Interview mit Peter Huss von Shining

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So far, no one has lasted longer with SHINING than he has: For ten years now, Peter Huss has been the quiet man at Niklas Kvarforth’s side. In our interview, Huss explains how he manages to work so well with the mad genius and where he pushes the boundaries, how he evaluates his SHINING debut „V – Halmstad“ from today’s point of view, and who inspired him initially to play the guitar.

It’s 10 years now that “V – Halmstad”, the first SHINING album you contributed to, has been released. For many fans, „Halmstad“ is the ultimate SHINING release. What do you think about „V – Halmstad“ personally from a present-day perspective?
I always have a bit of a problem listening to old stuff. Mostly because I always find details that I would change today. So I can’t be 100% objective. But I guess that it is quite good, and one reason for this is probably that we improvised quit much along the way. One might not think so, but a lot on that album was spontaneous things in the heat of the moment.

The new album “X – Varg Utan Flock” sounds very much like „Halmstad“, I think – musicwise, soundwise and also the artwork looks a bit similar. Was that intentional?
Not really. Every new album is meant to be “new” so to speak. But of course things can turn out similar anyway.

How much influence do you have on the songwriting, how much do you contribute to the outcome of a song/album? Did that change over the years?
That varies a bit. But every album becomes what it is when everyone puts their personal touch on the performance. So in the end it doesn’t really matter who came up with what part. It’s all a team work in the end.

What exactly is your part in the creative process for a SHINING-album today, how much creative freedom do you have today, for example regarding the guitar solos?
My strong side is creating melodies. And that is something I have done a lot. Regarding the solos I always record them alone. Then when I’m done I present them to the others. And that’s it basically. Of course I ask for opinions from time to time, but it’s always my call in the end. My focus is to do something that fits the song and I really like to come up with melodic parts that you could actually sing. That type of solo tends to have the best effect I think. But, sometimes you just gotta burn away as well.

You’re without a doubt one of the most skilled guitarists in the black metal scene. When did you start playing guitar, how much do you practise and which guitarists did inspire you, when you started playing guitar?
Thank you. Well, I started when I was ten. And at least after a couple of years I really practiced a lot. During those years I hade many heroes. Gary Moore, Slash, Yngwie, John Norum, Mark Knopfler, Marty Friedman , Tom Morello, just to mention a few.

Do you still have “idols” or guitarists you admire?
I still love the same dudes as I did back then. But the list of guitarists I dig is much longer today. There are so many good ones out there.

It’s 13 years now that you’re in SHINING. During this time, you’ve seen many musicians come and go – but no other musician was as long as you part of the band. Do you have an explanation, why your collaboration with Niklas is so much more stable than the rest of the SHINING-lineup?
I think a key thing is that we are quite good at giving each other space. Perhaps we just found a good balance in how to deal with everything.

Not too long ago, in May ‘17, there was a scandalous Show at The Shredder, Boise (Idaho) – it has been reported that Niklas „used many blatant racist and homophobic slurs on stage, threatened audience members with rape, slapped audience members in the face, and was sieg heil saluting repeatedly throughout their performance“. How do you judge this performance, how do you explain his behavior and what did you think in this moment?
I wasn’t there actually. I had to skip that tour when a few unfortunate things happened in my family. So I can’t really say anything about that. But in general I don’t hear that much of what is being said. What I hear on stage is pretty much only my guitar, the drums and a little bass and the other guitar. I never have any of the vocals in my monitors. Not even my own on the few occasions I do back up singing. I only hear what I need to hear to play well.

Even at a “normal” SHINING-show you often get beaten or kissed with tongue by Niklas– what do you think in those moments, do you like that or are you just letting it get to you?
That doesn’t happen to me. I made that clear years ago.

Is there some kind of agreement, what’s OK for you and what not? Are there limits, is there something, you would not tolerate?
The previous answer really applies here as well. So yes, there are limits. I’m really picky with how I play. So anything that interferes with that will bug me. Live things can of course happen by mistake, and that is a different thing. So generally I’m left alone doing my thing playing my Brock signature guitars.

Niklas is without a doubt a genious, but also a madman – how do you stand it to be with him all the time, to play gigs like the above mentioned, get gigs cancelled (like the show the day after)? Don’t you ever wish to be just the guitarist of a normal band without any scandals and stress?
As I said before we are really good at giving each other space. And most gigs are not like that. Mostly they are just good black rock n roll gigs. And since I do play with others as well I get a good mix of everything.

Besides Shining, you have two other bands – the power metal outfit Shadowquest and Apostasy, where you are involved since 2010. Is this – especially the power metal – some kind of compensation for the rough time in SHINING?
Apostasy was just one album for me, so I’m not in there anymore. But Shadowquest is going on strong and we have a new album out soon. No, it’s not a compensation for anything. I just like to play a lot of different things. To stay in just one genre or to play in many bands in the same style would be the most boring and pointless thing to do I think. As long as I like it I’ll do it, no matter what style it is.

What kind of music do you like personally, what do you listen to at home or when you’re driving with the car?
I like anything that is good. I know, bad answer. But it’s true. As long as I think it is of good quality musically I’ll probably like it. I personally can’t understand how anyone could listen to only one genre when there’s so much good music out there. To me it’s a question of weather it’s good or not good. When I drive I usually listen to the radio. And talking programs, not music channels. Normally I can’t stand the music they play on the radio nowadays.

Thank you very much for taking time for my questions – the last words are yours:
Thank you! And I hope people will check out the new Shadowquest album when it’s out as well. I’m extremely happy with how it tuned out, so it deserves at least one go from start to finish.


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