you born and raised?
Pepe: I was born and raised in a little town called Odder in Denmark. It is situated just south of Aarhus, which is the second biggest city in Denmark.
Rocket: What first drew you to playing music?
Pepe: I got drawn towards hard rock bands that a guy from my class listened to. As this guy was playing guitar, I quickly started as well… it took me around three years to find a band though, and this was actually what later developed into HateSphere. So I have been in this band ever since.
Rocket: When exactly did you first start playing the guitar?
Pepe: At the age of 11. I am actually left-handed but my music teacher at school made me play with my right hand, and it has been stuck there ever since, haha. At first it was classical guitar, but when I bought my first electric guitar, I was sold!!!
Rocket: Did you ever take any formal guitar lessons?
Pepe: Yes. My parents bought me my first guitar – an acoustic one – only demanding that I would take guitar lessons – so I did at a local music school. It lasted around one and a half year, and then I have been teaching myself ever since…
Rocket: Who are some of your biggest playing influences of past and present?
Pepe: My first influences was hard rock guitarists like Steve Clark (Def Leppard R.I.P.) and Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, etc. Nowadays I pay tribute to guitarists like Jeff Loomis (Nevermore), James Hetfield and Dave Mustaine.
Rocket: What kind of guitars are you playing live and in the studio?
Pepe: I use the same guitars live and in the studio. We are both (other guitarist Jakob) playing Schecter guitars. I have been using a Schecter C1-FR both live and on records for the last 5 years. Furthermore, I have a couple of Hellraisers as well, and just got me a new one (actually cant remember the model, haha)…
Rocket: What kind of amp rigs?
Pepe: Live I use a Mesa Boogie 2-ninety power amp and a Marshall JMP-1 preamp – a great live weapon. In the studio we have been using a lot of amps on the last couple of albums but mainly we have always been keen of Peavey 5150’s and Mesa Boogie Rectifiers – and the guitar sound on our upcoming album is these two amps alone.
Rocket: Your band’s lineup has been completely swapped out with new members surrounding you. How are the dynamics going with your new bandmates?
Pepe: It is going amazing. I think this was what the band needed. We quickly played a lot of shows with the new band but the most exciting thing was of course to see, how the song writing would go. We quickly made two new songs (which we have made available on our myspace-page), and from there it just felt natural again. We have been working super focused, and it has actually been very relaxed to write this album. The songs sound like HateSphere but with a touch of something new… We look forward to showing everybody how it has turned out. It has been a pleasure to work with the new guys, and they are really psyked about finally working on songs that they can call their own.
Rocket: You are working on a new album release for 2009, right?
Pepe: We are actually already done with the album. It was recorded in October 2008 at the Antfarm Studios in Denmark with producer Tue Madsen (The Haunted, Dark Tranquillity, Halford…) and are ready for a March 2009 release via Napalm Records.
Rocket: Killer. What can we expect from the new songs?
Pepe: Expect pure HateSphere inferno as always. Musically we still sound like HateSphere – but with all these new members there are a lot of small new tendencies that suits the music. HateSphere is death thrash topped with grooves and melodic parts… I guess, that is the best way to describe it. On top of that we have been working really hard on the lyrical aspect this time, and all in all this is just the perfect new start.
Rocket: How much of the actual songwriting are you handling?
Pepe: I am doing most of the riffing and song writing – like I did in the past. Our new guitarist, Jakob, has been writing a song for the new album as well, so the new members all put in their ideas as well.
Rocket: How have things been so far with SPV Records?
Pepe: Well, we have just changed label to Napalm Records, and we are very happy about that. In the beginning everything went well with SPV, but the last year or so hasnt been good. We have needed support after we changed members, and they havent given us that. So we are glad to be working with Napalm Records now, who are behind us 100 %.
Rocket: It was another great year for metal in 2008. What are some of the new album releases this year that impressed you the most?
Pepe: A lot of legendary bands have been putting out albums this year. Metallica, Mötley Crüe, Guns..N..Roses and Testament… just to mention a few… More of my favourite bands like Cynic and Cradle of Filth have released stuff as well, but I haven’t had time to listen to it… shame on me, haha!
Rocket: Who are some of the upcoming metal acts from your Denmark scene that you think are worth mentioning right now?
Pepe: Hmm, dont know. The metal scene in Denmark is really healthy but I haven’t got any favourites among the upcoming acts… not really my style… my favourite Danish band is Raunchy though… but you can’t call them upcoming.
Rocket: What’s the one piece of advice you’d give to a kid that dreams of one day picking up a guitar and becoming a rock star?
Pepe: Just go out and kick ass on your own way. Be serious about your music but dont lose the ability to laugh about yourself and your mistakes. And make your OWN music – don’t make music that sound like others but find your own expression. Not meant in a way that you cant make music in a style that other bands are playing but there is a big difference from been influenced to stealing, haha.
Rocket: What are some of the upcoming shows for Hatesphere?
Pepe: The album will be out at the end of March, so in April and May 2009 we have a big headliner tour through Europe coming up. Furthermore, we are working on shows in the US and South America, so hopefully that will work out. The summer will be spent playing festivals around Europe as well. In the fall we only have a Denmark tour planned so far, but there will be more tours there – just not planned yet. So the future looks quite busy – as it should be!
Rocket: Thanks very much for rocking this out with me. Best of luck in 2009. Go ahead and give a shout out to your biggest supporters.
Pepe: Rocket, thank you so fucking much for supporting HateSphere through this difficult times. We are back stronger than ever – and we wont forget your support! So be on the lookout for the new album end March 2009, and we will see you all on tour!