INTERVIEW WITH ADRIAN ERLANDSSON
Adrian Erlandsson is known for his work with several bands, but especially The Haunted, Paradise Lost, Cradle Of Filth and of course At The Gates. The last mentioned returned with the ultimate comeback album called WAR WITH THE REALITY proving the band still kicks and is able to create lethal riffs and above all, one hell of an album. At The Gates recently made the first club tour crisscrossing Finland and Metal-Rules.Com had a great privilege to talk briefly before the five piece hit the stage.
Thank you very much. It’s nice to be here.
Have you ever thought about moving to Finland because you are visiting here every second month?
I like it here, playing gigs here always goes down really well, no matter with what band we play. It seems there is really strong scene here. So, it’s great to come here. I don’t know about living here, it’s kind of a bit cold for me.(Laugh)
You still live in England.
Yeah. I live in England since 15 years back.
How do you coordinate your time – Do you have to switch your place between Sweden and England because you have two bands in Sweden and two bands in England ?
Yeah. None of the bands really rehearses that much. So, I have to coordinate my time according to gigs or recordings and then you travel anyway. So, I just literary finished the Paradise Lost album like three days before rehearsals for this tour with At The Gates.
NEW PARADISE LOST COMING
I read a Nick Holmes’ interview and he said that there is something like death metal influences or going back to the old roots of Paradise Lost on the new album. What does it mean actually?
I haven’t heard the full songs. I played of course to the demos, we did demos of older songs and at that stage it’s still open for changes in the vocals. But it’s pretty heavy, I would say and there is one song that’s pretty fast actually, for like probably the fastest song that Paradise Lost ever recorded. Yeah, it’s kind of like a mixture – like a taste of the older stuff, the first like maybe three albums, but mixed with current Paradise Lost. So, it’s a natural progression I think.
Were you kind of surprised that Nick Holmes joined the Bloodbath? Because I was quite sure that he’s kind of sick of death metal thing. He has the roots of death metal in the past but I guess now he’s more in the different kind of music ?
Yeah. I don’t know, I kind of go in circles myself with the taste. Sometimes I get like really tired of certain styles of metal and then you sort of… You get back to it and then something that you were really fond of in your youth, will always come back. So I guess it’s both like Greg with Vallenfyre and Nick with Bloodbath, it’s bound to sort of rub off a little bit on Paradise Lost. So, I was a little bit surprised with Bloodbath, but I think it’s cool and he looks really happy when he talks about it. So, it’s great.
Vallenfyre have a new album out and you are playing on this.
I am indeed, yeah. Unfortunately I declined, they did a European tour supporting Morgoth and Bolt Thrower. I wasn’t able to be on that tour because we had some gigs with The Haunted and that were already planned prior to that. So, we had a new guy called Waltteri Väyrynen. Actually from Helsinki, a young extremely talented drummer that just learned all the songs, stray away and sent some videos in and then so he stood in the live drumming.
How did you get the job from Paradise Lost in the first place and I understand you played on the TRAGIC IDOL album?
I joined just before I went in the studio to do Faith Divides Us Death; it was a week before that but during the studio. So, there was no time for me to play on the album. But it’s a combination of I met Greg a couple of times in London and just in a rock bar, there was no talk me playing with them. But then I was playing with Brujeria together with Jeff Walker who is also in Carcass, and then it happened that Paradise Lost current drummer at the time Jeff Singer left the band and had a standing guy. I can’t remember his name, but he wasn’t really a metal drummer. They played a gig together with Carcass at a festival in Chile and at this point they met afterwards at parking and stuff in the hotel room and Jeff said; what’s going on with their drummer and recommended me to Greg. Then Jeff sent me a text; hey, they are still looking for a drummer. I sent Greg a text and then like a few weeks later on I was in the rehearsal room and I learned like five songs. We played a few songs together and they said you can have the gig if you want it. Yeah, that’s what happened.
I guess you didn’t have a band at that time, because you had left Cradle of Filth?
Yeah. This was like early 2009 and we just done he At The Gates reunion, was finished since September the year before. I had only Brujeria and the band I have with my wife, Nemhain. Yeah, I was kind of looking for like more of a full-time gig and I’m a Paradise Lost fan since early teenage, like teenage years. So, like the idea of playing with them and still today like we play some favorite songs and I’ll still have to remind myself; I’m actually in the band. That’s pretty cool.
You don’t play the stuff of the first albums at all?
We did Rotting Misery and we did a re-recording of Our Savior. So, they might be coming back.
Did you know that they have only one grindcore song from the demo ’88, Morbid Existence?
Yeah. I knew about that. So, we will see when the new album comes out if that becomes more.
THE REBIRTH OF AT THE GATES
As for At the Gates, you did the first reunion thing then you went on the hiatus, then got back together and started writing songs. I guess the twins had all the songs ready basically; are they responsible for most of the songs on the new album?
Yeah. Anders and Jonas, they write all the music. What happened was we did… The band split up again in 2008 and that was it, we weren’t going to do anything more. In 2011 we got an offer to play at Metaltown, Göteborg and we talked about it for a long time. We all had really missed it, because we had a really good time on the first reunion and we said; let’s play a few more shows. Then that just extended and extended and extended. We started talking about the idea of possibly doing maybe some covers or like recording one or two new songs, maybe give something away for free. Then Anders and Jonas started writing songs and like showing ideas to Tomas and stuff and later me and Martin came into the picture of it, like they sent me the songs without drums and so I wrote some of my own drum parts and stuff. Yeah. And then here we are today.
Jonas is in the Haunted as well.
He is, yeah.
He seems to have the endless sources of the riff because he is able to bring the stuff for the Haunted and then the stuff for At the Gates.
Yeah. He’s very creative song writer.
When you split with At the Gates in ’95…
’96. Summer of ’96, yeah.
I remember I thought when hearing that, that was such a fast but short career as you started in ’91. But did you feel that you got the unfinished business left when you split up in ’96?
Yeah, very much. I mean the band wasn’t really a career at all, like we were just kids that were into playing death metal and we were lucky that we got a record contract and we were just like really into the creation of the music and going to play gigs. It was a really big thing for us, but we never really did any big touring till we released the last album SLAUGHTER OF THE SOUL. At that point we did, I think about eight months of solid tour. We were all so tired at the end and it was a big change for us and we weren’t ready as a band. Had it been now, we would have all gone like; let’s take a year out and just relax and not even think about the band. But then it was Anders and Jonas leaving to start another band, so I go straight on the phone to ring Jensen up. And so, we had already been talking about playing together. The next day I was rehearsing with Haunted and like we had no real idea on the impact that the last At the Gates album was about to create. It was just; that band is finished. We moved on. But I always felt that it happened so soon, like it happened so quickly. It was over with it. When we started talking about the possibility of doing gigs together again I was in Cradle of Filth and then it was like –“you are not allowed to do anything else if you are in”. At that point that was the policy in the band, and so it wasn’t until I was out of Cradle that we could seriously start making the plans.
I guess that comes with like bands splitting up and because we sort of split up at the peak of our existence. Although like when we were playing back then, it was starting to get like to bear interest with thelast Album. It was by no means, going on a big scale. Actually the interest that the reunion was in January, I think was a big surprise to us. We said we wanted to do and we got in touch with the booking agent and all these festivals were just on the case, wanted to book us straight away. Yeah, it was a big surprise and especially like playing in the Wacken shows. It was like fucking hell, all these people. All these people are here.
40,000 or 50,000 people were watching you there.
Yeah. I don’t take a second of it for granted. I’m just happy that we are sort of back as a band and like really enjoy playing together and writing songs together, we have a really good time together. We will see what happens. We are just enjoying it for what it is at the moment.
When you got back together in 2008, did you feel that you are going to be more like a nostalgia act in the first place than a normal band?
It was kind of getting that way when we’ve done so many reunions shows and great. I think now with the new album it’s sort of proven like we have something new to come with and we are sort of continuing not too far removed from the sale that we were doing before, and the band has still… We are the same members and we still have something to offer.
AT WAR WITH REALITY
Anders and Jonas when they said that we have new songs, they had already about four or five songs and it all already had like a flavor of the past material. Of course we weren’t going to do something that was like completely removed from the band’s name, and we didn’t want to do like another SLAUGHTER OF THE SOULS because we are not the same people that wrote the album. I think with WAR WITH THE REALITY reality shows like how we are as people now; we sort of progressed from the angry youth that we were that wrote Slaughter of the Soul. But we still have that in us, so like the new album is a mixture I think of the elements from most of the albums. Perhaps not so much the first one, but I think it’s a good representation of the band. That’s become even more obvious to me now when we played two shows on this tour, that the new songs just fit straight in like they are always part of our repertoire. They fit in with the older songs straight away in a sense.
But what kind of impact did this producer that Fredrick brought in the band have? Was he a bit responsible for working with you before?
Yeah. I think on SLAUGHTER OF THE SOUL, he was a larger part of the creation of the album. He had a more hands on it, actually creating the sounds and the drums and the guitarist. This time around it was, there was a formal idea within the band of what we wanted to do and to be honest he wasn’t there very much. It’s his studio and he helped us to set things up, but then it was mainly his engineer Henrick that was doing the controls. Fredrick is there when we tracked the drums he’s there, when we tracked the guitars. But mainly it was his guy.
Jens Bogren, he wasn’t involved in the creation of the material or the recording of the material. He was sent. We did a demo of the” Eater of Gods”, before we went to do the full album. We sent it to a few guys to do test mixes and he was the one that delivering by far the best mix. Then he sent a few mixes of the initial songs of the album.
There are some old school At the Gates fans in the audience. Did you ever discuss within the band that how the people will react, how the fans will react?
I think it’s when we realize that it’s mostly important for ourselves what we think about, and when we came to that point of view that’s when we became ready to write a new album. Prior to that they have been like, like there is a legacy that we are or whatever. I never felt that it was a legacy myself, but of course we were getting good fees to play festivals. Like we risk all that by releasing a new album, because we are no longer a reunion band. But that was just not important anymore, like we wanted to write new music. We were ready as a band and then it’s like we go back into the same challenge that all bands have, that you write for yourself what you like and then you hope that other people can as well. If they don’t, there is not much to do. If they do, then great.
OUT OF NIFELHEIM
Is true that you used to play in Nifelheim?
It is true, yeah.
And you got kicked out from the band because they thought they can’t have a drummer who plays in some Cradle of Filth?
What happened actually was I had to move to England to be in Cradle and then it was just like… There was no really any discussion, it was just like; he lives in England, he can’t be part of the band anymore. I make jokes about this with them now, that they hated it that I joined Cradle because it was under (laughs)… I kind of look back at the time with Cradle, with… I don’t wish I didn’t do it, but like it opened a lot of doors for me of course as a drummer. But also like I’m happy that it’s in the past, I don’t wish anyone involved in that anything bad. Like we did what we did together and then like we just moved on.
With four great albums out?
Yeah, I think so. Yeah. I had a good time in the band. But like I’m happy that it ended when it did.
Alright, Tack så mycket
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