News & Review

"Musical integrity is all we have" - In Flames Interview

Posted on October 21, 2014 at 7:05 PM
Björn Gelotte on the band's constant evolution, parallels with Opeth and having immense pride in their work

“Musical integrity is all we have as a band. You can try to follow trends but that will never work. We don’t want to stand on stage and play a song we don’t like, that we’re not behind 100%. I could never do that. Everybody in this band shares the same vision, we do it for us.”

In Flames guitarist Björn Gelotte is a compelling man to speak to. For a man whose native tongue is Swedish, he speaks fluently, coherently and intelligently in English as we sit backstage at The Ritz. The first thing he does after our introductions is offer me a beer from a fridge full of the stuff. Who can blame him? Riders are a wonderful thing.

“It’s always good to be back in the UK, we’ve been in pubs all day,” he smiles – a genuine one too, you can tell he really means it too and doesn’t want to avoid pissing off the native. “The crowd here is always great, but the weather leaves a lot to be asked for,” he concedes. This native can’t argue with that.

A band which willingly ingratiates themselves in the cycle of write, record, tour, repeat, tonight’s performance kicks off a three date UK tour in support of their new record, Siren Charms. Their musical integrity has sparked yet further change, further evolution. Sure, there are those who dissent the album – it’s a far cry from their original death metal vigour – but it’s hardly come as a surprise.

“We’re always a wave splitter, some people always love the new record and others hate it. That’s what we’ve done since Oracle 18 years ago. It’s a normal reaction. It comes with the territory, having integrity will have some people pissed off that you’re not doing what they want” he muses. “But we’re not the same band we were 20 years ago. When diehard fans listen to Siren Charms they will hear that it is different from our early stuff. Anders’ voice is changing and he wants to explore what we can do with it and I’m the same with the guitar. It’s necessary for the band’s evolution to make that step and we do it all the time. In Flames is just us five and if we all like it then the argument is done. When we write something we like it makes us feel ten feet tall.”

The night before, fellow Swedes Opeth had wowed a packed crowd at Academy 2. Formed in the same year, the band have taken similarly evolutionary paths, never sticking to the same formula, never allowing themselves to stagnate or simply get bored of the music they create.

“Opeth do what the fuck they want, just like us,” he chimes, talking animatedly with his hands, occasionally stroking his enormous beard. “We will never go back to our roots because that’s not what we do, we are looking forward all the time. In our mind’s it’s just the next record, the process was the same as... 

Read the rest of this interview over on our new website here -

Categories: INTERVIEWS

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