Australia’s Kill Your Stereo recently conducted an interview with vocalist Tomas Lindberg of Swedish melodic death metal pioneers AT THE GATES. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
Kill Your Stereo: Do you have an opinion why Sweden has been so good for metal bands?
Tomas: I guess the scene always evolves around a few different personalities or bands. If there’s a driving force, people get inspired by it and that’s it really. There doesn’t actually have to be any special qualities to the country, but, I mean, we’re a pretty close-functioning country. Maybe we’re a bit spoiled with the welfare system here, so we don’t really have to worry about much. In our spare time we can actually play music.
Kill Your Stereo: In terms of metal music today, do you have any thoughts on the genre or the scene at the moment? Anything that’s perhaps good or bad about it?
Tomas: There’s still a lot of interesting stuff coming out. I wouldn’t necessarily say it’s all metal, but for extreme music, it’s like hardcore, grindcore, whatever the style is, it’s very prospering in that way. If people are cross-breeding the different genres a bit and exploring new stuff, I think it is really interesting — new stuff coming out all the time. And I’m really trying to keep up with it. People say it was better before. I don’t know? Both. There are more bands now at least, maybe some of them aren’t as good, but there’s a lot more stuff to choose from.
Kill Your Stereo: I know it’s a question you’ve been asked to death and you’re probably sick of answering, but I know you said you AT THE GATES are not going to write another record together, but you might be open to writing together under a different name. Is that something you’ve given much thought to lately?
Tomas: Well, basically, I’ve learned never to say never. We said we’d never do any more shows whatsoever and now we’re doing shows [again]. 2008 was the last tour we were going to do and now we are doing more [shows]. I learned not to say never you know.
Kill Your Stereo: Have you noticed much difference between the shows now and the past couple of years as opposed to back when you were a permanent band over a decade ago?
Tomas: Of course. For us especially, as I said, the reception was overwhelming. We didn’t have a clue that it [reunion shows] was going to be that big. It’s what I would say, for us, it was pretty frustrating back in the day. We were playing really small shows and we were working really hard. And nowadays people actually come out to see us [laughs] and they know the songs. It’s very good. And, I think it’s probably easier in that way to be a young band today as there is a supportive crowd not matter what style of music you play. Of course, there’s more bands to compete with if you want to have a career out of it, but if you just want to go round making music, it’s a lot easier doing it now, I think.