It was the year 1990, Jesper decided to take leave of the band Ceremonial Oath, that he was currently in, together with Anders Fridén and Anders Iwers (Tiamat)
He wanted to make music in a different direction, and he teamed up with Johan Larsson and Glenn Ljungström to form IN FLAMES. The gang made a demo and shipped it off to Wrong Again records in order to get a record-deal, which they did. The owner of the company enjoyed the music so much that he immediately gave them a deal over the phone, as they rang him up one night. The next day, they sat down and wrote the album Lunar Strain, which was released some time later, and became a big underground success. They had some "in and out members" , and borrowed some from different bands. People that have been a part of IN FLAMES since the beginning, are Mikael Stanne and Anders Jivarp (Dark Tranquillity), Anders Iwers (Tiamat), Henke Forss (Dawn), Daniel Erlandsson (Eucharist, Arch Enemy), and a few more. The band then released a mini-CD called Subterranean, that became the "breaker" for IN FLAMES, in terms of getting out off the underground scene, that is, and led them to get a license deal with German company Nuclear Blast for the next record, and they have been there since then. After some time, the boys were getting tired of constantly borrowing people in order to make a record, or do a decent live show, and they asked Anders Fridén and Björn Gelotte to join the band, on vocals and drums, and they accepted. IN FLAMES were for the first time a band with a real line up.
They recorded and released yet another record . The Jester Race, which became a huge success, worldwide, and the band started to get some fantastic attention all over Europe, and in Japan, where they were licensed to Toy´s Factory. They went on a festival tour together with Samael, Grip inc. And Kreator - this was the first big thing that happened to them, but definitely not the last. Some gigs here and there over the next year, led to both Johan and Glenn feeling that they had to make a choice where their priorities were , and sadly, they choose not be a part of IN FLAMES any more. They both announced, unexpectedly after the recording of Whoracle, that they were leaving, and Björn, Jesper and Anders were left with a finished record and half a band.
Luckily they were good friends with Peter Iwers and Niklas Engelin, who both happened to play bass and guitar, and they filled in at the end of the recordings, to do a mini-tour with Dimmu Borgir. This worked out fine and the two gentlemen were asked to stay in the band permanently, and so they did. Together the group continued onto a successful tour in Europeand an amazing week in Japan, where they did their first two shows. Japan welcomed the Swedes with warm arms, and they had an amazing experience. As they return to Sweden, Niklas leaves the band, due to some different opinions, and the fact that he wanted to focus on Gardenian, his other band. This is the biggest turning point for IN FLAMES, as they decide to switch Björn from drums to guitar, (being a guitar player originally), and recruit Daniel Svensson ( Sacrilige) on Drums. This works out wonderful, and they record COLONY, the biggest success so far.
The Colonization takes them around the world, to Europe, USA and Japan, and this tour is an amazing experience for IN FLAMES, that finally receives the attention they´ve been waiting for. As they play full houses almost everywhere, the party goes on for a few months, and the response is excellent all over the world.
In August of 2000, after a few years of successful touring , the release of Clayman is a fact, after spending 3 months in the studio. This record spins off really well, and the sales are overwhelming and it knocks out the previous record sales in a few months.
After doing festivals with Dream Theater, Slipknot, Testament, Methods of mayhem, etc, a world tour was to expect. In Flames aimed for Japan and Europe, which was squeezed in between 2 American tours. This was the same round as last year, only this time bigger places, more people and more material. In Japan, Jesper received an award from BURRN! As the number 1 songwriter of the year. The tours were a huge success once again. Peter Iwers did not join them on all of these tours as he had a new arrival back home, that he stayed home with instead, a baby girl, but he joined in for the Scandinavian and Japan dates, and was temporarily replaced by Dick Löwgren from Armageddon for the other tours. In the year 2000, approximately 150 shows were performed by In Flames , and then a well deserved vacation was taken by the members. 2001, Peter is back and the band does a few single shows in Sweden, including a headline gig in Gothenburg, which was featured in 4 television channels, and aired live on the radio.
Charts this year were very high, including #4 in Japan, both group and record, # 3 in Canada´s greatest metal mag- Brave words and Bloody Knuckles, # 1 in Metal Maniacs, and # 17 on the official Swedish charts, to name a few.
A video is shot for Only for the Weak, and the band went on a mini tour in Europe, where they played 13 shows in front of 20 000 people, needless to say, it was a huge success.
Next: summer festivals, including Wacken Open Air, Rock Machina to name a few, then the release of a live album : The Tokyo Showdown, in August, before heading over to the US for another tour.
What next? well, another record was made, this time at a new location with a new producer: Dug-Out studios with Daniel Bergstrand. The band wanted to go elsewhere and try on a different studio and producer. Reroute To Remain was produced, and the the result was amazing. More touring, headline spins, support spins were done. Including raveling with the likes of Slipknot, Mudvayne, Soulfly and Slayer, that gave them the possibility to share their music with a different audience! Two headline spins in the US, one in Europe, festivals, including replacing Linkin park at Sweden's biggest festival: Hultsfred.
The day after that show they were offered to do a support slot for Metallica in Madrid, which was a huge success, playing in front of 30.000 people, making it the biggest show so far , that was not a festival.
The making of soundtrack to your escape started in may 2003 when they rented a small house in Denmark to do pre-production. The idea to do this came very natural as they had started working like this on the last record, but this time they wanted to go even further away from Sweden, to prevent any kinds of distractions. The result was 11 songs, and then two more followed as they went into another recording process, although this time they moved all their gear and Daniel Bergstrands studio equipment into a larger house in Denmark to do the recording ina much more relaxed atmosphere. Only the druns where recorded at Dug-Out as the previous record, but the producers were the same: Daniel Bergstrand and Örjan Örnkloo.. which brings us up to date, where a large tour is on it´s way, taking the band once again all over the world, trying to spread the In Flames word around !
Today´s line-up is:
Björn Gelotte - Guitars
Daniel Svensson - Drums
Peter Iwers - Bassguitar
Jesper Strömblad - Guitars
Anders Fridén - Vocals