Hammer King – Interview –
Hello, Welcome to Acier Doux ! To begin with, can you write a short introduction to Hammer King ?
Hello Acier Doux Webzine, hail to Tunisia! It’s an honour talking to you !! The legend says that thy majesty, the Hammer King, formed the band in 1978 and then put it on a hiatus right thereafter. The four of us heard the Hammer King’s call in 2014 and we started working our first album “Kingdom Of The Hammer King”, which was released in 2015. We also started playing shows at that time. The Hammer King’s desire was to release the second album only 1.5 years after the first – and we proudly did so with “King Is Rising” in November 2016 !
Your first album “KINGDOM OF THE HAMMER KING” was released on digital format in May 8th, 2015 under the Italian label CRUZ DEL SUR MUSIC. How are the reactions of the metal crowd? Are you satisfied with the comments you could have gathered? Was there also a limited CD pressing, or it was only digital ?
Both our first album “Kingdom Of The Hammer King” as well as our second album “King Is Rising” have been released by Cruz Del Sur Music – who are doing one hell of a great job! Both albums have been released as CD, as black vinyl, as coloured vinyl and as downloads. So you really get every format you might desire ! The reaction has been really great and the King is very pleased with what we have achieved so far. We have started building up a steady fanbase and our concerts are getting better all the time! Of course, we do polarize with our many stories about the Hammer King, so we activated ome haters as well – but we like the haters, they do some good promo for us.
Even if your songs are quite straight to the point, you seem to enjoy tracks with a certain sense of composition (Chorus, verse, bridge, or something), and with a touch of melody… For you is Heavy metal something to release aggression, brutality, morbidity, or is there a bit more ?
Our songs are straight from the heart, straight from the hip. It has been a marching direction to write songs that are perfect for live shows, so the songs need to be on the spot. No bullshit, just the essence: Power and melody.
I like aggressive Metal a lot, but I think that Hammer King is no really aggressiv, Hammer King is noble and wild. To me, Heavy Metal is freedom and liberty, power and rebellion, belief and confidence, power and strength. It’s in our blood, that’s who we are. So the King has decided.
Why you Hammer King listed as a Royal Metal subgenre? can you tell me more about it ?
According to the legend, the Hammer King founded the band. Therefore the songs are mainly about the glory and the wars of the Hammer King. That’s why we call it Royal Metal – but basically we are playing Heavy Metal.
The topic of war, King and Kingdom seems to be something important for the band. Your song titles “Warrior’s Reign” and “King Is Rising” lead my mind to this subject, and your band name also does. Could you develop a bit th
e story behind ?
We always tell the Hammer King Legend, we will praise his kingdom, we unveil his war stories and we sing of his many journeys. It is the natural lyrical direction for us, it is classical Heavy Metal. Album number one was about the Kingdom and the majesty, album number two is about the wars, let’s see what album three will hold.
Your production is very good and powerful, it sounds very good in my humble decrepit-hears. Was it really self-produced in your rehearsal place ?
We rehearse at Castle Rockfort, but we record at Studio Greywolf, owned by Charles Greywolf of Powerwolf. Charles is a fantastic producer and an amazing person. We have found the right man and we do not want to record anywhere else in the world. Charles knows exactly how to make us sound natural and powerful and we inspire each other vice versa. I can’t wait to be back in the studio. By the way, he is the ruler of coffee and he serves a fine tarte flambée as well.
Most of members from Hammer King played in other bands… Some were Power Metal, some Heavy Metal. Was there something quite close to the style of Hammer King ? Maybe one could be seen as the ancestor of the same entity, since your current band would be the spiritual continuation under another names ? Some of your musicians currently have other musical projects ?
The Hammer King is a vengeful ruler, so we shalt not have other bands before him. Lord Vigo is the one exception, but Lord Vigo is stylistically different with its Epic Doom, and I do not sing there, so the bands are not to be confused at all. Of course we are all experienced and seasoned musicians, I sang for Ross The Boss, Dolph drummed for Saltatio Mortis, everyone did things before. But now we are set on Hammer King and we will give our lives unto the Hammer.
How is the metal scene in Kaiserslautern ? Some cool bands to quote and advice to the readers ? Are there kinds of metal that dominate your local scenes, or is it generally a bit of everything ?
To be honest: I don’t know. I am not in Kaiserslautern all too often anymore. There is Vanden Plas, they play their own musicals in theatres from time to time. Luckily some young old-school bands seem to come up again, but generally, we are focused on working on our music and playing as many shows in other cities as possible.
What can you tell us about your forthcoming projects ? This question is free, so you can speak about the subjects you wish, and then conclude..
We are currently working on our live performance. We want to make it bigger and more special for the people, so we have just bought a fog-and-light-system. It’s really cool to bring on more visuals ! We have also started working on the Hammer King’s new songs already as we would like to possibly hit the studio in winter. We are always busy and we are always looking for shows in other cities and other countries – it would be an honour to play Tunisia some day! Spread the word, we want to really be out there and meet the Metal people around the world.
Thank you very much for your support, hail to Tunisia ! God bless the King, may the King bless you !
Interviewer : Speedskullcrusher