In Flames – Conquering The World:
Interview with speak to Peter Iwers
Interviewed by Keith McDonald
Formed in 1990 in Sweden by founding guitarist Jesper Stromblad, In Flames has developed from an underground band into an ever-growing metal force with the 2000 release of Clayman. Having a somewhat revolving door of members has helped them develop their unique style and sound. Spawning the hits Bullet Ride, Pinball Map and Square Nothing, it has become their most successful offering yet as they continue their nonstop tour around the world. I had the chance to speak to Peter Iwers who filled me in on what the band’s been up to.
How well has Clayman done so far in the States? Europe? Rest of the world?
It?s done very well, from what I?ve noticed- seems to be reaching pretty high on the charts all over, and we?re very pleased with everything.
Why did you tour the USA with Earth Crisis (a shitty hardcore band) when there are so many TRUE metal US bands that you could have went on the road with?
We wanted to do something different with a different band, so that we hopefully would have a chance to reach out to a new audience. We will be back with more similar bands, and then we?ll be back again with another band, and then…
Who would you like to tour the US with (assuming the above was the label’s decision and not yours)?
Iron Maiden, Slipknot, Korn, Fear Factory, or something like that- or maybe Dream Theater.
What do you think of the so called “Gothenburg” sound with bands like Soilwork, Gardenian, Dark Tranqullity…do you see yourselves as a part of that scene?
Yes, we are a part of it as we live here, but I wouldn?t consider the sound to be alike within all the bands here. There are so many different bands, and it?s a shame that they all get compared with each other. Once there was this thing the Gothenburg sound, but I would say that it?s not the same anymore.
How would you compare the Metal scene in the US to that in Europe? It seems fans are more loyal in Europe. Do you agree?
I love the US- I like the fans very much- they seem to be loyal In Flame fans, so I couldn?t say that it?s better here or there- I think it?s pretty much the same- which is good.
Will there be a live album? When can we expect a new studio album??
Someday, yes- dunno when. Next year hopefully (studio album).
How has US radio been to Clayman? What about European radio??
US radio has been excellent- I think it?s been on the playlists all over, and it seems to be staying on the radiocharts really good. European radio is not that much I think, some here and there, but we don?t have that big college radio like you guys, but some airing – on the rock shows that is, of course.
What involvement did/does Jesper have with HammerFall (I know that many HammerFall fans will know this but I bet there’s lots of In Flames fans who do not). Will he ever work or co-write material with thrm again?
Jesper is an IN FLAMES member full time- he also writes for different projects – one of them is Hammerfall.
Jesper played on the first Sinergy CD but he’s not on the new one…why not, and what does he think of the new Sinergy album?
Personal differences – he thinks it sucks- hehe- no, I don?t know what he thinks – just kidding!!!
What direction do you see yourselves going in? Your sound has evolved over the past couple of years but the trademark In Flames sound is still present….it seems as if the “maiden-ish” melodic elements that were on Whoracle are unfortunately not as present….
We?ll see where that paths take us – whatever comes to us at the time of writing – sorry – boring answer I know, but that?s all I can say – it?ll always be In Flames. The influences might change, but it?ll always be that In Flames sound.
What has been your most successful album and tour?
Clayman all over. It?s been going REALLY well, far beyond our expectations so we?re happy.
Where does the songwriting come from?
Jesper and Bj?rn does all the riffing and writing- then the arrangements is a group thing. Anders does the vocal harmonies and lyrics. We all do our individual stuff of course.
How has the label support from Nuclear Blast been so far?
Great- they really support us and we are very happy with them, especially the American label – GREAT!!
What’s the future for In Flames?
Making records, touring all over the world with Maiden as support band – haha- having as much fun while we are able to. And drink as many beers as possible while doing it!