During a recent listening session for Hypocrisy's upcoming new album - going under the rather odd working title of The Return Of Otto Gass - frontman Peter Tagtgren made a startling and completely unexpected revelation: his famed Abyss Studios is shutting its doors. The decision was fuelled by Tagtgren's dissatisfaction with the way the metal scene perceives Abyss and Peter Tagtgren, and he pulls no punches in offering an explanation.
"I'm closing down Abyss Studios because of me," he says. "I am not a fucking trademark, I am not a selling point. Fuck everything. I don't want to be a part of that shit, no matter how much money I make or how much money I get for having my name on a CD for doing this and that. Fuck that; that's not what I'm about and I've never been about that. I've just been very fortunate to have all these bands coming into my studio, and fortunate enough to have these bands sell a lot of records, but now I'm doing Hypocrisy and Pain 100%. I'm not going to produce anymore because it's fucking shit. It's just a fucking industry and I don't want to be a part of it. It feels like a soap opera."
"When I produced the first Dimmu Borgir album I didn't know they were going to be that big. No one knew they were going to explode like that. They chose my studio and we worked together, so why do I get the credit for that? It was the band; they wrote the songs. I didn't go in like a real producer and say, 'Oh, play this riff, change this...' They played the songs that they had and I made sure that they had a good sound and that everybody was playing their best. When Dimmu exploded, I was like, 'What?!' I remember their label boss calling me up and thanking me for the killer production, and it bothered me a little. I was just doing my job."
"The bottom line is, when I can't hold up and give 100% anymore, then I know it's time to step aside."
Thus, Tagtgren's time will instead be spent pushing Hypocrisy into as many faces as possible on the road.
"We're going to tour our asses off, and I wouldn't be surprised if we end up in Canada twice next year," Tagtgren says. "We're going to do two European tours, two American tours, we're going to Japan and Australia. We're going to show people that we fucking mean business; this is serious shit now. Even if you don't like Hypocrisy, you won't be able to avoid us, and maybe you'll like us after you hear us a couple more times. And if not, no problem, it's no big deal."