Interview: Anders Fridén of In Flames

In Flames recently released their 13th album I, The Mask to a great reception from both fans and the media alike. Prior to their show in Manchester on their recent UK tour, I had the opportunity to sit down with vocalist Anders Fridén to discuss both the new album and a range of other topics.

How are you doing this evening?

I’m good! It’s good to be back in the UK and apart from the weather, we love being here.

How did it go last night in Glasgow?

It went pretty well. We played some new tracks we’d never played before so it went pretty well. I’d give it a 8/10, semi good. We’ll probably do a 9/10 tonight and then a 10/10 tomorrow.

I, The Mask came out pretty recently. How do you feel the response has been?

I only see the response when I’m out playing shows. I stopped looking at what people say online a long time ago and rarely read any reviews online. The response we’ve got from playing these songs so far has been good so hopefully people like it so we can keep doing this.

With it being 20 years since the release of Colony this year, are there any plans to do anything special?

No, we’ve kinda missed the train with that. Had we started doing that several years ago like some other bands, we might have done that but no, we’ve nothing planned. We are playing “Colony” tonight in the set which fits in really well with the other songs. I’m really proud of the other albums and am really proud of our history but I’m always looking forward to seeing what’s coming next.

Do you think there’ll be any collaborations/events with some of the other bands that were in the Gothenburg scene?

We don’t really plan any. It’s cool to see the bands which we grew up with still going and releasing some killer material. I think Dark Tranquillity’s latest album Atoma is the best in there career and they are still really good friends of ours. We had them play our festival last year and At The Gates are playing this year which is awesome. But no, there’s no plans for any collaborations in the near future.

I’ve heard that you are a fan of whiskey…?

Yes, I am a fan of whiskey but for me it is a social drink. It’s one where you can have a good conversation and talk about life. You are literally drinking history with some of them and I love some of the older whiskeys from the 60’s which taste really nice.

What are the plans for the next to 6 to 12 months?

The album’s just come out so there’s no new music in the near future so we are going to be touring for most of the year. We’ve announced up to mid-August but it’s going to be at least 2 or 3 years before we release something new I’d say.

Did you have any say in picking the bands for this tour?

Oh yeah! Whenever we headline, we like to pick bands that are cool. I’m a fan of Norma Jean so it’s cool to be touring with them and I’ve known Howard for a while so it’s cool to be touring with him as well.

What are three things you can’t live without on tour?

I’d probably say my phone with my music on as I can’t live without that. I need to have my computer for both my business and pleasure as I love gaming and also I’d say a bottle of whiskey! Of course, deodorant and a toothbrush as well but that goes without saying.

What games are you playing at the moment?

Right now I’ve started playing a game called Generation Zero which is a Swedish multiplayer game which is really awesome. It’s set in Sweden in the 1980’s which is really cool. I love a nice platform game and also enjoy games like Dead Cells and Battlefield which is good fun. I like all kinds of games.

What music have you been listening to recently?

I just listened to the new Whitechapel record (review here) yesterday which I thought was fantastic. The new Children of Bodom (review here) is good and I’ve been really enjoying a lot of good music lately.

If you weren’t playing metal, what would you be playing?

I’d be doing some electronic music. I’m a huge fan of old synths and electronica and I love collecting synths. I love my mini Moog which is probably one of my favourites. I’ve got a Moog one coming for me when I get home from this tour which is going to be amazing. I’m super looking forward to creating some stuff on that.

What is one thing you wish someone told you before you started?

Relax and enjoy the ride! It’s been an adventure and it’s cool that you don’t know what’s ahead. Maybe there’s a few things which I wish were different but overall I’ve really enjoyed it.

Tea of Coffee?

Coffee unless I’m sick and then it’s tea. I tried to stop once and it gave me shitloads of headaches so I need to have coffee.

Photos by Katie Frost Photography

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