Interview with HAMMER KING
The Band: Hammer King
Answers by: Titan Fox V (vocals, guitars)
Third album from German classic power metal outfit HAMMER KING, “Poseidon Will Carry Us Home”, including their most adventurous feat to date: The “Nautical Trilogy” detailing the epic adventures of “The King” himself. A session with Powerwolf bassist Charles Greywolf at his own Greywolf Studios has concluded with their pivotal third album, “Poseidon Will Carry Us Home”. Again, we meet Titan to talk about it all.
Hello again Titan, on October 5th you are releasing “Poseidon Will Carry Us Home”, what can you say about it compared with your previous 2 albums?
Titan: Hail Metalbrothers in Spain! Great to be back with you!
We are absolutely looking forward to the release, we can’t wait! Actually, I am at the video set right now. We are shooting “The King Is A Deadly Machine” today.
Well, “Poseidon Will Carry Us Home” is the third album – and the third is gonna make it or break it. We have had a natural progression from the first album to this third album. We are very confident, the album is very strong and has a natural feel to it.
You have worked with Charles Greywolf, Powerwolf’s producer & bassist, how was it?
Titan: Working with Charles is an amazing experience! This has been our third so far and we will be with him for the next one as well, no question. We share the same passion for music, we have the same humor, so being in the studio with him is fun despite the hard work. The vibe and the spirit are perfect for us.
That could end being a good relationship with that German power band and go out touring or something, a split or who knows?
Titan: We would absolutely be in for it, no question! We are primed and ready.
Cruz Del Sur Music is releasing your album, a label growing day by day and with a high standing roster, a good place to be?
Titan: We are very happy being with Cruz Del Sur Music! Enrico Lecese is an honest and professional man, we have a great communication and it is clear that he understands the King’s music. We have mutual respect, everybody gives the best, it couldn’t be better.
With this third album I think Hammer King consolidates itself as a name in the European power scene?
Titan: Lately, we have played some shows with Freedom Call, Brainstorm, Visigoth and Cloven Hoof – and shows with Demon and The Three Tremors are coming up. We are constantly playing bigger stages with bigger names. The King is ready to take Europe over. Today Europe, tomorrow the world.
Yeah, it looks great, man. I like the epic touch you transmit in “Poseidon Will Carry Us Home”, that takes you beyond a more simple power metal approach
Titan: You cannot write one album twice, so of course there is a development from album to album. As always, all music and lyrics were given by the Hammer King and with the nautical theme of the album came a more epic approach. When we worked on the “Nautical Trilogy” (consisting of “Poseidon Will Carry Us Home”, “At The Mercy Of The Waves” and “We Sail Cape Horn”), we had an atmosphere that would take hold of the entire album. Charles’ mix was perfect from the first day and we have got a perfect mastering by Tony Lindgren in Jens Bogren’s Fascination Street Studio. This adds to the more epic direction as well.
The band’s trademark gallop and twin guitar interplay is complemented by the smooth, clean vocal delivery of Fox V, kind of your mark?
Titan: Yes, it is. We produce the albums very naturally. We rarely have rhythm guitars underneath the twin lead guitars and we don’t use keyboards at all. If we need an atmospheric background we add choirs, which the King has us sing ourselves. Therefore we have our own distinct sound in the studio that we can naturally recreate onstage. We don’t us trigger drums or auto-tuned vocals and there will never be backingtracks. Hammer King is the real sound of the four people in the King’s band.
A natural product all the way. At the Mercy of Waves and We Sail Cape Horn are songs were you give a step forward in your sound?
Titan: These songs are among our favourites on the album. “At The Mercy Of The Waves” has a real “grandess” to it, you can feel the waves roll. We added some choirs on both songs and especially on “We Sail Cape Horn” we worked with counterpoint vocals for the first time.
Some of the guys have played with other important bands as Lord Vigo or Ivory Night, how has that experience contributed to your sound?
Titan: I think that everything you ever play has an imprint on your musical self, also everything you ever listen to. We are Metal for sure, but of course we listen to different styles of music to keep our Metal fresh and alive.
Is crazy to imagine Hammer King playing some very different style in the future? How open-minded is your music?
Titan: Everything is up to the King! Whatever the King demands, we shall follow His orders. I do not expect the King to radically change His course, but I expect Him to progress throughout the years. There is a bit of folk music in “7 Days And 7 Kings” and “Battle Of Wars” – who knows what’s up next?
The best and the worst moments of the composing and recording of “Poseidon Will Carry Us Home” were?
Titan: Hahahaha! The worst? Before we got the King’s songs, we were anxious whether our third album would be strong enough to be a real third album – but then of course, never doubt the King and his songs. So the best moment was (and always is) when all the songs have come together and the track order is clear and you know how killer your album is.
The cover art of course shows the already classic hammer, although this time with the nautical approach. Any lyrics trend in the album?
Titan: Yes, for sure! We sail Cape Horn – while our last album was about the kingly wars, this album is about the King’s seafarings. As above, we have the “Nautical Trilogy”, so the centre piece is nautical. The video track “The King Is A Deadly Machine” is about one of the King’s chosen heroes – on “Kingdom Of The Hammer King”, we had the song “Figure In The Black”, which was about another hero. Maybe you can figure out, who they are?
Titan, European power metal has probably lived its best moments in Germany, or at least the most popular bands are from there, with acts as Gamma Ray, Edguy, Helloween etc, it helps to a band as yours?
Titan: As long as we don’t play alongside the united pumpkins of Helloween, it does not necessarily help 😉 Maybe Germany is a good place to be for this kind of music. I like the German way of working, being precise and very organized. We are very German when it comes to playing shows and being at the merchandise stand, being present and having all articles with us. We love meeting our fans, the old ones and the new ones, chatting with the boys and being in touch with the girls. But that’s more the Saint-Tropez-side of us 🙂
What plans do you have in the future?
Titan: We are looking forward to playing as many shows as possible! We are blessed to be playing live all the time – and with our booking agency Shock City Productions from Scotland, we will play more shows than before – it has started really promising. We will play Belgium and Switzerland for the first time.
Of course we are looking forward to having “Poseidon Will Carry Us Home” as black and blue vinyl!
Sounds good and cool. Thank you very much for your attention and kindness as ever, if you wish to add something…
Titan: Thank you very much for having us again! We hope we will be in Spain very soon, what a great Metal country Spain is!
God bless the King, may the King bless you!