An Interview With Torture Division

Originally written by Erik Thomas.

In my many years of metal journalism, I’ve met and interviewed numerous folks. None are more entertaining than Lord K Philipson, he of The Project Hate MCMXCIX and the now-defunct God Among Insects. With the demise of God Among Insects, it appear the loquacious Lord K has found another outlet for his brutal death metal fix. While The Project Hate delivers programmed beats, female vocals and epic, blasphemous hymnals, Torture Division is a straight up death metal assault. Aided by fellow Project Haters Jörgen Sandström  (vocals) and Tobias Gustafsson (drums), Torture Division is pure death metal. Uncultured, uncouth and unrelenting, it’s the ying to The Project Hate’s more restrained and classically-tinged yang. And with all of the band’s demos available for free download, Lord K and Co. are making their latest noises available to anyone with a PC and a modem. Luckily though, in the tail end of 2009, Abyss Records gathered the bands first three demos and released them collectively as With Endless Wrath We Bring Upon Thee Our Infernal Torture. Having recently heard said collection of tracks (with the added bonus of two “Christmas” tracks), and the next three demos set for the same treatment later this year, I had to reach out once again and find out about the latest goings-on in the world of Lord K….

MR: So, give us the rundown on how Torture Division started and formed.

Lord K: Me and drummer Tobben were on our way to a gig with God Among Insects. Since I already felt I had done what I wanted with that band, I brought up the question if me and Tobben shouldn’t start a band with Jörgen Sandström and be a trio. We called him up, asked him if he was interested and after chatting for a bit we had the guidelines for what we wanted to do written down. I wanna play with excellent musicians as well as excellent people – hence why Torture Division needed to come about.

MR:  God Among Insects is no more. How come?

Lord K: I grew tired of it and I said from the start when I feel this is not fun anymore – I’m terminating this band. Eventually it got to that point and that was that. It was fun to play with Caligula though since he’s got so many cool visual ideas at times. But what I really care about is to play with Tobben and Jörgen, and now I do that in both my bands. It’s perfect.

MR: Is TD a replacement for God Among Insects? It’s basically the same lineup and similar style, just with Jörgen Sandström on vocals instead of Emperor Magus Caligula.

Lord K: I think both bands sound pretty different, for sure. It’s no wonder that some things might sound alike considering I play guitar and write songs, but personally I think they are nothing alike as a whole. Two different kinds of death metal, two different bands. It’s not a replacement – it’s a dream band. I couldn’t give a shit about God Among Insects – that band is long since dead and Torture Division is more vital than GAI ever were.

MR: Do you feel a need to have an outlet for this more brutal and direct old-school sound? Something other than The Project Hate?

Lord K: Absolutely. That’s the whole point. I play with these guys in both bands but we sound absolutely nothing like each other. TD is a definite outlet for the brutal death metal thing I have in me that needs to be unleashed every now and then whereas TPH is a completely different level. TD is very spontaneous, it’s very easy to do songs and it’s incredibly rewarding to play this kind of music. TPH is so calculated, so perfected and so demanding, in a good way of course. TPH is where I evolve as a musician, TD is plain brutality. I love both bands with all of my heart.

MR: So I read at your website that Torture Division would not sign to a label yet the first three demos were released least year on Abyss Records. What gives? How did the deal with a tiny US label in Indiana happen?

Lord K: We haven’t signed shit. And as it says on the very album that Abyss released; they own nothing of the music on the disc or anything else TD related. Anyone can release it if they feel like it. It’s just a collection of our first three demos. He wanted to release it, we let him. Didn’t sign anything, won’t sign anything and we are not an Abyss band, if you will. Everything we do belongs to us and we will never sign anything away. Abyss will release the next collection of demos as well–because he wants to–With the same circumstances as with everything else when it comes to us. No label will get our signatures. Of course he wants to, we are his best selling band. He’s been real cool, Dan who runs the label, but that doesn’t mean we are “his” band. Release the demos, make some money, and get us some cd’s to sell so we can finance our recordings that we give away for free. There you go. Fuck it all.

MR:  Dan Swanö mixed the three Evighetens Dårard demos as well as a number of your other bands, how important is it to have someone with experience from that era to mix your music?

Lord K: If Dan didn’t mix TD, we would not sound as fucken good as we do. That guy is a phenom. He gives us such a brutal fucken sound it’s insane. And he endorses us with these mixes, how cool is that? He knows we give our shit away so he wants to help us out. Dan is a fucken wonderful guy and I wish him a long and prosperous life. I love Dan.

MR: There seems to be a real growth in old school Swedish death metal over the last couple of years, your projects included. Why do you think that is?

Lord K: I don’t know and I don’t care. Every other band is second to what we do anyways.

MR: Other than your bands, do any of these bands playing this style grab your attention? Have you heard the new Entrails CD?

Lord K: I actually played drums on one of the first Entrails demos that were ever made, so yes – I have heard them. They do it well, but it’s lacking something. It’s lacking me, Tobben and Jörgen.

MR: Can you give us an update on The Project Hate?

Lord K: Holy shit, I could give you tons, but the easiest way to know what happens right now is to enter our forums and our site, ’cause there’s a lot of stuff going on now. More news will come in a week or two. It’s some great fucken stuff too…

MR: You are one of the more ‘net savvy guys I know, especially running Global Domination. How important has the internet been to the promotion of your music?

Lord K: I think it’s very important these days. It’s so easy to reach out to people and have them illegally download the stuff you have been working your ass off for. It’s great. Eh… That’s the huge downside of it, that’s why the industry is fucken dying on us and small bands like us will always be struggling for the chance to release albums and so forth. But Internet is a goldmine for bands, naturally. I like to be available to the fans and answer their questions or whatever. It’s not like I am on tour all the time and don’t have the time for the people who support what we do. I will always try to have time for that, that’s the least I can do. Promotion thru the net is crucial these days. Not that it helps sales obviously, but hey – at least some people get to hear the best music ever made – courtesy of me.

MR: As a musician, do you find it hard to review other people’s music?

Lord K: I find it fucken piss easy. Jesus fucken Cock, there’s so much shit out there. I think I am in a better position than just the regular listener to review music since at least I know what the fuck I am talking about.

MR: As a music critic, how hard is it to have your own music critiqued and broken down?

Lord K: I am too fucken old now to actually give much of a fuck. I like when people have valid points with their criticism, not that it matters since they are wrong, but at least there are some valid points. You can never satisfy everyone, so fuck it. It’s not my fault that some people can’t understand greatness. Fuck ’em all.

MR: If Metal Review and Global Domination were in a no holds barred, to-the-death cage match, what would happen?

Lord K: Metal Review would pee their panties, beg for forgiveness and then there would be blood. Your blood. Your death. Global Domination FTW!

Posted by Old Guard

The retired elite of LastRites/MetalReview.

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