The new album "I, The mask"
Anders Friden: It was recorded between February and May in LA last year. Me and Bjorn went over and we worked with Howard Benson and his team once again and you know, we didn't have much with us, on us when we came to LA. We said we're gonna start from scratch and see where it takes us.
And we never have huge plans, honestly when it comes to our music...it's coz we don't write on the roads, we never really have and therefore I think all the Albums sound a little bit different from each other, even though it still sounds like In Flames. The only thing we talked about for this one, coz I felt like that of our previous album was a little laid back when it came to the production and I wanna have more emphasis on the guitars so we said 'OK. Let's focus more, get the guitars a little bit more in the fore front, in the production, in the mix' And therefore we talked to Chris Lord to mix the album coz he's really good when it comes to that type of production.
Lyrically, I also wrote everything in the States as well, and I was thinking that we as people wear different masks for different situations and use god as a survival mechanism. You know, to deal with the outside world when maybe we feel really sad, and we feel darkness or guilt or something. And instead of dealing with it head on we buried it deep within, and we will never leave this. You need to deal with the sadness within and our history, to see the future ahead and see you might have missed opportunities in life and that goes for half the people in general countries. We need to deal with the past as well and go forward. Staying behind all the time. And so that's what we deal with and then I write lyrics around these things.
Try to make them, I mean they are very personal if course, but I write them in such a way that I hope people can interpret their own meaning and whatever it means to them coz it's personal to you, it will stay with you rather than I explain everything in detail and you go just like, okay. Then you will forget about them. If it means something to you then you will remember these things.
On improving as a vocalist
Anders Friden: Yeah, it started on the previous album when we started working with Howard Benson and he told me I usually send the guys I'm working with, the vocalist for my band, send them to a vocal coach. So they are more ready when coming to record.
I never had any real lessons in the past. I was like, oh no, I know this. D'you know? I have my home schooled technique and that works for me so, yeah know, fuck it! But I saw myself bleed behind the piano, like if someone was just playing piano and I'm doing scales up and down, up and down. I was like no, that's nothing for me man.
Then he convinced me so I went and I actually had a really good time. And it was so much more than just doing these scales and it's just like, understanding your instrument and understand that whatever goes around you all day long, when it's time to perform that will affect it somehow. We learn, I learned how to think and breathe, and how to approach different parts of songs and what I should do after show and before show.
When it came to this album, I told my management I wanna do more vocal lessons with the same guy and so thankfully it's free, so I went to him three days a week for three months. It made me more secure about what I do and, I'm not trying to become a different... I still wanna have my style, I still wanna have my, what is unique to my voice. I don't wanna become someone else but I want to grow as a vocalist and expand my vocal chords.
On touring with former Megadeth guitarist Chris Broderick on lead guitar
Anders Friden: We've known him for 17 years. He was in a band called Jag Panzer and they opened up for us back then so we've been friends then, and when Nicolas called us 48 hours before we have to leave and he went to hospital. We had to... we really didn't want to cancel. The album is made for two guitars so we didn't wanna have one guitar playing and everything else on backing track. We wanted to have someone playing it.
We happily found out that Chris was free and he quick came out and we had a couple of days rehearsals in Austin before the tour started in Houston., and yeah it's goin great!
Listen to the full interview
IN FLAMES - I Am Above (OFFICIAL VIDEO)