IN FLAMES Guitarist Says U.S. Music Scene is More 'Media-Controlled' Compared To Europe

Tapio Ahola of Imhotep webzine recently conducted an interview with IN FLAMES guitarist Björn Gelotte. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow:

Imhotep: Was the song writing process for this album ["Come Clarity"] somehow different from what it has been before?

Björn Gelotte: "The basics are always the same when we do the songs. Me and Jesper [Strömblad] sitting down with one guitar each, recording it with a ProTools system, having a cold beer, sitting down jamming and making the songs. We do all the big things together, like making the riffs and melodies fit together, program some drums. Then we play it to the other guys, and as long as nobody is complaining too much… If we disagree on how it should be, then we start working on it. Most of the little things evolve in the studio, but the basic songwriting is done the same way we have done since 'The Jester Race'."

Imhotep: Do the songs usually change a lot when you start playing them with the whole band?

Björn Gelotte: "Yeah, there are a lot of things happening. But as soon as everybody's playing the instruments they are supposed to play, like instead of programmed drums, it suddenly sounds like IN FLAMES. It might have sounded like IN FLAMES before, but because we used programmed drums, it's not gonna sound exactly the same. And also as soon as Anders [Fridén] starts singing, putting the vocals down there, it's the same."

Imhotep: What was the recording process like?

Björn Gelotte: "That's another thing that was kind of different from 'Soundtrack to Your Escape' from the start. Because 'Soundtrack' was very intense, we recorded everything in a house in Denmark that we rented. We lived in that house, we basically never left the house until the CD was done. But this time, we recorded drums and vocals in the Dug-Out Productions, where we recorded 'Reroute to Remain', with Daniel Bergstrand. He works really well with our drummer Daniel [Svensson], really brings the best out of him. So we recorded drums and vocals there, and all the guitars, bass, acoustic guitars and everything were recorded here in Gothenburg. It's very comfortable when you can go home after you've worked for all day. That was really nice. Then we sent all of this up to Tonteknik in Umeå, to Pelle and Eskil, and they mixed it, and did a really good job."

Imhotep: You've been touring at the U.S. a lot. What is the scene like there?

Björn Gelotte: "I think it's a very weird scene. It's very diverse, it's almost like having the world in one country. There are different kinds of styles depending on where you are, there's east coast and west coast and the south, it all depends. You get a different audience. So it's very diverse. But there are some things that link all of this together, like the new thing, metalcore, bands like KILLSWITCH ENGAGE, SHADOWS FALL, GOD FORBID, all of them. So that's one thing. They have heavy roots on the European… or maybe not roots, but their main influences are European, or Scandinavian. And they mix it with their own product, which is hardcore. So they do more punky thing than we do here. So it is different, very different. And U.S. is many times very media-controlled compared to Europe. So media controls what bands it is cool to dig."

Imhotep: How do you feel about younger bands taking influences from you, especially American bands?

Björn Gelotte: "Of course, if somebody mentions you as an influence, a band that has just made a record or whatever, it is very flattering. It proves you gotta do something right. But at the same time you hope you just help them in the way, that they will evolve into something of their own. I remember when we started out, it was very obvious what were our influences. Now we have developed our own style and now it sounds really fresh, because we can do whatever we like. We can shape the music into whatever we want it to be, and hopefully that's what all these bands are gonna do as well. But of course, you feel really proud if somebody says 'I am really influenced by you.' Everybody would probably get very proud if he would hear something like that."

Read the entire interview at this location.


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