IN FLAMES : Anders Friden and Björn Gelotte

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INTERVIEW WITH ANDERS FRIDEN AND BJÖRN GELOTTE FROM IN FLAMES

In Flames is such an interesting band as it causes different kinds of reactions and opinions amongst the metal fans. However, In Flames’s long career has lasted about 30 years and the 13th album I THE MASK proves IN FLAMES can create fast as well as melodic songs. Metal-Rules.Com had a pleasure to sit down with vocalist Anders Friden and guitarist Björn Gelotte to discuss the upcoming album. Before that they recalled a little bit old days and finally they picked up the important Swedish metal albums.  

Interview and pics by Arto Lehtinen 


Welcome to Finland again.

Anders :  Thank you very much.

Are you coming from Gothenburg now ?

Björn : No. We flew in last night. We started at 10 already today

Then you are leaving for London…

Björn : Today, yeah.

GROWING IN METAL AND BEYOND

In Flames has always had a good bond and relationship with Finland since the early days. You have played here many times. I don’t remember how many times.

Björn : So many different festivals, so many shows. It’s amazing. Finland has always been good for In Flames, but I think in particular to metal. It’s always been like metal bands go up on the charts here. You have a rich history of really good metal bands here too.

Anders : I think we were envying like how was for Finnish bands in our earlier days. I was already in Finland and we saw all these friends speaking up about Children Of Bodom for instance. So they have been high up in the charts and they were actually getting attention for what they did. Heavy metal in Sweden has always been like  “It doesn’t really matter”. Sometimes you feel it will be good to get the attention that you deserve, not just In Flames, but the whole genre. Because we actually do play our instruments and have good musicians, it’s not just hang on a guitar and start screaming. That’s not how you make a song, unless you are in a noise band, which could be awesome as well. We saw this. Everybody is getting the attention and getting acknowledged for their musicianship. In Sweden we were just treated like the outsiders. That obviously turned around and it got way better. Finland, we’ve looked up to this country.

Actually I always thought that Sweden is more into hard rock and traditional heavy metal. Like in the early days in the 80’s as you got Europe and the stuff like that, and we got more thrash thing here in Finland in the 80’s. Then bands in Sweden jumped over the thrash direct to the death metal thing. That’s the difference I guess.

Björn : I don’t know why death metal became so big to be honest.

Bathory? 

Björn :  I don’t think it’s as easy as that. Because for me I was never into Swedish death metal before. I was listening to the Florida death metal stuff. I combined that with Iron Maiden and Metallica. Then when I got to know these guys, they knew everything about the Swedish death metal in the early days. I had to learn that afterwards, but I guess you went to see a lot of those shows.

Anders : I was into heavy metal at first. I think I was the right time, the right age, and all these new things and all these new record labels and stuff emerged at the same time. When you are at that point and you just find out this whole genre.You want to absorb everything. It had a big impact and you had the German thrash scene, the UK scene, the death from America, but also all these underground movements that were happening in Sweden. With Stockholm side and us in Gothenburg, we wanted to do our own thing and incorporate a little bit more melody into it and so on. Things just started brewing and it felt like the type of music was everywhere. Every show was a huge celebration, because it didn’t really happen that often. You really cared about that when you were at the show.

I ended up on your Instagram site and noticed a picture of the collection of your old cassette-tapes. From Soundgarden and all the way Atrophy/Forbidden to the Stockholm death metal groups. You used to do tape trading as I did. I got a bunch of Swedish death metal bands, including the first In Flames demos and Septic Broiler as well. You spread your music out in the underground via trading.

Anders : Before I was In Flames, I was playing in Dark Tranquility and obviously in that other band that you mentioned. It was really fun and it was so innocent in a way and everything was new. Now you have to impress me musically today, you have to be very good at your job. Because I’ve heard pretty much everything. Then it was just new, new, new. It was a hunger for hearing something. It took a while to get stuff as well. You didn’t know what you are going to get. You were sending out tapes to someone and you were getting something back. It was totally brand new. Because you were, “I listen to this – What about this stuff and what about this stuff?” It was amazing to think about what you were listening, it’s like really bad. It had been copied like 15 times stuff off something. You were still like, “I think it sounds great, fucking awesome.” That experience – I cherish that forever.

Björn : I really missed out on all that. There was no taping. I had a cousin, the reason why I’m in the band. He was friends with these guys, with Jesper. He had all that music. I got to hear it, but I was never part of the tape trading. He was.

As we’re getting older and wiser, but we are getting more open-minded, by listening to different kind of music. I guess the same thing has happened to you? 

Björn : I think that first when you are younger. I think the music that you like or the bands you like, they are special to you. It’s almost like you don’t like more people to know about them. You don’t want them to be super big, because you want to be special to you. I think also being part of a band when you actually play and you understand the mechanics of music in a way. As far as we can take that. Then you get to see all these live shows, you play a lot of live shows. It just opens your mind. It just does, because you understand that your way is not necessarily the only way or even the right way. I think that really changed it for me. I don’t think it age has so much to do with it. It’s just being exposed to so much different stuff. If you compare us two, I’m very conservative. Probably, yeah. He’s still curious!  It’s not like you are not curious anymore. It’s just your level of how good it needs to be is higher. I’m very opposite when it comes to that. It’s not necessarily a good thing.

When going to festivals like Roadburn, I absorb all kinds of different styles. I guess my music taste has changed within the last decades.

Anders : Probably yeah. When you are younger, it’s more important for you to be part of the group and your identity is different. You try to find out who you are. That music that you hear it back then. If there is a bunch of friends that like that too, you are like that’s where you are going to stay and that’s where you are going to keep. It’s like you almost you want to protect that thing from the outside world as you grow older. The more you do, you are like those borders start to disappear a little bit. You become more open minded and that identity is not as important. That’s not who you are anymore.

At the same time now, sometimes I could see more life stuff. I could experience that thing again. Where it’s like that show is everything. It’s a great, great feeling. To find out new stuff and experience new stuff, when it comes to music, art and food. It’s a great feeling. Sometimes I would like to have…I might still do in a sense, but I don’t go to as many live shows as I would like to. Since we’re on the road playing our own live shows. I don’t want to become like this blasé…taking things for granted and be like,” I’ve heard everything”. I want to get back to that stuff once in a while. That’s why I’ve gone into a lot of electronic music, simply because that is a whole new level. There is so much you can do with that type of music and that type of sound source. A guitar is a guitar, until we put an effect to it or you put an pedal to it. These chords you can do in certain ways and that’s sort of it. It limits you in a way.

Are you talking about bands like Front Line Assembly, Combichrist or different kind of stuff?

Anders : Not those. It’s more new,  old stuff and also just working with these instruments. I got extremely into like the instruments, like seeing what you can do. Especially with the new modular world, it’s not new. There is a modular format called ‘Eurorack’ (a type of synthesizer system ed. ) and you have all these elements that a synth is based on, picked into a million different pieces. You can put your own thing together and you can experience. You start one sound here and then you end up with something that is not from this world, towards the end. It’s just like these sounds, it sounds nerdy, but it is. It’s everywhere and you can keep new link for hours and hours, until an outsider just sounds horrible and probably nothing makes sense. In my world, it’s like a mantra. It’s like a yoga session, you just work with sounds. I found that very interesting. That’s sort of the feeling I had back then, when the death metal was new and when everything was… I still do and appreciate that stuff. Another thing I would like to mention is that when people look from the outside, when they look at our band. They think because we’ve been going through changes musically and also in time of course. People are like “You are so influenced by this, this”. We are like “No, not so much”. When it comes to writing our music, we live in 2019. Our inspiration comes from what we heard when we were young. At that point. That’s still something that inspire us. What we always go back to is those heavy metal albums, the rest in between. It sounds great. That is not our inspiration.

I’ve always found the key elements for the In Flames sound as melodies, hooks and your voice. Your voice is a little bit changed. When you started out it’s more like thrashy, death and you have more clean.

Anders : That’s all I could do. That’s all I dare to do. I didn’t dare to step out of the comfort boat soon.

THE 13th opus I THE MASK – WORKING WITH HOWARD BENSON

New songs such as “I Am Above”  got stuck into my mind.

Anders : That’s good.

Other songs like “I, the Mask” which is  the fast one. Did you want to have a fast songs like “I, the Mask”?

Björn : We usually do. What we’re looking for is the dynamic of record. We still make records. We don’t make radio songs. A record needs to have all the elements of a good… In our opinion, our taste, to have a good record. We always have something fast and we always have something slower. it needs that balance.

Like the last song on the album “Stay With Me”.

Björn : It’s a very different song compare to I, the Mask, but then again they both work on the same record. For us that’s how we write music. We write an album.

Anders : We still want people to listen from the first song to the last songs.

Björn : We want people to do it. That’s how we want people to listen to it.

Anders : In a perfect world that’s how you want to present it. Here is the vinyl, listen to it from A side from B side. Don’t talk in between. That’s the way it’s meant to be. That’s how we write the music. In today’s age, people stream and you release these songs prior to the album. That kind of takes away the magic, we have to adapt the situation we are in. There is nothing you can do about it. In a perfect world don’t put your…

Björn : It would be awesome just to drop it. Just put it there in front of somebody, for the first listen ever. To see if they experience what we have in the band.

Anders : You have to listen to the whole album out, otherwise the album will explode. You have a certain time lock on it.

As far as the previous album THE BATTLES is concerned – You wrote it in home country in Sweden. Instead the new album, you worked in Los Angeles. Was it a logistic reason, because a couple of guys live in USA?

Björn : It was a part of the last album that was written at home, but that basically loose ideas. This was the first time working with Howard and his team. We didn’t know what to expect. It felt that even though we set aside a lot of time for writing and stuff over there.

Anders : When he was based in L.A and he said, “Come out here.” He was called to Sweden.

Björn : We didn’t know what to expect. Basically we wanted to be prepared. This time around, since we know the way they work. The workflow, we know the people. We were super comfortable with writing pretty much everything. We set aside a bunch of times, because we knew we were going to have time.

Did he (Howard Benson) come up with some ideas or suggest what you could do something a little different in your music? Did you have a platform in your head that “now we have to do this way”?

Björn : Working with Howard was.., I think, for the first time we listened to someone by an outside. We always have people recording us and producing us in a sense. It’s always been our way – In Flames way or not at all. For working with him we figured, he’s very good at what he does. He’s super experienced. Maybe we should listen to the guy and see what he has to say. Then basically what he did was just make sure that we didn’t fuck around. Make sure that we actually did what we’re good at. Trying to get to the essence of what In Flames is. He didn’t change anything, he just made us better.

Anders : He didn’t write any guitar riffs. He didn’t write the hooks. It just made us better when we were recording and that we stayed on point. The first thing he said to us, “You guys do what you do best. Stay hooked. Be In Flames and I take care of the rest.Make sure you collect all the parts and make sure we have an album in the end.” We know what we want as a band. We are not going to change it to something completely different, no matter what people think or say or whatever. It’s just like we know what is always good to have that filter in the end, where you can bounce up your ideas on. On Battles, both him and our management said, “Try to write some stuff with some other people.” I don’t really want to, but let’s be open minded and try it. We realized in the end that it was like, we know our stuff better. It’s more of a struggle to keep everybody happy. I know how to make him happy and how to make me happy. In the end we have the same… Where we want to go to in the end it’s the same place. We might take different paths, but I know in the end this is exactly the way I want this song to be. Then I know I will hear the same words from you and vice versa.

I read your interview you said that you write songs for yourself, not for the other people, because you have to be on stage and play those songs live.

Anders : Yeah, yeah. The only true way I think for an artist… You live and die by your songs. In the end you might have people that like you, but they might be gone in two, three years. Who knows? In doesn’t really matter. You have to write the music that you are going to play for ever and ever for yourself.

Björn : Having to like it.

Anders : Yeah. If we like it, hopeful for it. It makes it easier to also let go off the album when it’s done. It’s like, here it is, take it. Now it’s not in our hands anymore. Now it’s up to you and you and you. You do what you want. We are done.

ABOUT PERSONAL DEMONS

Tell me a little about the lyrics on the I, THE MASK album.  In general what do you deal with your lyrics on the album?

Anders :  My demons.

Something about your present life or something else or even other guys’ demons.

Anders : I don’t want to deal with his demons, that’s his own battle. I get inspired by everything that happens around me, but a lot of things are personal. It’s not like everything is word to word, it’s something that you live through. You have to create a story, you have to create a feeling. I want to reach out to whoever is interesting. Not old people are interested in lyrics, they just want to have music. Something that sounds nice. The ones that read the lyrics, I want them to take these songs and turn it into something that they own. I give it away. I’m done and then now you do it. If I can touch you musically, lyrically, it would be a better experience for you. This album will be greater. Instead of me explaining every detail or everything. What I draw inspiration from. It could be way back and it can be things that I read and see and then I put that all into one. It’s a lot of personal things of course.

Do you ever think that you may express or reveal about yourself a little bit too much in your lyrics?

Anders : No. That’s why I keep the mask on.

You’ve got the mask.

Anders : Yeah, yeah. I can tell a lot, but I can always deny everything. That’s not true, not true and to some people I might say yes. That’s really true. That’s the way it is. For me, it has always been like for long, long time now. That’s the only thing I know. I can’t write about dungeons and dragons and all that stuff. I’m past those days.

You are getting older.

Anders : It’s nothing to do with age. It has more to do with…

Or experience in your life.

Anders : That’s again age. I guess it’s more like I want it to be personal, because of the experience. I think that if it touches you, then it will be a better experience for the listener.

You have written a song for your daughter and your son. Is there some song that is ever more personal on this album?

Anders : Yeah. There is one song I got a letter from someone that went through some really, really heavy dark stuff. I wrote a song for that person from my perspective. I put myself in that situation. That was pretty heavy. I had never done that before. Never, never. It’s a handwritten personal letter. It was crazy. Usually we get a message on the Instagram or a message somewhere, stuff like that. This was somebody took the time to write it and it affected me. When I read I was like I have to do something with this, just to get that feeling out of me. Because I couldn’t keep it within me, it was too heavy to bear.

What do you think about his lyrics and stuff – Do you monitor or consult him somehow?

Björn : I try not to, because that’s not what I do. I don’t know how to. When we work together, it’s usually more of getting the right amount of words in one sentence. It’s only mainly that I want to focus on, because the content needs to compromise. It needs to compromise. He’s the guy with the story to tell or with an experience to express. It’s mostly practical stuff. Sometimes we talk about what parts should we duplicate or what parts should we sing twice. More practical stuff, but never the content

Anders : I do think over the years, because even though you’ve been trying. I don’t care, whatever. You still want that tap on your shoulder. I think from Björn, I’ve had it in more recent years like that sounds really cool. That sounds really great.

Björn : I think you talk, because I’m more part of it now, because now I get to hear and see the process. That makes a huge difference, because then you start understanding. You put in your own head and you paint your own picture of what’s actually happening. It affects my experiences. It’s mainly because we dig really deep into them. I don’t want to alter the content and he can explain to me in fairly detail, compared to anybody else. What it is he is talking about. It makes more sense when we work with him.

Anders : When we say, when we write. For instance “I Am Above” song, which is a pretty angry song. I really get into it lyrically, when I do this, “I Am Above”. You can sit around the computer, when we record it. That’s fucking awesome. More like that. Stuff like that may be more than we talk about the whole concept. It’s like that was really strong at that point.

Björn : That’s more the practical stuff. There is something that we need to be happy with both us, like how the end result is. Sometimes you just have to work around certain things, and this is same with the melodies or the arrangement of songs when we sit down with him. We can say like, “This is not only transportation.” We need to be focused here. We have to dig and recreate some stuff. That happens in every layer of the songs. It’s something that’s fairly new to us.

Anders : I think you have to take your time to listen to the lyrics for real, when everything is done. Because when you write, it’s usually stuff that don’t really make sense, but to make a melody. When we have the core of the song, I go back and write the lyrics.I need some time in my own space to write the lyrics that mean some shit, instead of just words that doesn’t make sense. I would say it’s the same sort of with guitar melody, the solos and all that stuff.

Björn : It’s like a demo. To be something that we work around. To see if this is something we want to work with. I think it’s exactly the same with the lyrics. There might be one or two sentences that are like the few perfect right away. This is awesome. Let’s see where we can get this. and put in a chorus or a verse or whatever and then work around that. That gives us a few points in the song. We know pretty much where to go. Then you go back and you write.

JESTERHEAD

 

As for the front cover, it is your Jesterhead on the cover. There has never been the whole body of the Jesterhead on anywhere. Just a head on covers or t-shirts. How did you end up having its whole body?  When you designed the Jesterhead,  it obviously goes back to the early 90’s.

Anders : Then it was meant to be, I wanted our own Eddie. I want to have a logo with no name, no explanation. I want to have something where you can see that sign or that head of that figure and you know like, that’s In Flames. Like a secret code. If you see somebody has a tattoo you’ll be like, “Yeah man.” We know, nobody else knows. It’s just between us, like the secret club. Then that has been taking its own little world, but we always keep that because it’s part of it – Being the Jester, being that person. You can be a Jester on so many levels. Now it’s portrayed by his wearing this mask. I don’t want to explain the whole story, but it’s a boy who takes on this mask. Because of different things that happened in his life and it’s easier for him to deal with the outside world with the mask. That’s why it’s not like the jester is live in that sense, it’s more like somebody portraying this. Because it makes it easier to deal with the life itself. That’s how a lot of people feel. We all carry this mask around. It’s very difficult in many ways to open up to people. Definitely it was the strangest. I have to know you, before you tell me some secrets about yourself. That’s how we are as people.

 You didn’t have the mask on every album. 

Anders : Not on the front, but it’s there, here and there. In some ways.

I guess it was designed by you and Niklas Sundin.

Anders : Andreas Marschall was the artist that came up with this. We had the jester like for me, it was this old school jester from back in the castle. This guy who was always joking, but he was very sad. We wanted to have that and Niklas helped me with the lyrics back then, but Andreas Marschall was the one that actually designed the actual head with my and Niklas ideas together.

Is Niklas Sundin still in Dark Tranquillity ?

Anders : I don’t know how much he’s in part of it anymore, because he’s not playing live. I don’t know if he’s writing. I don’t think so.

Björn : I don’t think so either. I haven’t spoken to him for quite a while.

He’s running the visual artists studio and doing cover for the other bands.

Anders : He’s very good at that.

Björn : As long as I’ve known him he’s been drawing stuff. He’s a really good artist.

EERIE LOOKING VIDEO

As far as the I Am Above video is concerned, it is very simple as Martin Wallstrom with his head doing those lyrics. Was it Patrick Ulleaus who came up with the idea or you?

Anders :  It was a collaboration between me and our manager. We had some ideas back and forth. Obviously we had a corner video in mind. I wanted this eerie-looking thing, where you actually think about the lyrics when you look at the video. It’s just this part…

Björn : There is nothing distracting you from what he is saying.

Anders : Here is the message. It’s right there. It’s almost like it’s too much, you want to look. You sort of want to look away, because it’s very intense. Martin did an amazing job as portraying this in me or whatever.

Was it easy to get to him to video?

Anders : He said yes pretty quick. He was very cool. I don’t know how much our fan he was of a band before, but now he likes it a lot. He’s very cool. The character he does on this role is intense as well. He’s the perfect guy for the job.

Are you coming up with other videos for the album?

Anders : That’s another one. It’s a media that is fun to think about and write the script and come up with ideas. Actually to perform them, we are musicians. We want to play live and play in the studio, being in front of the camera it’s not the greatest moment. It’s good now with that one, because we don’t have to take part in it.

Patrick is taking care of the whole thing.

Anders : Yeah, yeah. He knows us inside out. If we tell him something, he will take that idea and run with it and make it even better. He’s the perfect guy for that.

AS BORGHOLM BURNS

As we started the interview by talking about the early days. In Flames is turning 30 pretty soon.

Björn : They keep saying that.

Anders : We keep denying it.

You have own festival Borgholm Brinner. Have you talked about having the celebration at your own festival?

Björn : The festival itself is sort of a celebration, because it’s something that we’ve been talking about for a very long time. Hoping that we one day can do. In this environment at this particular place.

 Old castles, stuff like that.

Björn : We don’t really have anything to do with castles. The environment is truly magical. Words don’t really describe it well. You have to be there to experience. That’s one thing. In its self it is a celebration, something that we’re super proud of.

You’ve got really great bands like Raised Fist,  Satyricon, Graveyard….

Anders : Tribulation.

Tribulation, yeah. What about this year?

Anders : We have some really cool bands coming, but we can’t really tell at this point. As soon as we’ll reveal the line up.

Is there some kind of fashion nowadays, because bands need to have own festival. Like Sabaton has own festival, you have an own festival.

Björn : I think for us it was more something that we talked about for long and especially in this venue, especially at this place. Because it is really cool. I’ve gone there for the last 10 years for vacation. It’s really cool to actually be able to put a show there. I wouldn’t say it came out of necessity, but it came out of an opportunity. We did most of the Swedish festivals the year before. We did all this. There is no festival in Sweden that we are playing this year. Maybe we should just look into that idea that we have for such a long time. It’s a fucking ton of work. I know you’ve been busy. He’s been busy, almost for a year about this stuff.

Anders : It takes a while to get into the whole thing.

Do you coordinate the whole festival, booking bands and stuff like that?

Anders : It’s all my own mixtape. We have the final say when it comes to the bands. There is tons of people that work with it. We aren’t running around, cleaning toilets and doing all that stuff. I really want to be part of the whole steps, because it makes you appreciate it even more. Also it’s good experience in general. I don’t see this as much as a festival. Yes, it’s a two day experience. To begin with I didn’t want to have this massive place, tons of bands playing, tons of stages. Let’s do it like they did back in the days like one stage. Every single band get all the focus. Not things going on at the same time. People buy their beer, eat their food and watch that band. There is a break in between, waiting for the next band. With all the logistics as well, it’s quite tight. You can’t have that much.

Björn : The whole thing is built not to let people in.

How many people can go in there?

Anders : Four and a half (thousand) When it was full, it was amazing to see these walls and all the lights bouncing off. You felt like you were part of it. It was like I said in the interview before, it wasn’t like we were playing on people we were watching. It was like we were equally watching them. It was the other way round. We were one unit moving. This Borgholm Brinner it’s not supposed to be like Sabaton Open Air, like any other festivals. We don’t use that as an inspiration, as you say fashionable. Give a fuck what other people are doing. This is our thing, fashion or no fashion. It’s amazing that we can do it. We are fortunate enough that we could actually do it now. Just having released Jester Race it wasn’t a possibility. Now we have the possibility. Why don’t do it? It’s awesome when 40 years from now, if we live that long. We look back at our career and we’ll be like, “Yeah. We did it.”

I saw you at Sweden Rock 2017 last time.  There was a classic headliner the day before and there was  the older audience in the front line.

Anders : It was Scorpions.

Oh yes, it was Scorpions. When you played, there was a completely new generation – young kids in the front. In Flames has gained and established new generation and fan base. You have been very lucky that you have a completely new fabase in Sweden.

Björn : We know this. We are really fortunate with that. I think it comes with, first of all we’ve been around for a very long time. Also playing all these songs, but always being kind of… As he mentioned we are true to what we do. Fans come and go or fashion comes and goes, but we are pretty stable.I think a lot of young people are into this kind of music. It’s melodic, it’s a lot of energy in it. We’ve been lucky, rejuvenating. We’ve done the right tours, the right packages of course. We love playing live and I think that affects people too. It’s a lot of things to go into rejuvenating your audience, but we’ve been lucky in being able to do it.

KLAUS MEINE – “CALL ME”

You have had a tour with the Judas Priest and you recently toured with Deep Purple. I know you are a big fan of Scorpions.

Anders :  Yeah, yeah.

Have you dreamed bout going out to tour with them?

Anders : I would love to. If they are listening right now. Call me. That would be awesome.

I saw the Scorpions at Wacken in 2006 when they played three hours. They did the DVD. It was a night to remember. They played a song or two from every album.

Anders : That’s a lot of work. It’s being in this band for such a long time, and we’ve been playing with so many bands. I realize we can play with pretty much anyone. That’s amazing to know about. We can adapt to any situation. Without even adapting, we just do what we do. Ultimately we end up in some works. Because with Deep Purple it was like, uh. At first when the manager called and says, you “You guys come to tour with Deep Purple.” Both of us we were, oh yeah. Then after you were like, “How is this going to work?” They had a sitting down audience as well. The core fence facing their work towards the end. That’s where they had the fence and that’s where they had…

Björn : That’s a different experience to have seated audience.

Anders : That’s far away as well, especially playing in big stadiums. It’s like far, far away. It worked. Their fans got to enjoy what we did, because there were no excuses. We went up there screaming and jumping around, doing our thing. Then that was just, it worked.

Björn : Having Gillan walking in after the first show saying, “That was fucking great. I have no idea what it was, but it was fucking great.” That’s pretty cool. I think most of their core audience, like the other generation perhaps. They were all sensitive. At first they were like, “Oh gees. What’s this?” It’s loud and it’s a lot of energy, but they got into it. Which is a cool thing. It worked.

Anders first. Name five essential Swedish metal hard rock albums?  Because you have a huge background, history in heavy metal and hard rock in Sweden, longer than in Finland.

Anders : Merciless -THE AWAKENING,LEFT HAND PATH by Entombed. I think SLAUGHTER OF THE SOUL – Not so much Slaughter of the soul, more like… Yeah, yeah.  RED IN THE SKY. I like the early, even the Grotesque stuff. The stuff like that. Definitely Merciless and LEFT HAND PATH with Entombed. That’s so many amazing death metal albums. I can’t just go all death metal. I think Raised Fist album I thought it was amazing. First Europe album and Seven Door Hotel is a great song. That was really, really cool.

Candlemass.

Anders : Yes.

Heavy Load.

Anders : I’m obviously aware of them, but not really. Saying one of them, I’m going to miss something else. Let’s say  DESTROY ERASE IMPROVE D by Meshuggah. I heard CONTRADICTIONS COLLAPSE. I think the first album was called. Even then I thought it was fucking amazing, but it was more thrash in a way. Sweater big shoes and all that stuff.You can already here it on EP, where they were going. When they released the DESTROY album it was like, wow, these guys are from a different planet. But the Dissection album “STORM OF LIGHT’S BANE. There is so much great. Dismember –  EVER FLOWING STREAM. I should stop now, because I am taking off his.

And then yours 

Björn : For me personally, I think STIGMATA album with Arch Enemy was important. I think the first HammerFall made a huge difference. I don’t remember which one is the album that Devin Downsend produced with Soilwork ?  I just remember hearing that like “Jeez, fucking hell”. It comes from this studio. I was there listening to it, while they were doing it. This was really good. I would definitely say SLAUGHTER OF THE SOUL was a big statement, especially from the studio it came from, from the Fredman studio. I remember I was having that, I compared everything to that one. Is that four? I wasn’t big into that, besides those big bands that were big from the Gothenburg scene. The one album that I really enjoyed with Entombed is LEFT HAND PATH.

All right. Thank you guys.

Björn and Anders : Thank you.

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