Anders Fridén, the frontman of Swedish metallers IN FLAMES, has given a thoughtful, philosophical interview to Songfacts and talked about the band’s habits when writing new songs, explained how ‘a perfect pitch can be awfully boring’, and revealed who he would spy on, if he could be a fly on the wall…
March 6, 2015
A profound interview with In Flames vocalist Anders Fridén was published yesterday, on March 5, on Songfacts website. It was conducted by the writer Greg Prato and saw the singer talk about the new album, Siren Charms, the band’s growth and changes over the years, as well as Fridén’s personal inspirations, and his disbelief in the importance of music videos.
In Flames last album to date, Siren Charms, was out in September 2014, with the total discography consisting of 11 studio albums up to this moment. Formed in 1990, the band moved from in-your-face melodic metal to a lighter alternative metal sound on the latest record. The frontman explains it by In Flames songwriting habits: “We are very bad at writing on the road, so every album is pretty much written shortly before we go into the studio. And therefore, they do differ from each other. They are, as we see it, like photographs of who we are at that point in our lives.”
The vocalist assures, that it had never been about being the heaviest or the loudest. Coming up with a catchy melody has always remained of the utmost importance when creating new music. “We aren’t doing rocket science. We aren’t trying to write the most difficult song ever. We want to get to the point pretty quick. And what we’ve done through all these years, we want to create really good melodies. In the beginning we could do it on guitar mainly, and now we can do them on vocals, keyboards, and guitar. So that changed the spectrum of our sound and the possibilities that we have. But the mentality of the band, it’s pretty much the same”.
Fridén says he is clearly aware of his vocal range and limitations, but when it comes to In Flames music, it is more about grabbing the listener and causing certain emotional response. “I don’t aim to be the best singer in the world – I know I’m not”, Anders admits. “And when we record, we’re not after perfect pitch all the time. It’s more about getting the right emotion… Because I think sometimes perfect pitch can be awfully boring.”
Since the last album release, In Flames have made two music videos, ‘Rusted Nail’ and ‘Through Oblivion’. However, Anders Fridén generally doesn’t believe in the necessity of videos and their big influence on the band’s popularity. “Our band talked to a record company through the years, like, “Is it really necessary to make a video?” Dump a lot of money into something like that. Also, I don’t think it’s that fun to make a video. I’m a musician, not an actor”, the singer underlines.
In the interview Anders Fridén talks a lot of about his music inspitations and unveils who he would like to secretly check out while they are creating new songs. “Trent Reznor is a big inspiration for me”, the frontman admits. “I would love to sit in the studio with him, pick his brain, or just be a fly on the wall, seeing how Nine Inch Nails’ productions go down, or any of his productions, really. I think Martin Gore from Depeche Mode is an amazing songwriter. Layne [Staley] from Alice in Chains, he was a big inspiration for me in the beginning. I thought his lyrics were very dark, but yet very beautiful and sad, I mean, if you can put those two words together. He described this black, black hole with enormous passion”.
As for the future of the band and its sound of the albums to come, Fridén prefers to let things flow and not to over-think: “In my opinion we are on a journey, we are going somewhere, and I’ve no idea where it’s leading, but it’s been a great ride so far”, he concludes. “We always embrace new elements and incorporate new ideas. We don’t want to do the same thing again and again and again. But I don’t know where we’ll end up.”
Check out the full interview here and share it with the rest of the world!