IN FLAMES Speak Out Against Fans' Narrow-Mindedness

Sweden's IN FLAMES have issued the following statement via the group's official message board (which can be accessed at this location) in response to incessant complaints from the group's so-called “fans” over the Gothenburg-based quintet's musical progression towards a more melodic sound and the band's decision to accept an offer from SLIPKNOT to support the latter act during their impending UK arena tour:

"We have just completed a kick-ass pre-production of our forthcoming album.

“We are very proud of it and we hope that everyone out there is going to appreciate it as much as we do. It might be safe to say that anyone who is ignorant enough to expect a conservative and undeveloped sound shouldn't bother to come out of their shell. We feel really connected to our fans that can relate to us and our music, and we think it's awesome that you guys still get it and are able to move forward with us. It's really sad that some people have so much time on their hands and have such disillusioned ideas about reality that they can sit and complain to those that are successful in doing what they love. It's even more alarming that some people, probably a very small minority of you, think that following and appreciating a band involves forming that band [i.e. dictating what a band does in musical terms]. HELLO? If we don't like what another band does, we don't buy the album. What we would not do is lose our heads and sit in an old T-shirt that mom washes and be naïve enough to think we were superior and that we could reach anybody by whining.

“Another news flash for the clueless! If you claim to be so loyal and all-knowing then you would know that we have toured a million times with bands like CHILDREN OF BODOM, DARK TRANQUILLITY, ARCH ENEMY and so on. Where were you then? And who the hell said we will never tour with bands like that again? If there was anything you could ask of us it is to not stagnate, which is what we would do if we didn't mingle with other bands, be opened-minded and filter new impressions. Please observe that this does NOT mean that we will sound like another band. It's a bit ridiculous that when we released Clayman, no one ever mentioned nu-metal and suddenly we are perceived as just that. We haven't changed a thing since then so all this new labeling sh.t is really uncalled for. We haven't even toured with SLIPKNOT yet and some of you guys are sh.tting your pants because this is somehow very threatening to you. An advice to those few of you who feel that way is to try to be comfortable with your own identity instead of trying to cling onto symbols that supposedly will grant you some credibility in isolated groups. Wear whatever the hell you want but keep your fashion rules to yourselves unless you want to be a designer. We never got into this business for the sake of distancing us from something else. We do what we do because we love it. It's contradicting to disassociate yourself from something that you see as 'normal' or mainstream and then be part of a click where everyone has to follow the same made-up rules and conventions anyway!! This is called hypocrisy. We are self-confident enough to explore our own style and not be tied to anyone's rules or fall victims of any peer pressure. We were hoping that would make you proud. It makes us sad that some haven't understood that originality is daring to choose your own paths and not belong to a barricaded category.

“Some of you need to realize that you are acting exactly like the people you are trying to rebel against. Like your old folks saying to you: 'Turn that noise off sonny, it's repulsive!' Or like the people in the street snaring at your black, torn outfit with a really scary monster on it: 'Poor boy, he doesn't know he looks like an idiot'. You are being just as lame when you diss others' preferences. It's so ironic! Have some insight and try not to be exactly like the ones you despise. Seems like you don't know what you are going to do if you were associated with something that didn't make your grandma turn over in her grave. Grow up!

“The aim of the forum is for fans to meet, share experiences and come with creative ideas. It's not like we're afraid of criticism, we visit our site every day to see what's up, but there is a difference between bitchin' and being constructive. Reflect on relevancy before you make a statement because we can do without elitist minded people. No one has exclusive ownership of any band so abandon that idea.

“We deserve every chance we can get because we have struggled to get this far so why would you even want us to stop now? Man, it's not like you guys still play in the sandbox although you did that when you were five. Or do you….? If you do, that's your prerogative. Good luck in the future!

“For those of you who have your own lives: We love you guys and we look forward to seeing you soon! We have a great year to look forward to!

IN FLAMESAnders, Björn, Daniel, Jesper & Peter

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