Australia’s The Rockpit recently conducted an interview with vocalist Tomas Lindberg of Swedish metallers AT THE GATES. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
The Rockpit: It sounds like things are on top of the world for you guys at the moment, better than ever before. Is that fair to say?
Tomas: That’s exactly right. We were pretty excited about doing this new record [2014’s “At War With Reality”]. We felt confident in the songs, but it’s still a gamble. With the reception, you can never really second-guess the fans or the critics or whatever, but everything has gone according to plan, so to say, and now the reception of the new songs live is fantastic. They have the same reception for the new songs as the old songs live, which some people look at as classics, so that’s a great thing for us. Right now, we’re pretty much at home with who we are as people within the band, and as you say, on top of the world, really!
The Rockpit: That’s something I wanted to ask you about as well, which you just mentioned, about how the fans are taking to the new songs really well, even at the live shows. Are you surprised by the reactions to the new material?
Tomas: In one way, yeah. It seems like they were waiting for new material as much as we were, in a way! They have really embraced the new stuff and waiting for it in a positive way, as in really try to understand what we were trying to do with it, where we wanted to take the new stuff, and really embracing our idea of an AT THE GATES record the same way as we have. So I couldn’t ask for more. Our fans are the best fans in the world, really.
The Rockpit: As far as the last album that you had put out, “Slaughter Of The Soul”, a lot of fans do credit that as being one of the greatest metal albums of all time. So how do you compare that album to the new material or do you stay away from comparing stuff?
Tomas: All AT THE GATES records offer something different from each other. Every time there was an AT THE GATES record, you really didn’t know what to expect or which direction we would take. So, therefore, we feel that comparisons are not done just to the last one; it should be done to the whole career of the band. I would say this record is a good blend of all the styles that we have been playing throughout our career, and it’s a good mix of our AT THE GATES sound, in one way. But rather than comparing to “Slaughter Of The Soul”, which was kind of like an insular moment in our career, all our other albums had a wider emotional spectrum. A lot of different emotions on the records but “Slaughter Of The Soul” was to a point a very aggressive record which makes it stand out more and “At War With Reality” goes back to a more wider palette of emotions. So I would say it has more to offer than “Slaughter Of The Soul”, in that way.
The Rockpit: Okay, so that being said, do you think maybe there will be another album sometime in the future?
Tomas: You never know with us. I would say we are now a contemporary band. We enjoy what we are doing, but we learn from the past as well. When “Slaughter Of The Soul” became such a success and we toured the hell out of that one and started planning the follow-up and another tour for that one, that’s how expectations and pressure made the band implode the first time. We’re not going to make that mistake again, so we are right here right now, enjoying, like I said before, the top-of-the-world kind of feeling, and feeling the vibe from all our fans. This year has been amazing, and when this tour cycle finally ends, we will feel how we are then and what we want to do then. Maybe we want to take a break for a year and start writing, or maybe we have written the new record already. We don’t know. [Laughs] Planning ahead like that could spoil this moment for us, and we don’t ever want to be making that mistake again.
Read the entire interview at The Rockpit.
“At War With Reality” was released on October 28, 2014 (one day earlier internationally) via Century Media. The CD, which sold 7,700 copies in the United States in its first week of release to debut at position No. 53 on The Billboard 200 chart, was recorded at Studio Fredman in Gothenburg and was mixed at Fascination Street Studios in Örebro, Sweden with Jens Bogren (OPETH, KATATONIA, SOILWORK, PARADISE LOST, KREATOR).