HAMMERFALL Drummer Says Threat Of Legal Action Led To Cover Artwork Change

EspyRock recently conducted an interview with drummer Anders Johansson of Swedish metallers HAMMERFALL. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

EspyRock: You have been working with [producer] Charlie Bauerfeind for a number of years with your albums and now [on the new HAMMERFALL album "Infected"] you have switched to James Michael. Was there any significant reason for the change and what do you think he brought to the table?

Anders: I think we felt he was a bit too perfect and that he wanted things too nice. He was a talented and hard-working man, though, he just had a different idea from me about the feel of the music. I remember feeling that in the studio, when recording with him and Oscar [Dronjak, guitar] that they were both being hard-headed, I was just a robot playing more or less a basic beat. No input was wanted from me; I just went in and did exactly what they wanted but now it was more free and loose. I played what I personally wanted (well, sometimes, of course, I played what Oscar wanted it is, after all, his band).

EspyRock: The artwork for the album has stirred up a lot of controversy, what is the story behind the legal actions and reception of the biohazard logo?

Anders: Well, again I disagreed with everyone else. But I'm just the drummer :-) We first had a cover with [the HAMMERFALL mascot] Hector and I really liked it but for some reason they didn't and then a bunch of things happened. I remember thinking when I first saw the biohazard cover, "Oh, no. It looks like the band BIOHAZARD made an album called HAMMERFALL!" Then they added these hands after someone from the BIOHAZARD band freaked out and threatened to sue HAMMERFALL. Luckily the music is good and maybe in the end that will be all right, I think so anyway. Maybe it was time to get rid of the same old stuff as I thought the previous albums all kind of looked the same but in the end hopefully it will be all good.

EspyRock: The departure of your mascot Hector which has caused a little backlash from fans. Why did you decide to remove him?

Anders: It was all because they didn't like the cover with him. They thought he looked like a sissy as we had some guy posing with the helmet, it was a real photo. I liked it though. Maybe they were rightwhat if Hector looked like a sissy? It'll be all OK in the end since it's a strong album.

EspyRock: This is your eighth studio album release on Nuclear Blast. How good has it been having the one home for so long which has treated you more like a family for your releases?

Anders: Without Nuclear Blast we wouldn't be here. They are a huge reason HAMMERFALL is where HAMMERFALL is today.

Read the entire interview from EspyRock.

New cover:

Original cover:

Cover of BIOHAZARD's 1990 self-titled debut album:


Posted in: News


To comment on a BLABBERMOUTH.NET story or review, you must be logged in to an active personal account on Facebook. Once you're logged in, you will be able to comment. User comments or postings do not reflect the viewpoint of BLABBERMOUTH.NET and BLABBERMOUTH.NET does not endorse, or guarantee the accuracy of, any user comment. To report spam or any abusive, obscene, defamatory, racist, homophobic or threatening comments, or anything that may violate any applicable laws, use the "Report to Facebook" and "Mark as spam" links that appear next to the comments themselves. To do so, click the downward arrow on the top-right corner of the Facebook comment (the arrow is invisible until you roll over it) and select the appropriate action. You can also send an e-mail to blabbermouthinbox(@)gmail.com with pertinent details. BLABBERMOUTH.NET reserves the right to "hide" comments that may be considered offensive, illegal or inappropriate and to "ban" users that violate the site's Terms Of Service. Hidden comments will still appear to the user and to the user's Facebook friends. If a new comment is published from a "banned" user or contains a blacklisted word, this comment will automatically have limited visibility (the "banned" user's comments will only be visible to the user and the user's Facebook friends).