Road Trippin': Hammerfall

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What have you got planned for this one-off UK date?

Oscar Dronjak [guitar]: “Since we haven’t been on English soil since the Infected tour, we’ll bring a whole new stage setup. The European tour we did in the beginning of the year will be a good measuring stick. In the early days, we used to clutter up the stage with a lot of props and effects, but this time we’ll fill the stage with our presence, enthusiasm and a whole lot of great heavy metal. We’re back and we’re fucking excited!”/o:p

You kickstarted a new wave of heavy metal bands 20 years ago. How do you regard your legacy today?

“It’s a great honour to have been a part of the revival of melodies in metal music. This was one of the reasons I formed the band originally. I was fed up with the rhythm-based, non-melodic stuff that was all the rage in metal in the 90s. Heavy metal was for losers and people who didn’t understand what the new, cool thing to do was. We didn’t give a fuck, obviously. Heavy metal is in our blood and we never shied away from our true nature.”

What’s the strangest encounter you’ve ever had with a Hammerfall fan?

“At a show in Philadelphia 10 years ago, a girl showed us her ass. It wasn’t just any ass, though, she had gotten our Crimson Thunder album cover tattooed all over it! The funny thing was, she claimed not to even like Hammerfall that much, but she loved the cover painting. Go figure!”

Do you still party hard or have you slowed down over the years?

“Judging by the last tour, there wasn’t a lot of ‘partying hard’ going on. To be able to sustain a 90-minute aerobic work out, which is more or less what our shows are, we can’t be pissed every night, especially since we’ve all passed the magic border of 40. Most of us drank some beers every night, but there was never any partying going on. For quite a few years now, we’ve tried to maintain something of a fitness regime!”/o:p

HAMMERFALL HEADLINE O2 ACADEMY ISLINGTON ON SATURDAY 9 MAY 2015/o:p