IN FLAMES vocalist Anders Fridén spoke to France's Loud TV about the band's latest addition, drummer Tanner Wayne. Best known for his work with UNDERMINDED, SCARY KIDS SCARING KIDS and CHIODOS, Tanner joined IN FLAMES following the departure of Joe Rickard, who played on the group's 2016 album "Battles".
Anders revealed that Tanner "was actually a recommendation by Joe. Joe told us he couldn't play anymore 'cause he had back problems," the singer said. "Which was very sad, because we love Joe and had a good time with Joe, and he was a great addition to the band when Daniel [Svensson] left [in 2015]. So that was a sad day when we found out. But we decided that he [was] gonna play on the [new] album — sort of like his grand finale, like his last thing he did with us. We had a few drummers [in mind], we talked to a few drummers, but we knew Tanner from the European tour we did with FIVE FINGER [DEATH PUNCH] and OF MICE & MEN, 'cause he was teching for OF MICE & MEN. So we know the personality of Tanner, we know him a little bit. And the personality of someone is almost, or even more important than… I mean, if wanna apply for IN FLAMES, we know that you're gonna play good drums. But we don't know you personally, and we spend so much time in a tour bus, on a lounge, on a plane or somewhere doing something with the band — not being just on stage. And that is important that we function together. And not only is he a great drummer, he is a great character and a great addition to the band. So it all worked out in the end, and we're very happy with this situation we have right now — with Tanner, with Bryce [Paul, bass], Niclas [Engelin, guitar], Björn [Gelotte, guitar] and myself. We have a good feeling [about this lineup]."
Anders also talked about the title of IN FLAMES' new album, "I, The Mask", which will be released on March 1 via Nuclear Blast (worldwide, excluding North America) and Eleven Seven Music (North America).
"I think we all carry masks with us, around us to be able to deal with different situations," Fridén said. "And for the most part, I don't think these masks are good. They're there for survival, but in general, I think we need to talk more amongst each other. And to learn from your past, to learn from your mistakes, you have to be more open. We all have a mask, a filter to the outside world. We wanna show people how great our lives might be. And maybe you're carrying a big black heart inside or a deep void, and it's easier to continue to keep that mask on instead of dealing with these things. Then you, for the most part, get better — you're feeling better. I'm not the same person right now as I am when I just woke up at home and I wanna go to take a coffee and take a shit. I'm a different person. So, yeah, I think we all carry masks. It's a protection."
Tanner made his live debut with IN FLAMES in July 2018 in Brno, Czech Republic.
"I, The Mask" reunites IN FLAMES with Grammy-nominated producer Howard Benson (MY CHEMICAL ROMANCE, MOTÖRHEAD) who also produced "Battles". Additionally, the album was mixed by Grammy Award winner Chris Lord-Alge (CHEAP TRICK, LINKIN PARK) and mastered by Grammy-winning mastering engeneer Ted Jensen (PANTERA, EAGLES, GUNS N' ROSES).
The album artwork is created by artist Blake Armstrong and depicts a unique interpretation of the band's mascot, The Jesterhead. The story of the cover will be revealed via the full album artwork on March 1, which coincides with each song on the album.