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Fredrik Larsson – Bass for Hammerfall

Date: 11/10/16
Interviewed By: Rich Catino


1. After almost twenty years of making music, what were the goals for “Built To Last”?

FREDRIK: As always, we want to make the best album possible for us at that time. And this time I think we did a really good job in the studio. We really captured the energy, which isn't always easy to get down on tape. And the statement with ‘Built to Last’ isn’t just that HammerFall has been around for 20 years but this album is definitely also built to last. I know it's to early to tell, but it feels like it anyway. Only time will tell.

2. Do you find it hard not to repeat yourselves? Or is their certain element that will always be in Hammerfall’s music?

FREDRIK: Of course we have boundaries in HammerFall that we don't take too many steps outside from, we play Heavy Metal the way we think it should be. No more, no less. And there are ingredients that a good HammerFall song should have, and as well we try to make it interesting and not repeating ourselves, without being strange. I think HammerFall fans knows what to expect from us at this time. Most of them have been around for some time.

3. Do you ever feel the lyrics may be too “metal” at times, and criticized by either fans or critics?

FREDRIK: Some cheesiness and "too metal" is a small part of the package. It's a tongue in cheek thing and the ones that don't like it will always be the ones that will be heard. Lighten up, everything doesn't need to be so serious and angry. There is enough of bands that play that kind of music, we want to share some happiness and joy together with the Heavy and Power if you know what I mean.

4. Have you ever thought of writing an Maiden style epic song?

FREDRIK: I know it's really hard to make a song that’s long without losing interest from the listener. In the beginning of our career it was easy to just make some more riffs, and the songs always ended up too long, you had to take away what wasn't necessary for the basic song. Now we have learned from that and found a way to reach our goal with the songs in a better way.

5. Is there a an album, or a few songs from an album, the band is not particularly happy with?

FREDRIK: No, not really. Of course there are songs that aren’t that much fun to play, but getting the crowd’s reaction makes up for that. Can't say any specific. But the songs and albums are reflections of where we were at that time. It's like my tattoos, I wouldn't do the same if I were to start today but it makes perfectly sense if I look back to who I were when I did them.

6. What are the touring plans?

FREDRIK: We have our biggest tour ever coming up, ‘Built to Tour’. We start off with a European tour in January and then a South America and North America tour will follow. And that even before the summer festivals starts so we will be quite busy. And we have some plans for next fall as well but we'll see.

7. Shooting any shows for a live concert DVD?

FREDRIK: Nothing that we have talked about but you never know. We always record the sound from our shows, you never know when you might need it. So it's an easy thing to get something really good out of an ordinary video recording but we haven't spoken about a full production professional recording.

8. What is going to be different by switching record labels?

FREDRIK: Hopefully the things that we weren't satisfied with from our former label will be better. We feel like we still want to take HammerFall to the next level. We want everyone that we work with to act the same way, to reach for the same goals. We know it's hard work but we're willing to do that and we will get there. We want to get on more and bigger tours and spread our music over the world. It's still early in the relationship with Napalm Records but so far it's been great.

9. Has there been an increase in interest in the traditional and power metal bands from overseas in the USA, and the reason why you guys will be back for an American tour in the spring?

FREDRIK: I really have no idea about the interest of European metal bands in the US. I know that bands from Sweden have been touring a lot in the States for a long time, but it's a question about how they tour as well. You can go with a mini Van and sleep in cheap motels but that's not for us, you know we are all a bit older these days. A proper tour bus at least, there's a lot of ground to cover and even though we spend around 4 weeks in North America, we actually don't get to that many places. There's a lot of cities we will miss, unfortunately.

10. Closing comments, anything you’d like to add?

FREDRIK: I really hope you will enjoy our latest album, “Built to Last”, and that I will see you all somewhere out on our upcoming tour.

Official website: https://www.hammerfall.net


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