At the Gates’ Tomas Lindberg Talks ‘At War With Reality,’ Influence of ‘Slaughter of the Soul’ + More
At the Gates' Tomas Lindberg was the guest on Full Metal Jackie's weekend radio show. The vocalist spoke about the band's welcome return on 'At War With Reality' and their upcoming plans for 2016, while also reflecting on the influential 'Slaughter of the Soul' disc. Check out the chat below.
Banger TV did a documentary of Slaughter of the Soul. Tomas, what stands out most to you about that album and the way it inspired other musicians?
Well that's a tricky one if you're in the projects so to say. I’m still proud of the record. We tried to make a cohesive record. It was meant to be our classic record. We kind of succeeded with that one. It’s straightforward, it’s to the point, it’s very short. As opposed to the new record is very streamlined, that's what I wanted to achieve with it and I am very proud of it. It is amazing that people still wanna talk about it.
Tomas, what's the most surreal thing about your music establishing some of the defining characteristics of the Gothenburg style?
It’s hard to say, just like your previous question. We are really very Swedish in the way we approach ourselves and our music. I guess the right word is more humble, down to earth. We never really thought about it [laughs]. It doesn't make sense to Americans because your culture is more about embracing success. In Sweden we are more ashamed of success almost. We never really thought about it that way. Of course, It’s flattering that people still look to us for influence with what we are doing with our new record and everything. We can still be a classic band but still be here today. It’s very inspiring and flattering but as I said we try not to overthink it too much but I am very proud of what we have done.
You guys had this tour here in the U.S. and you're out there still supporting At War With Reality. What's been the most memorable thing about taking that album on tour?
It’s been an amazing year since the album came out, it's a little more than a year now. So much stuff happened to us, our European tour was a great success. We did fly outs to Japan, Australia, China, fantastic shows. We did all the big European festivals last year and we are coming back for them this year and the second leg of the U.S. tour the first one, the Decibel tour was amazing. A Swedish Grammy, a lot of stuff I never thought would happen, it’s really hard to pick certain things. For our American tour it's nice how people come out for the diversity of the bill. That’s something we try to do as well.
After reforming the band, for a long time you said there wouldn't be a new album. Then, you eventually released the new one a few years ago. Now looking back, what positive effect will the experience of making that album have on your decision to make another album?
I would say we really embrace today. We really want to live in the present as I said before. It is such exciting times for us. Everything that we thought couldn’t happen did happen and we are grateful to be here and now. It was like putting our necks out even talking about releasing a record before At War With Reality. A lot of pressure was put on us. I think that puts us in a position now where we can do whatever we want to. We are a contemporary band, we are up to date. We have a position not based on the classic band so to say, and so writing a possible follow up to At War With Reality only feels like a great time if that happens.
The latest record At War with Reality is out there. Tomas, how do lessons learned from the way the band broke up after Slaughter of the Soul help keep things running smooth now?
I think everything is based around our previous experiences with the band and also after the band broke up. We will never make the same mistakes that we made back then. We were so young and immature. We responded very poorly [laughs] to pressure and said yes to stuff we shouldn't have said yes to. Nowadays, we are of course in a fortunate position. Not many bands can do what we do like to say no to stuff they don't want to do. But we really are there. We only play the shows we want to play. We only play for people we want to play for and go where we want to go. We answer to no pressure from record labels or booking agents whatsoever. Therefore we can work as a super democracy, where everybody in the band has a final say in everything. It's a fortunate position and it's amazing and yeah, everything we did wrong back in the day we try to do right now.
Tomas, what can we expect for the rest of 2016?
We have a lot of European festivals booked in and there's also some flyout shows in Europe. We actually are going to South Africa for the first time ever as a band, which will be exciting. It's not really a new year for us, it's the same At War With Reality year for us, we just keep on going until we are not satisfied, because I don’t think we could ever be satisfied, but when we feel when it's time to do something else -- take a break, record a new record, whatever it is. It is very fun and exciting right now and we'll keep on going.
Thanks to At the Gates' Tomas Lindberg for the interview. 'At War With Reality' is currently available via Amazon and iTunes and you can catch the band on tour at these locations. Find out where you can hear Full Metal Jackie’s weekend show at this location.
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