INTERVIEW WITH FREDRIK LARSSON OF HAMMERFALL BY LINDSEY APPLETON
Having taken some time out from the band to spend time with his new child, Fredrik has returned to the fold and a new album, ‘Built to Last’, will be released in November on a new record label, Napalm Records followed by a long awaited return to the US where they tour with Delain.
Lindsey Appleton had a chat with Fredrik to get an update on the band;
MGM: You guys have just released your new album ‘Built to Last’ through pledge music, do you want to tell us a little bit about this?
This is news for me, and I haven’t heard about it before but reading up on it it seems like a great idea! This seems to only be available in the U.K. And Ireland at the moment so I have to dig deeper in this.
MGM: How did the recording process go for this album?
This album is really similar to r(Evolution) which we released in 2014, at least recording wise. We recorded drums, bass and guitars at Oscar’s studio, Castle Black Studio, and Fredrik Nordström from Studio Fredman was behind the mixing desk. He recorded the drums and got us set up with the bass and guitar sound. We already got our sound but just to get it properly on tape, then we did most of the recording ourselves since we got Pontus in the band and he is a really talented studio engineer himself.
The vocals were recorded in L.A. with James Michael. We started working with him on the “Infected” album and the vocal just sounded so good that we had to continue. It’s the chemistry between Joacim and Michael and the way they work together that really makes it worth it.
MGM: Who designed the new artwork for the album and does it have any meaning?
Again we work with Andreas Marshall who painted the first couple of covers for HammerFall and then came back to paint r(Evolution). It felt natural to ask him to do the new cover as well since it feels like a natural progression for HammerFall. The title is “Built to Last” and that’s about HammerFall for sure. When we recorded the first album no one thought we’d be around for this long but we’ve proved them wrong and we are definitely something that’s built to last.
MGM: What’s your favourite track off the new album?
It’s really too soon to ask since you need a certain perspective to get a real grip on favourite songs but there’s a couple that stands out. “The Sacred Vow” and “Hammer High” are the obvious ones but a little different one is “Second to None”.
MGM: How would you say your new album differs from your last album?
I would actually say that it got more similarities. Over all the pace is a bit faster and it’s slightly more diverse song wise. And the obvious part is that it’s David behind the drums this time.
MGM: Your new video ‘Hammer High’ single has just been released, what was it like recording the video?
Recording a video is almost always a pain in the ass but this time everything went really smooth. A couple of takes individually and that’s it. There’s a lot of things going on in the video so we’re not a big part in it, just flashing by.
MGM: Any fun stories from behind the scenes of the video?
Yes, we got to hang out with Fredrik and Jonny from Nocturnal Rites, we recorded the video in their home town Umeå, and of course Owe Lingvall who directed the video is drummer in the band as well. And the good news is that they are working on some new material, watch out!
MGM: You guys were featured on TV4 for a worldwide exclusive about your video ‘Hammer High’, how do you feel about this exclusive?
We’ve been playing live on a morning show at TV4 a couple of times and we have a good relation with them so these things comes natural I guess.
MGM: You guys will be coming back to play the UK in March at the almighty Hammerfest festival , we can’t wait to catch you guys there, are you looking forward to this and have you got anything special lined up for it?
It’s still some time left for us to plan things and we have a lot of planning to do, a big European tour, a really big US tour and a South America tour in the making so we haven’t got to the festivals quite yet. But be sure, we’ll make a magic night out of it and I really look forward to see our UK fans again!
MGM: What music do you guys listen to when out on the road?
Actually not that much. Maybe something to get in the mood before the show and something for the party after but that’s pretty much it, at least for me. Sometimes something soft to wind down before bedtime. I listen to a lot of different music, from soft singer/songwriter music to Meshuggah.
MGM: Is there anything you would like to say to your fans?
There are some dates in the U.K. that’s still in the making but I hope we’ll get there soon so stay tuned and I hope to see you soon!
MGM: All the best Fredrik, thank you for your time, we look forward to catching you guys at Hammerfest when you return to the UK.
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