Download 2017 saw In Flames gracing the main stage on Sunday. We spoke to Anders Fridén about the importance of Download Festival, the perils of touring and their latest album Battles.

We’re talking to you at Download today but what does the festival mean to In Flames?

Download is a legendary place for us, home of metal. We’ve been coming here through the years I remember being younger and watching bands here at Donington. It’s a cool place definitely, I’m really happy it’s not raining and muddy here as it’s been like that every year we’ve been here pretty much. It’s kind of cool, playing the main stage today and there’s a lot of people out there it’s going to be pretty fun.

As you’ve just mentioned you’re playing the mainstage later how do you prepare for a show in front of so many people? Do you still get nervous?

I don’t get nervous these days. I take a whisky and I go onstage. You’ve got to treat the show the same whether it’s five, five hundred or five or fifty thousand people there. It’s people there who care for you and you’ve got to give them whatever you have. It’s just a little bit more running as it’s a bigger stage.

Are there any festivals like Download out in Sweden? What’s the metal scene like out there?

It’s great we played Sweden Rock last night so it’s a cool festival and big diversity like you have the older bands like Aerosmith and the smaller bands like Merciless. It’s really cool. The scene is growing a lot of younger bands breaking through. Metal is doing well I think.

You released your new album Battles last year but as you release more records do you feel there’s more pressure on you with each release?

Nope, not really. We treat every album the same I would say but with a few years in between. We never want to write the same album again and again. I don’t feel any pressure at all when we feel the album is recorded we recorded. When it’s recorded we feel that’s the time to release it and we’re eager to get out and play the songs.

Have you found the reception from fans towards the album to be expected or way it different?

When we’ve been touring for the album since November they seem to like it. I don’t know what everyone thinks. Like usual there are people who love you and people who hate you and that’s just the part of the business. I feel good about it and it seems like the fans dig it.

With a new record comes a lot of touring, do you find it hard to be away from home for such long periods of time?

Yes and no. We miss our kids like crazy so today we can FaceTime and do phone calls but we started touring and this tells you how old I am. But I remember touring in The States and we had to go to a gas station to buy these cards which you scratch and you get like ten minutes or whatever and you buy them and take them to the phone booth to phone home. That’s change. I think as we love what we do that’s what it is. Our families they have a great understanding. They support us and the kids they don’t know anything else their fathers are just doing what they do. That’s normal to them. When I’m home I’m home for real I don’t have to go 9-5 work, I can take them to school and pick them up.

As we’re at Download what would be your festival anthem?

Any band? I would love to here Kashmir by Led Zeppelin, that would be cool. It would be awesome. I’d love to see Layne come back from the dead and play with Alice in Chains again, that would be awesome.

What’s next for In Flames?

More festivals. More festivals and more festivals. Festivals forever then a short break and then we’re off touring and coming back to the UK with Five Finger Death Punch.4

Interview By: Nicola Craig

Nicola Craig
Head of Live with an unwavering love for the seaside, live music and writing about others instead of myself. Twitter: @nicolalalalar