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In Flames' Drummer Daniel Svensson on Golfing with Alice Cooper

It's no secret that the Swedish brand of death-metal and its innumerable sub-dialects have had a massive impact on the heavy music world. But, occasionally, In Flames is left out of the conversation. The band grew from the same scene that sold a million Boss Hm-2 pedals via the exploits of bands like At the Gates and other more aggressive bands. In Flames took a more melodic path to metal glory. 

Though the band's sound has morphed several times over the years, its early discography is still considered by many to be a benchmark of the melodic death-metal style. We spoke with golf enthusiast and drummer, Daniel Svensson, as he relaxed at home in Gothenburg about the band's sonic evolution, what exactly is in the water in Sweden that makes for such high-quality metal, and rumors of a new recorded offering from In Flames in 2013. 

New Times: How have you been?

Daniel Svensson: Been good! Been nice having a couple of weeks off for during the holidays after the last tour, which was pretty long, so, it's good to recharge the batteries before the next run, so to speak. 

Have you been playing a lot of golf?

I try to, as much as I can, but the golf season in Sweden is not that long. And, it's tough to fit in the schedule, even when I'm back home because I have kids, and if you're away so much, you want to spend as much time as possible with them.

But, while on tour -- if we find good courses -- we try to play as much as we can. 

So you bring your clubs on tour then?

Sometimes we do, yeah. I think it was two summers ago when we played the Mayhem tour, we brought the clubs. But during the wintertime, we don't because we can only play in like Texas and Florida. 

If it could be arranged, would you go head to head with Alice Cooper in match? 

Anders already did when Alice was in Stockholm! 

No chance! Who won?

I don't know, Alice is a really good golf player, even though he is getting old. He's been playing for a long time. I think we have the same golf endorser in Callaway, so, they hooked them up -- Alice and Anders. It was pretty cool! 

You've said the Florida death-metal scene was a big part of your musical upbringing. What bands really got you started?

Personally, Deicide. That was one of the first bands I listened to, and that's the band that I played along with the most in the beginning when I started to play the drums. Then I tried to catch up with all of the bands that recorded at Morrisound, because there was -- for me at least -- a quality proof. You definitely knew what you got when you picked up a CD and it was recorded at Morrisound. 

Do you feel that Colony was a turning point for the band towards the current direction of the music, and do you feel your switching to drums and Bjorn taking over guitar was a major part of that sonic change?

I think Colony and that era was a big turning point for In Flames. I don't know musically, but before that album, In Flames was more like a side project, basically. It was first on Jester Race that In Flames got some steady members, but some of those didn't really want to tour. 

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David Von Bader

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