Titan Fox

Hammer King

HAMMER KING are a French Heavy Metal band, dubbing themselves "True Metal"; so you can rightfully assume they play music that pays homage to the classics of the 80's. In fact, the band was founded in 1978, but have only just decided to come out with an album, 37 years later, titled "Kingdom Of The Hammer King". Omnius D'Worgen had a poignant and informative chat with vocalist/guitarist Titan Fox about the band's lengthy 'hiatus', 'what they're about' and the meaning behind the 'Hammer King'.
By Omnius D'Worgen
May 4, 2015
Titan Fox (Hammer King) interview
How do you feel about the new album?

We feel amazing! When we started working on the songs thy majesty the King had given us, we knew that the songs were special.

We recorded at Greywolf Studios, run by Charles Greywolf of Powerwolf and the recording was a real treat. We had such a good time in the studio and you can hear that on the album!

So whenever I listen to the album myself, I still love every single song and every part of it. Usually I have always been way less euphoric about listening to my own stuff, but "Kingdom Of The Hammer King" really lives and kills!

Do you have any plans for the near future?

Yes, of course. The album is coming out in May on we will play festival shows and club shows to support the album right away. We have already begun working on new songs by the King, so we are definitely already working on album #2!

What brought you back from your infamous hiatus? (and if you'd care to shed light on what caused it, all the better).

Well, it's a long story. And I only know have of it, I guess. We never speak with the King, the King has His spokesman: It is the Chancellor who tells us what the King wants us to do. So when the King found the band Hammer King in 1978 he felt the urge to wait for the right time.

And we have been called together in 2013 to start working. So as far as I can say, it's all decided by the King.

What's behind the name of the band? (and the album!)

It was clear that the band would sport the name of our conceptional and spiritual leader, the Hammer King.

The second song we worked on was "Kingdom Of The Hammer King" and it was very obvious that this would be the opening track of the album and also the video single. So as the video did pretty great online, we felt encouraged that it should be the name of the album as well.

How did you form your current line-up? (i.e. where and how did you guys meet?)

All of us had been working together and with other musicians in the past. When we heard the call of the King, it was the four of us. We work together very efficiently and we can rely on our qualities as musicians and as business partners. So the were no other candidates for the band.

What are your thoughts concerning your local scene?

Heavy Metal is a type of music where there is a local scene everywhere. You can go to the smallest villages and you will find Heavy Metal fans there. Maybe because Metal is a bit extreme it is that people really live for their music and stand for their music. It is much more than only music, it is a conviction and a certain attitude that you are proud of.

Therefore I am proud of our music and I am proud of the scene that lives on and on and on. We are currently getting more young followers, teens who love Angelwitch and Candlemass – 10 years it was only the older guys of the scene who remembered the older cult bands. So the scene is pretty alive!

Do you have any message for new bands out there?

Absolutely! Be unique, be convicted, be proud, don't follow any rules. Never over-compress your productions and don't auto-tune your vocals. Metal is a living beast, not a product!

What were your influences as musicians?

Well, I can speak for all in the band that we have always loved Metal best and we have always listened to many bands from old to modern. We have also always liked band from other genres, such as blues, folk, wave, pop, punk and so on. Maybe we draw a line before Tekkno and Hip Hop.

I see it like this: When you are a musician, you listen to music. And whatever band you like will have an impact on you. You incarnate all the music in your soul. And then you do your own stuff.

What speaks to you in your lyrical themes?

Well, many songs are about the life and crimes of the Hammer King, of course. He has many stories to tell. So there are battle stories (p.e. "Aderlass; The Blood Of Sacrifice), we have a song about the spokesman of the King, "Chancellor Of Glory". There are no limits, but we want it to be clear and on the spot. Like our music. No detours, but straight to the heart.

What inspired your onstage look?

Well, that's basically what we wear when we meet and practice at Castle Rockfort in Saint-Tropez. The castle is pretty much intact in its 13th century state, so we have to wear the long robes to keep ourselves warm enough. The Chancellor has told us about the King's decision to have us wear robes onstage as well. We feel proud to bring a little bit of Rockfort to the masses.

What gear do you use live?

We are pretty basic. Classic amps, Flying Vs, real drums (no triggers), no samples or keyboards – all vocals are live. Real sweat, real power and real hammers.

How do you reconcile the rigors of a live band with your personal lives (mostly your family and close friends)?

Well, it's not always easy. But there is no question, no doubt the band has top priority. The King would kick us out of his castle if we did not give our 100%. Friends and family can only be friends and family if the love what we do – they would not love us as persons if they didn't, right? So we all live our lives around the music, with our music and so on.

Spiritualism 1-0-1 segment:
What would you like your legacy as musicians to be?

Well, I will leave my Gibson on earth when I leave. She will live forever. We as a band will leave our music here, our albums, our videos. So we have already started building our own legacy.

If there is a God and a heaven, what would you want to hear Him say as you approach the Pearly Gates?

"Hammer King! Hammer King! Hammer King!"

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