The story of Hammer King can be hard to comprehend, but the music is not. The German foursome gives us classic power metal, but it’s all thanks to the King himselves of course. PowerMetal.no had a chat with Titan Fox to learn some more about the history, the present – and the future of Hammer King.
Hi! Nice talking to you! Poseidon Will Carry Us Home is your third album in as many years. How do you find the time to be so creative?
Titan: Hey there, what a pleasure speaking with Norway, what a great country! I just visited Ålesund and Bergen this summer – by ship, of course!
Which ties me into Our new album sporting many maritime themes and elements. Indeed, it is the third in three years. So far, we haven’t had any problems coming up with new material. All songs are written by thy Majesty, the Hammer King. So, the King is the Brian Wilson of heavy metal: he is at home in his castle writing songs, while we are out there recording and playing them.
During those years, how would you say that Hammer King has evolved musically? Taking the albums in consideration: what is different from the first and to the last?
Titan: The hardest part is judging own music, for sure. The first album [Kingdom Of The Hammer King, 2015] was a very spontaneous affair, everything just fell into place. The follow-up, King Is Rising , is like Iron Maiden’s Killers for me: an in-between-album that doesn’t have the reckless vibe of the debut, but isn’t as natural as Poseidon Will Carry Us Home yet. So, I think that we have found ourselves by this time now, I feel the new album sounds more epic, more classic and more Hammer King. I love the album and I am very proud of it!
What’s the story behind Hammer King? There aren’t a lot of information around regarding how the band was founded etc.
Titan: The legend says that the band was founded by thy Majesty, the Hammer King, in 1978 and went onto hiatus right thereafter. We returned with our first ever album in 2015, for which we started working in 2014. As with all legends, what can you truly believe?
What can you tell me about the new album lyric wise? Is it a concept album?
Titan: All Hammer King albums tell tales and stories about the Hammer King, which doesn’t necessarily make them concept albums. The centerpiece of the album is called the «Nautical Trilogy», consisting of the title track, «At The Mercy Of The Waves» and «We Sail Cape Horn». It tells of the King’s seafaring’s on the ancient, infamous Cape Horn route and holds the album together on both ends.
Musically, for me, it’s straight on power metal – the classic kind! And I must say that for me it’s starting to become a modern classic. How would you describe the album?
Titan: Thank you very much for your kind words! To me, the album is a classic heavy metal album spiked with twin lead guitars, harmony vocals and choirs. There are noe keyboards and no triggered drums and no auto-tuned vocals. We have aimed at an organic sound and at natural melodic songs that are made for live situations. During our usual painstaking pre-production we have checked all the songs over and over again to get a real flow from the first to the last song.
Review: The Hammer King – Poseidon Will Carry Us Home
What do you recon are Hammer King’s strenghts musically?
Titan: Being a real heavy metal band! Four people – one King. All four guys are singing live, no backing tracks, no keyboards, no nothing. All is live, all is grinding like hell!
As I said earlier, the songs are made to be played live, they all carry the audience along right away. I say, Hammer King’s music is entertaining and historically educating at the same time.
When this is written the album has been out a couple of weeks. How do you feel about the reviews and how the album has been recieved in general? Are you satisfied?
Titan: Very, very much! We have gotten a load of great reviews throughout Europe and also the USA. What is even more ravishing is that the album has sold really well so far – it has sold as many units as our previous albums had sold in more than a year’s time.
Our release show was sold out and we felt literally carried by the audience that night. It was striking, how they knew the new songs by heart already, though the album had only been out for a week.
When looking at the future, what do you predict of the future of Hammer King?
Titan: We will not slow down! We will keep putting out albums all the time! The Hammer King will provide us with many new songs, some are already shaping at the moment. Of course, we wish to play as many shows as possible and come to as many different countries as possible. Norway being one of them – we can never play too many shows!
The aim for Hammer King? The world is not enough. We want to keep going and push everything as far as it can get. We are insatiable, there is no getting enough ever!
Speaking about live shows: nowadays it seems that playing live is as important as releasing albums. What are your thoughts on the business side of music now, and how important is the live shows for Hammer King?
Titan: Live shows are what keeps a band going – which is the reason why we knew from the very beginning, that we will need songs literally made for live performances. The songs have to be understood right away and they shall never let you go once you have heard them for the first time ever.
Of course, a band also needs to keep putting out music on a frequent base to stay relevant – you just have to keep firing on all cylinders all the time.
So, what are the plans for touring and concerts in the near future?
Titan: We have signed with Shock City Productions from Scotland, so we are set to play more shows than ever. We will debut in Belgium in December, supporting Demon and Blitzkrieg, which we are looking forward to very much.
We are basically playing all the time, and hopefully we can get many support shows and festival slots by next year.
Thanks for the talk, and thanks for taking the time!
Titan: Thank you very much for the enjoyable interview and for your support. Keep your fingers crossed, we’ll hopefully make it to Norway sometime soon.
God bless the King, may the King bless you!