Sercifer 19.03.2022 1158

Hammerfall Interview (Fredrik Larsson)

Hammer of Dawn” is a very entertaining album that is enjoyed from beginning to end with all the essence of what Hammerfall is. For this reason, Metallerium interviewed Fredrik Larsson, bass player of this mythical band that always gives us forceful albums.


Para leer la entrevista en español: Entrevista a Hammerfall 


Metallerium: Welcome to Metallerium website Mr. Fredik Larsson! It is a pleasure to talk with you about the band HammerFall, your last album “Hammer of the Dawn” and other music-related topics. First of all, how are you? How has the band been during these last 2 years that have been complicated due to the pandemic?





HammerFall: Thank you so much for having me with you! Well yeah, the last 2 years have been really bad but at the same time, I think HammerFall was very lucky to be in the situation that we were in back then because we had just finished a big European tour when the pandemic hit. and by then we had already recorded a live album and blu-ray, so we already had that planned, so while other bands were playing small clubs with no audience and then broadcasting it, we were able to actually give HammerFall fans a live experience real with the audience, pyrotechnics, and public, so all that was planned and we were lucky in that sense. Also, we had plans for a next album and we were planning to release it at the beginning of the year 2022, so we started with the recordings 1 year ago, so everything went according to plan.


Metallerium: Sounds great and of course, we have this “Hammer of the Dawn” which will be released on February 25. How do you feel about the reaction from the media and your fans so far? And well, you were telling me that everything went according to plan, so was this album already planned before the pandemic?


HammerFall: Yeah sure, the plans for this new album were already done so we knew what we had to do. It feels like as much as the fans and the media have reacted very well, I think we've got good reviews so far and the fans feel that the old HammerFall is back in a very fresh way, with a new look. I think the album sounds fantastic, our producer Fredrik Nordström has done a very good job on this album. So, I think we've all stepped up to deliver a great product.


Metallerium: Yes, of course, I've already had the opportunity to make the album and it sounds great. Singles like “Brotherhood” or “Hammer of the Dawn” sound great. And I think choosing the right singles is important to give fans an idea of ​​what the album will bring, grab their attention and invite them to listen to the rest of the album. How do you usually choose your singles? And something else, when I listen to the album, if I didn't know that it is HammerFall, I would think that they are a young band because you sound very energetic, your sound is still fresh, so what is the key to keeping your compositions so fresh and energetic after so many years?


HammerFall: That's great to hear! It is a good thing what you say about us because it is difficult to capture that energy that you have when you play live, that is something that we always want to have on stage, that energy and of course, our fans give us a lot of that energy, however, to capture that on a record it's always difficult to achieve but we always do our best to achieve that. And I think we as a band, started to get a bit old as you say, but touring and being on stage is what keeps us young. If I look back and see my friends who are the same age as me and I start to notice that they are getting a little older because they don't have this element in their lives, then this is something very rejuvenating for us, however, in the last 2 years that we've been sitting on our butts more or less due to not being able to tour, it's aged us at least 5 years. So yeah, we should get back on the road before we die (laughs).


Metallerium: (laughs) Yes, I understand you, it's almost the same situation for all of us with all these restrictions possibly, so that's a good point. And of course, the music helps us a lot, especially for us, as fans, it was very important to at least have the music all this time, so I'm glad that you had the opportunity to release this live album. Now about the writing and recording process, due to the complicated situation, did it influence the result of the new album? Or maybe Did it change a lot the way you usually write and record an album?


HammerFall: Well yeah, I think so. I mean it's mostly Oscar who does the songwriting in this band and he's involved in at least almost everything, Pontus can write a riff or part of the songs and then Joacim can sometimes bring the vocal lines, without However, it is Oscar who does the heavy lifting in that regard. His way of making songs has changed over the years, before this, he would take time to sit down and write songs, and that can be frustrating sometimes especially when you have a deadline, and everything has to be done in that time. established so you must have something on tape before the deadline is up. However, nowadays, he carries his recording devices with him and has them with him all the time. Actually, on tour, he takes quite a bit of time to record new stuff all the time, and I think that shows in the music too, sometimes we walk off stage, all sweaty, have a few beers and we're full of adrenaline. well, we had a good time, so he picks up his guitar and starts recording riffs and songs because he's in a good mood and the energy just flows, so I think that's a great way to capture that energy, and It seems like a lot of songs written even before the “Dominion” (2019) album was released, I think most of the songs were done before we came home from the European Tour in 2020. So yeah, this time we had the chance. songs were made early, and we got to hear them, so it was a good time for us, and to record and release this album.


Metallerium: I see. Now regarding the singles released to promote the album, I think “Brotherhood” was a success, plus it has a good video. Whose idea was it to invite your children to participate? Who came up with this new generation?


HammerFall: Yeah, I mean the song “Brotherhood” is about our fans, the brotherhood, the brothers and sisters, our families. I call the band members my family, too, as we live for short periods of time on tour and get close to each other, so they are like my family. We wanted to do something with it, so we decided to get our own family involved and do something fun about it. I mean it's all about positive and fun vibes, not just aggression, so the song speaks for itself, so it was a good decision to have included our own children.


Metallerium: That was great of course! Another thing that caught my attention on the album was the brief collaboration with King Diamond on one of the songs, “Venerate Me”, which is like a dream come true for every Heavy Metal fan of course. How did you contact King Diamond? And did you write the song with this collaboration in mind? Or was it something that happened when the song was already done?


HammerFall: I think when Oscar did the song and especially when Joacim recorded the vocals for him, he had a little bit of a different feel to this song, almost a King Diamond vibe to most of the song, actually. So, we talked about it and Oscar, who we've been King Diamond fans with since our childhood, well actually the whole band, then we talked about it and he thought it would be great if King Diamond sang something on this song. Then Pontus Pontus Norgren, our guitarist, who does the sound for King Diamond, told us that he could call him and ask, and so he did. And I'm not sure if King Diamond has ever done anything like that, but we were very lucky to have him on the record. And the parts that he recorded may be short but it's a big thing for us. It's not just that we have King Diamond as a guest or that we're going to sell more albums because of him, it's just that it's a big part of us having him on the record, an honor, I mean he has such a unique voice and you can tell as soon as you hear it so it's a big little part of the song.


Metallerium: The result is good and of course, HammerFall is a band who's name is big within the Metal scene, of course, you forged your own sound and deliver what their fans expect from them. I think it's an important thing for bands to reach their own sound, and from there make a lot of your albums. However, it can also be risky because you can repeat yourself too much or stop sounding fresh. How do you deal with this situation? Because when he just started his musical career, he may be fine, but after so many years, I assume that the situation is not so simple.


HammerFall: Well, I totally get what you're saying. Because we have parameters on what Heavy Metal and HammerFall is about, and we can't get too far out of it because we want to be a Heavy Metal band that still wants to deliver their stuff but also at the same time wants to deliver what we grew up with. And that's what HammerFall is all about. We don't want to experiment too much with weird stuff, we want to play Heavy Metal the way we think it should be played and Oscar is the man who has to deal with it because he writes most of the songs. He listens to all the new and old bands, he's into music 24/7 and he's really influenced by other bands, but then he blazes his own trail, and then we all contribute our own work, I mean for example David did an awesome drumming work on this album, he has a lot of drum fills all over the place, and it's not a special style that he develops, he incorporates his own influences, just like me, I also include my influences, I'm part of the sound, so yeah, we don't try to think too much but we always try to HammerFall.


Metallerium: Now, we always remember that when HammerFall came out, it wasn't the best years for Heavy Metal, there were other more popular styles, so it was very brave to start a Heavy Metal career in those years. However, in recent years we see an explosion of bands that want to deliver Heavy Metal in its most traditional style despite the emergence of many sub-genres. I wonder if you still have time to listen to new music? Do you still have time to listen to music? What do you think of the current scene? And what is your opinion of this explosion of new Traditional Heavy Metal bands?


HammerFall: Yes, I would say that when we started playing in 94 or 95, I don't know, when I joined the band, nobody listened to Heavy Metal, or well they did but a lot and we were more or less young when we started playing on it. stage, we dressed in leather and wore other things, we breathed fire back then. And it was kind of weird to hear more aggressive music and grunge and things like that. But we did our thing and that's the music that we grew up with, that we love, so we stayed strong and did something good with it. Today it's been almost 30 years since we started, and we still listen to bands from the eighties that influenced us. So, I can't tell you why it's such a big thing nowadays but everything goes in cycles too I mean the '70s are back the '80s are back, and yeah it is what it is it's hard to say why no I would be able to tell you what new bands I listen to because I am very open when it comes to listening to music and I am open to various genres, not necessarily Heavy Metal.


Metallerium: Talking about what you mentioned that everything goes in cycles Nowadays bands don't sell the number of records you did in the '80s but on the other hand we have a vinyl renaissance and it's interesting how more and more people buy vinyl today Nowadays, which would sound contradictory in a way. What is your perspective on it? And how do you see the technology you have available? Because on the one hand, it helps you promote your music to distant countries and allows you to have constant communication with fans on the other side of the world. But on the other hand, we have so much information about so much music that makes much focus on the singles and miss the whole album. What do you think about this situation?


HammerFall: First of all, I think it's great that vinyl is having a renaissance because that's what I used to listen to as a kid, I mean stopping to look at vinyl covers, it encouraged me to buy albums for the covers, so it seems great that vinyl is being released and to have the full cover in your hands, see the photos and read the lyrics. On the other hand, it is much more convenient to have your entire music library in your hands with you, on your cell phone, or on streaming platforms, I totally understand that too. The bad thing about listening to streaming services is that you don't listen to the whole album, and I think listening to an album is a great way to enjoy music because you get the whole picture, it's not just about the popular songs, the songs are played the each other you need to have the fast songs to make the heavy songs sound heavier and you need to have the slow songs to make the fast songs sound faster if you know what I mean you must have dynamics in the full album to fully understand or appreciate a band, that's my experience by the way.


Metallerium: Something else about technology, this also increases competition as we have access to thousands of brands through digital platforms, so there must be ways to differentiate yourself in some way. And when I look at HammerFall, for example, I see that you do cool stuff as well, not just the album art or the album itself, but I also see things like a Hector comic, plus action figures among other things that I've seen. that you promote in their social networks, things like vodka, etc. Who is in charge of seeing all these ideas?


HammerFall: I think there are a lot of things that are important. From the beginning we never wanted to be a band that wears jeans and only plays on stage, we wanted to give a complete experience, from the stage on which we play, and all things around HammerFall are part of it too. If we have our Hector mask, he comes to life on our covers, but being part of a comic book story, I think it's great, I wouldn't mind seeing him in a video game or a movie or part of it, whatever, it does that his story comes to life and the story grows, so I hope we see more of Hector in the future.


Metallerium: Interesting, now before finishing, what are the plans of the band after releasing the album? What do you expect about your tour with Helloween in this part of the world which is great?


HammerFall: Yeah, we have something big planned with Helloween, sadly we had to push back parts of the tour but luckily it just got pushed back so we're extending the tour throughout the year instead of doing one big tour now. The pandemic is still causing problems in much of the world so we can't do what we want yet. But anyway, it will be done and we will have some great shows in South America, so yes, I'm really looking forward to doing those shows with Helloween, who are also our childhood heroes, so I can't wait to go on tour again, especially with a big band like Helloween.


Metallerium: Great! Once again thank you very much for the interview and congratulations on the new album “Hammer of the Dawn”, it's great to hear that you still retain all that energy and deliver a great demonstration of Heavy Metal. Is there anything else you want to say to your fans in this part of the world?


HammerFall: Yeah I hope you stay healthy and we can see each other soon, I can't wait for that, it will be great to be on tour again and meet all the people.





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