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Interviews Maze of Torment

Interview with Pete Flesh (Guitars)

Interview conducted by Michel Renaud

Date online: March 15, 2003

Hails! Maze of Torment raised from the ashes of Harmony in 1995 I believe. I'm not familiar with that band. Was the musical style similar to Maze of Torment, or did the formation of the new band mark a change of direction for you guys?

In Harmony we were 2 guitarists. I did more thrashy stuff and the other one more melodic stuff. When he and the 2 others from the band were gone we developed more into the Death/Thrash style. This was also one reason why the others got the boot, we wanted a more brutal direction. Some of the stuff we did with Harmony was really good I thing, but nothing you could compare with the Maze of Torment stuff.

You had some lineup problems in Harmony, how have things been lineup-wise since the formation of Maze of Torment?

The first Maze line-up was Pehr - vox/bass, Kjell - drums and me on guitars. After our first album "The Force" Jansson joined as our new bass player. After our second release "Faster Disaster" both Pehr and Jansson had to leave the band, both with different reasons. First Erik joined us as our new singer (Jansson was still in the band at that time) then some months later when Jansson left Kalle joined as our new bassist. This line-up has been together for over 3 years now. For sure the best one we've ever had and we will fucking keep going.

How did you come up with that name? Any special meaning to it?

At first we only had the name Torment. But just before our debut was supposed to be released, some German band called Torment threatened to sue us if we didn't change the name. They had been around for a while, so there was nothing we could do. We already had the logo for the word Torment and wanted to keep it. We just took the words "Maze of" (of course taken from the classic Morbid Angel track with the same name) and added it to the logo. It's a good name for a Death/Thrash band and we are really satisfied with it. Maze of Torment is our life and dedication, itīs everything!

You guys have 4 albums, and it looks as if you had label problems with almost every one of them! Frankly I have problems understanding why a label would sit on such killer material for a year or more before releasing it. Are you cursed? :)

Sometimes I fucking believe that we are cursed. The bad luck that we have had through the years is not fucking normal. But since we have moved over to Hellspawn Records so far everything has gone very smothly. But Blackmoon told me that he also has had big problems with his releases through the years, and that he is for sure cursed. So, maybe this release will go to hell as well, haha!!

The latest offender is Necropolis Records (a repeat offender, from the various interviews I've read!) Their inactivity pushed you toward a deal with Hellspawn Records. How are things going with the new label so far?

Really good so far. Hellspawn have done more for us in this short period of time than any other label have done though a whole year. It took Hellspawn 3 days to pay the studio budget after we had accepted his offer, something Necropolis could not do in 10 months, it's pathetic!! Hellspawn Records is for sure a small label, but both Blackmoon and the band are working really hard with this release, and I can assure you that this way will be the best for the band than to be on a so called "major label" and not get any attention at all.

I believe Hellspawn is a small label, will that be a problem (financially) for touring or attending metal festivals? Anything planned for this year?

It will be a problem when it comes to touring. But this was something we knew from the start. The deal was that he would get the album out and then we were free to do whatever the fuck we wanted. But now both parties are growing with this release, so who knows. Maybe if the album keeps getting this positive response and sells better than our standard then maybe he will put us out on a smaller tour. We are working with some festivals right now, but nothing is settle yet. Hopefully we will be able to do some festivals instead.

How did you like working with Tommy at Abyss Studio? How long did the recording take?

The recording took like 2 weeks, and to work with Tommy was a really great experience. We had used Sunlight Studios before, but that was nothing you could compare with Tommy and The Abyss. While Sunlight was unprofessional and bad in all terms, Tommy acted really professional and also had a great attitude and brought out the best from the band. We had a blast and will for sure return to the Abyss when it's time for the next album.

What's the musical experience of the current lineup?

Just self-taught Metal bastards, haha!!

Any side projects?

No, not at the moment. Erik used to sing in Serpent Obscene as well. But I don't know if they still exist. They also had big problems with NecroSHIT.

Other than your music, what do you guys do for a living?

I work at a day care center for problem children. I just blast some fucking Sadus to calm them down. Kjell works at a medicine factory. Kalle with psychotic people and theatre, and Erik as an elevator repair guy.

How are the songwriting duties shared by the band members?

It differs from song to song. But in general I come up with some riffs at home, take it to the rehearsal place, and if the others like it we arrange it together and make a song out of it. Then Erik usually writes the lyrics. All the members have their share to the Maze sound, you would hear directly on an album if one of us would leave.

Where do you get your inspiration from when writing songs?

When it comes to other bands so would I say everything from old Slayer, old Metallica, Sadus, Autopsy, Possessed, Morbid Angel til' Judas Priest and Black Sabbath. We are all old Metal bastards and our roots is colored in our music.

I really like the cover art of the new album, but couldn't help but chuckle when I saw a couple of "666" in the tree's branches - lol. Was that meant as a joke or something? :)

Why would it be meant like a joke? But I guess I understand what you mean. It was something Blackmoon included without our knowledge. It's more a conection thing to the track "Formula xxx". There are lots of things in the booklet that will have different conections to different songs.

Who did the cover art for the album? What about the band's logo?

A guy from the States called Max McLeod. He has also done our new web site. A really talented person I must say. We are really satisfied with the outcome of it as we got what we were looking for. He also plays in the band Gaebalein. Blackmoon did some small changes, but it's Max work til`95%.

Speaking of 666... What is your opinion on Satanism, satanists, etc..? Some seem to consider it like a religion, other emphasizes that on the contrary, it's all about the individual...

For me Satanism is a totally individual way of thinking. A "true" Satanist never brags about his thoughts. He knows what he is and always develops his inner self. For me Satanism and Devil worship are different. Devil Worshipping always tend to develop into some sort of religion, something that always fails in the end. While Satanism is something more for your own strength.

It looks like you got a very positive response from the press for "The Unmarked Grave" - congratulations! Are you already at work on new material, and will you keep pretty much the same direction music-wise?

It's now been almost one and a half year since we recorded "The Unmarked Graves". So yes, we have some new material. The plan is to enter the studio sometime this autum and then have a new album out til` next summer. The direction will be the same, but of course we try to develop our songwriting and fucking do something that will top this one.

I noticed most of you guys list some of the early Metallica stuff in your top albums. What do you think of what they did in the 90s? (I'd rather not think about what they're going to come up with next! :))

I fucking hate it, it suxx!! I fucking hate Lars and Kirk, they should fucking die!! And this tour they will do this summer in the States... Fuck 'EM!! They died with me that sad day here in Sweden back in '86. Hail Cliff Burton!!

Sweden has a very prolific and diverse metal scene - from power metal to black metal. We mostly hear of the "melodic death metal" bunch (aka N*FLAMEZ), not as much from bands that play your style of music. Any other Swedish band you know that are close to Maze of Torment music-wise?

Yeah, I know what you mean. I fucking hate all those bands that are so famous, they fucking play "soft melodic pop metal shit". Support bands like Repugnant, Nifelheim, Merciless, Kaamos, Vomitory ect. instead. That's metal for men, not girls, haha!!

Any thoughts on the current world events? (The whole Iraq crap, terrorism, and monstrous atrocities such as "reality TV"... :))

I hate it all!! I have decided to stay in my own little world and fucking do the stuff I have as goals before this fucking world will drop dead. I'm too old to even care any longer. The human race has not developed a shit since we took the first step here on earth. Instead I will live like a fucking animal and fuck like a beast!!!!!!!!! (Sounds like a plan - lol! - Ed.)

That's all for now! Thanks for your time. Last words are yours!

Thanx for the interview and support!! Anyone are welcome to contact us for more information about the band or regarding the new album…. Cheerz!!!!!

Other information about Maze of Torment on this site
Review: The Unmarked Graves
Review: Hammers of Mayhem

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