Peter Tagtgren (Pain): You’re gonna have a hell of a show in Belgrade

After six years, music group Pain returns to the capital of Serbia. In anticipation of their performance, which will take place on November 23rd in Zappa Baza club as part of the „I AM“ tour, we spoke with the frontman of this band, and its only permanent member, Peter Tagtgren.

BR: First of all, how are you?

Peter: Very good and very warmed up for the Balkan shows and all that. So we’re a very good oiled machine now.

BR: Belgrade wasn’t planned for this tour, yet, due to some unforeseen circumstances – we’ve landed on your map. Are you looking forward to playing in front of the Serbian crowd after 6 years?

Peter: Oh, yeah, definitely for sure. I mean, we were so close there now. We went by Serbia when we went from Sophia up to Zagreb. And we’ve been around, but we never got close to you this time, so we have to do it afterward.

BR: The last several years have been pretty horrific and chaotic. We’ve gone through Covid, and we’re witnessing several warzones not that far away from us. Since we are all aware that you Peter are the only constant band member in Pain, we presume it’s hard to overcome such challenges, especially when it comes to touring. How hard is it to keep a steady lineup for live gigs?

Peter: Yeah, it’s pretty hard, I mean – Pain has never been super active, so musicians that I have with me sometimes, they have other bands as well, and if you don’t play too much, you know they have to choose the other band that they’re with. But now we’ve had this steady lineup for 5 years, I think, and it’s definitely the best one, and I hope it never will change. Of course, my son has been with me for almost 10 years now, both writing music and also playing drums live. So it feels really good. And we have a hell of a show for you guys. There’s a lot of energy in there.


BR: You are also a renowned producer, and we’re wondering what’s your secret in balancing these different sides of music. Is it hard to handle and balance studio work, your own creative drive, and live playing?

Peter: With the producing and stuff – I used to do a lot of bands in the past. But I don’t have time anymore, because I just want to concentrate on Pain and Hypocrisy. So you know, all the free time I have, I usually sit in the studio and try to write some music for one of these 2 bands. And when you write music in the studio, you don’t really have in mind how the audience’s gonna act. You just write music that you like yourself, and that you’re pleased with, and that’s usually the songs that stay on the album. But then you will see when you play these songs live, how people react to them. So it’s exciting, you know, to see from coming up with one melody in the studio and nothing else, and then build it together, and then at the end you stand on stage playing it, seeing people singing along or jumping up and down. It’s a process that’s really great.

BR: Since we’ve last seen you in Belgrade, there haven’t been any full-length albums. The last was “Coming Home” in 2016, and we’ve seen and heard several singles, including the brand new “Revolution.” Is there anything else brewing when it comes to Pain’s studio work?

Peter: No, I mean for me I’ve just been so busy with when I was with Lindemann, and also with Hypocrisy, new albums. And I mean it’s been taking almost 7 years since the last album came out. But it’s because I also released another Hypocrisy album and toured with that, and I released a Lindemann album, and we toured with that and plus Pain toward also up to 2018, I think. So it takes a long time when you can’t just focus on it but you have to do other things. It’s not just to write an album and go out on tour. There’s a lot of planning with the stage, and everything around. Everything takes so long, so you don’t really have the energy to sit and think about music, you know. These things come when I’m at peace with myself, I get it. Yeah, and that kind of kills your creativity. But now it’s gonna be easier with only 2 bands and not really any other bands that I produce or write for.

BR: Okay, so we are looking forward to some new stuff.

Peter: Yeah, definitely.

BR: And finally – since the date of the show in Serbia draws near, do you have a message for your fans in Serbia?

Peter: Yes. come there and bring all your friends. You’re gonna have a hell of a show. That’s for sure.

Author: Jadranka Stanić