The genre of Metal will never die because it evolves all the time”
Wikimetal (Nando Machado): Hello, Niclas, this is Nando, from Wikimetal, how are you today?
Niclas Engelin: Hi. I’m good, thank you.
W (NM): That’s great. So first of all, tell me, how does it feel to be part of a band that is a big influence to other important bands, great bands, like Trivium, Killswitch Engage and other very successful American bands?
NE: It feels really, really good to be a part of something that’s important and inspiring to others, of course. It’s flattering. But at the same time, it’s not something that I thing about all the time. You know, you just do your thing, and you do your stuff, and if people appreciate it that much, I’m more than proud. Those bands are great: Trivium and Killswitch Engage, and I’m real flattered and humbled that they are inspired by us.
W (NM): Today we see many different bands and styles of Metal coming from America, and being very successful commercially. Is there a real movement or camaraderie between these bands and how important is this as a movement for the Metal scene?
NE: I think it’s important that the scene is healthy, so you see a lot of different genres within the scene… In Metal in general. And I think it’s healthy to see that it’s a movement, and inspiring to other bands to pick up the guitar and become a band. That means the genre of Metal will never die, because it evolves all the time, and it’s like a spinning wave, which makes it interesting, because it’s pushing the boundaries.
W (NM): Great. The first time you played with In Flames, it was in the middle of the 90s, if I’m not mistaken… In the end of the 90s.
W (NM): How do you think this band managed to start in such a difficult period for Metal in general?
NE: You mean, in the middle of the 90s?
W (NM): Yeah, the 90s were a period where it was hard to make Metal, right?
NE: Yeah, because of the whole Grunge scene and all that. But the cool thing was that we came among the bands that were really groovy and strong… Underground. It was bands that were formed in the early 90s, and became a movement, and just built a really strong underground fan base. And from that you can really see that the band would become bigger and bigger.
W (NM): That’s great. And what do you think the secret is to break in the US market for a Metal band from Europe, for example?
NE: Touring, touring and touring. Some great airtime wouldn’t hurt, but in general it’s just touring, and creating a great fan base that you can rely on. I think touring is the key.
Nowadays, we are more than just melodic Death Metal, it’s Metal and other ingredients mixed up.”
W (NM): Great. We have a classic question on our show, one that we ask every single person we interview. It’s not a very fair one, but we’ll be listening to music soon. Imagine you’re listening to your music devise, or your phone, or your record player, or a radio station, or something, and a song comes up that you just lose your mind completely, and you start head banging wherever you are. Which song would that be, a classic one, that we can listen to on our show now?
NE: That would be “Don’t break the Oath”, by Mercyful Faith.
W (NM): So talking about In Flames again, Niclas, do you think it would be possible to label the sound of In Flames? What do you think of the term melodic Death Metal? Can this labeling limit the creativity of an artist, for example?
NE: Yeah, I think so, I think so. Because what is melodic Death Metal? Nowadays, we are more than just melodic Death Metal, it’s Metal and other ingredients mixed up. In general, it’s just Metal, and playing what you really like to play… Isn’t it?
W (NM): Do you often go to Björn and Peter’s restaurant in Sweden, 2112?
NE: Yeah, very, vey good hamburgers and really nice diverse beers. I highly recommend it. 2112… Go there now!
W (NM): OK. If you had to choose between Anders Beer, and Björn and Peter’s restaurant, what would you choose?
NE: Oh… That’s a dead end! I don’t know. Can’t I choose both?
W (NM): You’ll get in trouble for that!
NE: I guess so.
W (NM): So let’s listen to one of your bands, In Flames, can you choose a song from In Flames that you feel really proud of?
NE: “Pinball Map” is a really good song. I love that song.
W (NM): Here is a question from another fan of In Flames, called Guilherme Barros: it is clear that the sound of the band changed in the last album, what changed of terms of song writing?
NE: I don’t thing it’s changed that much. I think it’s more guitar driven than ever on this album. You got the slow, creepy songs, you got the cold, hard songs, you got everything on this album. And it’s really diverse, it’s a very dynamic album, which makes it really interesting to listen to back and forth, again and again. So I think it’s just a wonderful album.
We are very active on digital media because of our love for our fans, we want to know how they feel and what they are up to.”
W (NM): In Flames is very active on Facebook, You Tube and all this digital media. What is the importance of this kind of promotion for non-commercial artists, like Metal bands for example who doesn´t have the support of mainstream radio or TV?
NE: Those are wonderful and great tools, because then you get close to the fans, and you can chat with them and see where the fans are. You can talk to them directly, instead of guessing out what the fans want to hear, so I think it’s perfect. We are very active on those channels because of them, because of our love for our fans, we want to know how they feel and what they are up to.
W (NM): You play in a band that plays everywhere in the world, basically, like in Japan, Australia, United States, everywhere in Europe, South America as well. Do you think there’s any difficulty for a band coming from Sweden to do this worldwide career? Or Sweden having very important market in Metal makes it easier?
NE: I think it’s a little bit of both, because there are tons of bands in Sweden who don’t get to do these things. But I think we have a little more luck, like back in the 90s, when the Stockholm scene blew up… You have to sound good, there is a standard… I don’t know.
W (NM): So, we’re almost finishing our interview, Niclas. I’d like you to leave a final message to all the Brazilian fans, and can we really expect a new album for this year? Are you recording the album now?
NE: No, we are onstage touring again for another four weeks. We are going to Russia, and after that we are doing some festivals, so we’ll be recording sometime in September, I guess.
W (NM): Excellent. So just know that you can count on Wikimetal any time to help promote your new album later this year, or next year. I wish you all the best, thank you so much for your time.
NE: Thank you for this interview. Thank you, Wikimetal.
W (NM): That’s great, Niclas, I hope we see each other here in Brazil very soon! As soon as possible!
NE: Yeah, that would be really, really good. Take care!
W (NM): Take care, Niclas, thank you very much. Bye, bye!
Listen to the full episode here: