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IN FLAMES (PETER IWERS)

I THINK THIS IS THE FIRST TIME AN EXTREME METAL BAND LIKE IN FLAMES HIT CHART REGIONS OTHER METAL BANDS CAN ONLY DREAM OF. WHAT DID YOU FIRST DO WHEN YOU HEARD ABOUT THE WORLD-WIDE CHART ENTRIES, FOR EXAMPLE NO. 1 IN SCANDINAVIA, NO. 6 IN GERMANY – WHICH IS QUITE AMAZING… Yeah, I think when we got all these entries all over all of us pretty much were stunned, you know. We’re Swedish and Swedish people are usually kind of humble. And we are not like these kind of people that go: “Yeah, we’re the best in here!” and stuff like that. So, when everything came in we were just like: “Wow…!” We were really happily surprised. BUT I BET YOU DID KNOW THAT YOU CREATED SOMETHING SPECIAL?! Of course. I knew that, you know, we are very proud of our record obviously. And for us it’s something special, but you never know how people are gonna react. And that’s why we never expect anything. We just take it as it is. I WAS FREAKING WHEN I SAW THE CHART ENTRIES – ESPECIALLY IN THE U.S. WHERE YOU DOUBLED THE SALES FIGURES. USUALLY AMERICANS ARE NOT METAL PEOPLE, THEY ARE NOT EXACTLY WHAT YOU WOULD CALL A METAL CROWD. BUT OBVIOUSLY YOU STRUCK A CHORD THERE… I think that first, you know, a lot of touring we’ve done over there. We’ve done like twelve or thirteen US tours since like 2000 or something. Obviously that has paid of, because we’re not like a hit single band. And then also I think, a lot of these American bands, they tend to open some doors for us, you know. A lot of them say that they borrowed a lot of stuff from us and other Scandinavian bands. And maybe they have, but they opened the doors, you know. Being on bigger labels, especially being American bands that can get a little bit more exposure, I guess, and that kind of opened the doors for us as well. But I mean, it’s a great record, and I really feel that it deserves the attention that it’s getting. And it’s nice that it’s finally out in the stores. You know, we have a new label in America. And Nuclear Blast is great over here in Europe. It’s great that it’s out for people to be able to pick it up if they want to, because that was never the case before. PRETTY IMPRESSING! WHEN YOU CONSIDER THAT AMERICANS TEND TO LISTEN TO AMERICAN BANDS ONLY. ACTUALLY I DON’T KNOW ANY OTHER EUROPEAN BAND THAT MADE IT OVER THERE – EXCEPT FOR THE SCORPIONS MAYBE, WHICH IS NOT REALLY TO BE COMPARED… I think, Lacuna Coil did pretty good on their latest one as well. They’re a good band. YOU JUST MENTIONED NUCLEAR BLAST. YOU LEFT THE AMERICAN DEPENDENCE OF THE LABEL, BUT YOU’RE STILL WITH THEM HERE IN EUROPE. WHAT WAS THE MAIN DIFFERENCE IN PROMOTIONAL WORK? DID NB AMERICA SCREW IT UP FOR YOU IN THE PAST YEARS? No, they didn’t screw it up, but they had not enough capacity. They weren’t able to get our record out in every single store that we wanted to. And, you know, if you make music and you go on all these support tours, you want people to, obviously, get your music. And if they go to the store and can’t find it, they are going to buy something else. And that was the main reason. We wanted our record everywhere, and now it seems to be. “COME CLARITY” HITS A LOT HARDER, IS MORE IN YOUR FACE THAN YOUR PREVIOUS RELEASES “REROUTE TO REMAIN” OR “SOUNDTRACK TO YOUR ESCAPE”. THE FANS SEEMED A BIT NERVOUS THAT THE NEW ALBUM WOULD TURN OUT TO BE EVEN MORE GROOVY, MORE EXPERIMENTAL, MORE ELECTRONIC. WAS IT JUST A NATURAL PROGRESSION TO BECOME HEAVIER AGAIN AFTER TRYING OUT SOME EXPERIMENTS? Yeah, it’s always. I don’t give a shit what people think really. You know, it’s us five who are gonna play this music for all these years. It’s us five whose name is gonna be on it, and the only one we need to please is ourselves, you know. If we wanted to make more electronics on this record we would have. But it was a natural progression like you said, and we just kept on writing music that we felt like doing at the moment. And I know people are nervous and stuff like that, but it’s not their music, you know. (laughs) You know what I mean? We write it, and then obviously I’m really thrilled and happy when people appreciate it. But that’s not the goal. The goal is to make music that we love, you know, and to be true to us five only. And that’s the most important thing. We don’t care about sales or record companies and managers as when the music is produced. We just do it ourselves the way we love it. YOU HAVE BEEN AROUND FOR MORE THAN TEN YEARS NOW WITH A FEW ALBUMS IN YOUR HISTORY. IS THERE ANY SONG OR ALBUM WHERE YOU GO BACK AND THINK: “HMM… MAYBE THAT WASN’T OUR STRONGEST MOMENT IN WRITING…!”? No. I mean, it’s impossible for me to do it now. I mean, every time we made a record we’ve been really satisfied with it, you know. Obviously, otherwise we wouldn’t put it out. And the next time we try to do something that would be even better each time. You know, maybe when In Flames is over in ten or fifteen years, or who knows, I can sit down and choose a favourite or a non-favourite. I don’t know really, but right now I think that everything is really good. And then there are some things that I prefer playing live for others, of course. But I guess, that’s kind of natural. And that changes as well. When I played like my favourite 500 times, I’d always go: “I want to play something else!”, you know. I BELIEVE IT MUST BE REALLY GOD-DAMN HARD TO CHOOSE A SET LIST WITH SO MANY IN FLAMES CLASSICS, PLUS A NEW ALBUM IN BACK-HAND. HOW DO YOU PUT A SET-LIST TOGETHER? DO YOU BEAR IN MIND THAT YOU HAVE TO PROMOTE YOUR LATEST OUTPUT? No, we write down all the songs that we could think of playing and rehearsed them. Then we chose a set-list from that one. It’s really hard. Obviously we gotta focus on the latest record, but we also need to choose from all the previous ones. So we have songs from each one, and it’s a long show. I think, we play 23 – 24 songs, something like that. And I think we rehearsed 40 songs or so. And then we mix it up. Some nights we play “Gyroscope”, some nights we play “Episode” and stuff like that, you know. ARE YOU A BAND THAT LIKES TO SWITCH THE SET LIST WITHIN THE LAST SECONDS BEFORE THE SHOW? Yeah, totally. We’re freaking our tour-manager off. We can change it five minutes prior to the show. It happens. IN MY OPINION THE MUSIC OF IN FLAMES CONSISTS OF THREE ESSENTIALS: MELODY, AGGRESSION AND A CERTAIN CATCHINESS. YOU HAVE QUITE A TALENT OF COMING UP WITH TUNES AND CHORUSES THAT STICK IN YOUR HEAD AND STAY THERE FOR WEEKS… WHAT WOULD YOU PERSONALLY PUT IT DOWN TO? WHAT ARE THE MAIN INGREDIENTS THAT ARE NECESSARY FOR A PERFECT IN FLAMES SONG? I guess, you fairly revealed that… It’s my secret. It’s our secret. (chuckles) Ok… I didn’t mean it that way. But, you know, critics are all over. And I applaud them and I welcome them as long as it’s constructive. But as far as people being nervous about which way we are gonna go, it’s… I just meant that it’s us that should be nervous. AT THIS MOMENT – FOR SOME REASON THE INTERVIEWER FAILS TO UNDERSTAND – THE PIECE OF SHIT OF A DIGITAL RECORDING DEVICE STOPS THE RECORDING… WHAT HAS BEEN RECORDED HAS BEEN DONE ON THE TOURBUS IN HAMBURG, APRIL 20TH 2006

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