Ice Vajal :: Music Land :: Metal World
editorial :: feedback :: newsletter ::  
   Bands :: A-Z / C / Cans /

In Words: Cans

- Joacim Cans - March 2004 - Claudia Ehrhardt -

Joacim Cans: Hammerfall show Nov. 2005
©Claudia Ehrhardt

Joacim Cans - Marth 15th 2004

The reason to talk to Joacim Cans wasn't HammerFall, not this time. The charismatic frontman of the Swedish is now offering a solo album. "Well, I wanted a band feeling, even if this is a solo album. I'm not a big ego, I don't need to tell others that I'm better or something like that." The idea for this album came up during the last HammerFall tour where Joacim was sitting at a hotel room and hadn't really anything to do. "On tour there is a lot of time and nothing to do. Sometimes we beg our tour manager to let us do sound check, so it least it feels like we do something. Usually our crew is doing sound check, so we just hang out, eat, watch a video, eat again... I wanted to be creative. I wanted to write something different, without any limitation. I started writing songs and to get some fresh ideas into it, I contacted some of the musicians who are really influenced me." The solo stuff shouldn't sound like HammerFall, even if many will expect that and surely the vocals will give a slightly impression of HammerFall. A singer can't change his voice dramatically. Joacim described the sound he had in mind which should be darker and heavier. So the basic song got finished by the heroes of his past. For the band feeling he got Mat Sinner (Primal Fear / Sinner) on bass, Mark Zonder (Fates Warning) on drums, Metal Mike Chlasciak (Halford) on the six strings who teamed up with Cans partner in crime Stefan Elmgren. Only one song Cans wasn't involved in the song writing - Forever Ends. "I contacted Jeff Waters and he was interested. I described him what I had in mind. Then I got this song and I expected some more up-tempo Annihilator-ish song and then.... Wow, what a ballad! I'm not a good guitar player and so I worked with 7 different song writers and build a band around it." Beside the members of the band, he involved David Chastain (CJSS) and Ronny Milianowicz (Dionysus, ex-Sinergy) in the song writing. On Merciless Mat Sinner got sup­port from Henny Wolter who he plays with in Sinner and on Dreams Tom Naumann (Primal Fear, ex-Sinner) took part. The songs sound quite homogenous and even the Waters / Murphy written song fits in. "Mat Sinner kinda helped me through my early days. I listened a lot to Sinner, so he had an influence on me. It's great to work with him." For the song Red Light a video clip was done. "I picked the song for a video on an early stage. Actually before everything was written. I knew what Mike was working on and that it would be the most commercial song on the album with a good hook. Not too heavy to get aired on TV. We already shot the video. It took 4 days of recording and about 2 weeks for the special effects. The shooting was pretty hard, coz it was freezing cold and the story is based in the 14. Century, so we wore that kind of clothes and they aren't made for that freezing cold. But we had a lot of fun and I hope that it get played..." The chances are good, coz this isn't a band of nobodies and these days the TV channels play more harder stuff. Thanks to all the Nu metal stuff and to Metallica who with St. Anger get more aggressive and opened up the doors. "At least something the Nu metal bands were good for." Joacim said with a smile. Beside that there Mr. Cans had to wait and see. "The general reactions so far been great. Fantastic. At the moment we are just confirmed for one festival. Most organizers are unsure, they will wait until the album is out and see how is the reaction. But I'm quite sure that there will be some more festivals this summer. And we will play this festival and all the other which we will get on this summer with the band who recorded the album!" That is indeed a surprise, coz usually the prominent musicians just do the recording and live it's a totally different thing. "At the moment everything is a little up in the air. If the fans like the album - I hope that they at least give it a try - and that I resp. we can do another one. I already have some cool ideas for it." It's too early to think about doing more then just some festivals... "It's cool to play festivals, coz you reach more people and I hope that they will like it. It would be hard to coordinate everyone for a tour and it wouldn't make sense with just one album, too. But it's cool anyway, coz we are a bunch of friends and we will have a lot of fun together." I think that the chances are pretty good that we will see more then just some festival shows, even if that will take time and that there have to be another album out first. "Hopefully metal fans will give it a chance and not pre-judging it." Many fans will expect another HammerFall-sounding album, but this is different. And through the prominent members not just HammerFall fans will give it a try. "I hope that more fans will listen to it, not just the fans of HammerFall." Magnus Rosen's solo albums sound quite different and the fans checked it out, so the chances aren't that bad for Joacim and his new partners in crime. "It's no problem for me to do 2 bands at a time, it' all about coordination." And Mat Sinner is successfully playing in 2 bands... "Now he's playing with 3 bands!" But fans of HammerFall don't have to wait too long for a new studio album - the band just released a live album. "Oscar is coming over to my house these days and we start working on new material. It always takes time to write songs for a new HammerFall album, but we will be entering the studio in September and the release shall be early next year. Oscar is hot to write new songs and to work on them. After the motorcycle accident it took him awhile to recover. He's hungry to write new songs." And so Joacim is fortunated, his hobby is his job and he can life his dream. "Yes, that's right. I shouldn't complain, but sometimes I think how it would be to have a normal job and a hobby. Music is my life and it's always present in everything I do. Even when I do the dinner table, I think about music... 24/7, it's my life. But I won't complain, that's just a thought which comes up once in a while." With his solo stuff - or probably we should call it his second band - he is signed to Sanc;tuary Records. HammerFall is signed by Nuclear Blast. "I contacted 3 labels - Nuclear Blast, Sanctuary Records and Warner Music. I wanted it was fair as possible. I wasn't up to the money. Actually Warner Music offered the most, but with a major it's a problem... Sometimes... I guess the people of Warner Music just know me in Sweden and Germany and so territories like e.g. Spain wouldn't be keen on doing promotion. The offer from Sanctuary Records was better then the one of Nuclear Blast, to be honest. The album would have a high priority on Sanctuary Records... I had my doubts about Nuclear Blast - don't get me wrong - but it seemed that they were interested just be­cause HammerFall is signed to them. Probably I'm wrong about that. Anyway, I wanted some fresh blood. I talked with Mat about it and he agreed that it might be good to work with new people. Actually I talked during this promotion already to journalists I haven't talked to before. I'm doing promotion in countries I haven't been before." That might open up territories for HammerFall as well... At least it shows that not everybody was pre-judging. Not just a problem with the fans, also with journalists. On the other hand it draws attention to a release when there are well-known members in a new band. "These days so many albums get released that it's hard to keep up with and so I think it's okay to put a sticker onto. Actually it drags my attention, too. Also the reviews help fans to get informed. But I think that the sound check rating is proble;matic, coz nobody can really listen to so many albums to make up his / her mind." The album will be out in Europe first, later - as far as Joacim knows - in North America and Japan. "Actually I have to check this... I know that it'll be out in Japan, probably a little later, but they asked for a bonus track as usual. But the songs were to good for a bonus track and so I just gave them a karaoke version. I know that it'll be released in North America, but I'm not sure about the street date. I remember it, coz it's a priority release, something we never had with HammerFall..." About a release in South America he isn't sure, but HammerFall have so many fans there, that I can't imagine that Sanctuary Records won't release it there. "I'll check that, but you are right, HammerFall have many fans there, so..." On Joacim's website will be information about festivals shows. Even if they won't play at the Bang-Your-Head - perhaps Horst is make up his mind... - Joacim will be there to see Lilian Axe. "I really love that band and actually there is one song which didn't make it onto the album. That one I did with the guitarist of Lilian Axe." Perhaps it will be on the next album, I have no doubt that Cans will release more then just Beyond The Gates! This is just the beginning!

Claudia Ehrhardt


• E-Mail: