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Anders Friden (In Flames): A man with a sense of purpose

Anders Friden (In Flames): A man with a sense of purpose
BANDS : In Flames


Metalfan: Hello, welcome to Romania and welcome to Metalfan!
Anders: Hello, nice to meet you!

Metalfan: We don’t have much time, so we’ll try to get to the point. You released A Sense Of Purpose last year. What did it mean for you? I mean, the title and the slightly different musical direction that you have taken...
Anders: For me In Flames means a lot and I feel In Flames becomes something that means a lot to other people as well. It’s enough to release something about the title of a song and people start discussing, you know... back and forth, back and forth... And I feel it created a purpose for other people, so that’s why. But also for me as a person, when I got my daughter, when my first child was born, felt that I got a purpose in life, that there was something higher, something more important than myself, I felt that my ego was destroyed in a way. So that was a purpose for me. So it has a lot of meanings, it doesn’t have anything to do with any change in music.

Metalfan: So it’s rather connected to something that happened here (points to the head)...
Anders: Yes, it’s that feeling that you have a purpose, and it’s a good feeling, when you know that you’re not wondering anymore, you’re not left searching for something anymore. If I have that purpose, it makes me feel calm and I so much more enjoy other things in life. You usually search, search, search and you’re so focused getting there that you miss other things that are happening around.

Metalfan: So you were still searching when you did Clayman, for instance, in 2000...
Anders: Haha! In a way... But that’s about a rough relationship and the title describes the way I was feeling back than – that you could mould me into anything – I was a man made of clay...

Metalfan: Do you thing that you’ve reached that turning point where people come to expect more and more of you with each album?
Anders: Yes, I think we have gained more and more fans along the way. Ever since I joined the band (that was in 1995, my first album was The Jester Race). When we released The Jester Race, I had to defend it towards Lunar Strain; and when we released Whoracle I had to defend that album towards The Jester Race. It’s always been like that and more and more people are into the band, and, as I’ve said before, even when we release a song title or parts of a song, people already make up their mind instead of waiting for the final result. I think definitely more people dissect it and talk about it, but that feels good, it won’t change me or my music, that comes from inside. And no one except for the five members of the band has anything to say about it. And I wouldn’t change for you, for him or for anyone else, no matter what you say. If you like it, that’s fine, if you don’t, f**k it.



Metalfan: We can presume we somehow like it since we are here right now, but nevertheless...
Anders: Hahaha, yes, but you know what I mean... I don’t think that you are on the wrong track if you like it – you or someone else.

Metalfan: Talking about how people perceive it, I remember now having heard a very short description of you, who seemed quite ridiculous at the time: “they are Swedish [kind of metal – n.a.], but they sell”. What do you make of this phrase?
Anders: Wow... I don’t know... what do you think it means?

Metalfan: Trying to dig deep, deep into that person’s head, I think that he perceived Swedish death metal as a very underground aggressive genre and that was in contradiction with your success at the time. [and this was back in 2000 – I wonder what they guy might say now – n.a.] Do you think that there’s a big change when you start being successful in sales, not only in critics’ reviews and in fans’ opinion?
Anders: Yes, for sure we’ve changed as persons, but rather due to the fact that we’re getting older, that we’re not 20 years old anymore – that was the age when we did the earlier albums. The band started in ’92, the first album was released in ’94, so for sure things have changed since then. But they haven’t change because of... You know, I cannot form thins band or try to write something that I know for sure that other people would like. If I had that recipe, I would be probably so eager to do it, haha. It’s great to travel the world, it’s great to meet people from all over the place, to play in front of thousands of people, but you don’t know [if you’ll have success – n.a.], you never know, right?. Now there are lots of Swedish bands who had success later on – it’s us, Archenemy, Soilwork, The Haunted – all these band they do well and travel all over the world and play. So of course we’ve changed, but not because I’ve been told to play what other people like. You probably changed too, you’re not the same as you were as a little boy. You probably cut your hair at some point, right? If you’re stuck in a corner it’s no good, right? I don’t think we would be here today if we had done Lunar Strain nine times in a row.

Metalfan: Changing the topic, On the limited edition for "A Sense of Purpose" you have also put out an bonus DVD with footage from the studio and bit of the process of recording the album. Also the guys from As I Lay Dying appear on that DVD. Do you intend to collaborate more with them?
Anders: No, no, they were just playing in town when we did the recordings and they just wanted to come up and take a look at our studio, to say hi and everything. We’ve known the guys for a long time, we’ve been touring together, so...

Metalfan: Is there any metal or non-metal artist you’d really like to work with?
Anders: Definitely Trent Reznor from Nine Inch Nails. That would be really cool. But there are many many artists and musicians that I respect.

Metalfan: Gothenburg... How is it to live in a city after which gave the name to a musical genre?
Anders: It’s cool, but I must say it’s something we’ve never thought about when we started. We were just a bunch of friends, we enjoyed music and we wanted to play, to be part of the scene. Then we just got labeled up by the media. We are from Gothenburg, we play metal, so there you go, haha.

Metalfan: Since you were very relaxed when talking about changes in band and even about sales, haha, I dare ask you if there’s also an image thing driving the band. Is the image factor contributing to your success? I know that most of the metal musicians reject this image-related stuff, but still...
Anders: I don’t think we have an image...

Metalfan: Hmmm... Hmmmm...
Anders: Or an anti-image or anything like that. I guess people don’t know us, they have a certain perception on how. So if you see me on stage, you might think that’s who I am all the time. But we don’t have any special image... Not that I know of, if you want.



Metalfan: Now we are getting to the end, so here comes the “future” cliche. What about the future of the band?
Anders: Now we have the summer festivals coming up and as we did 18 or 19 last year, we said “Let’s only do five or six this year!”; and then we have Swedish summer  - if it doesn’t rain a lot, haha. Because we all have kids and we want to enjoy that time of the year with them. And then it starts again – touring almost until Christmas, you know... and then we have a little break and start thinking about the next move.

Metalfan: By the way, you mentioned kids... What do you kids think about you, about your line of work?
Anders: Well, they see me on TV and they’ve been to concerts and they enjoy it. But I am their dad, they don’t see any difference, I’m just their dad, you know, it’s nothing strange for them.

Metalfan: What do they say in kindergarden when they are asked “What does your dad do?”
Anders: My daughter is turning five, my son is only one year old. So she can tell her kindergarden teacher or whatever “You know my dad is on the other side of the world, you know my dad is playing, he’s always around playing, playing, playing...”, haha.

Metalfan: Does she get it [metal – n.a.], haha?
Anders: She does, yes. He’s too small, but when he hears music he starts nodding his head. It doesn’t really matter what kind of music is. But my daughter, when she listened to “A Sense Of Purpose”, she really dug a lot some of the songs and she could really sing along, you know – in bad English, haha, but it was really cool.

Metalfan: Just one more thing: a couple of words for the readers of A final statement – or understatement, if you like, haha?
Anders: Well, I don’t know if this is my final statement, haha, but I want to tell them to listen to what we do and to say that I’m very happy to be able to work on something that I love.  Thank you!

Autor: Tzugu, H.
Vezi galeriile trupelor: In Flames

   April 03, 2009  | 4 Comments  | 8184 Views « BACK

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