Peter Wichers, best known as one of the founding members of Swedish melodic death metal band, Soilwork, is a busy guy. Not only has Peter recently relocated his recording studio to North Carolina, he has toured with Killswitch Engage (he filled in for Adam Dutkiewicz), and joined back up with Soilwork. All this and he is a new father too! In this interview, Peter gives UberProAudio the scoop on what he has been up to, and what his current guitar rig is looking like.
UberProAudio: Thanks for speaking with us, Peter! First things first – give us the scoop on your current rig. What are you playing these days?
Peter Wichers: I’m playing Engl Powerball Heads with Engl 4x12 cabinets.
I have been a big fan of Engl stuff for a long time, and SOILWORK was actually the first band ever in Studio Fredman to record with Engls back in 1998.
I also use ESP Horizon guitars, which play very nicely and looks great.
In my pedal board I use: Maxon OD808, Maxon Analog Delay 999, Maxon Analog Phaser, Maxon Stereo Chorus, Boss Tuner, Boss NS2, and a Dimebag Dunlop Wah.
[Checkout our Rig Page for Peter]
UberProAudio: We can only imagine the amount of gear you have. What pieces are your all-time favorites?
Peter Wichers: I love the OD808. This little guy is kind of the key to the heavy tone, and it really does wonders for the low-end in my guitar tone. I was told to try these pedals from Adam and Joel of KsE [Killswitch Engage], and I loved it. I use it on every production I do as well.
UberProAudio: Fans and critics alike have labeled your style as “melodic death metal.” Explain to our readers how your gear helps push the genre to new boundaries.
Peter Wichers: I don’t really know if SOILWORK is all that Death Metal, but it sure is heavy. We try to mix a healthy dose of beautiful melodies with another part of superheavy and delisious riffs. Throw some groovy beats on top of that and voila!!! THE SOILWORK SOUND!!!
UberProAudio: Describe to us your recording studio in Nashville. What sort of equipment and systems are you running there?
Peter Wichers: I have actually relocated to North Carolina. We recently had a son and wanted to be closer to family since I do a lot of travelling.
I currently work on a Pro Tools HD1 rig with tons of sweet plugins. I have a nice selection of high quality condensors and some pre’s such as API and Focusrite Red.
I am planning on building a tracking studio here in the next 6 months, which I will post pictures of on my website (that is currently under construction).
UberProAudio: Let’s talk Soilwork. You left the band in 2005. Recently rejoined them and went back on tour. What influenced your decision to join back?
Peter Wichers: I felt like I had more to give to the SOILWORK fans and I had really missed the guys and being able to work with my best friend Speed. We did work together on the Nuclear Blast Allstars record and I was so happy with the way the song me and Bjorn worked on together so I wanted to get back in the saddle.
UberProAudio: After a four-year drought away from the band, what did you do to gear back up for Soilwork’s recent tour?
Peter Wichers: I had to re-learn alot of stuff that I had not played for years, but they all came back pretty quickly, and once we rehearsed again, it felt like yesterday. I did have to learn a few new tracks of Sworn to a great divide, which was cool!
UberProAudio: How has your live rig changed compared to when you first started with the band? How about your studio rig?
Peter Wichers: Man, I used to have a crappy PC with cubase (NOT EVEN VST). And I would program drums and some guitars to show the guys in the rehersal space. I still have my 5150 that I used from the very beginning of SOILWORK and I will never get rid of that thing. It might be old but it sounds amazing still.
UberProAudio: Bands across the world are starting to release their summer tour dates. Where can Wichers fans catch you in the next few months?
Peter Wichers: I’m afraid that that might be a problem until the next album gets released. I chose to sit out the 3 festival gigs in Europe this summer, since me and my wife just had a baby.
UberProAudio: Any plans for a new Soilwork album? Rumors were floating around earlier in the year…
Peter Wichers: The writing process has started, but it will probably be a few more months until we decide on a date to hit the studio. We would like to release the album sometime late spring next year.
UberProAudio: Talk to us about filling in for Adam Dutkiewicz on Killswitch Engage’s European tour. How did your rig with them differ from your rig with Soilwork?
Peter Wichers: I loved doing this! I wish the circuimstances would have been different, but I was glad to be able to help out. I love the guys in KsE and we have known each other since they opened for SOILWORK in a van he he!!! Adam and Joel have great rigs, and even though I know that they switch rigs quite frequently they like to stick to Mesas for most of their shows.
UberProAudio: Tell us a bit about producing Warrel Dane’s Praises to the War Machine album last year. How did you juggle the responsibility of guitar, bass, production, and engineering?
Peter Wichers: It was a lot of work, but I was very happy with the result. Warrel trusted me and wanted me to do it all, so I felt like this was a big opportunity, and I have gotten a lot of great feedback from the album, which is always nice.
UberProAudio: Let’s shift to Nuclear Blast All-Stars, a compilation album you wrote and produced. What influenced you to take on such a project?
Peter Wichers: This album sounded like a great idea (even though it had been done before by RR records). I was put in charge of the project as songwriter, producer & engineer. I nearly worked myself to death with this album, and I am very very proud of the result.
UberProAudio: What inspired you in completely creating and writing each song on that album?
Peter Wichers: I tried to listen to the different singers vocal styles and write stuff that would fit their needs. It was certainly a big challenge, but I think I pulled it off.
UberProAudio: Producing albums. Writing songs. Touring with Soilwork. What else does the future hold in store for Peter Wichers?
Peter Wichers: Hopefully a vacation?
I haven’t had one in years and I would love to gat away for two weeks and do nothing. I cant really complain though, since I know how fortunate I am to be in the position that I’m in. I love to do what I do and I hope I can be an inspiration for my Son in the future when he decides what he wants to do for a career.
Check in on soilwork.org and myspace.com/peterwichersmusic to see what Peter is up to!
Interview conducted by Alex M. Cole. Alex is an award-winning journalist and music fan.