“I agree in many ways. There’s equally much as of the electronics, it’s just in the production. It’s great that you say it’s more guitar-oriented.
“There’s as much guitar as on ‘Battles,’ but the production, the mix, it’s different. It’s sort of the only thing we said prior to the album because we don’t have big meetings about what we should do or shouldn’t do, we just go with the flow.
“We said, ‘Let’s move the guitars a little bit forward in the mix.’ Chris Lord-Alge, who mixed it, did a great job. Howard [Benson, producer] and Mike Plotnikoff, the whole team helped us with a great tone and everything.
“Sure, looking at ‘Battles,’ I think it’s as good as it can be. We love it, but it’s more laid back compared to ‘I, The Mask,’ for instance.”
Asked about the fans who prefer the band’s original melodic death-metal sound to their newer, modern vibe, Friden replied:
“I hear it when I do interviews – when I get questions – but I don’t follow what’s going on. Of course, I’m aware, but it’s not a debate I have. I mean, I’ve given up a long time [ago].
“I know I can’t win. I do what I do and I create music and I have a good time and if people like us, that’s great and if they don’t, whatever. I can’t do anything. If somebody says something, I can’t go home to them and knock on their door and try to convince them my way is the right way.
“No. I will never go back and do another ‘The Jester Race’ or ‘Whoracle’ or ‘Colony’ or ‘Clayman.’ It wouldn’t be right. It wouldn’t be true to that album. That album is perfect in every way.
“If I try to go back 20 years and try to recreate something when I’m in a whole different state of mind, that wouldn’t do it justice. It would just only be bad. I love those albums; don’t get me wrong.
“Every single album led up to where we are today. To me, it’s totally fine if you like one album or only like one song. At least you like something. I can’t do it.
“This is where we are right now and the way we write music is sort of the same. It’s sort of the same mentality. It’s all about the melody, all the time.”