Interview with Joacim Cans, HammerFall (March 2010) 

To see the video interview visit

How are you doing tonight?

Joacim: I'm doing just fine, thank you very much.

What do you look forward to on this tour?

Joacim: It's just great to be back in the US. It's been 5 years since the last time and I don't know why we didn't return for the Threshold tour, but sometimes you need to focus on other territories... but now we felt it was time to come back and try to conquer America again.

What do you like most about playing in the US?

Joacim: It's really nice to meet the true fans and we certainly have a lot of die-hard fans over here, and this is also like a little treat for them that we actually come here and play live. This tour bus is 10 times better than what we have in Sweden, the tour bus is fantastic and like I said meeting the fans.

Were you able to bring more of your stage and props this time?

Joacim: Not really, not really. Tonight we have the big back drop though. Some venues are really small, there is no way that we can fit anything that we have over in Europe. And when it comes to like the pyro stuff, its more like impossible to use it here and there's no economy in it either. So, we try to do it as big as possible show every night and tonight is gonna be one of the bigger one just because we have a bigger stage.

You were in Highlander, why did you decide to leave?

Joacim: Highlander was a band that we played for a couple of years and somehow we split up without even knowing it and we decided to continue playing together and I don't know... We somehow broke up and I found another band and after a couple of years, after actually we released the first Hammerfall album they got back together, recorded their first album but they had to change their name for some legal issues to Lost Horizon.

Daniel Heiman their old singer, has left the band and I think they are still looking for a singer... What if they ask you to join them again or have they already asked you?

Joacim: They have not asked me and I would say no because Hammerfall is taking too much of my time and I've been working so hard with Hammerfall since 1996. And I think what they need is a more high pitched singer. I'm more of a mid-range singer with some elements of high notes so they need someone else.

Are you a fan of Lost Horizon?

Joacim: Of course! I mean, many of the songs from the first album I played ten years earlier but in a different shape. So of course, yes I am.

Did you ever record anything with them? I think a lot of people would be curious to hear it.

Joacim: I made some demos. I think all together 4 or 5 songs.

Can we find it anywhere?

Joacim: Well... It's in my drawer at home. Since they re-wrote some of the songs, I don't think they want to have it out there.

Will there be a new Warlord album?

Joacim: Well we did the album back in 2002, but that was like a once in a lifetime thing for me to be able to work with some of my heroes. But we have no plans whatsoever for another album.

How about your next solo album, I know you have been working on it for quite sometime. What can we expect after Beyond the Gates and when can we expect it?

Joacim: That's a good question. Both questions are very good and I don't really have an answer. I'm not sure there will be a second solo album. I have some songs written for it but I'm not sure that those songs represent where I'm at today. So if I'm gonna do a second solo album, it might be something different. I have no plans for it at this point cause this is taking too much of my time at the moment. (laughs)

You were a guitar player before you started singing, do you still play the guitar?

Joacim: A little. I have a couple guitars at home and i try to play but I suck.

What are your tips and tricks in keeping your voice in shape?

Joacim: First of all I think you should know your limits, get to know your voice and then work with what you have. If you are in a band... for instance, if I would have to sing with Lost Horizon, I would run into problems cause it's too high pitched. So I think that if you find a band, they need to adapt to your voice and not the other way around. And you should not be the last man standing at the party, after show party. Okay maybe have a few drink but then don't talk too much and you know, your sleep.

What is your strategy in writing, where do you get your fresh ideas?

Joacim: I don't know... I co-write most of the stuff with Oscar or everything with Oscar. He's kind of the brain behind the riffs and kind of the music. I'm adding the melodies and that is kind of my signature when it comes to song writing like I had a really... how do you say... I'm just addicted to good melodies. And also it's is kind of the spur of the moment when I'm writing, where I'm at at the moment, if you're in a bad mood or something happening in your life and so on, it's kind of different. Some song I would probably never write today that I wrote 5, 6 years ago and vice versa. You know, just comes naturally. I'm not really forcing anything even though sometimes it feels like I'm doing it, just natural progress.
If you don't mind, please enlighten us with stories about your 'Euro Disco' writing days. How did that come about?

Joacim: That was when I came back from the US. I was in MI (Music Institute) in Hollywood, 1993, 1994... When I came back to Sweden no one wanted to play Heavy Metal music and my friend just got a new computer, he was doing some programming, it was just for fun and we started to write songs. And this was kind of the early days of the Euro Disco Era and I kind of liked it somehow because of the great melodies and the great choruses. Just for fun we stared to write some songs and we ended up taking this really really serious but we never played a song for anyone. We did like 16 or 17 songs. With me singing and a girl doing the girly parts... I still have 'em, in the drawer.

You co-produced the band Dreamland. I've been a huge fan of theirs as well. Did you have anything to do with their new album Exit 49 as well?

Joacim: Nothing, nothing no. They decided to work else where.

We gave it a good review on our site...

Joacim: Oh, ok. It's okay if you do that. (laughs)

Do you produce any other bands?

Joacim: No, not at all, not at all.

You have a record label that you run with Oscar?

Joacim: Yeah, but that was 10 years ago now. We released 1 album on that label, that was the Mrs. Hippie album... After that we felt, 'no, this is not for us'. We wanna write music, we wanna play music, we wanna perform. Not sit behind the desk making deals, it's not for us.

You listen to a lot of 80's bands obviously...and Journey. How do you like their new singer?

Joacim: To be honest with you, I haven't heard them with the new singer. I heard that he's a great singer. Last time I heard Jeff Scott Soto was in the band.

What about newer bands, any new bands you find interesting?

Joacim: Well, I like Disturbed. They're not a new band. It's really hard to find really good new bands now adays. Sometimes I discover bands that's been around for a while, just missed them. Like Muse for instance, I like Muse. I think they're really really good. As well as System Of A Down is also really cool but they're not new.

How about all these fabrics of Folk Metal, are you a fan at all?

Joacim: If it's good, it it's well played, yes. I like Finntroll for instance if we can call that Folk Metal, I dont know. Yeah, if it's well played and they know how to play the instruments. If it's just keyboard samples... nah! They need to use real instruments to make that happen.

Samwise Didier, the guy responsible for most of your album covers, also artwork creator of WOW in which he named a town after Hammerfall. Has any of the Hammerfall guys had a chance to visit Hammerfall in WOW? Though I think it's been destroyed or something...

Joacim: Oh it's been destroyed?! Oh shit! I didn't know that. (laughs) I haven't been there. We're gonna meet him (Samwise Didier) in LA in 2 or 3 weeks. I need to have a serious talk with him. (laughs)

You were in a swedish Television program, Körslaget. Timo Kotipelto of Stratovarius was also in a Finnish version the show. Is this common in Scandinavia and Nordic Countries to have Metal stars on Television like that? Sounds like a heck of a reality show...

Joacim: Not really, I think they took a chance in Sweden because it was formed by a swedish company. They tried it first in the US and in Sweden. I think they just gave it a shot. I've been doing, not so many but a few TV shows before. They thought, 'ok, just to spice things up, let's try with this guy' and then I ended up winning the whole thing. Then, when they did the Finnish side they said, 'we need a Metal guy here as well'. It was cool.

I believe I also saw him on a cooking show, showing how to bake a cake or something like that. Have they asked you to bake in front of the camera?

Joacim: Well... for a food show, yes but I couldn't be a part of it because we were doing a show in India at that time. But I'm really selective when it comes to TV appearances, not dealing with Hammerfall. You never know, if it's a good food show, yeah why not, I love cooking.

Hammerfall has been around for a while now, sold millions of albums, you've played at Wacken many times, Dominated the European charts over and over. Is there anything else Hammerfall would like to accomplish in the future?

Joacim: I think that's just part of the whole vision of Hammerfall. What were doing now is try to make things happen in the US. Europe is still just a small part of the whole thing. I'd also say that as long as it's fun, it doesn't really matter where it will take you in the end. Because like many artists, you become huge in every territory but it doesn't really look like they're having fun. So as long as we can continue what were doing and maybe evolve in some territories, I'm fine. And of course produce good music.

Any message to your dedicated fans and the supporters of Heavy Metal?

Joacim: Of course I really hope that they take the chance now to see Hammerfall live, or they took the chance to see Hammerfall live this time around in North America and of course thank you all for the great support. And next time you come, bring your friends cause Hammerfall is supposed to be seen live, experienced live.



Interviewed by Haydee G.
HammerFall - No Sacrifice, No Victory

Album available on Nuclear Blast