Diane Webb of YesterdazeNews conducted an interview with frontman Joacim Cans of veteran Swedish metallers HAMMERFALL during January’s NAMM convention in Anaheim, California. You can listen to the entire chat via the SoundCloud widget below. A few excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On whether HAMMERFALL has started working on the follow-up to 2016’s “Built To Last”:
Joacim: “Yes, there are some new songs in the making. But, due to the fact the previous U.S. tour was so good and successful, we decided to add another tour as the only headliner. We had to postpone everything. The next album was supposed to actually come later this year, but we added another U.S. tour and a couple of festivals and maybe a small European tour in the secondary market as we call it, later this year, so everything will happen in 2019 instead. But, there’s no rush. We should be careful now. People are waiting for the album going: ‘They’re gone now. They’re gone.’ ‘But, we’ve been around for 21 years, it’s going to take a lot for us to be gone that fast.'”
On whether he prefers playing large European festivals or small clubs:
Joacim: “I prefer doing both. I mean, it’s fantastic to do festivals over in Europe, and your own tours, you’re playing some larger venues, even some arenas, but I also love going back to basics, like [recent show at San Diego venue] Brick By Brick. We came down there with no crew. We did everything ourselves. The whole tech part we did ourselves. We had a local sound guy and someone flashing the lights, but apart from that, come on, it doesn’t matter. We’re not so proud that ‘No, we can’t do that, it’s below our dignity.’ We’re only in it to have fun. That’s why we play music.”
On whether he feels as though other bands lose the “fun” element of performing live:
Joacim: “They do. They do. If you lose it, well, some people don’t realize that they lost it, but when you realize that you lost it, take a break. That’s what we did after the ‘Infected’ album. We did a tour, everything felt wrong. We had management back then; we were always self-managed. We wondered if things could get better if we sign on a manager, and well, things got worse. We said, ‘You know what, I’m pulling the plug now. I’m taking a break. See you guys in one year.’ And that break became one and a half, nearly two years, but in the meantime, we also wrote new music, so that was the best thing that could ever happen because everyone was so eager to go back on tour when we met again.”
On what North American fans can expect on their forthcoming headlining trek which begins in May:
Joacim: “First of all, we’re going to change the setlist, for sure, because this is the 20th anniversary of the second album, ‘Legacy Of Kings’, so we’re going to have a little more focus on that album. We’re not going to play the full album, of course. Last year, we did a medley of some cool parts from ‘Glory To The Brave’, but now we’re going to do more or less the same thing with ‘Legacy Of Kings’. We’re going to change some songs so the people who saw us on the previous tour will recognize a lot of the material, but there will be some surprises in there as well. HAMMERFALL on stage is always 100 percent energy because it doesn’t matter if it’s an arena or if it’s like a small, shady club somewhere in the middle of nowhere. It doesn’t matter because if there’s one guy who paid money to see us, we’re going to give him value for the money spent.”
On how their North American fanbase has developed over the years:
Joacim: “I think that we have to see that on the next tour because on the previous tour, we toured with DELAIN. I think a lot of the people who showed up, they knew about HAMMERFALL, but they came for DELAIN. Of course, we had our die-hard fans, but now, let’s see if it paid off because the tour we did in 2010 was not that successful in North America. I’m not really sure what was the problem, but, we kind of gave up. But then, we thought, let’s give it a last try. The last try was so much fun; we enjoyed every second of it, so that’s why we’re coming back. Hopefully, the fact we’re bringing FLOTSAM AND JETSAM on the tour, they will pull some people that will actually stay and check us out.”
HAMMERFALL‘s North American tour with FLOTSAM AND JETSAM will kick off May 17 in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida and criss-cross the continent before concluding on June 19 in San Antonio, Texas.
“Built To Last” was released in November 2016 via Napalm Records.
Drummer David Wallin left HAMMERFALL two years ago in order to focus on his family life. He has since been replaced by Johan Koleberg, formerly of THERION and LION’S SHARE.