Rockpages.gr: “Built To Last” is the tenth studio album by Hammerfall and you are not slowing down at all! In my review, I wrote that it has all the classic, trademark Hammerfall elements. Do you think that this is a pure, true Hammerfall record?
Joacim Cans: Absolutely. I think we have developed the songs and the true HammerFall sound throughout our career and “Built to Last” is definitely a solid and vital album.
Rockpages.gr: My two favorite songs on the album are “The Sacred Vow” and the title track. Let’s talk about the first one: this is Hammerfall right from the opening riff! What does it take to right a typical Hammerfall song? How did you end up writing this one?
Joacim Cans: Every song we write has a live feeling to it. With that I mean that it should be possible to perform the song on stage. A typical HammerFall song has a strong guitar riff combined with strong melodic vocal lines and hymn like choruses. Not sure how we ended up with that particular song. In the song writing process things and songs just happen!
Rockpages.gr: What about the title track? It’s in the same (anthemic) vein as “The Way Of The Warrior”…
Joacim Cans: A very typical HammerFall song that invites the listener/fan to sing along in the car, in the shower or in front of stage when we play live.
Rockpages.gr: The almost unavoidable ballad “Twilight Princess” follows the same path as let’s say “Always Will Be” and “Dreams Come True”. Those two songs are now considered classics. How important is a ballad to the overall Hammerfall sonic spectrum? Do you think that it completes your vision as songwriters and it is an integral part of an album?
Joacim Cans: Back in the days many metal/hard rock bands got famous because of their ballads. It showed diversity and strength as song writers and musicians. For us it has always been a big part of every album. Not only to show that we are capable of writing and recording a good ballad but also to give each album dynamics. The fans would get pretty tired if we only did fast songs.
Rockpages.gr: This is your first album with Napalm Records after almost 20 years in the same label. What made you decide to leave Nuclear Blast?
Joacim Cans: It was not an easy decision to part ways with Nuclear Blast after 20 years. But we needed a label that has a future vision about the band even-though we are not a ”young” band anymore. Both labels came up with solid marketing plans and Napalm showed a young and fresh way of thinking.
Rockpages.gr: 2017 marks the 20th anniversary of “Glory To The Brave”; the album that changed European power-metal in the 90s. Any plans for a special celebration?
Joacim Cans: Only time can tell. We are in the middle of releasing a brand new and strong album and the tour starts on January. As it looks now we won’t be able to do any ”special” shows next year but there are still time to celebrate in the close future.
Rockpages.gr: You are an integral part of Warlord’s recording history as you have sung on the excellent “Rising Out Of The Ashes”. Would you consider repeating that experience and by the way did you have the chance to listen to Warlord’s last studio album “The Holy Empire”?
Joacim Cans: ”The Holy Empire” was a very solid and good album. I love those guys and we are still close friends. If I have the time in the future and they would still wanna have me delivering some vocals I would be honored.
Rockpages.gr: If someone wants to know more about Joacim Cans –apart from the music chapter in your life- how you would characterize yourself? What’s the everyday life of Joacim Cans?
Joacim Cans: Well, I spend a lot of time running and have done a few races the past three years. Everything from half-marathons to short 5k runs. I also do TV and radio shows in Sweden as well as some musical and show appearances.
Rockpages.gr: You were born in Mora. What do you remember from your childhood years and when was the last time that you were there?
Joacim Cans: Hahaha…I was there last week and will go back again tomorrow. I wrote a Christmas show that I will front and the grand opening night is on Friday Nov 18. I remember a youth with lots of snow. Used to ski a lot when I was growing up.
Rockpages.gr: In 2015 you returned to Greece after an 18-year hiatus and the crowd reaction was deafening and massive. Should we expect an imminent return to Greece next year?
Joacim Cans: We are doing everything we can to come back again very soon. It was a great fucking show the last time!!!
Rockpages.gr: Joacim, is Hammerfall built to last? I mean, did you expect that after 20 years you will be stronger and arguably more popular than ever?
Joacim Cans: HammerFall is definitely built to last and no matter what happens with the band in the future the music will stand the test of time. I think no one expected HammerFall to be even more solid and vital at the age of 20.