"It feels like we’ve been able to cut all the wires to our references, the sound is just us..."

Read an interview with Per-Henrik
Petersson written by J Andersson
in May 2005.

#Band members usually add something special to the band, take responsibility of something in the creative work. What about you, what do you add to KTV, what’s your speciality?
- “Back in the nineties I usually worked in pair with Jörgen. He often came up with ideas, lyrics or a refrain. Then we completed the songs together. If he came up with a refrain, I wrote the bridge and so on. Back then I felt that it was really hard to compose a complete song m self. I had a lot of ideas, but I really couldn’t get it out. Jörgen often supported me, and when we wrote songs together it worked very well. I’ve never been a great songwriter in terms of spitting out a lot of songs all the time. I can only write when the inspiration comes to me, and the lyrics have never been a job for me. During the years I’ve maybe written a handful of songs by myself, Off the wall for example – Jesper wrote the brilliant lyrics that time. I work a lot better together with Jörgen or Jesper. My speciality is maybe to take an idea to the next level, putting ideas together to complete songs and then taking the responsibility for the production. But in the past years I have grown to be a better songwriter. On the forthcoming album I hopefully will contribute with more own songs compared to the earlier releases”.

#What about Depeche Mode. Have they influenced you, the band?
- “Of course they have been a huge influence. In the early days some of ours songs were really bad copies of DM songs. When you look back it’s hard to see why we tried to copy their sound. But they were kind of heroes – at least for me, maybe not for all in the band. It’s maybe natural to become influenced the way I did considering that I listened to DM songs almost every day when I was about 15-16 years old. But after a couple of years with KTV we found our own sound. And now I think we’re have a unique expression, something own and very special. Especially the forthcoming album is more of our self’s than ever. More personal, close and honest”.

#How will you describe the sound of the new album?
- “It feels like we’ve been able to cut all the wires to our references, the sound is just us – coming directly from our minds and hearts. We’re not trying to sound like someone else, we’re just free in our creativity and the sound and the production just coming together in small pieces, bit by bit. It’s difficult to describe the sound – maybe people outside the band will say that it sounds like typical KTV, but we say the new album will sound different. The new album sounds less electronic than earlier releases. Even if we use a lot of synthesizers and electronic instruments – the feeling is more acoustic, organic. We have worked a lot with samplings of acoustic drums, and built the sound on top of that with synthesizers, guitars and percussion”.

#What inspired the band during the songwriting period?
-“Well, I think we all have been inspired differently. When I wrote my own stuff, the inspiration came from the fact that we’re all growing up, getting older, wiser, more fragile, and more dependant. When growing older I feel that excitement of getting to know my self better for each year and I’m looking forward to what life can be - as well as some kind of nostalgia that the best years have passed. It’s the totally different feelings about growing older that create the energy and the inspiration to write. And I have always felt that we can write better songs than the ones released on Three Empty Words and Opium – but we were not capable of that before. Now we are. Of course everything in life gives you inspiration, the small things that happens every day as well as what happens in the world. I think the new songs are more emotional, built on things we need to express. Songwriting is all about dealing with things in your life – even if it sounds corny it’s some kind of therapy”.

#When you work with the production and the arrangements, which electronic instruments do you use?
- “We’re old fashion really. Most of our synthesizers are kind of old, but the good thing about it is that we know the stuff inside and out. For example we use: Roland JV 1080, Novation Bass Station, Emu Proteus 2000, Korg MS-20, Waldorf Microwave, Novation V-Station, CS Deep Bass Nine, Korg Wavestation, Oberheim OB-SX and so on. We also work a lot with our old fashion samplers Emu ESI-32, Akai S1000 and the Emu Emax. When you sample things with the Emax it adds that special touch to the sound – we can’t live without that old sampler, it’s really great. Of course we also work with software modules – but you loose some of the feeling when the instruments aren’t physical. Earlier we used the Emu Darwin recording system, but now we’re using a PC computer with recording software”.

#Can you live on your music, or do you have a regular job?
- “Today we all need to work to get things going; we have regular jobs like everyone else. Back in early days we managed to focus on the music and the band, but today some of us have families and naturally it means that you have to take a lot of responsibility, you need a steady income. I’m working in the advertising business; it’s really great when you have a job that stimulates your creativity. The fact that we have regular jobs affect the amount of time we can spend working with the new album, but it’s unavoidable. But we have no hurry, the main thing is that the new album is growing in to the concept we aim for”.

#How do you define a typical KTV song?
- “A typical KTV song always has a melancholic touch. The songs are often based on a darker concept, but can be expressed in an up-tempo and catchy style. You can always recognise a KTV song; the difficult chord change, the brilliant chorus, that special melody, the mix of real dark and brighter expressions. The sound is often KTV characteristic; drums, arpeggio and bass driven structures, strings, percussion and guitars in a special mix of synthesizers, more organic sounds and samples.

#Can we expect that typical KTV songs on the forthcoming album?
- “ There will be no radical changes in melodies I think. We are who we are – and we don’t change our style because someone else tells us to. But the sound is different compared to the earlier releases, now the sound and the melodies fits better together and bringing the best out of the songs. We’re just creating music right now that we like, we don’t care what’s happening on the music scene, and we don’t care if the songs make it on the charts. We’re creating because we need to, because we like writing music. We’re really making the new album on our own conditions, we’re not writing for someone else but our selves. But hopefully there are people out there that are interested in our forthcoming album. People who will listen to the new songs on their own conditions – who interprets what they find important. We’re not trying to send any messages. We’re just trying to create the best KTV album so far – and we hope for a release in the late autumn this year”.

Interview by J Andersson for Kiethevez.com