In Flames formed in Gothenburg Sweden in 1990 as the first melodic death metal band and have influenced many bands to date. In Flames first CD was released in 1993 under an independent label and had three songs called In Flames, Upon an Oaken Thorn and Clad in Shadows, they then went on to release 12 studio albums. The latest album is called Battles with Anders Fridén , Björn Gelotte, Peter Iwers, Niclas Engelin and Joe Rickard who are the current members even though In Flames have changed all their members since they first started they have kept an amazing sound to their music. When asked what they thought about changing band members they replied with, “We have changed a lot of band members over the years, but it’s over 24 years. I think the band is better than ever, because we have the people that want to be in the band and who enjoy doing the live shows.”
In Flames has always had their own unique sound, but there have been changes in their music over the years, we wondered if this was something intentional or something that had evolved naturally. At Hellfest the band were asked about this. They admitted that there was no intentional change to their musical approach, instead they realised that they had become older over twenty years or so of playing and as such, their music had matured along with them. Naturally this would bring about a change to their sound, fully understanding that stagnation would not be good for the bands development or growth or to produce the same sound over and over again. While not keen to develop new music while touring they admitted that it was the in ‘studio preparation’ that they made their greatest leaps forward. On completing an album they were then keen to start touring again and so it is through this cycle of inspirational writing and touring that they take their greatest steps forward. All the while making changes to their instrumental sound. “Then we tour for a couple of years and then we feel like we want to make another album and then we go in and do it. So therefore things happen in those years. I guess what is important to us, is to keep the essence of In Flames which would be melody that’s where we start. Today we can do it on vocals and keyboards rather than bass guitar and in the early days it was mainly guitar which was the driving force.”
PHOTO CREDIT: Negative Image Photography
While not normally having a full time keyboardist, they like to ask noted and experienced players to fill in when touring and recording. At Hellfest 2017 they asked Niels Nielsen to sub for them. They were incredibly impressed with his work and grateful for his excellent experience. They were heard to say - “He’s having a blast and it feels really good to have someone up there that plays on the keyboards and I’ve known him for many years. He’s a good friend and when I asked him, he said I should do that. So he is having a good summer camp he’s like -What do you mean rehearse? He just showed up at the first gig Rock and Ring”.
Prior to performing at Hellfest this year they were asked about their expectations, particularly in relation to reactions from the audience. They replied with “Last time the audience was really good, there was a constant flow, lots of people flying over the barricades and a lot of people singing along. I think in general, France is a very passionate audience so I’m expecting good things it’s after midnight so hopefully people are awake when we play”.
LINK TO IN FLAMES INTERVIEW: