IN FLAMES Vocalist On Upcoming Album: 'It's A Combination Of The Past, Where We Are Today, And Where We're Going'

July 20, 2022

IN FLAMES vocalist Anders Fridén spoke to Chaoszine about the band's upcoming fourteenth studio album, tentatively due later in the year via Nuclear Blast Records. Asked how he and guitarist Björn Gelotte went about the songwriting process this time around, Anders said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "Me and Björn, we live on different sides of [Sweden] — he lives in Gothenburg; I live in Stockholm — and we only saw each other once or twice during the whole pandemic. But towards the end, when we kind of felt like it's gonna open up for real, we started talking and then we decided to take a trip to the U.S. and just get the machine rolling again — write some stuff; just get things out of our system. So we spent some time — like, three weeks — in L.A. And then we flew home and had Christmas and so on, and then we flew back again and started recording stuff for real. But as soon as we got together, a few weeks in the writing process, it felt like it always has."

Anders went on to say that he and Björn "had to be in the same room" in order to maximize their songwriting efforts. "We feed off each other's energies and ideas and so on, and I don't think we can write apart," he explained. "I mean, we can, but it won't be the same. So we have to get in the same room and be amongst everyone in the band… Me and Björn, we are the ones that are writing everything. The other guys are obviously partaking and bringing in their energy and their skills to the band, but when it comes to the writing, it's not much different."

Speaking in more detail about the contributions of IN FLAMES' three American members — drummer Tanner Wayne, bassist Bryce Paul and guitarist Chris BroderickAnders said: "They are great individual musicians, so they bring in their skills and their way of playing, and it's very unique from person to person. And that's what they bring. And also the feeling — it's such a good atmosphere within the band; there's no arguments, really, and we're just having a good time being around each other. And that helps the whole creative process. And what they've done… I mean, you will hear it whenever we… We released one new song, but more to come. You can hear it, what they do. They're amazing guys and amazing musicians and really good friends."

Asked if the first single from the upcoming album, "State Of Slow Decay", which arrived last month, is representative of the musical direction of the entire LP, Anders said: "I definitely think this [song] is a hint of what is happening, but they are individual tracks. And it's not gonna be 15 or 14 or 14, or however many songs we release, but it's not gonna be the same 'State Of Slow Decay' part one, two, three, four… That's not how it's gonna be.

"If you like IN FLAMES, then this album is a hundred percent for you," he continued. "It's a combination of the past, where we are today, like present, and where we're going.

"We never try to run away [from the past]," Anders explained. "I think when you listen to the music, what we've done before, it always has these elements. If we recorded all the albums in the same studio with the same producer at the same time, I don't think people would see that it's super different between album to album… We don't wanna repeat ourselves, but I think [this album] has a little bit for everyone."

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.

As previously reported, IN FLAMES will embark on a North American tour this September. Support on the trek will come from FIT FOR AN AUTOPSY, ORBIT CULTURE and VENDED.

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.

Gelotte discussed the progress of the recording sessions for IN FLAMES' fourteenth studio album while taking part in an online video chat on "The Metal Tour Of The Year" Instagram.

"We just recorded [our new album], actually," Björn said. "We came home three days before we came [to Germany to start rehearsing for the U.K. tour]. We worked [in Los Angeles] with Howard Benson and his team. It's really, really good, and it suits us perfectly. The weather — January in Sweden is not very fun, and January in L.A., it's amazing."

Asked if Benson has his own recording studio in California, Gelotte said: "He's got a couple [of studios], actually. It's like a house where he has a few rooms, which is the studio. And that's where we do all guitars, bass and drums and all that stuff. But he's doing all the vocals at his house; he's got his own studio set up there. So [IN FLAMES singer] Anders [Fridén records his vocal tracks] there, and I'm in the house with Mike Plotnikoff, working on riffs and stuff. Yeah, it's awesome. This is the third record we [have done] with them, and it just works out really, really good for us."

Wayne joined IN FLAMES following the departure of Joe Rickard, who played on "I, The Mask" and 2016's "Battles".

Tanner made his live debut with IN FLAMES in July 2018 in Brno, Czech Republic.

Longtime IN FLAMES drummer Daniel Svensson announced in 2015 that he was leaving the band to focus on his family life.

Paul has been playing most of the shows with IN FLAMES since longtime bassist Peter Iwers's November 2016 exit.

In August 2020, IN FLAMES released a special 20th-anniversary edition of its seminal, critically acclaimed album "Clayman". "Clayman 20th Anniversary Edition" came entirely remastered by Ted Jensen (PANTERA, DEFTONES, GOJIRA) and featured all-new artwork in a 16-page booklet, a brand-new instrumental medley plus four re-recorded versions of fan favorites such as "Only For The Weak" and "Pinball Map".

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