Rocksins.com is thrilled to bring our readers our second huge exclusive interview of 2012, this time with Daniel Svensson, long time drummer of Swedish metal legends In Flames. Daniel was kind enough to give us some of his time a few hours before In Flames took to the stage at Brixton Academy for the London stage of Metal Hammer’s Third UK Defenders Of The Faith tour at the start of December 2011 (if you would like to read a review of Defenders Of The Faith III from Brixton please click the link). Daniel talked about many things including their current tour, touring with Trivium and some big plans for In Flames in 2012 among many other topics, please read on for the full story:
Jamie: It’s now the middle of the (Defenders Of The Faith III) UK tour, how have the first few shows been?
Daniel: We have three more shows in the UK after this, so we’re pretty much halfway. There are so many tours out there right now, there’s a big amount of competition, this tour has been doing really good, it’s more or less sold out so that is good.
Jamie: Excellent, has it been the same in mainland Europe? (In Flames & Trivium toured Europe for several weeks prior to the Defenders of The Faith III Tour coming to the UK).
Daniel: Yeah, the venues have been bigger in mainland Europe but yeah.
Jamie: I know this is the first time In Flames have done a full tour in the UK for a few years now, is the UK somewhere you looking forward to coming back to?
Daniel: It is. It’s an important market and it’s close to home. We want to explore all the markets which I guess is a problem, its tough to focus on the whole world which is why sometimes it can take longer in between some of the tours. But we want to try to be here more often, we love England and we love the fans here.
Jamie: The last time you toured the UK you were here with Gojira and I saw the show you did at the London Astoria, you played there a few times and obviously the Astoria isn’t there anymore, is it somewhere you have good memories of?
Daniel: Yeah, I think it’s the first London show we ever played and somewhere we played every tour for a couple of years. Back then we only played London and then went back to mainland Europe during our European tours. We’ve played quite a few cool venues in London, we played the Hammermsith (Apollo) and recorded a DVD there, playing Brixton so its cool. All of these venues have some pretty cool history.
Jamie: Do you think the Hammersmith show back in 2004 when you filmed the DVD the highlight of your trips to the UK?
Daniel: Yeah, I think we could say that even though it was a few years ago now.
Jamie: You guys played Sonisphere this year and you were the first band on after they did the two minute silence for Paul Grey (from Slipknot). Was that a difficult challenge going on right after something like that?
Daniel: Yeah usually you want to get people pumped up for your show and yourself as well and it was kinda awkward but I understand why. It was not the optimum warm up thing to happen.
Jamie: It seemed like you did really well considering.
Daniel: It’s always tough playing the festivals in daylight. You’re supposed to see In Flames in the dark with a cool light show and everything so it’s always tough. But it’s nice to have these challenging shows sometimes as well.
Jamie: Once Defenders Of The Faith is finished I know you’re headed to Australia early next year for The Soundwave Festival, Is that something you are looking forward to and have you spent much time in Australia before?
Daniel: We’ve only been there two or three times before so it’s going to be fun. So many bands we know are going to be there, Swedish bands and American bands who we’ve toured with before, it’s going to be like a big school trip *laughs* it’s going to be fun.
Jamie: It must be nice that you have the option on your days off to hit the beach and things like that as well.
Daniel: I think we will do some off shows (on festival off days) with some of the other bands from the festival but the schedule is kind of relaxed and it’s Summer so that is good.
Jamie: Once Soundwave is finished you’re doing a run of club shows at home in Sweden and around Scandanavia, those shows will be the smallest shows you’ve done in those markets for a long time, what was the thinking behind doing some smaller shows this time?
Daniel: Sweden is our home town and when we do these tours we only get to play Stockholm and Gothenburg which are the two biggest cities and that forces people to travel down. Sweden is a big country and we have a lot of fans all over the place so we want to give them a treat and also when you play those smaller venues again it’s more intimate.
Jamie: Obviously you said a few minutes ago the best way to see In Flames is in the dark with full production, you’ll be able to take that with you when you headline Wacken next year, that will be one of the biggest shows in the band’s career so far won’t it?
Daniel: We headlined Wacken on the last big tour as well, I don’t remember which year it was. But yeah, that’s going to be something special of course.
Jamie: You’ll take the pyro and whatever else you can?
Daniel: We will do a really big, spectacular show that’s for sure. We always want to do something different. On the mainland leg of this tour we had huge production as well that we had to skip on this leg of the tour. We are a live band and we always want to give our fans something special because the visual thing is big for us as well. People pay a lot for the tickets so you want to give them something special and we always try.
Jamie: Well I’ve seen you guys live a lot of times and you seem to always succeed, I think In Flames fans appreciate the efforts that you put in.
Daniel: Thank you.
Jamie: Sounds Of A Playground Fading has been out for awhile now and the fans seem to really enjoy it, the press seem to have really enjoyed it, are you guys pleased with the reaction to the album?
Daniel: Yeah, I think that from the beginning we have never followed any trends when it comes to songwriting or production and I think it pays off. We didn’t become like a huge band overnight, we’ve been working steadily and we survived a generation shift among the fanbase. I guess we will have some of the kids now from our old fans. I know it is cliche but I think if you stay true to yourself it pays off.
Jamie: I don’t think there are too many bands like that nowadays, bands like yourselves or Slayer or Napalm Death where they’ve stayed true to their sound but occasionally tried new elements within that but you’re still In Flames.
Daniel: We are really grateful that we have such loyal fans, sometimes we do something more experimental, you know basically we write music that we enjoy. If other people like it then its a bonus, and our fans do like it and we are so grateful for that.
Jamie: Have you decided how long you will tour this album before maybe thinking about the next one?
Daniel: We’ll tour as long as there is interest in us playing live. There’s no point in us going and recording a new album and killing this one because it’s still new to the people who haven’t heard it yet you know?
Daniel: And we like touring, we’re a touring band so this is just the beginning of the touring cycle for the album. We’ve only done six months so I think we could be touring for at least one half year more before we even think about recording a new one.
Jamie: I know you’ve toured with Trivium once or twice in the past, has it been good to tour with them again and is there a good relationship between the bands?
Daniel: Yeah, I’m not sure how many tours we did with them, we’ve been all over the place, one European tour, two or three American tours. They’re really good guys, and I hope we are as well *laughs* and music wise it’s a good mix, they’re a bit more metalcore maybe and we’re a little more old school. People appreciate the mix, I hope.
Jamie: I think there’s a large overlapping fanbase, especially here in the UK when it was announced the two bands were touring together people were very excited.
Daniel: I hope so, especially today when the competition is so hard there are so many tours around. So it’s important that you have a good package and I think this tour package is really strong, all five bands.
Jamie: I interviewed Corey from Trivium earlier on and we were talking about how for example Machine Head were in London last night and they’ve got Devildriver out with them and they’ve got a really strong package as well. It’s such a shame that the two tours have been so close together because a lot of the fans will have had to choose between the two tours.
Daniel: Exactly, and it’s not only these two tours it’s even more. In Germany where we were last week it’s even worse, there were so many tours. But that’s why you need strong packages. And I hope people have been choosing this one over Machine Head’s *laughs*
Jamie: One last question that I’ve been asking everyone, as it’s nearly Christmas is there anything in particular that you would like for Christmas, for yourself or for the band?
Daniel: I would like my family to stay healthy during the holidays because it’s only a short break we have together so that’s my Christmas wish.
Jamie: Fantastic, thank you very much.
In Flames will be appearing at the Soundwave Festival in Australia during February 2012. In Flames’ most recent album Sounds Of A Playground Fading is available now through Century Media Records at all the usual online suppliers and HMV. If In Flames make any further tour announcements including any UK festival appearances for 2012 Rocksins will aim to bring them to you. For more rock & metal interviews including our weekly series of top interviews all throughout January 2012 please keep checking back with Rocksins on a regular basis.