The new At The Gates album ‘To Drink From The Night Itself’ is coming out on May 18th via Century Media. We had the pleasure of chatting with vocals Tomas Lindberg about the new album, beer, and touring plans.
‘To Drink From The Night Itself’ is a concept album with the inspiration coming from the book “The Aesthetics of Resistance” by Peter Weiss. We were intrigued by this and asked Tomas what drew him to this epic novel. He mentioned that he had read this book fifteen years ago and he wanted to work with it, saying “Especially the emotional impact it had on me and try to portray that musically and lyrically in a death metal setting”. However, he went on “It always felt too big; too big of a challenge”. After writing ‘At War With Reality’ which was also a conceptual album and then starting to work on new music he said “I felt there was nowhere to hide anymore, I should attack this bastard”.
Given that Tomas and Jonas (Bjoler) were the primary writers for the new album, we were curious if Jonas had also read the book. Tomas mentioned that he had not read the book, but he did provide a detailed synopsis. Tomas explained that “he always sees a song a picture or a painting and I really wanted to get across what I was feeling. His (Jonas) songs were all the time responding a lot to what I was writing as well, so we feed off each other.”
We wanted to know if Tomas hoped that fans would seek out the source material for the art that inspires him. He mentioned that would be great, but perhaps asking a lot. He then explained how the intent of the album was to be “more like a beacon against apathy and populism which is very much in your country and over here. Very closely connected. Like the widespread apathy where people don’t seek out their cultural history, art, or even try to figure out the world around them. To know their place in it. People are just content to be where they are and be in this pink little YouTube bubble. And that’s the space where this right-wing can grow freely and that’s pretty worrying. We are trying to put up a beacon against that.”
‘To Drink from the Night Itself’ is the first At The Gates album without Anders (Bjoler). We asked Tomas is the band felt his loss when they went into the studio. Tomas mentioned that Anders has been one of his closest friends since the age of sixteen. They missed him as a friend. He went on to mention that Anders had asked for time to recover from their last tour in 2016. The band gave him space and in the meantime they all felt a need to start creating again while they waited for Anders. Tomas continued “So in a weird way, it was actually almost like a relief when Anders said he was not coming back because at least we had a decision. Maybe it wasn’t the decision we wanted, but it was a decision we could work with. And then we could start writing…so that was the creative spark.”
At The Gates will be playing the Decibel Metal & Beer Fest at the Fillmore in Philadelphia on March 31st, 2018. The idea combining a festival around craft beer and metal music sounded great to our writer Chuck. He asked which beer styles At The Gates prefer. Tomas indicated it varied amongst the band members. He like Belgian ales given his connection with his fiancé who lives there. Some guys are into the stouts, some into lagers. He did say that “in general, we all prefer quality over quantity. We have great discussions about it. I think three of us are on Untapped”. For you beer drinking fans, be sure to share your reviews with At The Gates.
Finally, we asked about touring plans. Tomas said the band is currently working on plans where they hope to make two runs through the states. Adding “America has always been super nice to us and it will be good to be back there.” There is no word on who At The Gates will tour with, but they hope to announce the upcoming tour very soon.