The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world





Bullet has long been one of our favourite Metal bands and this time round the Swedish masters just might have turned out their best album yet in 'Storm of Blades'... we interrupted Guitarist Hampus Klang from his morning cup of tea...

Mark: Hi, first of all congratulations on the new album, we’ve been listening to it all week; you must be very pleased with the way it’s turned out?

Hampus: Yes, thanks, what can I say? I am really happy this time; it seemed like everything worked out really well. This time we made a little bit more heavy metal, not so much rock and roll.

Mark: It seems like you’ve only just finished the second leg of the Full Pull tour, and you’ve obviously played with Primal Fear and a few other bands, a few European things, you must be one of the hardest working bands out there?

Hampus: Yeah, I guess so! We started to write the album in September last year, and record it in December, and then we just went from the studio on tour for a month, and then back in to the studio!

Mark: It’s only almost two years since “Full Pull” came out, which was a great album, but there’s a real back to basics feel to this one, was that something you set out to achieve?

Hampus: I don’t know, but we recorded lots of demos in the rehearsal room, and our producer had the last word, he said “we’ll skip the rock and roll and do the real heavy metal that we used to do!” So, we went in that direction.

Mark: It worked out well. You have released the title track “Storm of Blades”, which is the heaviest thing you’ve recorded, was it an easy choice to put that one out first?

Hampus: Yes it is the heaviest thing we did, with a little bit of Thrash Metal in it. And Hell Hofer has got a “snoring” machine which helps his vocals, very much also, so I think he sings better on this album, than he did on “Full Pull”.

Mark: He certainly puts on a good performance. How is Alexander, your new guitarist fitting in?

Hampus: It has worked out really well, we are really happy that we found him. When Erik quit we thought, oh, fuck, we had no ideas, we wanted someone who lived in this area, and Gustav said he remembered a cool guy who played a firebird, when we were at a very small festival some years ago, maybe he’ll be interested and so we called him, and yeah, it worked out well!

Mark: The sound is great on the album; I love the guitar sound it comes across really well.

Hampus: I’m a little bit of a guitar nerd, and I really like to spend a lot of time trying to get the exact guitar sound that I really want. There are so many albums that are out of tune when you have two guitars, when you stop and  listen to the old Saxon albums and they were also out of tune!! We didn’t even think about it before we went in to the studio!

Mark: That’s the authenticity of the old days, it’s great!! Let’s talk about some of the tracks on there. “Tornado” is currently our favourite, some of the songs remind me of Judas Priest in style, and others like AC/DC, and I think “Tornado” has that touch of AC/DC to it!

Hampus: That’s the thing with classic rock and roll, AC/DC Bullet style!! I wrote that song!

Mark: You guys got to support AC/DC a couple of years ago when they toured your neck of the woods. What was that like?

Hampus: I think I dropped the phone when the booking agency called me and said you’re opening up for AC/DC!!! I was like “Oh, Shit!!” We were told you have to take it easy in the dressing room, because they are in the back stage room next to you, but we didn’t get to meet them, they just came with a police car, did the show, and just went! We got lost when we were supposed to go to the stage, it was too big!

Mark: So, you had a Spinal Tap moment did you?

Hampus: Always, always!!

Mark: One of the things I like the most about the album, and Bullet in particular, is that you always seem to have a lot of fun, is that part of the whole Bullet ethos, that you go out, have a few beers and have a good time? That’s how I like to think of it!

Hampus: Yeah, we do it for the fun, the important thing for us is, and it’s not regimented, if it’s not that fun, I’d rather do something else!

Mark: One of the other songs we loved was “Hawk Eyes”, can you tell us a little bit about that song? There’s a bit of a Judas Priest vibe going on in that one.

Hampus: I think with that one, I sat down and listened to the Anvil album, and it’s one of their songs that’s quite similar!! So, that song came together quite quick.

Mark: Do you have any particular favourites on there, any songs that you’re looking forward to playing live?

Hampus: I really want to play “Riding High”, it’s like “And the Bands Played On”, Saxon, that kind of song. I wrote that song, I had tried to write a song like that for many years, but never really made it that good.

Mark: It’s a cool song; do you consider this to be your high point so far? You’ve put out some great stuff over the years and I think it’s getting towards being my favourite Bullet album, how do you think it sits amongst the discography? Do you think it’s the best album?

Hampus: What can I say?! All bands always say that, and then some years later it turns out that it wasn’t!! Yeah, I think it’s one of the best, but the first album was very important for me, because it was the first album, but sound wise and everything, it could have been better, of course. You are never 100% totally, totally satisfied, but this time it is really close!

Mark: There’s also a cover on there, “This One’s For You” a lot of people won’t have heard of Stray, but it’s a song I’ve always loved, and you’ve done a great version on there.

Hampus: Have you heard the original?

Mark: Yeah, I have.

Hampus: I thought no one had heard it before!! When we toured with Crashdiet and Casablanca, we played a lot of old songs, and I really liked that song. It came out ‘81 or ’82  and it’s quite fun because there’s no cover, and no picture or anything!

Mark: You have a big tour coming up as well, taking in a lot of Europe, are there any plans to go to the UK or the US?

Hampus: I don’t know, I really want to go to Japan and Australia, and America, and everywhere!!
Mark: Nuclear Blast seem to be getting a lot of their bands over here at the moment, so it would be a great time to come over.

Hampus: I was in Australia in ’98, and I had a really good time, I was hanging out in a place called Byron Bay! I was supposed to be travelling around Australia, but I was in the same place for 2 months!!

Mark: A beautiful place! As a band you’ve been going for about eleven years now, you have five albums, what’s your most requested song these days?

Hampus: It’s “Bite the Bullet”. We had lots of radio play when that album came out in Sweden, and so people remember that song. I guess it’s by far the most known song.

Mark: Has the time for Bullet gone by quickly, I know the band was together a while before that first LP came out?

Hampus: I met Hell Hofer in school when I was sixteen and we started to play, he was about seventeen/ eighteen, and we basically played cover songs. The time has gone really quick.

Mark: Who is your most enduring influence as a guitarist?

Hampus: When I was young, I was really in to Eddie Van Halen and Michael Schenker, as you get older you get more in to the whole band, so I like Judas Priest, Maiden, all those sorts of bands. Nowadays you can search on YouTube and search guys with no arms who play faster than I do!!

Mark: Do you listen to a lot of contemporary music; are you always listening out for new sounds, and young bands coming through?

Hampus: Yeah, I try to, I listen to Spotify which makes things easier and I listen to new styles and maybe try to write in that style, but (laughs) I’m I know what I like, I don’t like too many bands!

Mark: I know exactly what you mean! (laughs).  If you could have been there for the creation of any classic album just to see how it came together and how the magic happened which would it have been for you?

Hampus: Well the first album that comes to mind is of course ‘Back In Black’ it has everything – perfect sound perfect songs when you compare new recordings to that recording it’s so powerful, you could put down 18 guitar tracks and never get near the sound on that album!

Mark: And we have a really easy question to close: ‘What is the meaning of life’?

Hampus: The meaning of life we always say on stage, you haven’t seen us live?

Mark: Sadly not, I wish I had!

Hampus: It’s simple – to stay wise!

Mark: Well congratulations on the new album! Everyone out there should go out and grab a copy – out I think September 3rd.

Hampus: Absolutely! Thank you so much, bye, bye!



Hampus spoke to Mark Diggins August 2014





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