Somehow I’ve totally missed on SCREAMER. No prior knowledge of them made me want to interview them so that I at least got to know a bit about them. All questions answered by Henrik, drums. Anders Ekdahl ©2017
We hear about this difficult third album all the time. What is it that is so difficult with the third album that wasn’t difficult with the first or second album?
-Well, we don’t know if we have thought in the terms of “the hard third album”, but there is a big difference from writing the first two albums, at least for us. The first album, Adrenaline Distractions in our case, you have all the time in the world to write, and is perhaps at the same time more of a demo compilation. The second album, Phoenix, for us was a bit of a path decider -where did we want go, what did we love on the first album that we thought was worth carrying on to that album. On “Hell Machine” we took all the time we needed. Worked in new ways, new members and new approaches and we are extremely proud of the outcome.
Nowadays Hammerfall are almost looked at with suspicion by the “die hard, true underground” heavy metal fans but what did their success mean to an up’n’coming band like you when you released your debut album?
-I can only speak for myself on this matter, but Hammerfall and eg late 90’s In Flames are the main reason I even got into heavy metal, besides the given classic bands such as Iron Maiden and Judas Priest. The first-ever metal show I went to was Hammerfall/Freedom Call/Virgin Steele in Lund, Sweden back in ’99 when Hammerfall had just released “Renegade”. On which Jesper Strömblad from In Flames also wrote a few songs to tie that know up. The leap is not that far. Also, I’m of the firm belief that heavy metal should not be categorized in “true” or not. There’s only good or mediocre heavy metal, that’s all the measurements needed.
Does it become harder to come up with new songs that doesn’t sound like the old ones the more songs your write?
-No, not really. We write the songs the way we do and every time something new is added. It’s quite easy sometimes to feel if the song is suitable for Screamer or if it perhaps belongs to a side project. We more or less always thrive to evolve musically, which we believe most people that hear the new album will understand and hear as well.
Today technology allows you to record at home and release your music digitally. But in doing so there is a risk that bands release songs too soon, before they are fully ready? How do you avoid being stressed out by all the competition and release songs/an album too soon?
-Well, only the ones that write the songs can determine if they’re ready or not, if the can intermediate the feel they’ve intended with their material and so forth. But, our opinion is that the songs nine out of ten times comes out better if you actually record them in a studio, with som proper expertise. And you more or less have to put out a new album every 2-3 years, even if perhaps single releases would be ideal but heavy metal isn’t there just yet. As a “new” band you often need new material to tour on since you don’t have a huge back catalogue to rely on. But, to refer to the answer of the first question – we took our time with “Hell Machine” and completely disconnected the stress factor.
I for one feel that the change of how people listen to music today, by downloading it and expecting to get it for free, will kill music as we know it. What kind of future is there for recorded music?
-At the same time as people illegally download more and more, the vinyl sales constantly increases. It’s new terms on the market, and I believe that music on a physical release have a bright future, you just have to complement it with eg music videos and such over the social medias.
What kind of responses have you had to your recorded music? What has been the thing that has gotten the most attention?
-So far we’ve gotten a lot very good reviews, fan feedback and most of all great live feedback on the songs from the two previous albums we’ve released so all in all I guess we can sum it up as great response!
We live in a world where there are no real distances between people communicating anymore. What has been the most surprising contact so far?
-Oh, tough question. Perhaps it’s more the physical meetings after only having seen or talked to people online before. We’ve been playing festivals around Europe and then you get to meet people from, as a good example, Mexico that discovered us online and attended that festival in particular just to see us. That’s quite a magic feeling. But all in all the social interaction, that people aren’t isolated in their areas anymore within the scene is amazing.
Do you feel like you are a part of a greater community playing in a band?
-Yes, every day. The heavy metal scene is fantastic. Even if you’re not in a band. If you go to great fests such as Muskelrock in Sweden, Headbangers Open Air in Germany or Frost and Fire in the USA, you’ll never be alone. It’s a very open and warm community, it’s what keeps us all going.
What is the live scene like for you? Do you feel that playing live helps building a bigger following?
-The live performance has been a big part for, and still is, even if we’ve been on an almost three year hiatus with the band. It’s where you get to express your music, meet a ton of new friends every tour and just enjoy life in the best way possible. We’ve always been a very good live band, and that’s what we’ve been working on after we finished the recording as well since it takes quite some time to get the new members in the loop as well.
What plans do you have for the future?
-From now on it’s just about getting the engines going, the demon’s back again, exploring new cities and places, and start working on the next album haha. We have a new video coming up at the end of January as well, a sequel to the “On My Way” video we released a while back and hopefully we will have the possibility to make a third in this year as well – who knows!