Interview with Anders Fridén - Passenger
Written by Mads

I was lucky enough to get the opportunity to talk to one of my favourite vocalists at the time, Anders Fridén of In Flames and Passenger. This time around it was because of the release of the debut album of Passenger, simply called Passenger. But we also talked a little about In Flames (I couldn't help myself).

The style of Passenger is hard to describe how do you describe it yourself?
Ohh. that is a great one haha. I don't know. I don't like to label it, because you put yourself into a corner, and some people are for some reason afraid to listen to something that doesn't fit that description. To be honest I don't really know, of course we have the normal metal background all of us in the band, but we tried to incorporate dark undertones, and weeping melodies, if you know what I mean? Which are more pop'ish with some pop'ish chorus lines. I don't want to say pop because it confusions a lot of people, but it still has the felling. But we have tried working a lot with dynamics, which we think is missing today.

I think it has a NU-Metal sound to it.
I wouldn't say that because if you compare us to those bands, it's really far from where we are right now, maybe the only song that has a Nu-Metal sound is the first song "In Reverse" but otherwise. which I don't feel represents the whole album, but I wouldn't use the word Nu-Metal because it's a bad word today for some people.

I just think that the riffs has that catchy sound.
Well you see how hard it is to describe, just you and I have different views on the style. But what ever. As long as people listen to the music with their own feelings, if they like it great if they don't, fine, at least they have paid attention.

I like the album.
Thanks. yeah I hope people like it because I don't feel that we in Sweden have anything that sounds like this. We have the Melodic Death thing and the Power Metal, but I don't think we have a band like Passenger, here or anywhere.

I think it was refreshing to hear that sound because I couldn't compare you to anything.
That is a good review right there I would say.

And I think you have some of the influences of In Flames and that kind of music, but still it's nothing like that.
If I wouldn't be in the band, I wouldn't think people would compare it to In Flames, but just because I happen to be part of In Flames, people want to put us in connection to those bands. But I do feel that Passenger is something different. We have influences from the other side of music than the more extreme side of it.

I read that the band started in 96.
Well eh. Patrick had a band in 95/96. The name Passenger we didn't come up with that until 2001 or something, but they had a band together and I liked what I heard, and we just talked a little bit and nothing happened and so on. Then Niclas join In Flames as a session guitarist on the Whoracle Tour. And for some festivals, and we liked what each other had in our cd wallets so to speak. We liked the same type of music and talked about maybe having a band together and then again nothing happened, you know what, it's like when you drink and everybody is like oh let's do something together.

We stayed in contact and I got to know Patrick too. Then I got my own studio and we said ok let's see what is going to happen, and we started writing some music and recording things for ourselves basically. This was in 2000 and then we started making some demos, we made 3 demos. We said now it sounds good, so why don't we make an album and see what happens. And then we started making an album, we took our time to make the album, and when we felt it was too good to keep a secret we talked to a few labels. And that is basically the whole story. We found the name Passenger in 2001 as I said. It has been great because we took the time to let the tracks become good enough, before we unleashed it upon the world.

Was it hard to write the lyrics for the tracks on Passenger?
No it just came about with a lot of jamming and we took our time. And whenever we had the time to work in the studio. I have my own studio so we could take all the time we wanted to make some tracks and then go back and listen to them. If we didn't like them, we just wrote a new song. Or changed it a little bit, it was fairly easy I would say.

Which is your favourite track on the album?
I like "In My Head" and I like "Circles" too! But "In My Head" is one of the songs that has been there from the start.

Well I like "Circles" as well.
Yeah A Lot of people mention that song. But I like all the songs but if you ask me for a favourite I would say "In My Head" but it changes from day to day you know.

Your vocals are somewhat different on this album compare to your vocals with In Flames, did you want to change them or was that a decision that you made with the other members in Passenger?
It just felt natural. We wrote the music and the vocal type just came up. I never tired to force anything. Those vocals just fit better with Passenger than all the screaming, it fun for me and a challenge for me to do something different.

I like when you sing with the clean vocals.
Well it seems to fit Passenger.

I didn't use to listen to music like In Flames but after a few times of listening to Reroute To Remain I was hooked on your vocals, and the music as well. I have become a big fan over the past six months.
Thanks that is great to hear. I hope that a lot of people are like you.

Yeah I hope so too.

You back from touring with In Flames?
Yes this Sunday!

How did that go?
Really good, we had a great time, met at lot of new people that haven't heard of us before, like the Mudvayne fans. We did what we were there to do, just spread the name. Meet a lot of people who said like you, that they had never heard us before but what they heard was great. And then we can get them into the whole Melodic Metal scene in Europe. America needs another type of music.

Yeah they don't have the same sound as the European bands.
There are a few bands in America but you know.


Are you going to tour with Passenger?
Well hopefully we are looking for something after this summer. We will see what will happen. First we will release the album and see whatever offers we get.

Do you have any plans of coming to Denmark to play live?
Ohh we don't have any plans to go anywhere yet. I would like that, I haven't been to Denmark with In Flames for a long time, So I think it would be great to go there with Passenger. We'll see, it depends on what interest we get.

You are going to play festivals with In Flames!

Are you looking forward to that?
Oh yes I love going to festivals meeting friends and other bands have a good time on stage you know.

I was hoping to go to Wacken this year but the schedule won't let me.
Ok well we put on a good show there as well; maybe we will tape it for a DVD.

So there will be a live DVD sometime soon?
Well, we'll see. We are always taping ourselves back stage just stupid stuff you know. And yeah there will be a DVD, perhaps a double DVD with some live material and then a bonus disc with some history and some stupid stuff.

Some stupid stuff for the fans to see?
Yeah to show we are just normal guys like everybody else.

That was all for me.
Well thank you very much for the interest and the kind words.

Written by Mads - 4/17/2003

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RevelationZ Comments

Comment by DNICE (Anonymous) - Monday, April 11, 2005

Anyone heard about playing MUDVAYNE on XBOX LIVE? Check it out for yourself-

Comment by SpIkY (Anonymous) - Saturday, May 7, 2005
In Flames rules......i have all the albums!

Comment by Stephy-Baby (Anonymous) - Thursday, May 18, 2006
In Flames... best band EVER! no need to say any more =)

Comment by JuLia (Anonymous) - Tuesday, September 19, 2006
I love In Flames!!!it´s the BEST band in the world ever, I like the way Anders sings and the music is great too!

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