Chris Annunziata of the "The Metal Teddy Bear Experience" show on the 90.3 WMSC-FM radio station conducted an interview with vocalist Anders Fridén of Swedish metallers IN FLAMES when the band played at PlayStation Theater in New York City on November 16. You can now listen to the chat using the SoundCloud widget below. A couple of excerpts follow.
On the title of IN FLAMES' new album, "Battles":
Anders: "Well, the lyrics are about daily struggles that we have — everyone — from early on until the day we die, basically, and topics that we need to deal with to… I mean, you have to deal with your past to be able to embrace the future and don't miss opportunities around you. So that's basically where the overall theme comes from, and then every single song sort of dips into that."
On what he is most proud of about "Battles":
Anders: It's there! [Laughs] I mean, yeah, I think it's a great album. It was a lot of fun to create the album. But it's so easy for me to sit here and say, 'Oh, it's the greatest ever, it's this…', because, in the end, it's not up to me. I am proud that we're still here, that we still have a good time, that I walk on stage every night and be, like, 'Fuck, this is the greatest job you can ever have,' you know? And after twenty-plus years of creating this music, we have a sound. That's something I'm proud of. I mean, maybe you don't like IN FLAMES, maybe you love IN FLAMES, but we have a sound, which is… it's ours and it's unique to us."
On evolving musically with every album:
Anders: "Yeah, we don't want to do the same thing [every time] but, I mean, we still approach music in the same way. Melody is the most important thing. Then, through the years, it morphed into where we are today. But without the other albums prior to this one, this one wouldn't sound the same."
On not paying attention to outside influences when making music:
Anders: "Yeah, I mean, our point of view when creating music is that we have to like [it first]. Don't get me wrong — I love our fans. [The fact that] people appreciate what we do so we can travel the world and do this, it's phenomenal. I'm so, so humbled and grateful for that, but we have to create the music we want first without thinking about producers, record companies or fans, you know? It's, like, I look at the other guys [and go], 'Do you like this?' and if I get a thumbs-up, then it's, like, 'Okay. This is it.'"
"Battles", IN FLAMES' twelfth studio album, was released on November 11 via Nuclear Blast in all territories excluding North America and Scandinavia and Eleven Seven Music Group in the U.S.
IN FLAMES drummer Daniel Svensson announced last fall that he was leaving the band to focus on his family life. He has since been replaced by Joe Rickard, who played on "Battles" as a session musician.
More recently, bassist Peter Iwers issued a statement last month saying that he would leave IN FLAMES at the end of the current U.S. tour "to pursue other endeavors." A replacement bassist has not yet been announced.