Hammerfall bass player Fredrik Larsson talked to our Eric Smith about their new album, upcoming tour and all things Hammerfall. New album BUILT TO LAST comes out November 4th. THE METAL PIT: Hammerfall seems to have really broken through with highly rated albums like (r)Evolution and the new one, Built To Last. Why do you think that is? FREDRIK LARSSON: Well, it seems like the break we took in 2013 really paid off. When we entered the studio to record r(Evoulution) we were all convinced that this is what we wanted to do and we were all filled up with energy and when we started to record, it shined through that we wanted to show the world that we were still hungry and a force to count with. And with Built to Last it felt natural to do it the same way. We recorded in Oscars Black Castle Studio with Fredrik Nordström once again and it was relaxed and edgy at the same time. We wanted to capture the energy in the takes instead of waiting for that perfect pitch take. As long as it sounds good and there's a lot of energy in it, it doesn't matter if there's small "mistakes". That's our philosophy. And I think our recipe for the songs is to take our back to the roots HammerFall and mix it with fresh sound and energy. How has Hammerfall changed since Glory to the Brave,up to BuiltToLast? Oh, there's been a lot of change since -97. When I left the band we were just about to release our debut and the band was really small and just a few people had ever heard of us. But after that album things started to run pretty quickly and over the 10 years that I was away HammerFall really made a journey and became a big and respected band. Now I've been in the band for almost 10 years and the band is actually still hungry for more. We all want to take it to the next level and play bigger and more shows. What is the writing process like for Hammerfall? Do the lyrics come first or a riff, or? I think we have a way that is a bit different than most other bands. Usually it's Oscar that writes the music, but he also comes up with a name for the song and then it's up to Joacim to interpret the title and make his story around that. It's not always like that but usually. How did the ten years you spent away from Hammerfall affect you as a musician?Do you feel you got better playing with other people? I played around with a lot of great musicians and of course I became a better bass player during those ten years, it would be a shame otherwise. But it's impossible to say where I would have been if I stayed in HammerFall. I like to get all kinds of inputs and inspiration from different music and working with a lot of different players just makes your bag of influences bigger. And for me bigger is better. In that case. I have never regretted that I quit but when I got the question to rejoin it was really fantastic. It felt like -97 again when we started rehearsing songs. Any comments about joining with Napalm Records? Better support? We felt that we all wanted to take HammerFall further and that means you have to believe in it and do things differently sometimes. Not just do the same thing over again and sit back and enjoy. Everyone has to work towards the same goal, and that includes everyone that wants to work with us. It's still really fresh with Napalm but so far they have treated us really good and I hope we can do great things together. How is it playing for American Audiences? As opposed to playing at home in Sweden? I think you have a really great crowd in America, and they seem really open minded about mixing different bands on the bill. It can be really different kind of music styles and the audience seems to like it and accept it for what it is. That's refreshing. What current music are you listening to? Right now I listen to an old album by a Norwegian band called Dunderbeist. The album is from 2011 and is called Dunderbeist as well. A fantastic album. And there's a lot of Mastodon in my ears as well. What is next for Hammerfall? We will release our album 4th of November and the big European tour starts mid January. Then we have a North America tour and a South America tour and then a lot of festivals on the summer so it's gonna be a hectic year for HammerFall. And we do have some plans for next fall as well but nothing is confirmed yet. Do you have any outside projects planned? Right now I don't have much time for other projects. I play in DeathDestruction but there's nothing going on there at the moment and all my spare time I try to spend with my family as I know I will be away from them a lot next year. How excited are you about the new album? Any favorite songs from the album that your most looking forward to playing live? I'm always exited to release a new album and get the reactions from fans around the world. And this time it feels really good, it feels like we have a strong and solid HammerFall album. I look forward to play both The Sacred Vow and Hammer High because I think they both will get great reactions but a personal favourite would be Second to None, even though I don't think we will play it live. But you never know. Anything else to add? I'm really looking forward to play in the states again, it was a long time since we did that and I really enjoy touring North America. Hope to see you all on a show somewhere. Take care! Thank you for doing this! Thanks!