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In Flames Singer Anders Friden Talks Touring, Social Media, Timeline for New Album + More

Anders Friden of In Flames
Liz Ramanand, Loudwire

Anders Friden of In Flames was the guest on Full Metal Jackie’s radio show this past weekend. Friden spoke all about trekking all over the world and being influenced by Slayer when In Flames began touring. He also expressed his love-hate relationship with today’s music industry, specifically social media, plus he mentioned that the band will begin writing and perhaps recording new material by the end of this year. If you missed Full Metal Jackie’s show, check out her interview with Anders Friden below:

You guys tour so much, touring on a global level – what different customs have you come to love and take home with you?

I love being over here because you got so many breweries over here – that’s something I do when I’m around. I guess we talked about that before, I’m into cooking, I was about to say drinking [Laughs] but I mean good stuff. Last time I was in Japan I was out looking for really sharp, good knives, some stuff I had to bring home, to go around and try to talk to people to see their culture – it’s really interesting.

That must be great to meet people from all over the world and it’s just so different  – is there a place that you guys have been this time around that you have never been to before or have you been everywhere in the world at this point?

No, we have not but South America was great, South Africa was really good – that was a lot of fun, just to see the country and the wild life as well is interesting I think, great food again [Laughs]. Everything we do – music is one thing but when it comes to food everybody’s totally into it.

The last time we spoke to each other I’m like “What do you like to do?” and you’re like “Beer and golf.”

[Laughs] Yeah I still like that – I haven’t been able to golf that much this year but it will happen.

Anders, when you first started touring, what bands took you under their wing and do you now feel responsibility to do the same with younger bands?

I don’t remember what year it was but we did a tour with Slayer and Soulfly and that was amazing to see these bands every night, definitely Slayer it didn’t matter how they were feeling they just went out hammering every night – that was something I really thought was amazing and it was something I would like to do as well onstage to give fans the value for the ticket. It’s their night, they paid for that night so I owe a thing or two to Slayer.

Are there any younger bands that you felt like you want to show the ropes to?

No, that’s not how I look at things – I just do my thing. If bands are interested to come up and talk about whatever then I’m there but usually I’m not focused on teaching people.

Well you would have a lot to teach, you guys have been doing this for a long time.

Yeah but I’m not the one to be outspoken in that way – telling people what to do or what not to do even though I have my own record company in Scandinavia and there I have younger bands that I try help and guide in their early stages.

With In Flames, 10 albums over 23 years, musically how has music changed for you in terms of writing it, playing it and even listening to it?

I think I listen in the same way, maybe not I’m not as obsessed with bands anymore as I was. I can relate to the fans today who are so into everything that you do, if you change your hair, you change this or that it affects them in a big way – that’s something today that I don’t care about as much but I can relate to that because that’s how I was when I was younger as well.

In the early days we were all tucked into the rehearsal room: “Look at my riff, look at this riff” or “My riff is so good is has to be a minute” now we don’t write like that, we write in the studio and we look more into the actual song than our own personal egos. It’s all about the actual song and the whole industry is so different today with downloading and you have to be present online all the time, the Instagrams, the Facebooks, the Twitters – I think younger bands are way better than us with that. It’s hard to do all these things.

You guys didn’t grow up with that, it wasn’t like when you first started out but with these bands it’s part of their daily existence.

I guess we learn from them to be present online, for me it’s more about the music and that other stuff it’s like, “Do I have to do that?” It is important and it is a cool thing with this new media that you can reach out to so many people.

Anders, the longer In Flames has been together, the more time between albums – do you think about the new music a lot over two or three years or do you only start writing right before it’s time to record a new album?

We start writing before the recording – I guess that’s why the albums sound different from each other as well since we don’t write all the time.

You give it some space until you start writing.

Yeah, definitely – we do have a lot of time out here in the tour bus but we can’t focus that’s the thing. I’m happy we do it this way as well because then it is a small photograph at who we are at that point in life that’s why it’s good that there’s some space between the albums.

What’s to come for the rest of 2013 –  I’m sure endless touring is there going to be a break or are you just booked for the rest of the year?

Tomorrow I’m flying to Mexico to drink some Tequila which is going to be great, play a few shows and then festivals in Europe and start writing and record a new album at the end of the year hopefully.

This coming weekend, Full Metal Jackie will welcome  frontman Trevor Strnad of the Black Dahlia Murder to her show. Full Metal Jackie can be heard on radio stations around the country — for a full list of stations, go to fullmetaljackieradio.com.

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