IN FLAMES guitarist Björn Gelotte says that he wasn't shocked by longtime bassist Peter Iwers's departure from the band.
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 He has since been replaced by Håkan Skoger who made his live debut with IN FLAMES on their recent European tour with with AVENGED SEVENFOLD and DISTURBED.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 Ireland's Overdrive if he saw Peter's departure coming or if it was a total shock," Björn said: "It wasn't a 'shock' so to speak as we kind of knew that it was coming. I think he was just done with it all and not happy. No, happy is the wrong word. He just wanted to pursue other things. Peter is a very, very busy guy. He has his own brewery with Daniel [Svensson, former IN FLAMES drummer] called Odd Island Brewing and he's also got four or five different musical projects happening, so he's really got his hands full at the moment."
Gelotte was full of praise for Skoger's addition to IN FLAMES, saying the former PASSENGER and GARDENIAN member is "just an awesome bass player. I can't put it any other way. From when he started rehearsing with us, he's been just hitting the nail on the head with the tracks. It's as good as any of us can ask for, and we're very happy with things. It's actually kind of funny, because Håkan has not really been on the road and it's all kind of new to him. For instance, when we were out on the first few shows, he was asking more practical stuff like, 'When we get to the venue, do you think they will feed us?' [Laughs], and, 'Will I have somewhere to sleep?' It's kind of cute in a way, but, musically, he's totally knocking it out of the park."
"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 He has since been replaced by Joe Rickard, who played on "Battles" as a session musician.