The iconic pioneers of melodic death metal, In Flames, unleashed their new album “Sounds Of A Playground Faded” on June 21 and it sent shockwaves across not only the metal world, but the music world in general. The album released on Century Media Records hit the Number 1 position in the official German Media Control Charts plus additional charts all over Europe.
LoudTrax.com had the great pleasure of speaking to guitarist, songwriter Björn Gelotte from his home in Gothenburg, Sweden while he was enjoying a BBQ with his family and lovely baby, who occasionally joined us in the conversation.
“Sounds Of A Playground Faded” is the first In Flames album without long time member Jesper Strömblad. “The band wrote all the music together before, so with Jesper out of the picture, we had to rethink a little bit what we were doing. I was never worried though as the band has been writing the music together for 15 years.” Björn feels that Life after Jesper is not a new problem, and is something that the band has dealt with for a few years already.
Jesper has been replaced with Niclas Engelin. “Jesper never considered himself a great live guitar player. He was more a great songwriter. Niclas is a really great guitar player, so in that sense, it’s a sort of an upgrade.”
Fans of this genre will not be disappointed, as Björn explains, “The songs are very melodic driven with some experimental parts and more challenging parts in general. “The album features an interesting balance offering a wide range of themes and moods.
The track “The Puzzle” was one that bounced off the walls at first listen. “…lol, that track was the song that took the longest to agree upon because of we had so many different ideas of how we wanted the chorus and vocals. It’s hard to make fast songs interesting without doing the same thing as you’ve done in the past.”
NEW LABEL FOR IN FLAMES
In Flames has been signed to some great labels such as Nuclear Blast, Candlelight, Regain Records and Koch Records. The new record is out on Century Media Records. When asked what difference the band felt with the new label, he replied “Musically, no difference at all. We’ve always been very strict with the labels that when it comes to the music, it’s only the band that decides what we want to do. It’s for our own sake – we knew we wanted to do this for a long time and did not want many different people producing and dictating the music for us. Otherwise, you don’t do the music for your self anymore, and you don’t stay true to your music. We play those songs 1000 times and we want songs that we like so we can play them with excitement each time! Century Media was very cool with that and they have been very flexible and looking into new ways to getting the music out there.”
In a statement released to the media regarding the No. 1 position of the album, Antje Lange, Label manager of Century Media says “We are more than happy about this amazing result and would like to thank everybody for their share in this huge success. A massive “thank you” goes out to you, the fans, who supported the band, believed in them and went out to buy the album instead of just downloading it from the internet for free.”
EMBRACING COMMUNICATION WITH FANS
The music industry has indeed changed since the first In Flames album was released in 1993. “Metal audiences has always been the most loyal you can have. But today you need to have more, you need to be in touch with your fans and have partners that are willing to try new ideas and Century Media is cool that way.”Björn has embraced the new era and new relationship with the band. the fact that fans are getting more accostumed to have an interaction with the bands they like. “We always like to give back to our fans, they are reason that we can play around the world”
GROWING UP METAL
“My dad is a metal head and introduced me to some cool bands and then i discovered by own bands like Iron Maiden and so on. Some of my favorite albums are Rainbow’s Rising, Human by Death and Somewhere in Time by Iron Maiden. Somewhere in Time was such an important album with the use of keyboards that not many metal bands had used before then. It was a huge influence on us and our sound, even though that’s not Bruce Dickinson’s favorite Maiden album lol”.
Shout out to Aaron Arthurs who helped set up this interview.