It was the year 2000 and people had finally realised that the world was not going to end simply because the calendar had clicked over. During the half-way mark of that year a Swedish band dropped an album that would become a perennial favourite for a lot of heavy metal bands. That band was In Flames and that album was Clayman. Now as the band prepare to release a special 20th Anniversary edition of the album and celebrate 30 years together as a band we get a chance to sit down with guitarist Bjorn Gelotte to discuss it.
“I’m not very romantic about the past,” says Gelotte as we discuss what it has been like to sit down and reflect on the milestones that are coming up. “I’m very much about living in the now and looking forward to the next tour and even looking to the next album. Of course there has been a bit of a pause to reflect on some things but it was only when we started to work on this re-issue or really a celebration of Clayman that we started to really think about the questions that people were asking that we hadn’t really thought about for twenty years and then we really got into that mind-set.”
“Normally most of the time we are writing, or touring or we are recording,” he says continuing. “So for us it has felt like one big journey but it has been interesting to actually stop for a bit and look back… we’ve literally had a chance to remember.”
As we take those thoughts apart, we discuss what the journey has been like for In Flames as they toiled hard in their home country of Sweden before making it onto the world’s heavy metal scene. “It has been the most fun that I have ever had,” he says after thinking for a moment. “I have met some of the coolest people I have ever met while doing something that I really love. At that age (Gelotte was 19 when he joined In Flames) I would never have thought that it was going to last. It was always something that I wanted to do and it will be something that I think I will continue to do until the end of my days.”
“But I am not naive,” he says continuing. “You never know if you are going to succeed or if you are going to make so many records. We have always worked really hard but we have also had a little bit of luck when it was needed and obviously we made a lot of right decisions. It was also something that I wanted to do so it was never something that I doubted that I would do… it is hard to explain it.”
Clayman (20th Anniversary Edition) will be released by Nuclear Blast Records on August 28th.