Spotlight Report recently conducted an interview with guitarist Oscar Dronjak of Swedish metallers HAMMERFALL. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
Spotlight Report: We must say the new album ["(r)Evolution"] sounds amazing. Congratulations! As the mastermind behind the band, how do you manage to keep things fresh and with the same quality level after all these years?
Oscar Dronjak: [Laughs] Thanks for the compliment; I really appreciate that. It's just a matter of loving what you do. I love what I do. I love heavy metal. That's why I started playing it, because it's based on the passion of what we are doing. It's something that makes me feel young all the time. When I'm writing heavy metal, it makes me feel like I'm the same fan of the music as I always was 20 years ago, or 30 years ago. But that's one of the things, the passion for the music have made it much easier to deal with those things.
Spotlight Report: Do you feel that the new album, "(r)Evolution", was harder or easier to put together than previous releases?
Oscar Dronjak: The songwriting for this album was very much easier, much easier, much less stressful. [There was] no anxiety or self-doubt; I didn't have any of that… So I think if you just write the music that you love to do, it makes it so much easier. When we do something that I've been dreaming of doing my whole life, and I've been fortunate enough to be able to do it for a long time, so that makes it easy to do it.
Spotlight Report: We were reading a note saying that the title of the album is somehow linked to the "Planet Of The Apes" films?
Oscar Dronjak: Yes, that is true. Actually, the title, "(r)Evolution" with the "r" in brackets and capital "E," it comes from the Swedish translation. In Sweden, they sometimes take a title of a movie and translate it into something similar or vaguely similar or something completely different. They sometimes take liberties with the translation of the movie titles, which I didn't realize. It wasn't until I started researching it that this is the second movie in the remake series, so it's "Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes". This movie, when it came on in Swedish theaters, was called "Planet Of The Apes: (r)Evolution", spelt the way that we did on the album, and for a long time I thought that was the original title, the American title of the movie, and I realized when we had decided to use that title it was just the Swedish title, so it made it even better, 'cause it wasn't available to so many people. So I can't take credit for coming up with it, but I think it's a fantastic title, especially that movie.
Spotlight Report: It's a great film too, and you will be blown away with the new one, man, seriously. We gave it 5 stars.
Oscar Dronjak: Yeah, I love the "Planet Of The Apes" movies. I've got goosebumps now. The songtitle "(r)Evolution" has meaning for us as well. For me, it means an ongoing revolution that we've had, basically, since 1993. There's been a revolution for heavy metal, because back in those days, heavy metal was very much the uncool, non-popular thing to do, so it's always been a battle for us. That is the revolution part. It is on constantly, ongoing, battle for a revolution to come, so people can show heavy metal the respect that it deserves, basically. I also think the "evolution" part of the title is linked to the songs, the music on the album, 'cause it reflects the entire career of HAMMERFALL. It does reflect the older, old-school HAMMERFALL, but it also has a lot of the elements of mid-life, the mid-2000s, maybe, but, of course, it's got to be the evolution of a new album. So it reflects the elements of old HAMMERFALL and a lot of the new stuff, [the way our sound has evolved through] 2014.
Read the entire interview at Spotlight Report.