HYPOCRISY Sofia In Flames

As a matter of fact, Hypocrisy are one of the oldest bands that are still on Nuclear Blast, the cooperation between this label and the band date from the very first moments of their embryonic existence. After 20 years of the band’s existence, constant touring and writing of the songs, it is time for anniversary. So, ”Hell over Sofia”, audio live album plus DVD, is more like a best of release. All great hits of Hypocrisy are placed on this particular release so you can really feel how it was to be among the fans was! During the promoting of their last album I was in Budapest and it was spectacular!

Could you present to our readers your latest album? It is actually live CD + DVD „Hell over Sofia – 20 years of chaos and confusion“, so can you say a few words about it?
Yeh, the name of this package is „Hell over Sofia – 20 years of chaos and confusion“, it contains a live show from Sofia in Bulgaria. It was a really, really fantastic moment that we had in Bulgaria. It was actually a bit hard for us to find out where to actually record the live show but I am really happy that we have chosen Bulgaria because people were fantastic and we had such a good time! And there we also have a documentary about the history of Hypocrisy and like you can hear there it’s been like a rollercoaster for us, there were really good moments, bad moments and some really funny moments – all those things that you will see in the documentary when you watch it. I think that it was really good time to really tell the people what has been going on during all these years, it’s always hard to tell what’s going on when you, for example, do the interview for one album, you are so focused on telling the story about one album and it is so easy to forget to tell what is going on behind it. But on this DVD we could really sit down and look back on the full history of Hypocrisy.

If I am not wrong, this release comes with one audio and one video record…
Yeah, that’s right. DVD contains documentary and live show and then you have double CD included in the package.

Was there any particular reason to choose Sofia and Bulgaria?
It was really tough for us to decide where to record this live show. So we have been talking back and forth in the band and tried to come up with the location because we have played in so many great places all over the world! In that moment Peter played with Pain in Bulgaria for the first time and he said that it was amazing, people were really into it, good support and everything so we said „Bulgaria, we never have played there with Hypocrisy before“ so this DVD was the first show we have ever done in Bulgaria! So we decided to bring our equipment to Sofia and see what’s gonna happen, either they are gonna be dissapointed that we have never been there and it’s not gonna be that good or they gonna love it. So we were finally there and they were really, really amazing! I am very thankful to people in Bulgaria for their support and everything.

Can you say that „Hell over Sofia“ is „best of“ of some sort? It’s just that the songs were recorded live…
Yeah, it is absolutely. Actually setlist was chosen by our fans because this show was part of „Long time no death“ in Europe and before we went on that tour we asked our fans to choose our setlist because we want them to choose it for us. These are the songs we’re gonna play and this is what they wanna hear, so this is actually the best setlist we can come up with because everybody is satisfied with it including ourselves.

I was on show in Budapest, the day before Sofia, on that tour and I must really give you my compliments, the show was awesome! How do you actually feel when you are in front of the audience playing?
It is amazing to see people happy to hear the music, really into it and sing along sometimes – it is fantastic feeling. It is the thing that keeps me going and gives me energy to go on. I remember that show in Budapest, it was amazing, really cool club and people were really into the concert, I still have it in mind. We have been there a couple of times and it’s always been really cool to play in Budapest, I must say.

From your point of view, what is the difference between playing solo gigs on tour and big festivals?
Of course, it feels more confortable when you are on tour and when you are playing every night so you are warmed up. When you are playing the festival, you are not warmed up and it feels like you almost don’t know where you are standing . I prefer to be on tour, then you get to be into it especially when, for example, we were in Budapest, that was one of the last shows of the tour so it feels much more confortable to do that kind of shows.

Do you have some favourite tracks to perform live with Hypocrisy?
I don’t know, it’s hard to say… Of course, when we play some classic song like „Roswell 47“ people are going crazy and when people are going crazy it affects us as well so it’s those kind of songs that people really recognize that makes us even more into it.

And when it comes to albums, can you choose one or two favourite songs?
That’s a good question… „Fractured millenium“ is really cool song with atmospheric intro before and then I come in with the bass and the other guys then come in as well. You can really feel that song from the beginning of the intro to the end of the song, it is a special one to play for me.

Favourite album of Hypocrisy?
It is also hard to say but I would say „Abducted“ back in 1996 was a really important album for us becuase at that time we really found out the sound we wanted and the way we want to write music. Because of that it is one of my favourite albums absolutely.

Since you are long time member of Hypocrisy, could you compare the period of nineties with the last decade? There are some differences when it somes to music industry, shows, tours…
Well, that is a really good question! If I look back now and compare nowadays with old time, I think now it is more of an industry thing. Back in the early nineties, when I was creating music I was sitting home with 4-track portable tape recorder and now you can sit home and you can almost make your own CD there with the programs in your computer. When it comes to equipment it is totally different than the way it was before. But at the same time, when we started the band there were not that many bands around and it was much easier to get the record deal. Nowadays it’s really hard to get the record deal because there are so many bands, there are so many opportunites to make the good recording… If you have the record deal you have to write really good music or to come up with something new. That’s the biggest difference between the early nineties and nowadays.

Do you like to listen to the old albums of Hypocrisy? Just to relax, enjoy the music and forget that you have played on the album…
Yeah, it’s always nice to do it! It’s not like I sit home and listen to them every day but it’s always nice to look back, bring out the old CD and put it out in CD player, it creates so many emotional feelings! You think about how it was back then and so many memories comes up when you listen to those songs. Sometimes I really do that, listen to songs that we have never played live or check out how it was and how it sounds nowadays. I am really proud what we have done and there is absolutely nothing I regret. It’s always a nice time to listen to all those old songs.

„A taste of extreme divinity“ was released already two years ago so is there any plans about the new album? When we can expect the next record of Hypocrisy?
Absolutely, me personally I have been sitting and writing songs and ideas all the time. I don’t know how much Peter exactly has at the moment but he is the person who can work with 3-4 different things at the same time. We haven’t set any date or time when we are gonna release the next album but I think, this is like a speculation, like summer or autumn next year. That would be the perfect timing to enter the studio.

And the last question is about your upcoming live shows during the next period…
Oh, you will have to wait for tour until we release our next album. We have some shows booked now, we are gonna do the Metal fests next May /June, I think there is also Budapest there. We’re gonna do those shows and probably some other festivals as well but not that many. We have to concentrate on the recording of the next album and try to make it as good album as possible and after that is released we can focus on doing our headline tour so those are the plans we have right now.

Do you have any last message to all the fans of Hypocrisy?
Yeah I would really like to thank all the people that have been supporting us all over the years since we have started the band. For example, Hungary has always been a great country, I remember when we have played in Hungary in 1993 with Cannibal Corpse, it was amazing, still in my mind and since then we always had good time playing there. Check out the new DVD, it’s made first of all for the Hypocrisy fans, you will find out how it’s been over all these years, enjoy it and hopefully you will like it!

Answers by Mikael Hedlund
Interview was done by Marko Miranovic