Swedish metallers IN FLAMES played the first show with their latest addition, drummer Joe Rickard (formerly of RED), at this past weekend's Knotfest Japan in Tokyo. Fan-filmed video footage of the performance can be seen below.
IN FLAMES vocalist Anders Fridén told EMP Rock Invasion about Rickard: "The thing is, we went into the recording of [IN FLAMES' latest album, 'Battles'] with the intention that we would get a guy later. There's so many studio musicians in L.A. that can record this stuff anyway. We're not a complicated band, so anybody can do what we do. So he was in the studio, recommended by Howard, and he was helping us out with some programming before. And he said, 'I'm here. I can play.' And we were, like, 'Sure. You can try. Just go ahead.' And then he started to hit the drums, and we were, like, 'Woah! This guy plays hard!' And he did a few takes, and we said, 'Move on. Do the next song.' But he wanted to continue to record. And we were, like, 'That's the right attitude.' Then we had to take a few beers with him to understand the guy behind the drum sticks, and he was an all cool guy. And after the whole recording, [we said] 'You recorded this album. Do you wanna be a part of this band?' And he said 'Yeah.' [It was] a very smooth transition."
Asked whether Rickard is used to a heavy touring schedule, Anders said: "He is. He's been part of a band called RED."
Added IN FLAMES guitarist Björn Gelotte: "He's done a lot of touring. He's actually really experienced, which… I mean, obviously, that's an important thing. It's one thing what you do in the studio or rehearsal room; there's another aspect of being in a band when you're out touring, and he has done years of that. So time will tell, obviously, but we have a really good feeling. His ability is the last thing we worry about. Socially, we'll find out soon, but he's an awesome guy."
"Battles" will be released on November 11 via Nuclear Blast in all territories excluding North America and Scandinavia and Eleven Seven Music Group in the U.S. The CD was recorded in Los Angeles with Grammy-nominated producer Howard Benson, who has previously worked with MOTÖRHEAD, BODY COUNT and SEPULTURA, among others.