IN FLAMES Frontman: 'We're Still A Melodic Metal Band'

February 19, 2017

Dann of the "Mike James Rock Show" conducted an interview with vocalist Anders Fridén of Swedish metallers IN FLAMES during the band's recent U.K. tour as the support act for DISTURBED and AVENGED SEVENFOLD. You can watch the full chat below. A few excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).

On opening for DISTURBED and AVENGED SEVENFOLD in the U.K.:

Anders: "They asked us. We said, 'Yes.' This is a good opportunity for us to play to bigger audiences. We released an album quite recently, for us to wait too long to get here, we didn't want to do that. They are two cool bands, good guys. It's been an easy tour. We've been taken care of."

On how crowds are reacting to the band's new "Battles" album:

Anders: "We only play two new songs. We want to ease them in. I think it's going to be a long cycle, so eventually I hope we're going to play all of the songs, not all at once. But yeah, it works really well. We are enjoying them, at least. I feel when we write music, we really think how the songs will sound live."

On the band's "progression":

Anders: "We've had a long career. We never want to stand still. We want to move forward all the time. We don't sound exactly the same as we did in the early days, but we still have the same mentality. It's still about melodies, really. We're still a melodic metal band, it's just shaped in slightly different ways. Today, we can do melodies on vocals, guitars, keyboards, and so on, and in the early days, it was mainly guitars, and me screaming on top of it."

On his development as a singer:

Anders: "That's all I knew. I think I even had some sense of melody in my screaming anyway. It wasn't this death-metal-growl type of singing. It did fit our guitars, the way we wanted to have the guitars in the early days. It's really different when you play live versus the studio. Live, I tend to scream more, but it's because I have an audience in front of me that gives me that energy and brings it out. When you're in the studio, you have a microphone. It doesn't give you the same energy. Therefore, it's slightly different. I always listen to the music first, then do my part on top like it's finishing the painting. Sometimes screaming works really well, sometimes a singing type of voice is better for the song. I still like to scream my ass off."

On how much IN FLAMES will dip into their classic back catalog when playing live:

Anders: "We play more songs from the [recent] material, but we do go back, both to 'The Jester Race', 'Whoracle' and 'Colony' here and there, but it's usually just a song. When we do those songs, it feels really good. Sometimes they're the best that night. It really depends on your mood or the reaction of the audience and so on. It was a long time ago since we played something from [the band's 1994 debut] 'Lunar Strain'."

On whether there are any older songs he'd like to play live:

Anders: "'The Jester Race', since that was the first IN FLAMES [album] for me, it always plays a big part for me. Then again, I like to play newer stuff because it's new. [Laughs] It's something that feels a bit fresher, but as I said, some nights, that song from that album, the earlier albums, they are the best that night. Unfortunately, on this tour, we only have a little bit of time, so we don't go too far back into our catalog."

On whether IN FLAMES will ever do an "anniversary tour" and play one of their albums in full:

Anders: "No, because everyone else is doing it. I love where we come from. I love the days of what we had. It's not like I'm going to go back and celebrate it. It's more like 'Last year was 20 years since 'The Jester Race', cheers, and we'll continue.' Maybe one day, who knows? We have fans that tend to feel, I shouldn't say 'think,' they feel 'The Jester Race', 'Colony' and 'Whoracle', that's 'their' period, that's when they found IN FLAMES and that's what they like. Back then, we were not that big, we were doing smaller tours. In later years, we've got to reach out to wider audiences that maybe heard 'Come Clarity' first, or 'Soundtrack [To Your Escape]' first, or something else. Even with 'Siren Charms' and now 'Battles', we get new people in. We try to play for everyone, not a selective audience. We try to give them a little bit of everything."

"Battles", IN FLAMES' twelfth studio album, was released on November 11 via Nuclear Blast/b> in all territories excluding North America and Scandinavia and Eleven Seven Music Group in the U.S.

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