In Flames 13th album. “I, The Mask” (Read Our Review Here), will be released on the 1st of March. Metal Wani’s Katia Filipovic caught up with the legendary guitar player, Bjorn Gelotte, who spoke about the making of this brand new opus which is dedicated to the fans.
“They are the main, the only reason we can continue doing this. It is not something that we take with ease. We understand that this is a relationship that goes both ways. The moments when we are on stage are the strongest for me. And that is when there are people in my face. We know that we are very fortunate to have a solid fan base of people who are as curious as us, who love melodies and are willing to support and come out to see us play and hang out.”
It goes without saying that social media has had a huge impact on the way fans interact with the band.
“If you really like a band, in this day and age, it is so much better in a way that it was 10 years ago. You sort of getting to know the bands you like, you see them interacting on social media and you can basically just reach out and talk to people if you want to and if they are willing to answer. I do the same thing if I see a colleague that I look up to. But it comes with a drawback as suddenly everybody is a critic. But that being said, it is really hard for new bands to stand out because everyone has got a super nice internet platform.”
Ironically, the album is a reflection on how technology and social media, those tools that have allowed In Flames fans to feel so close to the band, have created difficulties for people to interact in the real world. “Instagram is a perfect example of how it can be for good and bad. Because you try to portray only the good sides of your life. But that is like putting on a mask. You can decide what side you show to the world. It’s very censored, in a way. “
This is the second time that In Flames has worked with producer Howard Benson who has become a huge element and influence in their musical direction.
“We recorded Siren Charms, the album before Battles, in Berlin and it was very cold, very grey and that trickled into the album. It was a dark album. We thought, ok, an environment has got something to do with it. That is why we tried something different. We interviewed a few producers and that is how we came across Howard, who’s based in LA. He made us work together in a more open way, me and Anders especially. So for this album, we knew exactly what we wanted to do. We just went there and wrote. We seamlessly went from the demo stage into the actual recording, with the same team, same setup. For us, it was like coming home in a way and it was amazing. The whole process was so efficient. It gave us a lot of energy left over to write. That is a very new and positive thing for us. I think that this experience has changed the way I look at the recording process. It’s probably the first time that I feel like I want to record an album again.
This is the first time that Bjorn writes in tandem with Anders. And yes, guess who persuaded them to work together like that?
“That was Howard. He knows what he’s doing. We thought maybe we should listen to him. That included working more openly with each other. I could work with Anders for the vocal lines and he could work with me on the guitar parts.”