Lord K Phillipson, the founder of The Project Hate MCMXCIX, is and has always been one of the most outspoken and opinionated dudes in metal. Ever since we started conversing around 2003s Hate, Dominate, Congregate, Eliminate in the Digitalmetal.com days. From the internet, labels to illegal downloads, The man has always had something to say. And right now he has a lot to talk about as the The Project Hate collective has just unleashed their 11th album, Of Chaos and Carnal Pleasures to the masses. Amd yet again the release is a fan funded, digital only release as Lord K continues to spurn the industry and record labels.
And once again Lord K has surrounded him self with a host of who is who in metal including long standing original member Jorgen Sandstrom of Grave fame, drummer Dirk Veuberen (Megadeath, Aborted, Scarve, Devin Townsend, etc), and some guest appearance from the likes of Johann Hegg (Amon Amarth), Lars Palmqvist (Scar Symmetry), Lars Johansson (Candlemass)and Erik Runquist (Vomitory). And the band continues be be one of the consistent around, still plying a big brash, and blasphemous take on Swedish death metal with elements of industrial, techno and classical music. I was honored for Lord K to break his self imposed media band, and was kind enough to answer a few question for me and delve a little into all things The Project Hate related..
So here we are with your 11th album, Of Chaos and Carnal Pleasures.Did you think you would get 11 albums out when you released your first demo over 16 years ago?
I have no idea what I thought back then but I guess I didn’t really see an “end” to this cause. At the time. It’s funny to look back at “Cybersonic Superchrist”, the debut album, today and realize that there’s been quite a few amazing albums after that one, with the latest masterpiece being on another level on all accounts. Fuck man, I’ve been doing TPH for some time now. That’s a cause for celebration if I ever saw one. It also means I’m fucken old. I love it.
This is the third album you have released digitally and used fan funding to assist creating. Did you ever think you would be releasing digital only album that were funded by the fans when you started out with TPH?
Nah, back then it wasn’t even within my sphere of thinking. It was all very different at that time, and the weird thing is that it’s just some 16-17 years ago… Not 50 years. Frightening really, what the Internet has turned out to become with all the illegal downloading and everything. It’s like the Wild West, for fuck’s sake. Quite a few people tell me that I was very early out there with this funding thing. I don’t know about that, but I do know that it had to be done coz record sales went down big time very fast and record companies simply wouldn’t hand out a reasonable recording budget or take chances on bands anymore. Which is very understandable when you think about it now. And it’s led to this for me: not wanting anything to do with labels or the industry in general. I just wish people would actually buy the music they listen to. It would make for a good monetary bonus for small artists, money that could be spent on new recording equipment and so on. But it is what is – utterly and completely fucked up.
It must be awe inspiring know that you have so many fans all over the world that are willing to chip in and help you release these albums.
This is the thing though… There’s not “many” of “fans” (I hate that word) helping out. The budget for this, the latest, album was met with the help of 211 fucken people! And that’s that. So the amount of people isn’t impressive at all, I KNOW we have more than 211 “fans” listening to what we do, but the fact that these 211 people actually made the last album happen is what is impressive as all kinds of fuck. To be informed of a single torrent site where a few thousand people have illegally downloaded our latest album isn’t as impressive though. Or to see that some absolute cunt started a fake account with our name over at the dubious site Bandcamp, uploaded our new album and makes money for himself by doing that while Bandcamp’s staff don’t give a shit obviously… well… that’s what we have come to. Those are certainly not “fans”, the ones who can do something like this. But I am forever grateful to the people who supported the new album by donating for the recording, the ones who did it without any bad intentions. The music is for them, and them exclusively.
When last we talked , you expressed you loathing of illegal downloads and record labels, that you feel have hurt musician and the industry. Do you still stand by those sentiments?
Absolutely not. Things have really turned for the better since then, you know. Said absolutely no one ever.
TPH seemed cursed when it came to labels. I thought things were on track when you released Bleeding the New Apocalypse (Cum Victriciis in Manibus Armis), on Season of Mist. What happened after that where you seem to have sworn off labels? Is is safe to say you are don with labels completely?
Yeah, it feels like I have absolutely nothing to gain from working with a record company anymore. Season Of Mist were by far the most professional people I ever had the pleasure to work with in that line of business, let that be known. I have nothing bad to say about them. Let’s just say they are the exception of the rule and be done with it.
Mouth of Belial Productions is your label- why create a label rather that the “self release” or independent release? Is it purely for TPH releases, of could you see your self releasing other bands or projects?
It’s not a label per se, it’s a name used to release the TPH albums as of now. I would never even think about starting a label “for real”. That seems as smart as bungy jumping unplugged.
The last album you had physical copies of was 2012s The Cadaverous Retaliation Agenda. Do you see a point in the future when you will go back to CDs, and if not, Why not?
As I look at the 2014’s digipak version of “There is no earth I will leave unscorched” by us, I’m pretty sure that one is a physical CD too… I will make a limited edition of “Of Chaos And Carnal Pleasures” as well in a few months. Solely for the fact that quite a few people ask for it and it’s nice to be able to do those physical discs for those loyal Haters. As with the 2 previously mentioned albums there will only be a few hundred made and that’s that.
Elinor Asp replaced Ruby Roque for the last album, and is your third female vocalist in the last 5 albums. Is Asp going to be a permanent fixture or do you take each release as it comes and try to change things up every few albums? Or is good help just hard to find?
If Ms. Asp says she doesn’t wanna do TPH in the future, that’s the day when there prolly is no more TPH. Same goes with Jörgen who is her male counterpart. I can’t possibly see who can ever replace those guys as they really are the best out there. Really, the people I have and have had the honor to work with now on these last 2 albums are my dream team on all accounts. And fucken Jörgen’s been with me since the very beginning… I take a bow.
With Asp and Roque there was a shift away from more operatic female vocals to a more off kilter, and demented. Is that a style you wanted to go with with the female vocals and intentinaly go away for the more operatic style, or is that just something that happens when you chose a female vocalist?
I have absolutely no idea where this “opera” bullshit comes from. We never had any operatic female vocals as far as I know, except for a few back-up parts by Ms. Asp (since she can do fucken everything vocal wise) on our last 2 albums. It’s the same with the goddamn “industrial” tag we get… Where the fuck did that come from? When Ruby joined for her 2 albums I was so fucken tired of the soothing, female vocals we had used for a bunch of albums, no matter how much I liked them at the time of having the. I needed something else to evolve my vision, and Ruby did that perfectly fine with her balls out approach, completely the opposite of what we had on the albums prior to her inclusion. Then I stumbled upon Ms. Asp and everything came together. She is, without a doubt, the most talented musician, with such a voice and vocal range it’s ridiculous, I have ever encountered and to be able to work with her is just fucken insane. The amount of talent she holds in her fingernail is more than most people have combined in their whole beings. Insanity, I tells ya.
Do the female vocalists audition or do you go out and recruit?
I listen, I explain, I ask them.
You have an impressive array of guests on the new album such as Johan Hegg (Amon Amarth) and Erik Rundquist (Vomitory). Do you reach out to your pals in the community or do guys approach you and ask if they can be on the album?
I approach the ones I want to have on there, no matter who they are, what bands they are in or whatever people might think of their inclusion. I still haven’t managed to get Yngwie Malsteem on a recording, but trust me – I’m trying. It’s fucken mind blowing to see the kind of people I have had the honor to include within my music. I thank all of them so much for giving a shit.
At this point, is TPH you, Jorgen and a bunch of hired guns? Do you enjoy the flexibility of having a line up of guest and star muscions for each album, or would you prefer a stable four/five person lineup for each album?
It’s working exactly how I want it to work now. The fact that I am now able to actually pay people involved to do TPH (thanx to the Haters) is amazing on all accounts. No, they don’t get paid much, but at least they get paid more than if we were on a label.
Same question but regards to Dan Swano, obviously a big name in mixing mastering.
He costs money. Of course he does. I have known Dan for fucken decades and I love to work with him, but he doesn’t work for free. And he shouldn’t. It’s his job, for fuck’s sake. If anyone “works” for free when it comes to TPH it’s me. My monetary bonus comes from the digipaks IF I am able to sell them. Up until then, trust me – I’m the least paid in TPH, haha…
I’ve always wondered, is the availability of who appears on the album and things like Dan Swano’s involvement tied directly to how much the fans raise?
100%. Or actually 99% coz some of the people who appear on a TPH recording doesn’t want compensation coz it’s not a “huge job” for them or they have some other noble reason not to ask for money. I would have a hard time telling someone if they wanted me to put down some guitars on a section in their song or something to make me a monetary offer first. If they wanted me to play on a whole album, then that’s another story coz that involves a ton of work. But I’ll gladly help out of someone, for some reason, would want me to. Just like people help me out.
I noticed the song titles on the new name are all one word,and more direct than all the prior album, which always had rather verbose titles Are you settling down in your old age? Lol.
Last time we had one word titles was on 2003’s “Hate, Dominate, Congregate, Eliminate” album. And now was the perfect time for it again. I never choose this, it’s just how it ends up during the creation of each album in question. I had no idea “Of Chaos And Carnal Pleasures” would have these song titles until it just dawned on me one day that my working titles were all one word. It might have something to do with age too, now when you mention it, heh…
For someone who utilizes guest musicians and is connected as your are, you don’t do a lot of guest appearances on other bands. Why is that? You only have Kadaverkult with you and Erik Rundquist- what is the status of that project? I don’t suppose there is any chance of a God Among Insects reunions?
First of all, I’m a rhythm guitarist. Who the fuck needs a guest rhythm guitar to begin with? I can’t play solos, you know. I do play some neat melody things and so on, but hey – it’s not really solos. I can’t really sing nor growl, so that’s out of the question too. And sure, I play bass but hey… I’m no virtuoso. So I can’t really do some guest stuff that would blow your mind. And it’s been some 25 years since I played drums so that’s a “fuck that” as well. And no, there’s not going to be a God Among Insects reunion. At least not with me in it, haha…
What is the status of Torture Division? That seemed to be the projects where you started releasing free music and using fans and on line as the chosen method of getting music out there.
Torture Division came, conquered and fucked off a few years ago. So the status of that band is “it’s fucken dead”. We did some amazing things, that’s for sure. And the free music we put out is the best free music you’ll ever hear.
When you look back on your 11 albums, is there one that you are particularly proud or or even one you with you could do again?
I’d like to re-do each and every album that doesn’t include Ms. Asp, Lasse Johansson and Dirk Verbeuren for the simple reason that were they recreated today they would be even further up the Domination Scale than they already are. But one has to remember that each and every album is a product of that exact moment, and they were released exactly when they were supposed to… and then you need to let it go.