At The Gates recently made everyone’s year by announcing that they will finally be releasing “At War With Reality” on October 28th via Century Media Records! Vocalist Tomas Lindberg promises the new material is “faithful to the legacy of AT THE GATES,” and that’s all that needs to be said. We know the talent in the band. We know what they’ve done and what they are capable of. In other words, we know that this record is going to be something special!
Yesterday I got to speak with Tomas about the upcoming record, and you can read the chat below!
Metal Mark- “At War With Reality” is coming our way in October, and while fans are extremely excited, you guys have to be the most excited of all to finally get it out there?
Tomas Lindberg– I think you nailed it man (laughs). We are ridiculously excited to get this out there to the people. We are fired up for the fans to hear it, because we think we really made something special for everyone. I could talk about this record for hours ya know, and it’s a great feeling. October can’t come soon enough for us!
MM- Being the first studio album since 1995, and having that long break, did it ever feel like you were writing your first record together again?
TL– Actually at times it did. It had the same feel as the first record, because we had that desire and explosion of creativity that we had before, but we are definitely more mature than we were back in the 90’s. This time around we were more focused on what we can do, and what we like, which is something I don’t think we’ve really perfected before. We used to be more worried about what people would think, but this time around we wanted to create something for us to enjoy, and the end result is something I believe everyone will enjoy. It’s really an exciting time for all of us.
MM- You mentioned in previous interviews that you wanted to keep the “old school feel” with this record, so how hard was it to accomplish that while recording with the latest equipment?
TL– Yes and no. Having Fredrik Nordström produce the album, and Jens Bogren mix it really helped us walk away with exactly what we wanted when it was all said and done. We’ve known those guys for years, so it was very relaxed, and I think that helped tremendously while we worked together for sure. We trust them, like we trust ourselves, so they knew the natural sound we wanted, and it’s exactly what we ended up with. I think people are going to be very pleased when they hear it in it’s entirety. If you are a fan of At The Gates, you will not be disappointed.
MM- Being the first record since 1995, and having all the anticipation from fans, did you guys feel any pressure to create the “perfect” album at any point?
TL– Not as much as you would think. I get asked that sometimes, but it’s not like we just got onto the scene. We know what we are capable of, and know how to get it done. The only pressure for us is the pressure we put on ourselves. We pushed ourselves a lot during the writing process to create the vision we had, and to know that we accomplished that is something that we are all super proud of. We came into this knowing that we all, as a group, had to be happy with the record, or else we wouldn’t release it. With our history, and the anticipation as you say, we owe that to the fans and to ourselves. So to sit back and know that it’s done, and soon fans will hear it, like I said before, it’s a very exciting time for us.
MM- Your lyrical approach to the record brings in the “Magic Realism” concept, which I thought was very interesting. Why did you feel this was the right concept for the “return” record?
TL– It was kind of going back to the old school where we had concepts on record, but this time it just seemed to fit. In my career I’ve said my opinion on politics, religion, all the topics ya know, so I went for something I thought would be the most intriguing and unexpected thing for the listener. I think it proves how essential lyrics are in creating a vibe for the record, so it was something I decided upon on my own. So the concept of “Magic Realism” is basically taking a strong look at our reality and embracing everything around us. Whether it’s weird or not, it does not matter because it’s the reality at that time. It’s ever-changing. The whole story line of the album is something I think the fans will really grasp onto, because it’s something they haven’t heard from me in a while. The lyrics are dark and mystical to me, and with the music behind it, I think it comes across really powerful. It definitely adds to whole vibe of the record, and makes it a whole new monster in my opinion.
MM- Musically we’ve heard it’s a mix between early At The Gates and ‘Slaughter of the Soul’-era At The Gates. Is that still something you stand by, because that’s ridiculously exciting.
TL– I stand behind that one hundred percent. It’s definitely more mature, because let’s face it, we are not young guys anymore, but it still has that intensity that you heard from us many years ago. Along with the grooves and melodic stuff we throw in here and there, it’s an all encompassing album in my mind. It has it’s own atmosphere really, which is something I’m proud to be a part of. But yes, if you’re looking for the early stuff that we were known for, it’s there, but there is a lot more to this album, which you will soon hear.
MM- Now I’m even more excited to hear it than ever! Since we haven’t heard any of the new music yet, do you have any songs that you are really excited for the fans to hear, or a personal favorite of yours?
TL– That’s a tough question for me. With the band reforming and the positive vibes coming from all around, I haven’t really sat back and had time to choose one. They are all incredibly special to me. The album flows very well, which is something we are all extremely happy about. You get the fast, thrashy stuff, along with the melodic, groove heavy material, so I consider this record as a true album. Something fans can listen to from front to back ya know. We set out to create that, because not many bands seem to do that anymore, but we made sure that each song went into the next well, and the record holds it’s power throughout. So to choose one would be too difficult for me right now, so I guess I’ll say them all (laughs).
MM- Fair enough. Obviously with the release of a new album, fans will be begging for tour dates. Do you have anything confirmed that you can speak of at this time? Possibly a return to the States for a tour?
TL– We have some dates confirmed in Europe right now, but with the album coming out, we are definitely looking to hit as many places as possible. It’s all being laid out right now, but trust me, we will tour the States next year, and we are bringing all the energy we have with us. We know it’s been a while for a lot of the fans there, so we want to make it something special for them. Hopefully we will all know more in the next few weeks, so stay tuned as they say (laughs).
MM- That’s good to hear! Tomas, thank you very much for taking the time to speak with me today. Do you have anything else you’d like to say to the fans out there?
TL– First off, thank you for the support throughout the years. The amount of love we’ve received in the past, and especially since we returned, is very humbling to all of us. “At War With Reality” is a record that we hope you all enjoy. I think you will. Keep spreading our name, pick up the album next month, and we’ll see you on the road soon. Much love to you all.