Just a few minutes before In Flames
entered the stage at Hovet on the Unholy Alliance Tour II, Metal Covenant
managed to get a hold of drummer Daniel Svensson,
who shared his thoughts with us on matters like loudmouthed fans, how
to keep the fire alive and which In Flames-album he likes the most.
Niklas: You have toured with the Come Clarity-album
for almost a year now. Are you pleased with how the new songs have been
Niklas: Now that some time has passed since
the album was released, how do you think it compares to the previous records?
Daniel: You kind of always say that the latest
album is the best. Now we have been out for quite a while and really
tried out the songs, and I haven't changed my opinion that this is
the one that feels the most complete, musically speaking. It's lots
of new stuff, but still In Flames. It feels like we have found the
perfect mix between melodies and aggression, which is our trademark.
On the Unholy Alliance Tour II you can't play as long as you do when you
perform on your own tours. When putting together a set list, do you try
to speak to as many people as possible or do you just play the songs you
like best personally?
Daniel: It's always difficult, but obviously
we can't play songs that we are entirely fed up with, there must still
be a spark somewhere. First and foremost we try to include a few tracks
from the latest album, to promote it. Then we try to mix it with as
much of the older stuff as we can cram in. I mean, just the five of
us have troubles to agree on which songs to play, so to keep each
and everyone in the audience completely happy is obviously impossible.
Niklas: You've been forced to perform without
your guitarist Jesper Strömblad on this tour. How is he doing and
when is he expected to return?
Daniel: He's doing fine and will be back after
Christmas. Everything has worked really, really well with his replacement
Niklas Engelin, who stepped in with very short notice. On our first
gig together we couldn't even hear that we had another guitarist on
board, he's done so much for us and we are eternally grateful.
Niklas: Wasn't he part of the band once?
Daniel: That's right, even before I joined
the band, actually. He never played on any album, though. He was a
full-time member of In Flames during a period between Whoracle and
Colony, so we know him since before. Nowadays he plays in a great
band called Engel.
Niklas: There have been talks about a few
In Flames-shows in Sweden next summer, which are rumoured to be something
"extra". Considering the spectacular performance you gave in
Hultsfred this summer, it's hard to imagine that you could possibly top
Daniel: There are always things you can do
better. But yeah, that show was almost a bit over the top. (laughs)
For a while there were talks about three concerts in Gothenburg next
summer, but I believe that we'll only do one. Anyway, we'll try to
think as hard as we can to come up with something truly special for
You've been praised by the media countless of times, and each album you
release sells even more copies than the previous one. How do you keep
motivating yourself and do you never get tired of all the success?
Daniel: You can never have enough of success,
but if things were starting to stagnate and we would be playing in
smaller venues than before, I would probably have trouble motivating
myself. I mean, we all have families and children and it's tough to
be away from them eight and a half months each year. There are moments
when the touring is not that funny, you know? Anyway, we release an
album, work hard promoting it with tours and that's it. We don't have
the kind of pressure on us anymore that new successful bands have,
when they suddenly have to make a second album which sells just as
much as the first one. We've done eight albums now and all of them
have done well, so we don't feel any pressure whatsoever, not even
from ourselves. It usually turns out fine in the end.
Niklas: So you haven't made up a plan how
much longer you will continue and how many more albums you will make?
Daniel: No, we keep on taking one album and
one tour at a time. We're getting old and we all have families and
kids. If my wife would put her foot down and say that she can't take
this anymore, I would understand and definitely consider quitting
the band. At the moment I don't see an end to it though, so we'll
probably be around for many more years to come.
Niklas: When playing together for so many
years like you guys have, are you still good friends with each other or
is it more like work-mates who must work together whether they like it
Daniel: We're still friends, but we don't see
each other when we are at home and not working. When I'm at home with
my family I prefer to shut everything else out. But we get along surprisingly
well after all these years, I know some bands that don't talk to each
other off the stage. But we're still friends, and by now we know which
buttons to push. Of course there is the occasional arguing, but that's
Niklas: You have many loud fans that prefer
the old In Flames-albums
Niklas: Yeah, and these fans would most likely want you to only
play old songs on your concerts. Do you listen anything to these fans
or do you only listen to yourself and do what you believe works best?
Daniel: We obviously do what we believe in
ourselves, but we have actually given many songs from The Jester Race
a chance. And almost every time there is no reaction from the audience,
they just stand there looking confused. Tonight we play one song from
The Jester Race, Graveland, but the truth is that the new songs work
better with the people that come to our shows. I mean, why should
we listen to two guys on some Internet forum, when the majority clearly
likes the new material better? Since the really old songs were never
written to be performed live, the effect is not the same. They are
simply not much of live-songs.
Niklas: With that in mind I still have to
ask, on behalf of my cousin, if you ever will consider playing Stand Ablaze
Daniel: That's not impossible at all, since
we have done it before. Then again, that's a really obscure track
and therefore nothing we bring out on a tour like this when we have
only 50 minutes to play. But I would not rule out the possibility
that we will play that song on a future headlining-tour.
Niklas: Finally, I would like you to name
your personal favourite out of every album in the In Flames-catalogue,
and you cannot select the latest one.