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Interview with

Peter Spilles (vocals) of Project Pitchfork

Last year, ‘Dream, Tiresias!’ celebrated the impressive return of PROJECT PITCHFORK and their newest album ‘Continuum Ride’ released in the end of July proclaims that the living legends are in their best form. A fresh release always arouses a lot of questions, especially such deep and profound one as ‘Continuum Ride’, and Peter Spilles was kind enough to take some time to answer them.

Reflections of Darkness (RoD): Hi Peter! First of all I would like to congratulate you for the release of your tremendous new album ‘Continuum Ride’. Let’s talk about it… Only a year has passed since the powerful comeback with ‘Dream, Tiresias!’ and you are ready to hit the dark scene again with a new PROJECT PITCHFORK album. This reminds me of the beginning of the PITCHFORK era when you used to release several albums per year. Have you already had plans for the new album while recording ‘Dream, Tiresias!’?
Peter Spilles (PS): No, I didn’t plan this album while still recording another one. Time has to pass and I have to get new ideas before I start recording a new album. In the beginning, you are talking about; I had a gigantic back catalogue of songs already finished, so I decided back then not to wait, because you never know what is going to happen.

RoD: What is the main idea of the new album, how did you come up with it and where did you get inspiration for it?
PS: In this case I can clearly say that our USA tour back in 2009 was influencing me the most. ‘Dead Cities’ like Detroit left a big impression that I used to create a world in which these songs happen. It's a very surreal picture when you see skyscrapers in ruins with huge "FOR RENT!" signs. I saw an abandoned amusement park and I felt the similarity between this and an old cemetery, this reminded me on our own evanescence and I felt attracted to this picture. I guess that's why the whole album sounds a bit more dark and destructive.

RoD: How was the title ‘Continuum Ride’ born and what did you mean by it?
PS: For me it is the way of mankind that‘s describing a continuum ride in many aspects. On one hand humans make the same mistakes since the beginning of thoughts. On the other hand it describes the way our planet surrounds the sun, which shows parallels to a Merry-Go-Round that should give pleasure but we make it a hell-ride for everyone, including nature.

RoD: Tell us about the creating of the album. Have you been working on it alone again or have Scheubi and Jürgen made their contribution to it?
PS: I did it entirely by myself. I am a very concentrated and fast songwriter and you have to hurry, if you want to jump on board. ;)

RoD: Do you have any personal favourites among the new songs?
PS: All, because otherwise I wouldn‘t have put them on the album. Every single song is an aspect of emotions which moved me while writing the songs.

RoD: In the PROJECT PITCHFORK universe, the importance of lyrics and music was always at the same level. Your songs always contain a message and often offer the listeners opportunities for free interpretations. As the difference between the original concept and its interpretations is always interesting, tell us a bit about the lyrics of each song. I have a special interest in an addressee in the songs ‘Endless Infinity’ and ‘Full Contact’ and also in the metaphoric system of ‘The Dividing Line’ and ‘Continuum’.
PS: Well, I don‘t like to talk too much about the messages in my lyrics, because ether you get it, or you don‘t. But to give some short impressions about the original pictures I‘ll say ‘Endless Infinity’ deals with the reason of existence, ‘Full Contact’ is about a full contact in every aspect one can imagine. ‘The Dividing Line’ is about the moment one is alive and looks upon gone people or events. ‘Continuum’ describes the ways life can turn and become a horror. I came up with the lyrics of “unstoppable” stockbrokers for ‘Supersonic Snakebite’. It is a bit like a commercial slogan, which makes one think “Oh, that‘s nice..., they‘re much faster than a regular snake, so I‘ll trust them”. ‘Stacked Visions’ speaks about all the cells which live and work together, until you can create a question like this one.

RoD: The lyrics of the ‘43rd Floor’ seem to me to be standing out from the themes of the other tracks. What inspired you to write such a song?
PS: The inspiration came from my thoughts about abuse and violence in our society and the fact that this is happening all the time behind the walls and just in very few cases we will ever know about it.

RoD: ‘Continuum Ride’ is published in three editions including the fan-edition with an exclusive T-shirt. As far as I know it’s the first time you make such a chick present to your fans. What made you think that the time for it has finally come?
PS: We wanted to give our fans a package of value.

RoD: There is a FSK16 sign (children 16 or older admitted) on the limited- and fan-edition of the album. Should we expect on the DVD more sensual version of the ‘Beholder’ video than on YouTube or there are some surprises in the ‘Behind the scenes’ movie?
PS: The FSK is enforced by law as soon as you put a DVD into a box in Germany. The reason why it is suitable only for persons over 16 years old is a mystery and remains a secret of the people of the FSK. We can only guess it is because of the scary darkness and some partial nudity in the video clip that scared them shitless. ;)

RoD: After a long break PITCHFORK has finally produced a new official video, mysterious and extraordinary. Why did you choose exactly the song ‘Beholder’? What is the concept behind the video? Tell us about its shooting, were there any funny moments?
PS: ‘Beholder’ was the first song from the album I finished and I fitted the lyrics to the script of the video and its location. Well, working with us is always fun, but as we shot the clip in an ancient cellar, it was kind of remarkable that we chose the last real cold days in March. It was freezing cold at the location and just when we ended the shoot it became warmer. We think that was funny.

RoD: In the album’s artwork figures very dark images of an abandoned amusement park. You also portray an abandoned park in the song ‘The Dividing Line’. Where has this image come from?
PS: It comes straight out of my fantasy, spiced up by my experiences and things I have seen.

RoD: At the same time your outfit and make-up remind of the photo-shooting for ‘Dream, Tiresias!’. Can it be considered as a hint at the succession of the albums?
PS: The look we have in both of the photo-shootings is the look we have at our live concerts.

RoD: Tell us about the concept of the artwork.
PS: The artwork is there to underline the feelings and impressions the lyrical world suggests.

RoD: You have been working with The Silent View photography for several years, are you going to continue this collaboration? What episodes from the photo-shooting have stuck in your memory?
PS: I think they are one of the best photographer teams at the moment and I would love to continue working with them. The location of the photo-shooting was kind of interesting. The atmosphere while working with The Silent View is always very relaxed and professional.

RoD: You have already planned new tour dates for the autumn and winter, are you going to prepare something special for live performances?
PS: Yes, but I will not reveal it already now.

RoD: You have been actively touring for the last two years, which I find quite exhausting. How do you manage to stand such a strain? Perhaps you know some special ways of relaxation? What are the essential components of a perfect tour besides the good organization and fan support?
PS: Friendship, tolerance and good mood. We had enough time to find the perfect team for our tours. This makes it feel more like a holiday and less like work.

RoD: Speaking of tours, let’s digress a bit from ‘Continuum Ride’. You have recently returned from the USA tour. Can you name the most amusing and the most unpleasant moments of the tour?
PS: Well, they’re too many to count, but you can make yourself a picture by visiting our official YouTube channel “TheForkForce”. There I uploaded every day reports from our adventures in the Wild West.

RoD: Once you said that the interviews for on-line magazines differ greatly from the interviews for print magazines. What does this difference lie in and what is more preferable for you?
PS: Online interviews are sometimes more deep and specific than print interviews.

RoD: Sometimes you compare yourself with a painter, but are you fond of painting?
PS: Music takes a 100% of my creative time.

RoD: You have identified yourself as a Goth lately. What is gothic subculture for you?
PS: Gothic is the subculture I grew up and found friends in. Besides of some people who peep into this scene and leave it after some months, you can find very intelligent and deep thinking people with a various taste in music. What I love about this scene is its lack of violence.

RoD: Tell us about your plans for the future.
PS: 2011 will be a big celebration year for PROJECT PITCHFORK, as we will celebrate 20 years of releasing wonderful records. :)

RoD: And finally, what would you say to our readers?
PS: Cheers! Have fun, search for the things which make your life richer, and stay dark! ;o)

RoD: Thank you very much for the interview!


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