Today, I got to speak with the singer of a band I've been a fan of for quite some time, In Flames! Anders called to talk about the new album, Battles, the show coming up December 1st with Hellyeah, and their new drummer.

The new album, Battles, was recorded in California with big name producer Howard Benson, and Anders says the band was finally ready to work with an outside producer.

Howard Benson was such an amazing guy to work with, you know, going into this he was like, 'I don't want to change you guys, I'm just going to make you better. Do what you do.'

Anders feels that the sound of the albums is affected by the place where they record, and compares the last album, recorded in Berlin, with the new album, recorded in California.

Amazing. It was really good. We had a lot of fun. It was, I mean, 25 degrees Celsuis, and BBQ, and beer, and heavy metal 24/7. Nothing to complain about. The previous album was recorded in November in Berlin, and this was recorded in the nice summer weather. I don't think you think about it much, but it just really gets into you. I can't really compare it to when we were recording the last album. We were living in an apartment, and it took like 25 minutes to walk to the studio, and walk past bricks on the floor, and saying like, 'This person got deported here', or 'This person got shot here'. Berlin in general, is a heavy, heavy cultural city, and a lot of things have happened there, and it got into the album, for sure. And now being here in California, it's like a warmer feeling in general. And I hope people can hear that on the album.

Anders told us a little about their new drummer, Joe Rickard, and how he came into the band, as well as the departure of their longtime drummer, Daniel Svensson.

We got to talk about Daniel, because he left us. He told us that he wanted to be home with his family more. He's got a wife and three daughters, and he wanted to spend more time with them. It's a legitimate reason, but it was a big blow for us when he announced it. He's been with us for 18 years, so obviously it's tough to replace a guy like that. So, we went to California without having a drummer, we didn't want to have someone in the way when we wrote the album, something like that. Their playing style, and stuff like that. There are a lot of studio musicians in LA, so we can just use someone there, and then get some auditions going when we get home. But Joe, he was working in the studio with Howard, and Howard said, 'You should try him out.' And Joe was there helping us with some programming, and asked 'Can I give a shot, can I play some drums?' And we were like yeah, sure. And then he started hitting the drums, and like, 'wow, this guy hits really hard'. He was really persistent and dedicated, and he continued like that through the recordings.

Find out more about the recording of the new album, the live album that's come out recently, and their visit to Kalamazoo...check out the interview above!