Thank you for taking the time to talk to us! I just spent a full day of listening to your latest album: "Afterglow". I had very high expectations, being familiar with your body of work, and I have to say I was not disappointed in the least. What did you set out to do with this record, and do you feel you’ve achieved it?
First off thanks for the kind words and thanks for having us interviewed. Well, chunks of the material for this album was written several years ago close to the release of "The Weight Of Oceans", and I think our image of this album back then was pretty different from what it ended up being. Things changed along the course, both in the band and in our lives outside of the band, and I think many of those things affected and colored the material too. I think what we achieved in the end is beautiful; I’m proud and I’m very happy with how the record came together.
I unfortunately did not have access to the lyrics while listening to this album. What are the songs about? I presume there’s a recurring theme throughout the songs?
Yes, it's a recurring theme through the songs and it’s a direct continuation to the previous album. This one, too, is a bit of a mythological story and it follows the story from The Weight Of Oceans. Where that was more of a water themed album this new one is more fire oriented. Me and Pierre started collaborating with the lyrics on the previous record and we realized that we both really enjoy that way of writing and those kind of themes, however, there are a lot weaved into the story that deals with real life things as well. The story on The Weight Of Oceans ended with the sun falling from the sky and crashing down into the ocean. This one takes off from there and follows the sun as it fades and sinks to the core of the Earth to be reignited by a new fire and rise again. That’s the basics.
Who does what creatively in the band, when it comes to writing new material?
When it comes to writing new material pretty much all the main writing is made by Tobias. We then usually rehearse the material quite a bit and arrange things further in the rehearsal room. Pierre has always been writing lyrics, and from the previous album, me and Pierre have handled the lyrics together.
One of the very strong things in this album, as with all of your albums in my opinion, is the consistent feel of the songs and the picture it paints in your head. How does your creative process look? How do you achieve such a consistent feel throughout the whole album?
I think the order of the songs is important for the overall feeling. When we have songs to a complete album we sit down and we discuss which song should go where to get the right feeling and the right flow. Some songs are obvious, some songs are trickier. Plus, we’ve been around as a band for a while now so I think we have a feeling of what’s right to us and what makes a good album to us. The lyrics, titles, and artwork are all going hand in hand as well and follows the same theme. I guess that might help too.
Another thing I always love is the right balance between clean vocals and the grunting. When these songs develop, do you set out to create melodic parts for instance, or do you go where the flow takes you?
I think it’s more of going where the flow takes us, but I guess we do think about it to some extent. Our main thing is going heavy but we do also want to include calm and lush stuff whenever it feels right. I'd say melody and atmosphere is pretty much constant though; we're trying to keep the melody and the same vibe even while we're being heavy and harsh.
What was your mindset when you were writing Afterglow?
While writing, you’d have to ask Tobias as he did most of the writing, but I guess the overall vision has gone from something a lot more modern when we started to land in something a bit more vintage and organic sounding.
When you are writing a new album, do you use everything you write, or do you write more than eventually lands on the album? If you have material left after completing an album, what happens to it?
Yes, we’ve always used pretty much everything we’ve had for the albums. In writing mode there are ideas to songs that get trashed or that doesn't make it to complete songs of course, but as far as more complete songs go we’ve always used all of them.
As I mentioned, I did not have access to the lyrics, yet I had a very strong feeling that the cover was chosen perfectly to match the sound. You can almost see the lighthouse in the middle of the storm in the background of every song you listen to—I think. What is the significance of the cover to you?
We’re super happy with how the artwork turned out, kudos to Kristian Wåhlin again. He did the art for The Weight Of Oceans and as the story continued we wanted the art to do so as well. The lighthouse plays a part in the story and I think the entire painting catches both the vibe of the music and the story, plus it’s just such a beautiful painting in itself.
There’s a great feel to the record. It sounds perfected, yet not overproduced. How much time did you spend writing and producing it, and how does your recording process look?
The recording process this time was different from our earlier records. We’ve been working with Jonas Martinsson who is a studio engineer and a good friend of ours—that's new for this album. We recorded drums in a studio that we rented for a couple of days, then we pretty much set up camp in our rehearsal facility and recorded the rest there. So we’ve been handling more things ourselves and worked around our ordinary works and family schedules. I’m happy that we kind of found a balance between sounding beefy without editing everything to death. Things sounds a little bit rougher and not as polished; more alive and genuine sounding.
An In Mourning album, to me, is always this perfectly matched set of songs that fits together, in the same tone and feel. I’ve yet to see you guys perform live, but how well do your songs from all your different albums fit together live? Do they translate well to a live set, and do they work as well on their own as on an album?
I think it all translates pretty well, but in the end there’s always a few songs that tend to feel more representative to a live show situation than the others. It’s usually pretty much the same thing as matching songs for the albums though, we all sit down and discuss what songs to use and which one goes where to get a good vibe.
How much of the new album are you planning on playing live? Which songs are we most likely to hear you play in a live set?
We’ve actually just begun to put together a live set and think about which new songs to include there. I think we’ll be doing at least three, maybe four new ones. All depending on how long sets we’ll be playing and such things of course.
Where it comes to your live sets, what makes an In Mourning show worth visiting?
I think we’re pretty good at delivering our songs live and we always try selecting the songs that translates best to a live situation, picking some goodies from each album. I think we offer kind of a good blend of things, we’ve got some complex stuff, we’ve got some lush stuff, we’ve got some harsh and heavy stuff, plus I think we’ve got some good vibes going on stage at the same time.
I really want to see you guys perform this album live. Where will we be able to see you live this year? Do you have tours planned?
I don’t know. We’re trying our best to look at bookings now when we’re done with the recording and the release date is set. We’ve got a festival show in Sweden, and I just got confirmation that we’ll be doing a festival in Poland this summer, but that’s about it right now. We all have full-time jobs and families that we care for which makes us a bit limited in what we're able to go for, but we’re always trying to keep open for bookings and offers to whatever extent we can handle.
Do you have any last words for our readers?
Well, our new album Afterglow will be out May 20 through Agonia Records and we are very proud of it, so feel very free to check it out when it comes!
Thank you for your time, I'm looking forward to hearing this new record live when I see you on the road!
Metal On Loud!