Side Stage Magazine got a chance to sit down with bass player of Hammerfall, Fredrik Larsson to talk about the tour with Delain, their latest album “Built to Last”, staying relevant in the music industry after 20 years as a band and more. This is defiantly one interview you do not want to miss out on reading.
Side Stage Magazine: So, you haven’t toured in the United States in a while. How does it feel to be back and how have the shows and crowds been?
Fredrik Larsson: It’s great being back. It’s almost embarrassing to be away that long, but coming back is really great and the crowds so far have been wonderful.
Yeah, I know it’s just kinda the beginning of the tour so you still have to feel it out.
Yeah, but the couple of shows, it’s been over we expected.
Absolutely, that’s great. Glad to hear that. What can we expect from the live show tonight?
We always try to give everything. I would say Hammerfall live compared to a record is like Hammerfall 120 percent at least. If we get something from the crowd we’re going to give it back.
Absolutely, I think it’s going to be a sold out show tonight.
There’s a lot of people
When I was waiting in line out there, I was saying to myself “Wow, this place is going to be full tonight!” So you’ll have a lot of adoring fans. So how has it been touring with Delain?
Yeah, this is the first time I hear Delain, they’ve been really good. Professionals and we’re having a good time together.
That’s great. They’re a great band so I’m sure you’ll make a good mixture of sounds together.
Two totally different bands. That seems to work much better in America than Europe because in Europe they try to match bands together that are kind of similar to get a package. Here it seems to work out with much more similar bands.
Oh, I always thought it was different in Europe. I always thought that other bands would mix well with other bands that were different. So you recently last year in November released “Built to Last”. How is that different from your other albums?
It feels like “Built to Last” is like a twin sister CD from the previous one, (r)Evolution so they are really similar the way they are recorded, the same way with pretty much the same people. But at the same time this one has more, it’s a fresh album and much more vitalized.
Ok, you took some time off in between some albums. So did you feel like that was a good thing to do to refresh yourself?
Absolutely, it was the only thing we could do. The whole 2013 was off. So when we came back we all realized this is what we want to do and must do. It was really good to keep on. I think we got the energy and sounded fresh again even for us. And “Built to Last” is another step up from previous albums.
So this is going with the “Built to Last” theme. How was the writing and recording process?
It’s usually Oscar and Joacrim, they do most of the writing. Pontus is involved a bit. Then we get demos that a pretty much done in form of song structure and stuff. Then we come in and add our thing on top of that and then we go into the studio and build it from the beginning again adding layer upon layers.
Ok, so there demos then work their way to full songs. After being in the industry for over 20 years you have made a name for yourself as a driving force in the Metal field both in Sweden and worldwide especially Europe. What do you think the reason is you have been successful in staying relevant and popular in the music industry thus far?
I think we always stay true to what we wanted to do. We never listened to anyone about trends or how to sound or whatever and we do it by heart. This is our passion. We make music the way we want to, so I think people will notice that.
I think that’s defiantly always true. People know when you are faking it and people known when you are not. It’s always staying power.
Congratulations, on being in the industry so long it’s amazing. For so many bands it’s hard to stay together that long and stay relevant and have that fresh sound. So what are your plans after this tour cycle? I know it’s early on and it’s hard to think even that far but….(laughs)
We have a whole tour in front of us (laughs)
I know you have a whole tour in head of you, this is a premature question. But do you plan to do some touring overseas or record or take some time off?
We have a lot of festivals this Summer in Europe and in Sweden. Then we are going to do some small Swedish tour and probably some more, maybe South America we’re considering it. Then next year we’ll probably record a new album.
So you’re going to take maybe a year off then record?
Yes, record and writing process.
Yes, you guys like to do the back to back kind of recording so it’s good to take some time off. So, you kind of touched on this but this is my last question. What is your favorite part of touring and what is the difference between US, European crowds and other countries?
My favorite part is definitely to be on stage. It’s the thing I live for and see the people up front and get the reactions at once, other than making music, recording it and then get the feedback people telling you stuff like they like it or not. When you play live you get the reactions at once and you can just go with it and deliver.
The crowds I guess they are pretty much like the European so far, they are pretty similar actually.
Well, thank you so much for taking the time out to do this interview.