Nazis, moon landings and Black Knights: Inside the mind of Pain's Peter Tagtgren

Peter Tagtgren

Peter Tägtgren is a Swedish multi-instrumentalist, producer and general workaholic. When he’s not fronting death metal trio Hypocrisy, collaborating with Rammstein’s Till Lindemann on industrial metal duo Lindemann, or producing records for the likes of Sabaton, Children Of Bodom and Dimmu Borgir – as if all that wasn’t enough – he can be found back at The Abyss recording studio in Sweden working on his solo musical project, Pain.

The band started as a hobby for Tägtgren in 1996, as a way of fusing heavy metal with ‘80s inspired electronica, industrial and techno music, but the band are now into their second decade and about to release their eighth album Coming Home.

After watching the lyric video for lead single Black Knight Satellite, which sees Tägtgren delve into the myth of the Black Knight satellite (an alien satellite that, according to UFO conspiracy theorists, has orbited Earth for 13,000 years) it’s safe to say our curiosity was aroused. So we invited the musician and conspiracy theory enthusiast round to Hammer HQ for a chat about aliens, fake moon landings and Nazi secret weapons.

Welcome the mind of Peter Tägtgren…

What inspired the song Black Knight Satellite?

“What can I say? The music inspired itself, but the lyrics came from me Googling around checking for new stuff to write about. I’m always curious about all these secret space programs and how the world is really run; not the way we see it or the way we think it’s run. I actually stumbled upon the Black Knight satellite theory a few years ago, I just never wrote anything until now. It’s a pretty fascinating story. Whether it’s true or not, I don’t know, but it’s a cool story and it’s not too far fetched. It could be true.”

Have you always been interested in conspiracy theories?

“Yeah, every night I put on my headphones and find something new to listen to. My lady is always going, ‘What are you listening to now?’ Usually it’s some old man trying to say something. Ha ha! I’m like a fucking garbage can; I take in all this info every single night and then it comes back out in the songs. For me it’s interesting because we have a certain view of how we think the world is run, but there are other views about things that we don’t know about and how it’s really run, and the more you get into all that the more you understand that you’re just a little ant working for like 60 or 70 people, who are also run by something else. Going back to the Black Knight satellite, I thought that was fascinating because even Pepsi did a commercial about it. I was like, ‘Why are they doing something about that?’ But usually it’s the case that someone has to go out and ridicule it so people don’t take it too seriously. For instance, if someone did a movie about it then everyone would go, ‘Okay, that’s not true.’ That’s fascinating to me.”

Do you honestly believe there’s some truth to the Black Knight satellite theories, then?

“Well, the Earth restarted about 13,000 years ago; things got wiped out and it started all over again. And people say that the Black Knight satellite has been up there for 13,000 years, so maybe we wiped ourselves out and planted the seeds again, and someone or something is monitoring us. It travels in a north-south orbit as well, which is very unusual. Tesla [Nikola Tesla, inventor, physicist and futurist] even did radio experiments around 1905 or something like that, and he claimed to have heard something out there.”

But didn’t Tesla have a reputation as a bit of a mad scientist?

“He did, but he was also a really smart guy and he had all these amazing inventions. He could make electricity travel in the air and he had clean and free energy, but the problem was that his sponsors were people who owned oil companies. That’s why when you read about his life’s work you discover that his laboratories got burnt down many times; they didn’t want him putting that shit out into the world. Often when people come up with free energy, the cabal or whatever you want to call them buy it off them and pay for their silence, then never tell the rest of the world about it. Or those people just disappear. The thing is, they need us to work for them because they make money from oil and wars; they need us to be stupid, and stay in the stone age and not develop. Even Wernher von Braun, who invented the V-2 rocket, said whatever you could imagine we’ve already done. And the people at Skunk Works, who developed the SR-71 spy planes in the ‘60s, said that we have the technology to take E.T. home; not bring him here, but take him home, because they’re already here.”

Getting back to conspiracy theories, do you think that they faked the moon landing?

“That’s another thing; you have the Van Allen belt, because the sun is always shooting out radiation, so there’s a cover of about 300 kilometres in the sky that prevents us from frying from gamma rays and shit like that. If you go up in a tin can outside of that 300-kilometre cover then the Van Allen belt doesn’t protect you anymore, so you’d pass out and die. Some people say that Stanley Kubrick filmed the moon landing here in England. Maybe he did. But maybe they just did that because they didn’t know if they would get any film or not, so they needed back up. There are many theories. Did they really go to the moon? I don’t know.”

If aliens do exist, what form do you think they’d take?

“It depends on what density they’re in. We live in a three-dimensional world, but there could be a fourth or fifth or sixth dimension that we don’t see. I really don’t know. There are only theories, you know. Some people claim the Nazis had this woman that was telepathic and they developed technology from her speaking to people with her mind; they say that’s where all the flying saucers came from. There are stories about how some of the Nazis went to the South Pole whilst the rest of them stayed and fought the war, and they started their own breakaway civilisation where they continue to develop their own technology. There are so many stories, we could sit here forever and talk about them.”

What would you say to people reading this who think you’re completely bonkers?

“Just Google it, man. If you’re bored of watching TV all day then get out there and look it up. A lot of it is crap, but just go through it and I guarantee you’ll find stuff that you get stuck to. And then you’ll go ‘Well, this could be true. It could be.’ You have to have an open mind.”

Pain’s new album Coming Home is out September 9, via Nuclear Blast.

Pain will tour the UK at the following dates:

Oct 24: London, Underworld
Oct 25: Wolverhampton, Slade Rooms
Oct 26: Bristol, Fleece

Pain release bizarre video for Call Me

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Matt Stocks

DJ, presenter, writer, photographer and podcaster Matt Stocks was a presenter on Kerrang! Radio before a year’s stint on the breakfast show at Team Rock Radio, where he also hosted a punk show and a talk show called Soundtrack Apocalypse. He then moved over to television, presenting on the Sony-owned UK channel Scuzz TV for three years, whilst writing regular features and reviews for Metal Hammer and Classic Rock magazine. He also wrote, produced and directed a feature-length documentary on Australian hard rock band Airbourne called It’s All For Rock ‘N’ Roll, and in 2017 launched his own podcast: Life in the Stocks. His first book, also called Life In The Stocks, was published in 2020. A second volume was published in April 2022.