IN FLAMES guitarist Björn Gelotte says that bassist Peter Iwers left the band at the end of last year because he was "done" with the touring lifestyle.
Iwers issued a statement in November saying that he was exiting IN FLAMES "to pursue other endeavors." He has since been replaced by Håkan Skoger who made his live debut with IN FLAMES on their recent European tour with with AVENGED SEVENFOLD and DISTURBED.
Asked by Mick Burgess of Metal Express Radio why Iwers chose to depart IN FLAMES after almost twenty years with the band, Gelotte said (hear audio below): "He's always been a very busy man, and I think he was just done with this life. He's still writing music, playing music with friends in different constellations. [Peter and I] have [a] bar together [in Gothenburg, Sweden], 2112, so he's busy doing that. He has a brewery together with the old drummer from IN FLAMES, Daniel [Svensson], so he's a very busy man."
According to Gelotte, Iwers first brought up the subject of leaving IN FLAMES before the band's fall 2016 tour with HELLYEAH. "We talked a little bit before the last U.S. run now, and that was, like, November 'till December some time," the guitarist recalled. "We talked a little bit beforehand, and I think he just made the decision early on on that tour.
"We're not 18 anymore," he added. "There's different priorities for different people, and it's just how it works. It's super sad — it's our brother — but then again, we have so much together that we do that I will talk and meet him all the time anyway."
Björn also spoke about Skoger's addition to IN FLAMES, saying that the bassist is "an old friend from the same area where I'm from in Gothenburg. He played with Anders [Fridén, vocals] and Niclas [Engelin, guitar] in PASSENGER, which was a side project they did. He was also in GARDENIAN, which is one of Niclas's early bands. And I think he played some with Niclas in ENGEL as well. We just know this guy is awesome when it comes to playing bass. He just hasn't toured that much. The funny thing was, musically, it's not a problem whatsoever, but he was wondering stuff like, 'When we get to the venue, do we get food and stuff?' [Laughs] It was, like, 'What? Are you serious? Is that really your question?' Because musically, this kicks ass."
"Battles", IN FLAMES' twelfth studio album, was released on November 11 via Nuclear Blast in all territories excluding North America and Scandinavia and Eleven Seven Music Group in the U.S.
Svensson announced in 2015 that he was leaving IN FLAMES to focus on his family life. He has since been replaced by Joe Rickard, who played on "Battles" as a session musician.