IN FLAMES vocalist Anders Fridén and guitarist Björn Gelotte recently spoke with Sweden's RockSverige.se. The full conversation can be seen below. A few excerpts follow (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On the working relationship between the two:
Björn: "To be honest, in the beginning I think it was way easier to define. It was a musical side — the song, riffs, melody, drums and all that — in one camp, and then you had the vocals, the lyrics and the vocal melodies in another camp. That's one of the things that I think we've broken down, which means that we're both very much part of each other's turfs."
Anders: "We have different strengths that we bring to the table that is necessary for the band as a whole today. There are fields where I am more driven, there are fields where Björn is more driven, but that is not 100 percent defined what that should be. It's more song-based or situation-based. I need him for what I do, and the other way around. Otherwise, there wouldn't be IN FLAMES today, where we are. In the past, it's obviously been different, and everybody had a certain role. That gave the identity of IN FLAMES, but we've figured out something that works for us. We don't have to say anything, really. You feel it, and it comes very natural."
On the group's 2016 album "Battles":
Anders: "Some amazing songs came out of this album, and it's been great playing them live. There are a few things that we'd change when it came to the production and how it was mixed. That's why we decided to work with Chris Lord-Alge. We wanted to give the mix a little bit more oomph. That was the right album that we did then, as all the other albums right when we did them at that point. We never look back [and] don't want to change anything."
On whether the pair saw any "good shows" during the time they spent in Los Angeles recording new album "I, The Mask":
Anders: "We saw Udo [Dirkschneider] doing all ACCEPT songs. That was fucking amazing. Myles Kennedy did an amazing job all by himself — acoustic, just him and a guitar and his voice. It was fantastic."
Björn: "A great show can be an amazing thing. A great show pumps you up. That's why we like the live environment so much as a band, because I think that's when you're the most honest and most powerful at the same time."
On the importance of "dynamics":
Björn: "It's interesting what you can do with a bit of dynamics in there. It's absolutely necessary for the record to have those elements. Otherwise, the faster songs wouldn't shine, and without the fast ones, these slower ones wouldn't take you on that journey."
On ignoring reviews:
Anders: "We recorded [2002's] 'Reroute To Remain'. We went on tour with SLIPKNOT and then we released that album. People said it sounded a lot like SLIPKNOT... We changed producer, we changed studio, we changed location — we went from Gothenburg to Uppsala and all that. There were so many things going on, and I was just like, 'I'm over it.'"
Björn: "The album was written and recorded before we did that tour, so it was so weird. It has nothing to do with that."
Anders: "It just [took] on a life of its own. I'm like, 'Okay, I'm done. That's it.'"
Björn: "We've learned [on] the latest albums that it's okay to listen to the producer, or to each other. That's big enough, but to have the whole world as your judgment, it's no way we can please everybody — and that's not the point."
Anders: "It's a waste of energy. You can't change somebody's mind. If you don't like it, you don't like it. I can't convince you. I tried with the album, but if you don't understand the music, then I give up."
On the band's American live debut in 1998:
Björn: "We went all the way over to Milwaukee, and we played for 20 minutes, and we went all the way back to Sweden. It was a very short experience, but it was really cool. I think it was a very important show for us, because all of a sudden, we were on at least some sort of map over there."
"I, The Mask" was released on March 1 via Nuclear Blast (worldwide, excluding North America) and Eleven Seven Music (North America).