Hammerfall recently hit the road with Dealin supporting their globally acclaimed tenth studio album and Napalm Records debut Built to Last, which was released last November via Napalm Records. Hammerfall guitarist and founding member Oscar Dronjak sat down with Iron Serbian @ Social Hall in San Francisco, California to discuss the new album, the early days, new label change and more…enjoy.
On the early metal scene in Gothenburg
When I formed Hammerfall in 1993 this type of music was very outdated by the people who knew things. If you were a metal fan you were generally a fan of the harder, more aggressive music or grunge maybe, which I wasn’t, I decided to play heavy metal ,in 1993 it was quite difficult for me, I had some friends who liked some melodic metal still who weren’t afraid to admit it, but there were not that many. We were just doing this for fun and we loved the music we were playing, and the other bands that were around at that time, some of my best friends from that era, were in bands like Dark Tranquility, In Flames or At The Gates, they all went on to become really famous in their respective death metal fields, it was a great atmosphere to grow up in, in Gothenburg where I’m from.
On changing record labels from Nuclear Blast to Napalm Records..
For us it was a matter having a label that didn’t have 500 other bands, that doesn’t have 500 other priorities as well, because when we signed with Nuclear Blast in 1997, this was a small growing label and we were a small growing band, it was a really good fit. We were really happy with them over the years, otherwise we wouldn’t have stayed with them for 18 years.
On fellow musicians speaking out on non musical related issues…
I have no problem with anybody speaking out on any topics they feel passionate about, Whether I agree with them or not, its inconsequential, its just an opinion. It will never make me like an artist less at least not if i already had a good feeling about them already. I’m an atheist and still like Megadeth and Alice Cooper for that matter. I know they’re wrong but it doesn’t matter, they can have whatever opinion they want, because this is all about the music anyway.
For more Hammerfall please visit the website here.