Kristyn Clark of Pop Culture Madness conducted an interview with guitarist Björn Gelotte of Swedish metallers IN FLAMES at the fifth annual Monster Energy Carolina Rebellion, which took place May 2-3 at Rock City Campgrounds at Charlotte Motor Speedway just outside Charlotte, North Carolina. You can now watch the chat below.
Speaking about how the advent of the Internet has changed all aspects of the music industry, Gelotte said: “We were really early when it came to the Internet and how to use it. We had a web page super early on; the address was long and it had numbers in it and dots and weird signs and stuff, and we had that on our t-shirts when we toured. And we spelled it wrong, so nobody ever found our web site. But we were early doing that; we had a home page and everything early. And then we kind of didn’t do anything with it for a couple of years, and we saw other bands using that media as a good platform to reach people. So we started doing that too, and we had… We hired a guy — a good friend of ours, actually — who’s good at that stuff, to organize that better, and so we’re in a good place right now when it comes to that social-media stuff. I think that changed, together with the way people consume music today, compared to how they lived it. [In the old days] you bought a record and you listened to it from start to finish. Nowadays you just look for the good parts.”
Gelotte also talked about the fan reaction to IN FLAMES‘ latest album, “Siren Charms”, which came out last September. He said: “I would sound unappreciative if I said [the response has been] the same [as what] the reaction has been for us the last fifteen years almost. We kind of divide our audience every record we do. It’s not an intentional thing. It’s just that we wanna make our music interesting for us. And we decided early on that we can’t cater to any one audience, because you will always be a step behind. It’s better to just enjoy what you’re doing and try to challenge yourself a bit. And, in my opinion, if you do the music you wanna hear yourself, it’s easier to stand on stage playing it. You do a record once, but I’m gonna play a couple of thousand more live show. So, for me, it’s important to like what I play.”
According to Björn, he doesn’t begrudge any of the IN FLAMES fans for not always embracing the musical shifts and turns that the band has taken over the years.
“I can appreciate [why they wouldn’t always be completely into it] and I can understand the fact,” he said. “I can be the same way — only I don’t go on the Internet and scream about it. But certain bands, they have an evolution that I might not dig that much, but that’s just the way it is. And I see it from the band point of view and the songwriter point of view, I totally understand why. I might not like the direction, [but] that’s not my choice. I just choose to listen to something else then. It’s very simple.”
“Siren Charms” sold around 9,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release to debut at position No. 26 on The Billboard 200 chart.
“Siren Charms” was released in the U.S. on September 9, 2014 via Sony/RED. The CD was recorded at Hansa Tonstudios (DAVID BOWIE, DEPECHE MODE, U2) in Berlin, Germany. The cover artwork was created by Blake Armstrong of Space Boy Comics.
IN FLAMES filmed a new concert DVD/Blu-ray on November 6, 2014 at Hovet in Stockholm and November 7, 2014 at Scandinavium in Gothenburg, Sweden.