Interview: In Flames bassist Peter Iwers – “Keep buying records or music will die”
In support of their tenth studio album, ‘’, were back in the UK to support Trivium on the tour after previously touring Europe with the roles reversed.
‘Sounds Of A Playground Fading’ was the band’s first album to not feature, who departed the band in 2010. Recorded as a four piece before long term stand in member Niclas Engelin joined full time, In Flames had to adapt to a life without Jesper and showcase that they can move on without him.
Before the band took to the stage in Glasgow, I had the opportunity to sit down with In Flames bassistto talk about touring, working as a four piece, Niclas addition to the band, criticism, his new restaurant and teaching the value of music to the younger generation.
Song: Deliver Us
EspyRock: Must have been a little different yesterday and instead of playing you actually could go to a show as a fan (In Flames attended the Machine Head gig at the SECC).
Peter Iwers: Yeah it was a nice break from being the band on stage. I’m a huge fan of DevilDriver and they are all very good friends of ours so it was nice to see friends again, especially when we live on different sides of the world. It still felt weird being at the [side of the] stage and for once not walking on to perform [laughs]. This has been a very good tour for us, I’m really enjoying it. We headlined mainland Europe first and now Trivium get their chance to be headliners over here in the UK.
Is the tour in the US next year a co-headline tour?
I’m not sure what the billing is yet and if we are headlining or they are or it is a co-headline like you said. It would be good to do the co-headline as it would complete these series of tours nicely. We get along with the guys from Trivium so well, we’re all friends and we always have a great time when we are out on tour together.
You’ve been touring with them in some form for around five years now is it? If not on a tour like this then you have featured at festivals and such together?
I think that’s right. Good thing we get on now I think about it, after all these years we’ve seen them [laughs].
Had you heard of the Trivium before you started to tour with them back in the day or were they just put on a tour?
I knew of them but I didn’t know of their music until we performed alongside them. People should take more notice of them because they are a young band and they really do what they do well.
How do you find touring these days because I know tonight they have shut off the top level of the venue due to poor ticket sales? Previously In Flames have always done very well in Glasgow and so have Trivium, this has been their venue for a good number of years, so are you seeing anything different these days when on the road?
I think the problem is basically that since people stopped buying records, bands are now touring more and more so there are more tours going on at the same time now and it is hard for people to decide how they will spend their money. We need to work to live and it’s a shame that we all have to clash but because of how we tour now, you know that it is likely you will see that band back in seven/eight months.
I went holiday to the US with my wife a year ago and we went to New York, I was so looking forward to going to Tower Records and HMV but they weren’t around anymore, they had shut them all down. How is that ever going to help people buy CDs and continue to support music legally if they have no stores? I’m a big fan of the physical product and here in the UK it is ok, you still have stores like HMV and some independent stores which keep everything going. It is important that we teach the younger generation that the physical product is a great thing to have and that these stores exist. You get a lot more for your money with the artwork, booklets, lyrics and bonus discs. When I grew up it was LPs that I bought and for me, it was a magical experience to go home and study the cover from front to back, see all of the details as you sang along to the songs. These days people don’t do that and it sucks because it means that in the future, ticket prices for gigs are going to be really high and people will then go to less shows. Bands will be touring even more than what we are now and it will just collapse. We’re all just shooting ourselves in the foot because eventually music will stop, there will no money to be made from it therefore there will be no reason for any of us to do it. People can say they do it because they love it but how can you love and dedicate your time to something that doesn’t pay your bills and doesn’t allow you to eat. So yeah, that is my extra long extended answer to that question you asked [laughs]. Keep buying records or music will die.
How have the other nights been on this tour so far in terms of ticket sales?
I think we’ve sold out pretty much every show or at least close to it anyway, though this may be the start of a downward spiral if we have sold poorly here tonight.
The album has been out for a couple of months and now and congratulations on going gold in Sweden.