Interview with Peter Iwers of In Flames at The Norva (Norfolk VA, USA)

I have always been a Jester since I bought "Whoracle" back in 1997. In Flames was one of the bands that just lived in my car stereo throughout high-school, college and now regular old life. On March 8th 2013, I had the privilege of sitting down with Peter Iwers of In Flames for a little short interview.

How is the tour going so far?
Really Good. This is the last day. So today everybody is a little bit syked to go home and all of that. We have had a really good time. Great bands that we are touring with. This is one of the tours you always remember because the atmosphere was very warm and you just got to hang out with everyone and this was one of those.

Are ya’ll going back to Sweeden or are you staying here for awhile?
No. We are going back to Sweden. We are doing a couple dates in Russia and then coming back to the states to do Rock on the Range in May, some Mexico shows, and then the festivals in Europe and then that’s it for this cycle. We will be touring up through mid-August.

These small venues, whats it like playing in these small venues vs. large festivals like Wacken or Download Fest. Which do you find more fun and entertaining?
Well I like them both. When you play a huge show or festival, the people just move as one. Like an ocean of sorts. That is really cool to put on a big show, the stage props and setup’s. Playing smaller show’s, you can see into the crowds eyes. You see everyone as an individual and you share each others breath’s almost. I love it. I wouldn’t trade one for another. Its nice. Its not really intimate, but its towards that angle. I just enjoy it. I like seeing peoples reaction and I feed off of that.

I remember seeing you at Wacken last year and the stage setup was one of the best I had seen at any festival.
We always try to put on a cool show. It’s so much fun to be able to do stuff like that. I remember growing up and seeing bands like Iron Maiden. Going to an Iron Maiden show and seeing their setup and I just loved it. I mean we didn’t have an Eddie behind the drums but we do have a lot of cool stuff to watch. This whole tour was meant to be an intimate club tour just to get closer to our fans.

The Norva is my home venue even though I have moved onto Richmond, I just remember seeing bands like Slayer, LOG, In Flames, Megadeth. It’s just amazing seeing that power.
We played with Slayer here at The Norva and that was the first time we played here. We love playing in this area. More so than Richmond. It seems like we always come play here and skip Richmond. The only time we have played in Richmond was with LOG this past fall.

After the Euro festivals, new album this year?
We are going to start recording in November and hopefully have a pre-summer 2014 release. That is the plan hopefully.

You did an interview where you said that Geddy Lee was one of your influences as a bass player growing up. Now was that something where you were just sitting down listening to Rush one day and said hey that’s something I want to do or is it something you just fell into?
Well I didn’t really have any specific bass heroes. I enjoyed the bands. The Rush’s, Iron Maiden’s, KISS. It’s more as a grown-up, I have started listening to individual bass players. Don’t know why just did. The reason I started playing bass is because we had 3 guitar players and someone needed to play bass and that’s the honest truth. I fell in love with the instrument. I fell in love with the dynamics of the drums and bass. What I am trying to do is to paint in between the strokes of the drums instead of just a steady rhythm section. I am very influenced by the likes Geddy Lee and Mike Porcaro. They just do very different types of music and they aren’t just the backbone. They sing on the bass guitar.

That’s one thing I have noticed with you. The talent on the bass you have. That style you have. That flow. It’s like you forget where you are and its just you and your instrument. You just lay it out there and it just looks effortless.
Thanks. I mean it doesn’t come easy. I mean there are times where I focus to much on something and I fuck up. That’s why it probably looks like I am just in a zone but its because I am trying not to think and just be in the moment. I do enjoy it. The mix of bass and drums and a tad of guitars. That’s my escape. I mean I have a great sound because I have a great sound engineer. I can definitely just drift away. But thanks again for saying that.

No problem at all. Last thing, being in the States vs. Europe, what is the one thing you like about being in the States on tour.
It’s 24 hours. It’s always open somewere. That I really like here. In Europe, everything closes really early aside from a few pubs. The conveience of being able to wake up in the middle of the night and going to get a carton of milk or a damn bicycle. Midnight shopping at Wal-Mart. As far as just touring, I just enjoy myself anywhere. Its more fun to have a day like today where there is stuff around and you aren’t playing in the middle of nowhere.

Alright Peter, well thanks for taking 5 minutes before the show to talk with me and have a great send-off show tonight.
Hey no problem. Thanks a lot and I hope you and the people here enjoy what we have in store for them tonight.