HAMMERFALL guitarist Oscar Dronjak has posted the following message on the band's official web site:
"Happy holidays, Templars! As you might have gathered from the Forum, some of us were at the Rockfabrik in Ludwigsburg, Gemany, last weekend. The legendary club celebrated its 20-year anniversary, and HAMMERFALL was invited to the festivities. So Anders, Joacim and I flew down to Stuttgart on Sunday not knowing what to expect. I knew we were supposed to play a few HF songs with some guys taking the place of Stefan and Magnus, but that was about it. When we arrived there was musicians everywhere: GAMMA RAY, guys from HELLOWEEN and PRETTY MAIDS, DORO, PRIMAL FEAR, SACRED STEEL, people with long hair and/or a metal attitude swarming all over the place!
"We had been assigned Tom from PRIMAL FEAR and his friend the Swiss Mitch from GODIVA as replacements for our missing band members, and they had decided that we should play 'At The End Of The Rainbow', 'Hearts On Fire' and 'HammerFall'. We spent an hour or so going through the songs — sometimes as much for my sake as for theirs — and I was getting more and more nervous towards the closer we got to stage time. This was to be my first performance since the motorcycle accident, and I didn't really know how the arm would hold up. Ronnie Atkins from PRETTY MAIDS was backed up by the Germans from PUMP, delivering a really great version of 'Future World' right before we went on stage, and that was a wonderful way to mentally prepare for a gig. There was no need to worry about my injury, as I discovered within the first twenty seconds that this was going to be ok. Playing with Tom and Mitch was fantastic, and being on stage again was undescribable! I always knew I would be back, I just had forgotten how absolutely superior to everything else it is!
"Tom was up again for the next act, which was HELLOWEEN, accompanied by the former drummer of PRIMAL FEAR, Klaus. I spent most of the evening at the side of the stage watching the others perform, and it was brilliant! Then it was GAMMA RAY doing four of their more recent hits, followed by Doro. Before the jam session was to commence, we got a very special treat: Kai reunited with Weiki and Markus to play the HELLOWEEN anthem 'Future World', with Ralf Scheepers on vocals. Needless to say, that was a classic moment! Another such moment occurred later on, when Joacim entered the stage to sing 'Breaking The Law' with Kai Hansen and some people from AXXIS. Joacim reportedly smashed Kai in the face with the microphone, but I'm pretty sure that was unintentional… :-) I was scheduled to play 'You've Got Another Thing Coming' with Markus from HELLOWEEN on bass and Doro and Ralf Scheepers sharing microphone duty, but I don't really know what happened. I think they did something together, but I was preoccupied at the bar and missed it! That's what alcohol can do to you if you're not careful…
"We ended up partying 'til six o'clock in the morning, arriving perfectly for breakfast at the hotel. Three hours of sleep later, and it was off to the airport. Despite the lack of sleep, this was a night to remember for a long, long time, and I'd like to thank Hasche, Eddy and the rest of the Rockfabrik crew for letting us be a part of it. And of course, all the boys for the great time we had! Here's a link if you are interested in seeing some photos from the evening.
"May 2004 be filled with fun, laughter, excitement and - most of all - METAL! Cheers!"