IN FLAMES Guitarist BJÖRN GELOTTE Doesn't Read Online Comments, Says He Is 'Tired' Of The 'Toxic Environment'

November 27, 2022

During an appearance on THE HAUNTED guitarist Ola Englund's YouTube show "Coffee With Ola", IN FLAMES guitarist Björn Gelotte spoke about the criticism he and his bandmates have faced for their musical evolution, which has seen them adopting a more alternative metal sound after starting out as melodic death metal act. He said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "You have to remember, and I think most people know — just they don't think about it when they say stuff like that — but this is all a matter of taste. I think every album that we've done, we've put in the hours, we have invested in the album, we've done the absolute best that we can and to our liking. That's all it is. And that's just how it works, because we need to be happy with what we're playing. We're not a cover band. And we're not a radio band. We make the music for us, because we know if we like it, we can actually be on stage and enjoy it. This is the most fun I ever had, is being on stage, so I need to like it. And we all need to like it. So having that mindset — do music that we like — we're kind of… I wouldn't say 'bulletproof', but we don't really care what people say. But one thing that is important is that people actually, in one way or the other, care. 'Cause if nobody had any opinion whatsoever or couldn't give a shit about it, then it would probably be more frustrating."

Björn went on to say that he is particularly bothered by the way people treat each other online, lashing out at others when they don't share their opinions.

"When it comes to attacks on other people… That's why I don't get it," he said. "I get it if people are not happy with a record, but if somebody posts that 'I really do like this record' or 'I like that one song' and then somebody else, just for the sake of picking a fight, attacks that guy…

"I'm fine with it. We write it, we record it and master it," he explained. "They press it, or whatever they do, and it's not ours anymore. We've done exactly what we wanted to do. After that, it's just a matter of taste. So that's fine. But people get picked on. And it's a really rough environment; 'toxic' is a good word. So I don't read any of it. I don't go to any forums. I don't read any of music outlets or anything, because I am so tired of the comments. And it's a bad thing, because a lot of times that's the only way to find out about certain tours and stuff. But I simply don't go there, because of that toxic environment."

Earlier in the month, IN FLAMES singer Anders Fridén told Czech Republic's Metalshop TV that he and his bandmates have been at the receiving end of criticism for their entire career.

"I've been in this band since late '95," he said. "My first album was 'Jester Race'. When we released 'Whoracle', there were people saying, 'It doesn't sound like 'The Jester Race'.' And then when did 'Colony', and people said, 'It doesn't sound like 'Whoracle'.' And then we did 'Clayman' and people said, 'It doesn't sound like…' So it's been like that all the time. And I'm happy that we can release albums that are challenging to people, that they don't know where to put it, but in time it will be a classic IN FLAMES album. And I think this new one is gonna surprise people, but in 10 years' time they're gonna say it's their favorite. So it changes.

"Every album is important to us. All the albums led up to where we are today. So if you take away one of them, we won't sound the same today. But yeah, people have opinions. But it's fine. That's music. It's a matter of taste. And we can't all have the same taste; that would be extremely boring. And it's cool. I like it."

IN FLAMES' fourteenth studio album, "Foregone", will arrive on February 10, 2023 via Nuclear Blast.

Earlier in the year, Fridén spoke to MoreCore.TV about IN FLAMES' upcoming album. Asked if the LP's first single, "State Of Slow Decay", is a good representation of what fans can expect from the record, Anders said: "IN FLAMES has always been about melody and aggression. The short answer is yes, but it's not gonna be all fast. We try to explore all corners of metal with our music. Let's put it like this: if you're a fan of IN FLAMES, then you will love this album."

Elaborating on what fans can expect from the LP, Anders said: "This is the fourteenth album. So if you know IN FLAMES, you know sort of what you're gonna get. But I think this is a good mix of the past, the present and wherever we're going, and [it] has a little thing for everyone; it has the heavy, it has the melodic, it has the uptempo and the slow parts. I think it's amazing, and it really represents who we are at this time."

Asked if the pandemic influenced the songwriting process for the new IN FLAMES effort, Anders said: "Well, in a certain way. Lyrically, for sure. I thought this two-year break would make us see us who we are as people and maybe come out on the other side being a little bit more nice and gentle and with more understanding, but I think it's the opposite. So it definitely inspired the lyrical side.

"Of course, a break like that, it's a pause, so when you get back into it, maybe unintentionally you have more energy across the board, [and] with the music as well," he explained.

IN FLAMES performed "State Of Slow Decay" — which was produced by Howard Benson, mixed by Joe Rickard and mastered by Ted Jensen — live for the first time on June 10 at the Sweden Rock Festival in Sölvesborg, Sweden.

This past March, Gelotte confirmed that IN FLAMES' upcoming album was once again recorded with Grammy-nominated producer Benson and Howard's longtime engineer Mike Plotnikoff.

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