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Ken Hammer Pretty Maids - Interview
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Pretty maids

'Kingmaker' is Pretty Maids' highly anticipated follow up to 2013's critically and commercially successful release 'Motherland', a record that continued the "revitalized" path that the band set out upon with the now classic album "Pandemonium". We get a few words from guitarist Ken Hammer on the new album and more.



Scott: 'Kingmaker' is an absolute monster of an album, one of 2016's best! What was the mindset going into writing and recording Kingmaker, following on from the experience of re-recording some of your older tracks on Louder Than Ever?

Ken: Well our intention with this album was not any different from any other album that we have done. This is our last album on Frontiers, and as always we are trying to do our best every time, we always first of all write songs that we like ourselves. Louder, was in our opinion an "in between" album and we wanted all our new fans to hear some of the stuff that we did in the 1990-2000's with a more up to date sound.

Scott: Referring to 'Kingmaker' as an album title, is there any lyrical theme / concepts running through the songs that connect to the album title?

Ken: No not really, it was just a cool title.

Scott: When it comes to writing a Pretty Maids song, has this changed much over the years, or is it a case of if it ain't broke, then don't fix?

Ken: Well something happened around 2010 with our writing, I'm not really sure what it was, but we kinda liked it, and have stuck with that since.

Scott: We've picked out three of our favorite songs from the album, what can you tell us about each of these:

  • Face The World
    Ken: FTW was the first song we wrote for this album, and is nice good radio song I think.

  • King Of The Right Here And Now
    Ken: This song for me has a kind of Metallica feel to it in the verse I think, and I think that’s pretty cool [laughs].

  • Civilized Monsters
    Ken: This is definitely one of my favorite songs, it has everything that I think a Pretty Maids song should have.


    Scott: You worked again with producer Jacob Hansen, what things do you feel you changed from a production/sound point of view on 'Kingmaker'?

    Ken: Maybe its easier if you tell me that! As basic we have done the same think on this album as we have done on the last 3, but of course the songs are different, so therefore there will be different sounds on it.

    Scott: Focusing on Denmark, how have you noticed the level of interest and recognition in your home country over the bands existence? Is Denmark for example, where you would consider to be one of your biggest fanbases?

    Ken: We have always had a Pretty good following in Denmark, but we are more popular in Germany, Japan and Sweden.

    Scott: Whilst I'm sure there's many bands here in 2016 who cite Pretty Maids as an influence, what are some of the biggest influences on you both musically and lyrically?

    Ken: Thin Lizzy has always been one of my favorite bands, and Phil Lynott is for me fantastic with words! But Deep Purple and Kiss has been with me pretty much all my life. As of new bands, (If you can call them new bands) I really like Shinedown, and Sixx AM.

    Scott: Chris Laney joined the band recently on keys, a man who I'm sure needs no introduction to many. Tell us how Chris found his way into the lineup?

    Ken: Chris has been a friend of mine for a long time, and I didn't even new that he played Keyboard, I knew he played guitar and bass. But when I found out that he played keyboard it was an obvious choice to ask him.

    Scott: For the younger generation of fans who may be just finding the band on the back of recent albums, or via Ronnie's involvement in Avantasia and Nordic Union, how would you compare the sound of Pretty Maids today, to say that of the Future World era?

    Ken: Better and more up to date. It's not really fair to compare those two of course, it's two different periods of our career.

    Scott: Over the bands 35 years, you've been able to tour the world. With the interest in the band still growing and no signs of slowing anytime soon, how far and wide are you planning on touring 'Kingmaker'? Has there ever been any interest shown from Australian promoters for example?

    Ken: As of now we will be touring pretty much from now on and till the end of 2017. We have never been in Australia, and it's definitely on our bucket list, so if any promoters shows any interest, I'm sure we will say YES.

    Scott: Thanks for taking the time to answer these questions. Congratulations again on Kingmaker, hope it gets the overwhelming recognition it deserves and best wishes for the touring adventures ahead in 2017!

    Ken: Thank you very much and I hope to see you out there.

    Interview by Scotty Rock on November 2016