Earache Records recently caught up with vocalist Tomas Lindberg for a chat about the reformation of the legendary AT THE GATES. Read the brief question-and-answer session below:
Q: Would you say that the reunion of AT THE GATES was in many ways inevitable, given that in many ways the band finished so abruptly originally, and with a degree of bad feeling?
Tomas: That's the whole idea of the reformation, to give the band a real sense of closure. The band was simply too good to die away as it did without a lot of people getting the chance to see it live. Also this is our chance to end it all on a good note personally as well.
Q: What do you hope to gain/prove with the reunion - why should anyone care about a band who last made an album 12 years ago?
Tomas: I guess the reaction the reunion shows have been getting speaks for itself... but, I guess what separates this from a lot of other reunions that have been going on is that we all have been active since the break up in different projects and so on; we haven't lost touch with the scene and we have not got stale, boring and old...
Q: Who made the first serious suggestion for a reunion and how easy was it to convince all members to come on board? What about the members of the existing bands like THE HAUNTED and THE GREAT DECEIVER — do they support and understand the decision to revive AT THE GATES?
Tomas: This is something that we have talked on off about for a while now, we were all interested in getting it right, so to say... in the end it was all down to timing, so that the more current projects that we are involved in wouldn't get that much hurt. As there is a time limit on the reunion, it won't really affect the other bands that much; maybe even get them more attention.
Q: Can you tell us about the preparations so far — have the band rehearsed together and what kind of set list do you have in mind?
Tomas: The band is scheduled to start rehearsing early next year. We want the set list to include stuff from all our records and keep all our fans around the world happy. A good spread is important.
Q: Rumors are rife that there will be a combined AT THE GATES/CARCASS tour of the U.S. next summer. Can you confirm or deny this?
Tomas: I have no comments for this one.
Q: You've announced three shows already. How many shows are you looking to do realistically, and will you only do festival one-offs? Is it too much to hope for a full touring schedule across the globe in 2008?
Tomas: We are mainly focusing on festival one offs. No full world tour. The US might get a different schedule though.
Q: Were any serious attempts made to reform in the past, and if so what prevented it happening up until this point?
Tomas: It has never been as serious as now. It is all down to timing.
Q: Can you put your finger on exactly why AT THE GATES' reputation has endured over the last decade despite the inactivity?
Tomas: The quality of the music, I guess.
Q: Of course everyone will want to know about the possibilities of a new record. I know you have mixed feelings on this. Can you explain your reservations about writing together again?
Tomas: No new record will be recorded. The legacy of "Slaughter Of The Soul" will remain intact. It would be fun to write together, but not under the name of AT THE GATES.
Q: You've obviously dedicated a large part of your life to music, through good times and bad — what lessons have you learnt about being in bands and making music through the years, and given the benefit of hindsight, would you do anything different if you had the chance?
Tomas: I would not do anything different, because it is all lessons learned.
BLABBERMOUTH.NET's exclusive interview with AT THE GATES guitarist Anders Björler about the band's decision to reunite and and the group's future plans can be found at this location.
Watch AT THE GATES' video for the song "Blinded by Fear" (taken from the "Slaughter of the Soul" album):
AT THE GATES live in Corona, California - March 22, 1996: