In just over a month’s time, Swedish melodic metallers In Flames will be making their return to the hallowed turf of Castle Donington when they make their main stage appearance at Download Festival. Ahead of their return we spoke to Bjorn from the band about Download and their experiences of UK festivals.

This year will mark twelve years since you made your first appearance at Download in 2005. Any memories from that day?
Bjorn: Wow, is it that long ago? You know, that day was just a blur, like most of the times we’ve played Download haha. It’s always a lot of fun to play that festival and, I’m pretty sure it was raining too!

If my records are correct, this year will be the fifth time In Flames have played at Download. You’re on the same bill as some big hitters like Aerosmith, excited for this one?
Bjorn: Yes, like I said, it’s always a great day and I believe our good friends in Steel Panther are on the same day as us so it will be good to catch up with them. I’m looking forward to it.

Will you get to check out many bands?
Bjorn: I’m not sure to be honest because we usually come in, play, do some press and then have to go to another festival. Hopefully though, I really want to check out Steel Panther again so hopefully we can find some time.

Do you guys have a busy Summer lined-up?
Bjorn: All the usual ones, Sweden, Germany, Download, Rock Am Ring, Rock Im Park, Sweden Rock Festival, Nova Rock, Hellfest….

It makes a change from last year which was pretty quiet on the live front for you..
Bjorn: Yes, you’re right, it was a concious move on the part of the band to take time to record the new album Battles so we didn’t really have time to prepare for last Summer. It was the right decision for us though as it gave us time to recharge our batteries.

You are undoubtedbly aware of the history of Castle Donington. What are your memories of it?
Bjorn: I remember seeing the clips on Headbangers Ball from Donington of all the bands and the fans. I think I saw clips of most of the really important British bands all playing at Donington. Watching those videos, I don’t think the weather has improved much since those days ha!

You’ve touched on the European festivals, do they have the same “special place” for bands as playing at Castle Donington/Download does?
Bjorn: They’re all great to play and they’re definitely getting bigger. You only have to look at something like Hellfest which has undergone tremendous development over the last few years. That’s a massive festival now in Europe with so much great music on it.

We’ve also talked about the weather at Download. Have there been any other festival weather episodes?
Bjorn: There have been a few yes! I remember we were supposed to play at Rocklahoma a few years ago and there was this massive thunderstorm which brought down the staging and I remember the weather at Full Force in Germany two years ago was pretty dreadful.

Looking forward then to June, what can we expect from In Flames?
Bjorn: New members, some new songs, some old songs, we’re going to entertain you! And check out Steel Panther!

Thanks for your time Bjorn, looking forward to seeing you in June. Over to you to finish off…
Bjorn: Be on time if you want to check us out, we’re never late. So, if you’re a fan of guitar-driven metal then make sure you’re on time! See you there!

In Flames play the Main Stage at Download Festival on Sunday June 11, 2017. For more information and tickets please visit www.download festival.co.uk.

I have an unhealthy obsession with bad horror movies, the song Wanted Dead Or Alive and crap British game shows. I do this not because of the sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll lifestyle it affords me but more because it gives me an excuse to listen to bands that sound like hippos mating.