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MTB: I’m here at Playstation Theater with Anders of In Flames, what’s up?
Anders: It’s good. I took a little nap.
MTB: That’s always good, a nap before a show.
Anders: Yeah, well, we were up really early. We’ve been playing some acoustic at the Hard Drive Radio.
MTB: Oh really? That sounds awesome.
Anders: So, we recorded early this morning and it was way too early for a heavy metal guy, haha.
MTB: What songs did you play?
Anders: We did, “Through Oblivion”, one of the news songs from, “Battles”, called “In My Room”.
MTB: Okay, cool great tracks. This is the second day, 2 days into The Forged in Metal tour, featuring Hellyeah and From Ashes to New, how’s it been touring with them?
Anders: We knew Hellyeah from before and actually Mudavyne took us out, so I know Chad from way back. But those guys are great, really, really, cool guys. Easy to tour with. From Ashes to New and another new band, called Source, they are a new experience. A new band to us but seem like awesome dudes.
MTB: Dude, that just made my day, just thought they were playing select days. I know it’s early on the tour but do you have any fun stories yet, or anything interesting you want to share?
Anders: We never share stories. What happens on the road, stays on the road, haha. But I mean, nah, you know, we haven’t been playing for quite some time, so we are trying to get into the touring mode and it’s just fun to be out again and play some of the new songs, and meet some of the fans. That’s why we do this.
MTB: Speaking of new songs, you guys came out with Battles, last week Nov 11, how did you guys come up with the name of the album?
Anders: Well, the lyrics are about daily struggles we have, everyone, from early on, until the day we die, basically. And topics we need to deal with and, I mean, you have to deal with your past to be able to embrace the future, and don’t miss opportunities around you. So, that’s basically where the overall theme comes from and then every single song sorta dips into that
MTB: What is the thing you’re most proud of with this record?
Anders: It’s there! Haha, I mean yeah, I think it was a great album, it was, a lot of fun to create the album. But it’s so easy for me to sit here and say, “Oh, it’s the greatest ever, it’s the biggest-” in the end it’s not up to me. I am proud that we are still here and we still have a good time. That I walk on stage every night and be like “Fuck, this is the greatest job you can ever have”. You know? And after the twenty plus years of creating this music, we have this sound, that’s something I’m proud of even though, I mean, maybe you don’t like In Flames, maybe you love In Flames, but we have a sound, which is, it’s ours and its unique to us.
MTB: Oh, definitely, every album you guys evolve in some sort of way.
Anders: Yeah, we don’t want to do the same thing but I mean, we still have approached music in the same way, its melodies are the most important thing. Through the years it morphed into where we are today but without the other albums prior to this one, this wouldn’t sound the same.
MTB: I think that’s good in every aspect, everything stands on its own.
Anders: Yeah, I mean, our point of view when creating music is that we have to like, we never, don’t get me wrong we love our fans, haha. People appreciate what we do so we can travel the world and do this. It’s phenomenal. I’m so, so, humble and grateful for that but, we have to create music we want first without thinking about producers, record companies or fans. You know? I look at the other guys and go, “You like this?” and if I get a thumbs up, it’s like, okay this is it.
MTB: I know a lot of bands are doing that now, like Periphery did that for their latest album too.
Anders: Yeah, I mean, I guess you have to you know, the only way you can stay true to yourself and if you are, for instance, chasing trends, you will be late, you will always be second or third. I mean, most musicians, I hope they have that point of view. I mean, really, you know?
MTB: You guys released 4 singles, “The End”, “Truth”, “Through My Eyes” and “Save Me”–
Anders: I don’t know if they’re singles, in that sense, but “The End” and “Truth” were definitely. But I don’t know, I mean, we don’t write singles, we write albums.
MTB: Do you plan on making a music video of filming something for one of these songs?
Anders: Not for those, well, ultimately I would love to make videos for all the songs , that would be great. You know? To get a visual view on those songs from someone else but I have no idea if there’s going to be or what the official next single will be.
MTB: Any song you would like vote for? Push for?
Anders: “Here Until Forever”, because I wrote that for my son, so that’s special to me. But again, we don’t write singles, Haha, we are really old school that way. I look at an album as like…how I would. I want you to listen to the whole album all the way through, because they are…there is a reason why “Drains” is first , a reason why “Save me” is last. They are all connected somehow. Each song should bring a different dynamic. So, we think of it as a whole.
MtB: So, this is the first record where Dan is not on it. You guys have Joe Rickard, how has it been working with him?
Anders: Awesome! It’s a crazy smooth transition. We knew Dan would leave us prior to the last tour we did last year because he told us and you know, it’s been…he’s been part of the band for such a long time and he’s such a good friend but he wants to be home with his family and nothing you can really say about that. It’s a really legitimate reason for leaving. So, thinking about replacing him was tough, but we didn’t want the new album…the way of like finding…we didn’t want to have auditions before we went to LA to record the album. You have to adapt to their playing style. You have to personality wise, you never know right? So we were like, we write this album in LA with a lot of studio musicians. That person just records what we wrote, but Joe was working in thee studio with Howard. He’s the go to guy if someone needs some programming or some drums. So, he was helping us with some drum programming. When we write music, we just use MIDI drums, just program drums, just to, so we can get by then we replace those with real drums. So, he said “okay can I try”, and he came highly recommended by Howard and we were like sure dude, we wanna have good drums and real drums anyway. And when he started playing we both, me and Bjorn, were like, “Whoa, this guy, he hits hard and he cares about his instrument. He had the right attitude”, like, he recorded like 3-4 times and we were like, “hmm that’s cool, let’s keep it” and he was like, “No I wanna go at it again, I wanna do it one more time” and said okay, that’s the right attitude. Then he recorded all the songs and we said, okay, you’ve done them all now. We took him to a bar, had a few beers and you know, get to know the person behind as well, and we said, “Do you want to be part of this?” No drummer auditions, no nothing, it was just like, oh there, there he was, so it was awesome. It works out well. He’s an awesome guy, very down to earth. Fits in with the rest of us.
Chris Annunziata of the “The Metal Teddy Bear Experience” show on the 90.3 WMSC-FM radio station conducted an interview with vocalist Anders Fridén of Swedish metallers IN FLAMES when the band played at PlayStation Theater in New York City on November 16. You can now listen to the chat using the SoundCloud widget below.
MTB: That’s good, an easy transition for you. A lot of bands don’t have that.
Anders: Yeah, no, we were lucky, man. I saw endless amounts of auditions man, because, you know, that would be just a drag. And um, being on the road is so much…not only have to be a good musician and play well, you gotta work with people, with crew, with us, fit in that way. I couldn’t ask for more, it’s awesome. And I mean, Daniel is still, we miss the guy, he’s still a friend.
MTB: Okay during my interviews I asked 3 Random Silly Questions, you ready?
Anders: Yeah, I’ll try.
MTB: What TV show are you currently into?
Anders: I’m watching a TV show called, “The Fall”. It is its 3rd season and the bonus answer to that one is that I’m gonna soon be watching Westworld.
MTB: Dude, it’s a great show, I’ve been watching that right now. It’s very much worth your time.
Anders: Have you seen Stranger Things?
Anders: Oh, it’s awesome, right?
MTB: It’s a great show too. Alright, best band to tour with?
Anders: That’s hard because I have to…
MTB: Pick favorites?
Anders: Yeah, were enjoying it right now with Hellyeah. A big thing for me touring was touring with Slayer. Being like, you know, someone you looked up to for a long time and to see how they work with their fans and their attitude to their music, I mean, it doesn’t matter how you feel off stage, you never bring that attitude on stage. You should always give 110% for the people who are inside.
MTB: If you could make any of your albums into a movie, what would you pick and who would star in it? …You have 12 albums to choose from. Haha.
Anders: Haha yeah, uh, Jester Race and Jim Carey can play it with the Jester Head.
MTB: Solid option.
Anders: Haha, yeah.
MTB: The Forged in Fire tour goes all the way to end of December, what do you have planned after that?
Anders: A little break, Christmas and New Year and then we go to the UK for the Avenged and Disturbed. And then we have a few weeks off and then we do another short tour in Europe. Some special shows. It’s going to be very different from the regular shows and it’s going to be cool. For small, intimate shows. And then stuff I can’t speak of because it’s not announced. But we’re gonna be constantly touring all the way to the 2017.
MTB: So busy schedule up ahead.
Anders: Oh Yeah!
MTB: Thank you so much for taking the time out to do this interview.
Anders: Thank you for having me.