At the Gates’ Tomas Lindberg Discusses ‘At War With Reality’ Album, Band’s Return + More
At the Gates frontman Tomas Lindberg was the guest on Full Metal Jackie's weekend show. The vocalist spoke about what led the long dormant band back into the recording studio, what he missed most about playing with the group and teased a little bit about what's in store for 2015. Check out the chat below.
We're here to talk about the brand new At The Gates album, 'At War With Reality.' Tomas, after the last several years, the two times At The Gates re-formed to play live, you insisted there would be no new music. What changed your mind?
I would say the music changed my mind. [laughs] When you realize that statements are just statements really and if the world changes and we change we would be untrue to ourselves and to the fans to hold onto the statement just for the sake of it. The music was too good.
Once you knew At The Gates would record again, what led to 'At War With Reality' being conceptual?
I guess the start of the writing process was a little bit scary when we tried out the direction, but as soon as things started to come together, I had to go -- this would be an At The Gates record, so to say, and would prove to be just as musically. It was so hard to mash everything into one concept. I just thought we will take the listener by surprise, but what would really challenge them as a comeback record? No one else has done a concept record as a comeback record and I thought this might be really intriguing for the fans and showing them that this is the real album. It's not just the best of the 'Best Of' collection, it's actually a real album.
In terms of the new album musically, what's changed most about this band over the 19 years since the last album 'Slaughter of the Soul'?
Well, I would hate to use the word maturity because people tend to think that it means slowing down. For us, it doesn't mean that at all. For us that maturity comes from looking back at our whole career and looking forward and just seeing what is At the Gates? What is the whole idea of the band. The last track 'Slaughter of the Soul' was a full on 30 minute just one feeling one emotion which was aggression. Looking back at our earlier record there was more melancholy, more darkness, and more despair and so we wanted to mix it all up and have a little bit of every emotion in this record. It's still very full on and in your face, but it portrays a wider range of emotions I would say.
What did you miss most about recording with At the Gates?
We didn't really understand how we felt until we were actually in the studio, but we were prepared we went through a long liking and rehearsal process for this record, so we were really prepared. Go into the same studio again, we had what you would call a creative vibe almost like a 'high' -- it was very intense and inspiring and a very positive atmosphere for the whole recording. I would say that creative flow was something that I missed a lot we felt in the environment. We feed on each other in that environment.
Thomas, after so many years, what made it easy to come together in the studio again?
I would say all of the years leading up to this. All of the touring during the reunion years. If you look at it we've been together as long as the reunion years as we were back in the original days. So we actually play more shows live now and we know how we click, we know what parts of what songs makes Anders tick as a drummer, we know which parts how to write a really good thrash riff that both guitars can feed off that energy. We know how to how we work as a unit much more that we did in the early days. Actually we've set the security which also leads to a sense that we can actually try out more stuff because there is grounded security in the band therefore we can improvise more.
It sounds like there is going to be some touring in the U.S. for 2015. Are you looking forward to getting back here and touring for the U.S. audience?
Definitely. The U.S. tour we did back in 2008 was a very rewarding experience. We got so close to a lot of fans and we never really toured the U.S. as a headline act before, so now we tour the U.S. again and we come back with a new album. It's the first time we played live in the U.S. with a new album since 1996. So it's a very interesting scene, actually. As you said, we're coming back in early 2015 but the actual announcement I can't really ... I don't have the date in my head but it'll be before the summer at least in 2015.
Thank you so much!
Thanks to At the Gates' Tomas Lindberg for the interview. 'At War With Reality' is available via Amazon and iTunes. The band has European shows booked into March 2015. Check out their full itinerary here. Full Metal Jackie’s weekend show can be heard on radio stations around the country — for a full list of stations, go to fullmetaljackieradio.com.