After two well-acclaimed albums of furious raging black-metal and the never-ending line-up problems that followed, immortal swedish warriors In Battle are now back with a vengeance. But their brand new album is of a very different flavour. Forget black-metal and kneel before the new gods of technical brutal-death. The only member left from the original line-up guitarist John Frölén answered these few questions in september 2004.
>Many years have spent since "The Rage Of The Northmen"
album. What happened with In Battle during all this time ?
After "The Rage..." Wiklund left the band as he lost interest in the band and then I was the only one left so the band was put on ice for some time. In 2000-2001 I started to write material for the new album and I spoke to Odhinn about putting the band back together. And in the beginning he played drums and then we ask Hans of Diabolical to join the band. After some time we decided to try and find a new drummer so that Odhinn could handle the vocals instead. We saw Nils on tv, on a show where he was playing drums and we called him up and he joined the band. We recorded a promo in 2003 in Necromorbus studio and signed a deal with Cold/Metal blade. The promo was later to be released as a mcd "Soul Metamorphosis" on Imperial Dawn records. And now we have a new album "Welcome to the Battlefield" out.
>Now you\'re back with a very different style than on your 2 first
releases. What are the reasons for such a musical evolution ? Were you fed up
with black-metal & all the circus around ?
No, the change in style is only something that came natural, as you use the words musical evolution and that´s what it is. We have evolved as songwriters and as musicians. We always want to improve as songwriters and as musicians and this style is what we want to play, there’s no statement against black-metal. I think that we still have a lot of black-metal in our music.
>For the first time, you crossed the Atlantic to work with Erik
Rutan in his Mana studios. How was the experience ? Did you ever meet the man
before this occasion ? Why did you choose him to produce "Welcome To The
>Who did compose the new songs ? Is it a common work process ?
I wrote most of the music but Hans and Odhinn also contributed with some songs, we don’t write so much together. I usually have a finished song that I record a preproduction of in our studio and then the rest of the band get it on cd so that they can listen to it.
>When listening to "Welcome To The Battlefield" it\'s clear
you\'re influenced by the brutal US death-metal scene. But i hear some 80\'s influences
on it, like for instance Atheist. What do you think about 80\'s metal ?
I think that the album is a mix of death, black and thrash-metal. I actually listen mostly to 80´s metal like Testament and Slayer and thrash-metal is my favourite genre. But I have never heard this band Atheist...
>In a similar style than yours (maybe more technical), Necrophagist
just also released its brand new album "Epitaph". Did you hear it
? What do you think about it ?
No I haven’t heard it, actually I have never heard that band.
>You chose to keep the old In Battle logo which can look non-adapted
with your new musical direction. Is it because your mind still remains the same
? What do these weapons mean for you ?
The only difference now compared to the fist two albums is that we are much better musicians and I am more mature in my song-writing. We like the logo so we wanted to keep it. I am still the same person and I still have the same ideas, even if I have grown older and wiser. The w
>What do your new lyrics talk about ? Have you noted a kind of evolution
lyrically speaking during all these years ?
Of course I have evolved as a writer but the main concept is still the same, I think that all my lyrics have the same misanthropic doomsday theme. On the new album there is a mix between viking/heathen lyrics and more modern topics. For instance the song "King God" is a translation/interpretation from Eddan, the old viking book. And "Mass Produced Hybrid Humans" is based upon the way I perceive the world, how most people seem like they have been cloned and don’t have a mind of their own, and how they are trying to get the rest of the world to be just like them and if you don’t fit into their scheme of things they try to get rid of you one way or another.
>After "The Rage Of The Northmen", you didn\'t tour at
all. Was it a personal choice from the band or a problem with Napalm records
There was some talk about a tour after "the Rage..." but I guess it just was empty words from Napalm. As you may know we didn’t have a full line-up on "the Rage..." so we tried out some people for the band as Napalm said that they wanted us to go on tour, but there was no tour and that’s when Wiklund got fed up with every thing and left the band.
>Now will you tour to promote your brand new album ? What kind of
bands would you like to tour with ?
We are hoping to go on tour soon but nothing is decided at this time. As to bands that we would like to tour with I think that it would be cool to tour with Hate Eternal, Morbid Angel, Cannibal Corpse or Vader.
>Do you still share your time between several bands like in the
Yes, but everything has evolved around In battle now so the other bands have to wait until we get the time. Odhinn and Hans is working on the new Odhinn album now and we have some plans to record a album with Norrsken next year.
>Thanx for your answers, last words are yours.
I want to thank you for the interview. I hope to see you all on tour and I hope you like the new album.