January 1998

Hammerfall was formed in 1993 in the mighty land of Sweden, and no, they don't sound like
Entombed or even Marduk. Hammerfall is the resurrection of the true Metal sound, developed and
perfected in the eighties but never taken to its full potential. Hammerfall are the band who
are spearheading the fight for true Metal and leading us into THE METAL AGE. Here follows an
interview conducted by Lunatic with Joacim (vocals) and Oscar (guitars).

CRUSADER: Tell us a bit more about the band and what you see as your place the mighty fabric of Metal?
HAMMERFALL: Well, as you pointed out in the intro, Hammerfall was formed in 1993, and represent
pure heavy metal totally void of nineties' influences. We play music the way we want it to 
sound, and it comes straight from our hearts. Our line-up since almost a year ago stands as
follows: Joacim Cans, vocals; Oscar Dronjak, guitar; Magnus Rosén, bass guitar; Stefan Elmgren,
guitar; Patrik Räfling, guitar. Together, we will carry the tradition of heavy metal well into
the next century!
CRUSADER: How do you feel about the this being the dawning of the Metal age? This is after all
the dawning of the new millennium, anything can happen.
HAMMERFALL: It feels like it's the second coming of the Metal Age! More and more people are
discovering and rediscovering the joy and energy of heavy metal, which is good for all metal
fans everywhere. The new millennium is drawing closer and closer, and heavy metal will once
again reclaim the throne as the most popular form of music, after having been worshipped in
silence for so many years by the likes of Hammerfall. Heavy metal is back with a vengeance and
stronger than ever!

CRUSADER: Your CD "Glory to the Brave" has already become a classic. I understand the sales
have been phenomenal. How does it feel to be playing the type of music that all us Metalheads
have been waiting for? Truly inspirational Metal!!!!!
HAMMERFALL: The sales have been breathtaking, way larger than we ever could have imagined!!
That right there is proof that heavy metal is indeed a timeless form of music! During all
those years in silence, we gathered our strength and bode our time; a time we knew would
come. Finally it is upon us! The Hammer will Fall on the unfaithful!

CRUSADER: I find it extremely interesting to see that you are signed to Nuclear Blast. A label
that is known for its Death bands etc.. Definitely the more brutal side of Metal at least. Do
you see this as a sign that Metal is back (not that it was ever gone, just resting and gaining
strength) and that labels will have to re-incorporate Heavy Metal bands into their catalogues?
HAMMERFALL: I definitely think more labels will be looking at heavy metal bands through
different eyes now. Just take Nuclear Blast, for example. Since the success of our album,
they have signed three more power/heavy metal bands with clear-sung vocals.  

CRUSADER: I understand the track "Child of the Damned" is a cover of an obscure band called
Warlord. Why did you decide to cover this song?
HAMMERFALL: It is a GREAT song, and fit very well into the Hammerfall concept. Plus, we feel
that Warlord never got the recognition they truly deserved, although they have a big
reputation as a cult band nowadays, from what I understand. Warlord is such a fantastic band,
and we wanted to pay homage to them by recording their classic track.

CRUSADER: While on the subject of other bands I feel it is important for me to ask my
favourite question. What bands have influenced you in your musical style as well as in your
views of life? What Metal bands do you listen to these days?
HAMMERFALL: We listen to basically everything that we always have been listening to - Judas
Priest, Accept, Warlord, Stormwitch, Dio, Helloween, Gamma Ray, Iron Maiden, and a billion
other obscure metal bands from the Eighties. To put it simple; we love the music form, not
just the bands. 

CRUSADER: I read about you covering tracks like "Red, Hot and Heavy" by "Pretty Maids",
"Breaking the Law" by "Judas Priest" as well as "Alice Cooper's" '80's classic "Freedom". Do
these songs still feature in your live set? Is there any chance of you ever recording them?  
HAMMERFALL: These tracks were part of our live set a long time ago, but not any more. Great as
they were, there are literally thousands of songs that we also would like to cover. That's why
we have different covers today. We won't record any of the songs you mentioned for the album,
but we will probably record another Pretty Maids song from the same record, namely "Back To

CRUSADER: Your track "Glory to the Brave is enough to inspire a hardened biker to tears, what
is the story behind the track and the dedication? (to Klas Fors)
HAMMERFALL: The lyrics in the song is a tribute to long lost friends that had to leave this
world way too early. Even though they are not around anymore, they have a place in my heart
forever. The dedication is to my (Joacim) grandfather who died in January last year. He was
the bravest man I ever met, that always did what his heart told him to do. 

CRUSADER: I heard about a Japanese release of your CD featuring bonus tracks. What are these
tracks? I like many other Metal fans will go to extreme lengths to track down any extra tracks
of our favourite bands. WHY is it that Japanese releases always have extra tracks?
HAMMERFALL: Well, our CD was going to have a bonus track in the Japanese version, but that
never materialized for whatever reason. I think the Japanese labels demand bonus tracks
because the price for a CD is extremely high over there, and if they don't put bonus tracks on
the CD's, everybody will buy the import version instead, which usually is available a long
time before the official Japanese version. We will try to make sure that any bonus track on
that version also becomes available in Europe, maybe on a mini-CD or single. 

CRUSADER: How do you feel about traitors to the cause like Metallica.
HAMMERFALL: Metallica have done what I think most people in their position would have done if
given the chance. They altered their musical direction, used a big name producer, and, wham,
got an enormous seller on their hands. They are now free to do whatever they feel like, if
they weren't before. And I really believe that a person should do what feels right to them at
the time. Judging by the sound of their follow-ups, I say they do what they want. There comes
a certain amount of times in a person's life when he has to impose some more or less radical
changes in his life to keep from getting bored, and I suspect that's exactly what the lads in
Metallica did. You cannot go through the exact same motions day after day, year in year out. 
That takes all the fun out of living, and that's what it's all about; to have fun and enjoy
life. So, instead of waste my time trying to scold other people for selling out or whatever,
I concentrate on making my life as great as possible. I say if you're not hurting from other
people's actions, let them do what they want! I know I do!

Back to Scripture 3