At The Gates interview with Tomas Lindberg
The masters and some say inventors of Scandinavian melodic death metal At The Gates are heading down under for a set of five shows around the country. The shows promise to be an absolute feast for fans of melodic death metal. With a new record and already having played about 100 show this years At The Gates seem to be on a roll. I had a chat with an upbeat Tomes Lindberg.
Marc: ‘At War With Reality’ is out now for about a year. It is your highest charting album so far and received outstanding reviews from fans and critics alike. How does the new material work for you on stage?
Tomas: It actually works brilliantly. The reception so far has been awesome from reviewers, magazines and fans. You never know how it’s going to be but so far it has been fantastic. It seems that the new songs work just as well as the old ones, the so-called classics, back to back in a live situation. This is probably the most humbling thing for us to see that this actually works.
Marc: Do you have a favourite song from the new album?
Tomas: It differs from day to day. That really depends on the reaction from the audience and how they respond to certain songs like the more energetic songs or the more epic songs. I’d say the more epic songs, the weirder songs on that record are closer to home. They are a challenge and to get away with something that is a challenge is even more rewarding (laughs).
‘You have to be contemporary as listeners if you wanna be contemporary as musicians.’
Marc: It’s been almost 20 years between albums. I personally hope it’s not going to be another 20 years. What are your plans for recording a new album? Do you actually have a plan?
Tomas: We don’t have any plans for it right now. I try to enjoy the moment as much as possible, with the new album and the touring. We plan to not make the same mistake we did in to 90s where we gave in to a lot of pressure from record labels and certain people around the industry. That pressure led to the implosion and the demise of the band. We’re not gonna let this happen again. This time the pressure will have to come from ourselves. We live in the moment right now. When we feel the time has come for a new record we will approach it then.
Marc: That sounds promising. So you do not discount recording another album?
Tomas: (Laughs) We’re not gonna make any promises. This is the kind of pressure we try to avoid. There are certainly no plans not to make a record. (Laughs)
‘When we feel the time has come for a new record we will approach it then.’
Marc: You have been touring a lot already this year. Now you are going to play at Knotfest. That must be exciting.
Tomas: We played a few shows with Slipknot in Europe. I guess they liked what they saw and invited us to their festival. It’s very nice. I haven’t been at Knotfest before. People that have been there told us that it is a very intense atmosphere. It’s going to be a fun week before we travel to Australia.
Marc: What can your Australian fans expect from the upcoming shows?
Tomas: We’ve been touring with the new album for almost a year, played about a hundred shows. I feel that we are closer together than ever before. We’re a much tighter unit. We really worked on the intensity of the live show. We give 100 percent all the time. I feel we are better than ever in a live situation. The Australian fans can expect what they got in 2012 [when the band played in Australia last time] times 10. It’s going to be great to interact with the crowd once again. We had a great time last time down under.
Marc: What are your time plans for the rest of the year?
Tomas: After coming back from Australia we have 5 or 6 shows left which are some European festivals in Germany and England and a few support shows for Slayer in Scandinavia. At the beginning of next we are going to play in North America again, then we’re gonna travel to South Africa for the first time. We don’t have any specific plans for after that but it looks like there are going to be some European festival again. So it seems there is still some interest in the band and that is very, very nice.
Marc: Where do you see the band in the future? Are you just going to keep on going?
Tomas: That is certainly what we do. We try to avoid that approach we had back in the day that everybody has to be in all of the pictures made of the band and so on. That’s what keeps the band alive. That’s what keeps us healthy. That’s our whole attitude towards everything right now. I can see the band going for quite some time. Saying that I know that some of us might see that differently in a year or so. That’s why we don’t plan that long ahead. We take it a little bit at a time and that keeps the atmosphere in the band happier.
Marc: Where do you get your inspiration from personally in 2015?
Tomas: It’s quite a good balance between the old classic influences we always had – the classic heavy metal and so on. A big part of our sound is very nostalgic in the more melancholic songs. But there is also a connection with more modern music as well. That keeps us on our toes and interested in music. I’d say it is kind of a mix between those two influences. We want to be relevant. To be relevant today you can’t live on past glory. You have to be contemporary as listeners if you wanna be contemporary as musicians.
At The Gates Australian Tour Dates
28/10/2015 – Perth – Amplifier Bar
29/10/2015 – Adelaide – The Unibar
30/10/2015 – Melbourne – The Corner Hotel
31/10/2015 – Melbourne – The Corner
01/11/2015 – Brisbane – The Brightside
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