20 years later since their humble formation in 1990, the spearhead of the Gothenburg sound remains. Despite numerous lineup changes over the years, IN FLAMES is still and will always be at the top of their game, consistently expanding the boundaries of melodic death metal. Sounds Of A Playground Fading,  the latest in their release arsenal is a direct reflection of exactly that. Rightfully adorned with plenty of accolades from fans and publications worldwide, this supergroup is has returned to U.S soil for Another Year, Another Tour which also features All Shall Perish, Demon Hunter and Battlecross. Upon their stop at The Majestic Theatre in Ventura, CA, guitarist Niclas Engelin shares inspirations and motivation as a true road warrior along with a few pointers on Swedish beer drinking. 

SM: The name of this tour, “Another Year, Another Tour” heralds the mental imagery of your bands eternal disposition as lords of metal whom epitomize the life and meaning of the term “road warrior,” after touring so heavily for well over 10 years, Is there anywhere in the world you haven’t shredded yet? Is India still on the list?

NE: We tour so much but there is still a lot of places we want to go, we are still looking to play India, we have some contacts so it would really be a cool thing to do!

SM: As vets you know popularity of metal changes like the seasons, give us some insight on how IN FLAMES has managed to stand the test of time- who do you look up to the old school metal scene that have survived successfully through the genre’s ups and downs?

NE: That’s a really interesting question! I grew up listening to Judas Priest, Dio and the classic heavy metal bands like that. I still play them today just because I really enjoy listening to them, and I would say it’s those guys I really look up to, they have played all over the world for years-they are the real road warriors haha! Even through their ups and downs they always stay true to the sound and thats what we try to do to maintain longevity too.

SM: You guys are very active on your fb page so who is the biggest social media junkie and can you give Substream some details about your current facebook bidding for Don Johnson of In Flames. According to your facebook the bid is now $1000!

NE: Yes Don Johnson is with us on this tour, and you will see him every night on stage! We are donating the money from the bids to the cancer society. On our previous tour with Lamb Of God we had a big bear named Antonio who we carried around on stage but Don is a little bit easier to take from show to show. We are very happy to see our fans and friends donating online! It’s also just another one of the things we do to have some fun on the tour outside of the show routine. Don adds just a little bit of extra spice to the night! I think it’s very important to have something like that to connect with our fans too, we are always on Facebook and twitter taking pictures of Don and the crowds every night and when we post them online right away people really like them! We feel the love so much and the fans get so excited when they can say to their friend “oh that’s me in the picture, I was there!” It really makes touring fun and worth all of the time and hard work.

SM: That is truly awesome, now let’s talk beers! The Swedish beer drinking scene seems quite different than here in the states so can you give us a quick run-down?

NE: Yes, it’s a little different but we have the popular brands like how the U.S has Budweiser but what I really like are microbrews.They have a few microbreweries in Sweden but lately the trend has been moving a little bit out as well. We have been very happy to find they even have some good Swedish beers here in the states! On this tour we’ve been to some pretty cool microbreweries, recently we went to Avery and Colorado Mountain Brewery which was a lot of fun, we actually had a meet and greet there and got to meet some great fans.

SM: Your personal favorite?

NE: Hmm, when it comes to favorites from home, Gotlandsdricke is mine, it always works! If you get the chance to stop into Peter’s (bassist) restaurant 2112 you must visit the pub, they are really focused on variety and he has a ton of great Swedish beers in there!

SM: So looking forward, 2013 has brought you back to U.S soil on tour, but what is coming next? Can the rumors of a release before 2014 be confirmed?

NE: We don’t write while on the road so once this tour ends, around August we will start writing the new record so yes, the rumors are true! Expect a new record at the end the year!

SM: Thank you so much for your time, this has truly been an honor, please share any last words with Substream!

NE: Thank you so much and keep on doing what you love!

Written By Ebony Jeanette

Photos by Vince Edwards (Metal Blade Records