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In Flames

First of all let me ask you how is your leg now and what exactly happened at The Red Square then?

Its getting better and better. I slept on some pieces of ice and the knee-cap dislocated out of place. Everything became really painful. I couldnt walk for about two weeks on it and we had to drain the blood and all the stuff out of it. Then they put me the leg in place, I got home, and there were some therapies. So now Im getting better.

Didnt this incident influence your attitude to Moscow?

No, not at all! This could have happened anywhere. Ive been two times in Moscow and I think its a beautiful city and I like it very much.

What impression do you have about the Moscow show?

Well, it was really weird, because I was sitting the whole show! (laughs) Really strange. But anyway I tried to do a good show, I tried to focus on the playing. It was still fun, because Id never seen the other guys from that direction. I tried to focus on them and on the audience. I was just sitting down and enjoying the view for a change. Not just headbanging as it usually happens. Luckily the Moscow show was the last in out tour, so we have a kind of break now. And hopefully Ill be really better.

The fans of In Flames could watch the development of recording of the new album via a video diary which consisted of lots of parts. Who came up with the idea to release weekly this video diary (studio reports)?

We ourselves. We were talking about it for a couple of records, that wed do something like this. We wanted to do a kind of connection with our fans, so that we could be constantly online. Being in the studio is a lot of fun, but it takes a lot of time also. So it was just funny to shoot every
Peter Iwers
thing and show it to our fans, as it is. Its just basically like to share our life with our fans. We wanted to make people see that we are normal people, just like anybody else. To show that were just having a good time and nothing especial, we are normal people.

For the first single off your new album you chose the song The Mirrors Truth. But the single will come out only in Europe. Why not release it in other countries as well?

Thats the record company decision. I dont know. They just thought that this is appropriate. We wanted of course to release it everywhere, but it was not up to the band unfortunately.

Beside the title track, The Mirrors Truth there will be three more songs on the single Eraser, Tilt, Abnegation. What songs are these? Were they left out off the album and didnt get on it?

Exactly. We wrote 16 songs for this record and only 12 were put on the album. But all songs were really good and they could be on the record as well. We just felt that they were good enough, but they couldnt be on the record, cause it would be too long then. And moreover to sell a single to people with only one song it makes no sense at all. So we decided to put them on the Japanese version.

There is a line in this song I guess, we are the insane/As we ignore the mirror's truth. What exactly mirrors truth do we ignore?

Theres a lot of stuff thats happening around in the world: we are empting the resources of the earth, were draining it out. And you can see it affects the weather its changing. So its a lot of stuff happening and its scary , but instead of just saying what we think we close our eyes and do nothing. But its just looking in the mirror and saying what you see. Be truthful to you
rself and let everybody know whats happening about the world and dont be afraid to express your opinion.

You also shot a video clip for this song. Its rather strange I mean the way it was shot. Who came up with such a plot for this video and who are all these creatures?

It was the production company Popcore. They read the lyrics and they learned about the feelings and inner thoughts and that pushed them to such a concept. And the creatures themselves I dont really know what they are and what they symbolize. It can be a symbol of slavery for example. As I see it at least. The video is just about a lot of these creatures in mass being forced to produce a video on the men by big evil guards. And the do so, but eventually they revolve and there begins a fight and a struggle and they are set free. And I think this video is about evil people who decide to take control under other people. Actually everybody can understand this video as he wants, but I would say that its a kind of reaction to how some people want to be over other people. I think that everybody should be equal.

You shot this video in January in some deserted factory in a city in Sweden. Was it also the idea of the Popcore company?

They were responsible for everything. We just walked up there and did whatever they told us to do. Its funny, but it was rather strange to shoot at that factory. When we came there the windows were broken, and the ceiling somewhere, it looked bizarre and the video turned out really twisted. Its one of the videos that even if you hate it, you cant even talk about it, because its so bizarre.

The cover artwork is also rather impressive. Who is this creature after all?

It symbolizes life. You start to become older, more
mature, more wild. Were going through life, were the members of In Flames and we look to something very inspiring of course. Its a very big responsibility for us to be on exhibition and to be heroes sometimes even. But after that we come home and we have families and we are just fathers and boyfriends and stuff like that. I mean that at home we are not those idols, for my daughter for example Im just daddy you know. Its really weird for her that for some people its really cool to meet me or something like that. And its normal while for some people we are heroes, for others were just normal and usual people. Of course public people (as actors, musician an etc) have more responsibility first and foremost towards their fans. And this character I dont know really who he is, you can decide it for yourself it symbolizes going into life, it symbolizes all the danger of life, but at the same time the whole pleasure of life. Its just the way everybody feels. You live and you breathe and you have some mishaps and fortunes. Its life.

You mentioned you family do you separate your private life and your public life? I mean do you give your CDS to your family or do you prefer no to mix up family and music business?

No I dont separate such things. Its all life. They like my music, I guess. But for them it doesnt really matter. You see, when you make music, things are really different. And my family very often treat my music not as music in general, but they treat it as something that I do, its my occupation so to say.

If you were to characterize A Sense Of Purpose in several words what words would you choose?

The very very diverse record. So that you can basically take all In Flames records so far and put them together and then you have A Sense Of Purpo
se. Its a combination of everything.

In you albums throughout time there is more and more influence of modern elements like new metal and alternative. Do you try to keep up with the times in such a way or its just a gradual development of yours?

Yeah, I mean that we try to stick to our sound, and I think everything is the other way around we dont change throughout the time, but all those new metal bands are very influenced by Scandinavian metal, And thats why theyre gonna have some elements that will remind you of Scandinavian metal. But sometimes its all of a sudden the other way around we are influenced by them. But to be honest I dont think that weve changed so greatly. We just create music and some people, some bands get inspired by us.

The new album will be also released in a limited edition? What bonus-track will there be?

(thinks) It will be the song Well for me the song has just a working title, I mean that which we are going to use as a bonus track. I forgot the name of the song, but that will be a song very good song by the way that didnt get either on the record, or to the EP. So there will be only one bonus this song.

How did it happen that you invited Lisa Miskovsky for the song Dead End?

We met her at some festival, and we just began talking about how good it would be if she made a guest appearance on our record. And she said, Yeah, Ill really do! So when we were working at this record we just called her, and she was like, Oh, yes, sure sure! We invited hew down and then she sang on one of the most brutal songs and it wouldnt be very easy to write a softer song for her and we didnt wanna do it. We just wanted her to enter our music and let her be a part of that
rather than changing something for her.

Shall we expect any collaborations with guest musicians this time?

No. we had several guests musicians on several records and this time we just didnt feel it was necessary. Its always based on a chance. It may be like it was with Arch Enemy member Chris Amott. He was just around when we were recording the album and he made a guest appearance on Clayman. Everything happens on a vocation one producer may hang out with a musician, then he may offer something, the musician say, Yeah, and thats it! And this time there was no use for it, all the parts were ready and nobody was around (laughs) So maybe next time.

In Flames donated paintings to the Red Cross. A number of Gothenburg profiles were asked to paint self-portraits to be auctioned for charity in the Red Cross. Could you tell a bit more about this action? What action is it?

Its for new department here they open up we wanted just to help the Red Cross growing and to earn more money for charity.

Was it the first time that In Flames took part in such action? And how often do you personally contribute to such beneficent actions?

Its the first or maybe second time In Flames does it. I think all of us do it personally on the regular basis. I do. Whatever we are ready to do we do. I think its important. If we have the ability to do it we do it. And if we can help then yes, definitely. I will always help, if I can.

Your brother Andrew is also a musician and is also a bass player. He plays in Tiamat. Do you listen to each others music and do you borrow some elements of playing bass from each other?

We listen to each others music, but I wouldnt say I t
ake any elements from him. No. But definitely he influences me very much, because we grew up together and all that time he was the guy that influenced me. He started playing guitar, so did I. And then a bass guitar appeared in our life. He has always been a great inspiration for me I always believed in what he did, and I loved what he did. Without him I wouldnt even play bass I guess.

What was your first musical instrument that you played in your life?

You would never believe me - piano (laughs). But I play just like an amateur. When I was a kid I just started playing and learning some songs. So piano was my first instrument, then there was a guitar and only after it a bass.

What emotions do you have when you hear In Flames broadcasting somewhere in the street for example?

Oh! I think its amazing! I really value every time when I hear our band playing somewhere. Because its not every day, were not a hit band you know. So every time I hear it, I think its very very cool.

Do you listen to In Flames in your free time? Some musicians say they do, while others claim that they get so sick and tired of their music after a couple of dozens of concerts that they would rather listen to something else

I dont hate it. But to tell the truth I get tired of it of course. I play it all the time, I hear it all the time so I try not to put it into my player!

You said that a great influence on you had such musicians as Mike Porcaro from Toto, musicians from Dream Theater, Geddy Lee from Rush in other words you got inspired by musicians whose music differs much from that of In Flames. How much is progressive music close to you?

Absolutely. I adore it, I like i
t very much. Its a lot of influence. I adore the style of Mike Porcaro, I could never play a rif by him, but Im really fascinated by the way he plays bass. The same I can say about John Myung from Dream Theater. He does something really especial and returning to Mike Porcaro, he did what I wanted to do - the music is rhythm based, but there are a lot of places where the music goes out of the limits and everything is done in a very good way.

You have a joint project with one of your group mates - Jesper Strömblad - DJ Sellout & DJ Kaos.

Yeah! Its just a DJ project. We travel around the world and play our favorite music. We are invited and we go and play. Weve been to Greece, some places in America. We hang around, have a good time and show people our favorite music.

Once there were vinyl discs and then they were substituted for by CDs. Do you think its possible that one day CDs will cease to exist the same as vinyl did?

I hope not, because I think that CD is such an important part of the musical industry. It is the visualization of music, it has a cover artwork and a story within it and when we combine it together with the music its amazing. And when youre gonna loose that, you are gonna loose the importance of the music itself. And the MP3 is just a couple pf letters, you dont see it, you cannot touch it. Of curse you can have music more quickly, but you I think you need the pictures, you need the booklet and you should know the lyrics, because it plays a great part. I cannot say for everybody, I can say just for myself as a musician the cover and the booklet are extremely important for me. Every time when I buy record I would study the artwork for quite a time, I would picture a band when they decided upon this or that song. Its so important so
I really hope itll never go away.

Do you have plans to cover some song of some band? Many musicians do it and say its a lot of fun! And what is fun for you beside music of course?

No, I doubt. I dont like cover versions. I just dont see the point of covering a song originally made really well Imagine you have a song. A perfectly-made song and then somebody takes it and makes a cover. It would never be as good as the original. So whats the point? We do it sometimes, but me personally I dont like cover versions. So my answer to your question is I hope NOT! (laughs) And what is the fun for me I attend gym very often and a really like it. I like to keep my body in a good shape. Its kind of my motivation, I just go there and and try to exercise. Almost I like to have a fun with friends, I like to have long walks. And of course I try to devote all my free time to my family and friends.

I know that you are a fan of the game World Of Warcraft

Yeah the guy are going mad with this game. But not me! (laughs)

In Russia people usually associate metal heads with something not very descent. So there is even a kind of joke about it, or rather a stereotype. The true metalhead should be mighty, stinky and hairy. And what epithets can you suggest for a real metallist?

The real metallist is nice, humble and insecure. Insecure because everybody is a little bit misadjusted to metallists. Whenever you may come, whatever club or something if there are some metallists they sit in the corner and enjoy themselves, their music is a salvation to them.

Do you consider In Flames a real metal band then?

(thinks for a while)Yes, I guess we are. Everybody is here, because of his love for music. We are like one unit, one whole. And whatever problems or argues we may have we always agree upon one think music unites all of us. It fills our lives with energy.

And finally if you have something to say to your fans in Russia you are welcome.

I hope to return to Russia once again, but since weve just been there I think itll take us a couple of years I guess. Thank you for everything, for the emotions that you shared with us during our trip to Russia. Thank you for believing so much in In Flames. I hope that you enjoyed the show, although I was sitting down (laughs). I hope you like the new record and we meet the next time we come back. And well come back. Its a promise!

Interview by Ksenia "Wolfin" Khorina
Questions also composed by Blindman
30 2008
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