Interviewed by Brian Rademacher
Date: April 14th, 2005
Joacim thanks for calling. It’s a pleasure talking with you. Were you in any bands before HAMMERFALL?
Like twenty-two. I didn’t do any big bands before HAMMERFALL. We tried hard throughout the nineties in Gothenburg where I come from playing heavy metal but no one really cared for the music. That was the big problem. People were laughing at us when we performed on stage with pyro and we had armor. We went to an exhibition, we got real armor, and this was in a band called Highlander and later became Lost Horizon. I was in Highlander for five years and then I joined HAMMERFALL. But in between there I was searching for other bands and musicians to play with but no one wanted to play heavy metal.
How about in school, did you sing in a choir?
You mean in Sweden. Yeah in high school it was just to meet the girls. I also got expelled from the choir because we did “We Are the World” and I pretended to be Stevie Wonder and played blind on stage.
No wonder you got expelled.
(Laughing) but it was a lot of fun people laughed.
Did you collect anything as a child?
Yeah I was really into trading cards of ice hockey players and soccer players. I was also into collecting stamps. I still have them somewhere in a box.
What was the first album you bought?
The first heavy metal album I bought was Saxon “Strong Arm of the Law” in 1981. The first album I ever bought was D**** C******.
We won’t mention that.
Thank you very much (ha-ha-ha) I was seven-years-old.
What was the first concert you attended?
A local band in Sweden in the eighties called Six Feet Under. It’s not the same guys around now. They were a more melodic hard rock band like Deep Purple. I saw them in nineteen eighty one or two.
What is your favorite song to play live?
We have not played any shows yet for the new CD. That is a good question. I think “Let the Hammer Fall” that is a great song with good interaction with the audience. There are so many good songs but I would say “Let the Hammer Fall”.
What can the fans expect from the new tour in the US?
Well they can expect we are coming (ha-ha). August 16th we are at the BB King Theatre in New York City.
How long is the tour going to last?
It will last about three weeks. It is impossible for us to bring the whole stage show from Europe to the US. But it will be big!!!
How come you never put a picture of the band on an album cover?
We did it for a single. It is the way I liked it in the eighties. You knew by looking at the cover and the font in the logo that this was heavy metal and when we released our debut album in 1997. There was a lot of hardcore death metal, black metal and so on. We just wanted to be visible in the record store and when you saw our album you knew this is heavy metal nothing else. When we invented the Worrier for the first three albums we knew instantly we needed to keep him with us throughout the whole time. Never know one day he might disappear.
How is your feeling about making videos?
I love it. We have a good connection. One of my best friends is the director for all the videos we have done. I also think it’s pretty cool that now MTV has a new show called “Up North in Europe” and in between all these hip-hoppers you have HAMMERFALL. It makes a lot of sense to make videos but they don’t get aired that much. It still needs to be available, because the world is getting polluted by hip-hop.
How did you get Cronos (Venom) to play on your new album?
Our producer is a good friend of Cronos. He did a couple of albums with him in the past. We played around with it saying we should get Cronos to sing on this song. Our producer said that would be possible. I can just call him and ask him. Both Oscar and I are great Venom fans in the eighties. It would be so cool to have him as the voice of the conspiracy on the last track of the album. He listened to the song and liked it and we took it from there.
What is your favorite song on the new album?
My favorite song is “Knights Of The 21st Century”. So different from anything we’ve done in the past. I am so satisfied with all the passages that we came up for this song.
How does your solo album differ from the new HAMMERFALL album?
I think actually not with HAMMERFALL. With the new album it kind of went one step closer to my solo album. There are so many progressive elements from my solo album that you would never find on a HAMMERFALL album. It is a little rougher a little raw it had more thrash riffs on my solo album. That would never work with HAMMERFALL.
So what to you see in the future for HAMMERFALL after the tour?
It is a very hectic schedule. I am really not sure if there will be a new HAMMERFALL album before I do a second solo album. I really don’t know at this point. I am really eager to go back in the studio to do a new HAMMERFALL album. It was so much fun recording this album and everything went so smooth.
I have read reviews on the new album. Most say they love the new album. But it is really nothing different from any other HAMMERFALL album. Do you see it that way?
Yes I do. If you listen to the songs, it is HAMMERFALL. It will always be HAMMERFALL. But I believe that we were able to add some new elements to this album. Which we didn’t have before, I think my vocals are ten times better on this album then any other HAMMERFALL album. The composition is more mature and also we were able to make a song twelve minutes long. That takes a lot of courage and a lot of effort to do that. So I think people should listen to the album a couple more times.
I am going to mention a few words. Tell us what comes to mind?
Ego - It’s a good thing to have.
Image - Very important thing to have when coming to a live act.
Recording - Heaven and hell.
Contract - Ha-ha Homer Simpson, know your business before signing a contract.
Record Company - Devil
Do you want to say anything in conclusion?
Yeah. I thank all the American fans for all the support in the past and I am really eager to come back for the first headline tour in August. I really hope the people will be there to support the heavy metal movement.