AT THE GATES Guitarist Discusses Reunion

Lucem Fero recently published an exclusive email interview with AT THE GATES/THE HAUNTED guitarist Anders Björler, conducted by Welsh interviewer Anthony Morgan. Topics of discussion included how the AT THE GATES reunion became possible, whether erstwhile guitarist Alf Svensson would feature in the group's reunion shows, and why the group originally split. Several excerpts from the interview follow:

On the relationship between members immediately following AT THE GATES split:

"It wasn't just the split; it was also during the touring in support of 'Slaughter of the Soul'... Too much alcohol was the biggest factor. We were just kids back then, and were roughly in our early twenties. I guess we couldn't cope with touring that well. Following the split, I think the other guys were shocked about our decision to leave. Today though, I guess they understand why."

"THE HAUNTED felt like a relief, and a break from all the things that had happened in the past. Finally, I was back in the rehearsal room having fun. We never dreamt of taking THE HAUNTED to where we are today."

On the vibe within AT THE GATES compared to the early to mid-Nineties:

"Back in those days, we were close. For years, we rehearsed every day — we almost lived in the rehearsal room. Today, we have our other main groups and families that are our main priority. Actually, we haven't really met that much nowadays; so far this year, we have had one sit down. It's difficult to get everybody together as a result of our touring agenda, and the fact that Adrian (Erlandsson, drums) lives in the UK. When we met though, it was within a very relaxed (but determined) atmosphere."

On whether AT THE GATES have a lot to live up to with the reunion shows:

"After eleven years of silence, it's always difficult when you return. When we split up, AT THE GATES became an entity and continued growing on its own. I'm not worried about the live shows, and think we're pretty relaxed in terms of what we do. We can't control people's expectations (and everybody has different expectations too); we just play in our style, and hope people will appreciate it."

"Well, if you expect pyro technique and a laser light show, then you're on the wrong track. AT THE GATES was never about that; we're a death metal band, and the focus is the music. We'll pick up where we left off — people who saw us performing live in the old days will know what I mean."

On what personal favorite tracks will feature in the group's 2008 setlist:

"We all have different favorites, so we'll have a difficult time composing the setlist. We'll play songs from all the releases, and that's the only thing I know. Some of my favourite tracks are the following: 'The Swarm', 'Windows', and 'Primal Breath'. Every song has something unique, though it's hard to analyze further."

On whether former guitarist Alf Svensson will feature as part of the live shows:

"We all want Alf to be part of the reunion shows. Right now though, I can't talk more about it."

On whether AT THE GATES will play further shows after 2008's summer:

"It's just the initial statement, alongside the Blabbermouth interview, that left that 'uncertainty' vibe. It's definitely going to be the 'last-ever thing' with AT THE GATES."

On how he would like the legacy of AT THE GATES to be remembered:

"Hopefully with respect."

Read the entire interview at


Posted in: News


To comment on a BLABBERMOUTH.NET story or review, you must be logged in to an active personal account on Facebook. Once you're logged in, you will be able to comment. User comments or postings do not reflect the viewpoint of BLABBERMOUTH.NET and BLABBERMOUTH.NET does not endorse, or guarantee the accuracy of, any user comment. To report spam or any abusive, obscene, defamatory, racist, homophobic or threatening comments, or anything that may violate any applicable laws, use the "Report to Facebook" and "Mark as spam" links that appear next to the comments themselves. To do so, click the downward arrow on the top-right corner of the Facebook comment (the arrow is invisible until you roll over it) and select the appropriate action. You can also send an e-mail to blabbermouthinbox(@) with pertinent details. BLABBERMOUTH.NET reserves the right to "hide" comments that may be considered offensive, illegal or inappropriate and to "ban" users that violate the site's Terms Of Service. Hidden comments will still appear to the user and to the user's Facebook friends. If a new comment is published from a "banned" user or contains a blacklisted word, this comment will automatically have limited visibility (the "banned" user's comments will only be visible to the user and the user's Facebook friends).