Dawn Of A New Day (At In Flames' Restaurant 2112)

"Dawn Of A New Day"








"Dying In Your Arms"



Dawn Of A New Day (At In Flames' Restaurant, 2112)

Gothenburg, Sweden

Life used to be sort of difficult in Trivium: always hearing of "other bands" that either say that we suck or that "Matt Heafy is a _____ (insert numerous insults in blank)", or ludicrously cold commentary online about things surpassing the boundaries of necessity when you simply don't like a band. It hurt a bit being in my late teens just making the kind of music I wanted, but always having to "hear" about how bands, press, or kids thought I or the band sucked. Nowadays? I never hear anything band really (or don't mind), and I've managed to befriend some musicians that I always considered some of the greatest people on Earth. 

There are days and moments in life where I think I'll wake up and everything great going on wasn't real… but that doesn't seem to happen. I finished up the Moscot Mobileyes Foundation acoustic solo show, get home and notice that the clips of the songs are online; I received a text and it's from Peter Iwers of In Flames, saying how he really enjoyed the acoustic performance clips online and would love to see if I'd be into performing at his and Bjorn's restaurant 2112. Anyone who knows me knows that I wouldn't exist musically without In Flames - and over the years (and 8 tours together), In Flames has become some of my closest band-friends in the world; so that nice text from Peter was touching and inspiring. 

Peter and Bjorn own an amazing restaurant in Gothenburg, Sweden, and I've actually had the privilege of eating and drinking (lots) there several times; so any excuse to come back to 2112 is always a good one. There was a ferry-travel date in between Stockholm and Helsinki where I was able to coordinate flying into Gothenburg on the day off to perform at 2112 for Cancer Fonden Sweden (a cancer foundation). Unfortunately, In Flames was in the USA at the time I'd be performing, but I would still be able to hang out with some of their nearest and dearest pals of Gothenburg. 

Before the last acoustic show, I was a nervous wreck… I'm used to playing Trivium shows - that doesn't phase me; but playing completely by myself is a little nerve-wracking since by that point, I had only performed once solo. Even before the European Headlining Trivium tour started, I was rehearsing the full set of songs daily - ensuring that I would perfectly nail these tracks at one of my favorite bands' restaurants. Throughout the whole tour, I would rehearse the acoustic sets and ensure my utmost healthiness to save my voice all for that one acoustic show. 

I fly out of Stockholm, and there was a group of 6-8 amateur basketball players: half of them American, half Swedish, all very tall and loud (the Americans at least). I sit in my seat, and recline when it's time to recline - violently, my seat is force-shoved back forward and held in place by the kid behind me. I turn my head slightly, shaking in rage, about to tell him off - when I start to realize that I am surrounded by his "boys" (as far as seating is concerned); having recently dealt with gang-mentality recently (and being assaulted and threatened with a gun) my mind played out the scenarios of what I could say and what would happen. It sucked - but I had to just suck it up and sit there… I knew that if I turned around and got vicious - I would be outnumbered by a bunch of half-wit wanna-be amateur gargantuan-children. Later on, I stood up on the flight and looked right at the kid - he kept eye-contact to the ground… maybe he didn't realize that the dude in front of him was decked out in all black with a massive pentagram on his back with tattooed arms… fuckin' asshole. It was another one of those moments that the human race let me down; like the gang jumping. Long story short: I was punched in the face and chased into the street by 8-10 kids threatening to kill my manager and I; gun pulled out and all; they later cut us back off by our bus, shattered our managers collar bone - luckily I phoned the police on the way back before we were cut off and they showed up to break it all up. I've never had a moment in my life before that I thought I would never be going home again. 

Flash back forward a few months. I arrive at the Elite Plaza Gothenburg - a quite nice hotel for the evening; I was even upgraded to a suite for free - bonus. I meet Jorgen and Sara from 2112 for a quick lunch at Bliss (the restaurant next door to 2112). The restaurant was closed, but Sara knew the chef, so he busted out a plate of the fish special of the day for me. This fish was some kind of white Swedish fish (most likely cod), simply prepared with a very tasty white sauce and that lasagna-looking traditional Swedish vegetable side-dish. Beautiful little dish. New Swedish I'd call it. Jorgen, Sara, and I chat a bit, then head over to 2112 to build a stage out of some wooden-crate platform-things and rugs (punk rock, but it works) and I rehearse a track or two. 

Amazingly, I was able to score a haircut at Bena with Stina before the gig - I headed over there and got my Kramer-situation situated wonderfully. Post new-doo, it was time to yoga and rehearse a bit more before the performance. 

2112 was packed to capacity with people happily chowing down on the restaurant's new menu (all gourmet burgers) and drinking their world-class beers; I headed into the stock room for some final nervous-prep and a glass of water. When it was stage time, I walked through the crowd and sat upon my make-shift stage and belted away some oldies…

The set went flawlessly on the covers. I went from "Can't Help Falling In Love" into "Sweetest Perfection", then "Hurt", "In Dreams", "Eleanor Rigby", "Hallelujah" (the show stopper), "Dawn Of A New Day" by In Flames, "Harvest" by Opeth, then closed with "Dying In Your Arms" by Trivium. Hilariously, I botched "Dying" (charmingly at least) - then the set was over. It was a pleasure to do a great little acoustic set for some Swedish friends for a good cause; I thank Peter and Bjorn for allowing me into their fantastic spot once again. 

After some photos and signings Jorgen, Sara, Tomoko (Trivium Japan), myself and a rotating cast of 2112/In Flames' nearest and dearest all begin our feast on some of 2112's best grub. 

Directly from the menu:

6 oz Cod & Salmonburger served with 2112′s homemade Skagenröra with shrimps, arrives with tomato, salad & onions, served on a homemade coarse bread.

Gelotte Grande
6 oz Vealburger with Chiliaioli, aged Cheddar cheese, onionring, salad, tomato, served on homemade bread.

Le Petit Pedda
6 oz. Ground Wagyu Prime rib served with grilled Foie Gras (Duck Liver), truffles mayonnaise, Salad, Tomatoes, Red Onions, presented on homemade coarse bread.

2112 Famous Burger
6 oz. American ground Prime Rib with truffle mayonnaise, Salad, Beef Tomato, Red Onions, Swedish aged Prästost, served with homemade bread.

All burgers are served with 2112′s famous homemade Coleslaw Salad. All buns are freshly baked at 2112.

We also had onion rings and some seriously fat-cut proper-chips. 

I was at first saddened to hear that the original chef I had become so accustomed to at 2112 had departed (he was behind all the dishes you've seen me previously consume) however- these gourmet burgers delivered some serious flavor. The combinations of the minimal ingredients and the interesting meats (like the iCod and the Pedda) made for some palette-excitement. My favorite has to have been the Le Petit Pedda; veal burger with foie gras?? Fuck. Yes. Well done 2112, well done.  

I insisted that my dinner-guests and I all simply share the dishes like good caveman-friends; I wanted us each to just pass the burgers around and take massive bites off each (the most fun way to eat with your friends). I had a fantastic set of burgers and fries with some delicious Swedish and American Micro Brew Beers (2112's specialty). 

All in all, it was a really fun night and for a good cause. I was treated like royalty at 2112 by the staff and by the patrons. I can't wait to get back over there. 

Stockholm Syndrunk

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Stockholm Syndrunk

Stockholm, Sweden

I had just recuperated from some bizarre light form of food poisoning in Norway on the In Flames tour, when it was the night before I was to fly into Stockholm and evade being in the tour bus. Evade being in the tour bus I say? Well… we explained it before - but will happily reiterate:

We arrived to the pre-In Flames headlining dates in Europe to find that the bus company we hired, MZ (German bus company) had sent us out a bus that we didn't order. We initially picked a completely different bus - one hand picked by our tour manager at the time Brian - and naturally, when we were to be picked up by this steam-ship of a vintage European bus… we weren't happy. To prevent completely retelling the same old story again, basically the driver was a klutz and an unsafe driver. At one point, he knocked off the exhaust pipe off of the bus and the engine began leaking diesel fume directly into our bunks. I awoke one day to semi-sealed shut eyes due to mucous-crust, an awful black-lung coal-worker style cough, and zero voice. Instead of putting the shite coffee maker through the windshield and creating further drama - I began flying from show to show until I met the new bus. 

I had just returned from Poland into Norway, played an amazing Norwegian show - only - I picked up some odd parasitic-style stomach-thing. It took a bit to recover, but when I finally did… I did what any rational recently-toxic-gut-aching person would do: contacted a local buddy to get a great local meal. 

Darren is the Roadrunner records rep in Sweden. He is from Australia, but lived in the UK for a while, and now is in Sweden. That's sorta confusing eh? Anywho - I hit him up mentioning I'd be in a day early and that we ought to catch up for a bite and drink the night before the show. Darren swung by the hotel to pick me up and took me to one of his favorite spots: Lydmar. 

The Lydmar is a hotel with a restaurant and bar downstairs. This place is hip. Undeniably tastefully hip. It's young and cool and well-designed. A local artists' newest pieces are on display once you walk into the lobby; dressed-to-the-nines are the workers and patrons alike - but not stuffy-style - more Brooklyn-style. The interior is iconically Swedish in the sense that everything goes. The Swedes truly have interior design and exterior structural-design down to a science. The inside of Lydmar is how I want to be able to decorate my place. That sorta vintage French hotel meets new-school lighting and shelving.

We sit and order our food and drinks.

I go for a local Stockholm beer that I unfortunately missed the name of; we start with spot on crusty-chewy-perfect Swedish bread and butter and marinated olives. Such simple, familiar things here so far - but hot damn is it all damn good. My next course is a Steak Tartare done exquisitely - texturally exactly as a tartare ought to be; the flavors of the capers and raw egg and onion peeking out only briefly enough to not overshadow the perfect meat. Toasted, grilled bread and salad served alongside - magically complex and simple and classic. 

Duck Confit was my main. It came accompanied by some seasonal vegetables and nice reduced sauce underneath. Nice and crispy on the outside, delicate and juicy on the inside. Perfect. Lydmar's mashed potatoes didn't mess around either - whipped and creamy. 

Desert was an Apple Tart with cream. Just like the rest - a delight. 

Darren and I had a great time at Lydmar - a quiet evening with good food and friends. Afterwards, I headed back to rest up for the upcoming massive show in Stockholm with my dear friends in In Flames.