In Flames are often credited with popularising the Gothenburg sound and bringing melodic death metal to the masses. And it’s true. At the turn of the century, Anders Fridén and his cohorts were at the forefront of Sweden’s heavy metal charge across Europe and beyond, and the catalyst can be found in Cloud Connected. The first single from the band’s 2002 album Reroute To Remain, it sent the band rocketing to the moon, leaving behind them thousands of new converts to the world of metal.
But where did that song come from? We sat down with Anders to talk about Cloud Connected, the song that made In Flames stars.
It Was Our First Ever Single
“We weren’t a band to go in and just write singles that would serve as one epic song and a bunch of leftovers; we always tried to write albums. But this one song, out of 14 songs on the album, represented In Flames well – it captured that aggression with a great hook, so much so that even if you don’t really know us you can hear instantly that the song is In Flames. It has heaviness, but it’s still accessible, which was important.”
It Got Derailed By 9/11
“While writing Reroute To Remain we rented a house south of Gothenburg which belonged to [lead guitarist] Bjorn’s sister. We stayed there for two weeks and during that time 9/11 happened. We’d gone out to buy pizza and my girlfriend called me and told me I needed to see, and that a plane had hit the tower. That whole day we ended up not writing or rehearsing at all, just watching everything unfold on TV.”
We Knew We Needed A Big Song
“We were getting more recognition in Europe and the UK at the time, which coincided with touring more and more. In the studio it started to become, ‘how will this go down live?’ and especially with a song like Cloud Connected, which is very riff-based and has a big chorus, we started doing things that we knew our audience would like. What we did in the studio really worked – you could hear it and imagine people getting excited. clearly we got it right – we got people headbanging and not leaving!”
It Steals The Show
“We’ve played it a lot, but playing this song at a huge festival like Wacken, where everybody goes crazy, still always gets me. It’s powerful – you have it in your gut as soon as you hear that riff. You gotta be there onstage to really believe it and feel it, but it’s an amazing experience and I’m so happy the fans take us to that place. We even get that feeling playing in clubs to like 800 people, it’s just extremely moving; loud, heavy and seeing how many people are with you sharing that emotion.”
It Has Evolved With The Band
“For me, the lyrics were about people I hung out with before I was playing in the metal scene. Those people would say, ‘Don’t do this, you need to get a real job’, but I knew I wanted to go places and they were just going to sit there, content in their own little world. So there’s a sense of, ‘What I have is great and you can’t touch that’, but now it’s more about being inclusive. looking at the world around us – especially stuff like Brexit – we can’t afford to be a closed society.”
It’s A Gateway Song
“If you’re new to metal and heavier music, In Flames songs [like Cloud Connected] are a good gateway. We do have those riffs and screams, but we also have a lot of melody and choruses you can sing with. When I was growing up, I started out listening to heavy metal, which then lead to thrash metal, then death metal and grindcore, and so on. I want every person in the whole world to get into heavy metal – if we can be part of helping that, that would be the greatest. It’s awesome to have been part of this scene for such a long time.”
In Flames’ new album, I, The Mask, is out now