After the well-known reunion of legendary Swedish deathsters At The Gates, Metalpaths had the honour to talk with the “heart” of the band Anders Bjorler. Anders, talks about the upcoming shows, Slaughter of the Soul, the reason of At The Gates end, and also his relationship with Tomas.
Hello Anders. At first I would like to congratulate you for your great decision about the reunion shows. How are you?
I’m fine. Looking forward to next year.
Tell me about your feelings that you are again on the road with At The Gates. What exactly did you have in your mind about these shows and how finally this idea came true?
Well, it felt like the timing was right to do this. I mean we have talked about it for years, but this time it really came together as we wanted it. Our plan for next summer is to do around 10 -15 European festivals, some Japanese dates and a small US tour. Everything else has to be fitted in the time period May to September 2008. It was all about planning and letting the other guys (THE HAUNTED / Disfear etc) know way in advance.
Which countries are you going to visit and in which festivals are you going to play?
We hope to play as many countries as possible in that time period. Everything will be set around January / February 2008. If we don’t play your country you might have to travel a bit. We might record a DVD as well so people will witness some show, anyway the home page is updated regularly with new shows.
Is there a special show of all the gigs that you have already booked? What songs are you going to play?
We haven’t booked the special show yet, but it will probably be set in our home town in early September. That will be the last ever show. We have started talking about songs, but I can’t tell you yet. It’s too early to say. It will be songs from all the albums of course…
As we know, this reunion is just for some shows. Are there any ideas for a full reunion with a new album?
There won’t be a new album. The legacy of AT THE GATES ends with SLAUGHTER OF THE SOUL. This is just the last one chance to see us live.
How does it feel to be the creator of a big album like Slaughter of the Soul? Did you believe 13 years ago that this album one day would be reaching the top and what’s the reason that you don’t think of a new album and a full reunion? The fans love you.
It feels good. It’s still a good album which I enjoy. Back then I didn’t like it at first, so, no I didn’t expect the response and impact worldwide. It’s now reached a cult icon status. We won’t do anything after Slaughter Of The Soul, because it’s kinda pointless trying to follow up a record like that. Especially 13 years after it was released. The reason why we don’t do a full reunion with extensive touring is also because we have other priorities (THE HAUNTED, also studying, work etc..) This is the only time frame for us.
Slaughter of the Soul is of course the most famous album of At The Gates. What about the other albums of the band? Which is your favourite and why?
I like Terminal Spirit Disease, because it defined the “new” style of At The Gates (after Alf left). It’s melodic, to the point and has good structure. However I don’t like the live songs. I still think it should have been released as a mini LP. I like something from all the albums. The biggest problem we have struggled with is the production in general….
Would you like to say some words about the “end” of At The Gates? Many people believe that it is maybe a good decision because you stopped at the top of your career and now everyone remembers you with the best memories.
It wasn’t a conscious decision. It just happened. I got enough of all the touring (6 months straight). Also, there was a lot of alcohol involved which ruined the situation even more.
What are your relations with Tomas? As we know they weren’t the best at the end of At The Gates. What about now?
We have had a good relationship the latest 10 years. It was just the first year we had a bad one. It wasn’t bad in the sense of having fist fights, but we didn’t speak to each other.
What’s your opinion about Swedish scene and metal furthermore nowadays? Do you believe that the music becomes more and more modern and “trendy”? What is your advice for an upcoming band? Do you believe that metal dies slowly as many think and there aren’t any more bands like Slayer or Metallica for example?
I don’t have any connection with the current scene at all. I feel like an old man sometimes, listening only to old 70’s rock. I think the trendiness and a band copying other bands isn’t anything new. It has always been there. But I think if you compare to today, there are now 10000s more bands out there. I think there are TOO many bands, I don’t think its dying, but changing for sure, we are getting older and thus more nostalgic perhaps we go back and listen to the bands we used to listen to in the past.
Any news from The Haunted?
We are currently writing the new album. We are doing 4 shows in Sweden next week and in January we tour with Dark Tranquillity in Japan. We enter the studio in April and hopefully the album is released in September.
So thank you very much for your time Anders. I’m looking forward to see you live in Wacken. The last words belong to you.
Thanks for the interview. See you all next summer let’s hope for a festival show in Greece.
Oh that would be a miracle for Greek Fans! Thank you again.
Interviewed by: Karagiannidis Panagiotis.