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INTERVIEW: Peter Iwers (IN FLAMES)

October 22, 2016

 

 

 

Levi:

About your new album, Battles, I got sent a pre-order copy and I really like this one. I think it seems a bit different from the last one, but very melodic and upbeat. What was the inspiration going into this album?

 

Peter Iwers:

Well, for me,  I am not one of the main songwriters, but I know from being a part of the whole process basically, the inspiration is you should not be overthinking stuff. Just writing what comes naturally and trying to not redo the same thing as we did on the last record. As you can tell between each of our records, we always evolve in forward I like to think and we do something new and fresh. I think that the inspiration for us is just to be natural and just write what we feel.

 

I also think that obviously if you just compare it to the last record, that was recorded in Berlin which was amazing. This one's recorded in LA which is also amazing. Berlin is more like Sweden, it was Winter time, it was dark, it was snowy, it was cold. Now we recorded in LA where it's light and bright and warm and summery. Obviously stuff like that affects when you write and when you record as well.

 

Levi:

It feels like 'Siren Charms' is still relatively new, I think maybe it came out a year and a half ago? That was quite a quick turnaround. What inspired you to just get back into the studio so fast?

 

Peter Iwers:

Well, we just decided that it was time really. We had to work very intensely with Siren Charms and we just decided let's go back into the studio and make another record while, we just felt the inspiration to do it. There was no position like we we're going to go in and stop this cycle and then start doing that. It was just time. I think in the past we've been having way longer touring cycles than we had on this one. For no apparent reason we just did it.

 

Levi:

Now you've also got a new drummer on the album, Joe Rickard, and I believe you've confirmed he's an official member of In Flames now, what's he like to work with?

 

Peter Iwers:

Very cool. I mean replacing Daniel [Svensson] was one of the hardest things because Daniel was one of the best drummers ever and he's been in 'In Flames' for almost 20 years. It was really hard for us , we got a lot of emails and phone calls of tips and people just saying that they're available and stuff like that. We had a lot of friends and that would have been very easy to bring in a friend, but at the same time you have a lot of baggage with somebody that you know from before. We decided just to do the album with a studio musician, studio drummer and when Joe started playing we just thought this guy's amazing.

 

He has an incredible work ethic. When we thought he was done, "that's cool, move on to the next one", he's like, "No, I want to do this again." He's like a perfectionist. That mentality worked really well and it reminded us very much of Daniel's mentality. The guys who do a perfect job all the time. We hung out with him a bunch and just realized this is an awesome dude and just asked would you like to be part of In Flames and just basically took a gamble on him. We haven't played on the tour yet, we're actually right now in Hamburg rehearsing and he's an amazing person and an amazing drummer, so it's all good.

 

Levi:

It sounds like you're still on good terms with Daniel. Did he just leave because he wanted to spend time with the family or something like that?

 

Peter Iwers:

Yeah, exactly like that actually. He wanted to be at home and do other stuff. Me and Daniel are on good terms, we actually have a brewery together, we brew beer.

 

Levi:

Oh yeah, I saw something about that, that's cool.

 

Peter Iwers:

Yeah, it's a lot of fun. I mean we worked very well together. We've been playing together for such a long time and we know each other inside and out and to do this together is it's just so easy. Just friends who work well together, do something that we share a passion with beer. We all do.

 

Levi:

With so many albums out, how do you go about picking a set-list that will please all of the fans?

 

Peter Iwers:

It's very hard. Let's say we chose two songs off of each record, we'd have 22 songs to play which is usually too long when you're out, you can never do that. We can never please everybody. We always try to do a good mix of the whole span of the career. If we headline and we have all the time that we need, we usually play around 20, 22, 23 songs. Then it's easier to actually take something from each record or from each period at least. It's really difficult.

 

Usually what happens is that somebody comes up with a set list and then we work from there. Instead of all of saying "yeah, I want to play that song and this song", but obviously we know which songs go over well live and we know which songs people would like to hear and we know which songs we like to play. We try to take all that in consideration while making a set list and that's it basically. It is difficult.

 

Levi:

Yeah, when you write an album as well, I know so many people they want you to sound exactly like Clayman every single album, is it hard to try to do different things, but please the fans at the same time?

 

Peter Iwers:

Can't really focus on what other people think. There's five people in 'In Flames' and we have to kind of stay true to what we would like to do because I think that at the moment that we start listening to what people want, that's when we've lost. We need to be relaxed and just write music that makes us feel comfortable. I want to be able to look myself in the mirror and say that I did everything that I wanted to do. Not what a record company or what our fans wants us to do. We make music that we like and hopefully that will appeal to people.

 

Levi:

Yeah, for sure. I was just having a look on your Wikipedia page, it says as well as bass guitar you've also played turntables, is it like scratching DJ sort of stuff?

 

Peter Iwers:

Yeah, somebody showed that to me the other day and I used to do that a lot. I haven't done it in a long time. I just enjoyed playing music basically and when I had more time, I would go around and clubs and DJ basically. My type of music. I really liked doing it, but these days I don't really have any time to do that, maybe in the future.

 

Levi:

What kind of music would you play as a DJ?

 

Peter Iwers:

I guess it would be depending on what type of a club or audience that would request me. If it's a metal place, I play metal, if it's a pop rock place, I'd play pop rock. There's always a few surprises, I think that's one of the things that I did that I liked the most. Went to play something now and then when that people would really raise their eyebrows stuff. In general, I try to live my life with feeling, just having a good feeling and that's the same thing when I play music and when I DJ'ed. It was just about having a good time.

 

Levi:

Well, I won't ask you too many more questions because there's been a bit of a mix up with the time. Just quickly are there any plans to come back to Australia anytime soon? 

 

Peter Iwers:

Yeah, I agree, it's been too long. Yes, there are plans. Nothing booked yet, but I know there are plans for next year. I hope that they will come through. We all love Australia and if it was up to us we would be there at least once a year. Every time I've been there, it's been amazing. I love the people. You guys are so friendly. I love the culture. I love the crowd basically, all the food, all the atmosphere of just being in Australia, it makes me really happy. I hope we come back soon.

 

Levi:

What is your relationship with Jesper Strömblad [former guitarist] like? I know he has said some negative things about the band recently. 

 

Peter Iwers:

Yeah, no, well we actually play music in another band and we're going to go public with next week or so. We have good relationships, we're good friends. When he does things like this, the problem I think is that 15 years ago when you didn't have all the social media, so you just said something out when you were feeling frustrated or angry, but these days you write on social media and somebody picks it up really fast and it becomes way bigger than what it is. He is a constant supporter of In Flames. Sometimes he says bad stuff online, but he doesn't really mean it. It's just exactly like I said, you get angry for five minutes and then you wish you wouldn't have said it, but then the whole world has read it. It's been picked up by Blabbermouth or something like that. He's a big In Flames supporter. He likes what we do and obviously he has his issues with whatever he writes a line, but at the same time we are good friends and there's no hard feelings whatsoever.

 

 

You can listen to the full interview below. Apologies for the bad sound quality, the only reason I decided to post the audio too is just to clarify that what was written in the text was accurate

 

 

Check out the music video for the first single 'The End' from the new album 'Battles'

 

 

 

 

good friends and there's no hard feelings whatsoever.

 

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