Swedish death metal band In Flames released their eleventh record Siren Charms yesterday. Known for their signature guitar harmonies and melodic collection of work, In Flames helped pioneer the Gothenburg sound almost twenty years ago. With plenty of time put into the industry, we were lucky enough to speak with In Flames’ drummer Daniel Svensson to discuss their rich history, recording at the Hansa studios in Germany, Sweden’s music scene, and how less is more.
AMBY: Congratulations on the upcoming release of your eleventh album Siren Charms. This time around, you recorded the album at the Hansa studios in Germany where artists like David Bowie, U2, and Iggy Pop have previously recorded. Did you draw any inspiration from the studio’s history while creating this album?
In Flames: We had a lot of inspiration while recording. It was kind of intense. I think we worked really hard on the album. We’re really proud of this.
AMBY: The new release still sounds like an In Flames record; you have the heavy choruses, soaring guitar harmonies, and very melodic verses. Compared to past releases, did you try anything new as far as experimenting with new instruments or anything out of your comfort zone goes?
In Flames: We didn’t experiment with other instruments, but we’re always trying to experiment when it comes to songwriting. Personally, I experiment with some of my drum playing and I think that was pretty helpful in parts. We didn’t dive into any crazy stuff, you know? We always try to make it different and sound a little different. We never want to write the same album over again.
AMBY: In another interview, Björn said: “I think Through Oblivion is really cool. It’s something we didn’t try before. It’s a very simple song.” Did you record Siren Charms with simplicity as one of your main focuses?
In Flames: A little. The songs will always be difficult, but sometimes less is more. Isn’t it? We learn to make intricate songs and don’t want to destroy them by adding too much.
AMBY: When it came to creating Siren Charms, what was one of the highlights for you?
In Flames: My recording schedule was really intense; we only had six weeks to make a new album. I was recording the drums and had two weeks. Basically, the producer and I were in the studio for fourteen hours a day.
In Flames: We worked really, really tough. I think the highlight for me was after recording, I came home for a week, and when I came back I listened to the record that I had made so far. It was really special.
AMBY: Nearly twenty years ago, this band specifically helped pioneer the Gothenburg sound. What’s the music scene like in Sweden now?
In Flames: The music scene in Sweden… it’s very diverse. There are lots of bands of all kinds of genres. There are a lot of young bands who are really good. There are a lot of bands using rehearsal spaces… the government now has a big influence and we’re basically lucky because you don’t have to be rich to start a band.
AMBY: When it comes to these young artists, which Swedish acts would you recommend our readers give a listen to?
In Flames: There’s this one guy called José González. Not a very Swedish name, though [laughs]. He’s a songwriter who is really, really good.
AMBY: We’ll have to look him up! When you aren’t making music with In Flames, what are some things you do for fun?
In Flames: I have three kids and a family, so that takes a lot of time. Because I’m on the road a lot I don’t want to be away from the people at home… Sometimes I brew some beer and I play golf a lot.
AMBY: You’ve done a lot of touring, have been together since 1990, released eleven studio albums, and have sold over 2 million records worldwide. What’s the best part of being part of In Flames?
In Flames: The best part is being with the guys in the band, touring around the world, and loving what we do.
Thank you In Flames, for giving us your answers!
Interview by Alicia Atout | @AliciaAtout