R13: What time did you get here then?
HF: I'm not sure... We came in from Athens this morning at around 10am I think. The problem was, in Athens they planned something we didn't know about, A party at a bar. They'd put ads out to say that Oscar and I would be there. The bar opened at 11pm! Someone told us we had to be there, but later on we found out the ad was wrong! It said we'd be there today, not yesterday so no one turned up anyway! The further south you get, you notice they have different ways of doing things. So far though, everything else has worked really well. We've been out for eight days doing this. Tomorrow, we go back home and start all over again on Monday!

R13: What are you planning on doing on your day off then?
HF: According to my girlfriend, my family are coming over for dinner to discuss some 'important issues'... heh.

R13: Sounds like you're going to have fun!
HF: Hehehe... sounds like a whole lot of fun.

R13: So who's cooking tomorrow then?
HF: My girlfriend tomorrow, but otherwise I do it.

R13: You're into cooking then? Thatís not very rockstar!
HF: If I didn't do this, I'd go back to school and learn how to be a chef.

R13: What's your favourite dish to cook?
HF: A lot of different ones, but one I love to do if people come over is baked potatoes... you slash them down the middle and add in some spicy garlic butter and kind of...what's the word... marinate them. Then I put a sauce with that as well as a big fillet steak- medium to well done or it doesn't work! I'd serve it with a greek salad on the side with feta cheese and olives. Oh, and a good Australian red wine.
R13: Sounds good to me!
HF: Yeah, I love it!

R13: What kind of stuff do you get on tour? Do you make sure you try local foods whilst touring?
HF: England is well known for many things... but not the food! We went to a French restaurant today for lunch. When we're in Italy its pizza for lunch and pasta for dinner. When we're in France I always try to get hold of traditional soup- cheese covered then put in the oven for hours so it gets this crust. On tour though, we eat what we're served- you can't really demand much.

R13: What does tour bus food entail then?
HF: We try to avoid certain things so nine times out of ten we end up eating chicken! Boneless though, that's one thing I demand- that my chicken is boneless!

R13: What's your touring schedule normally like? Pretty hectic I'd imagine...
HF: For touring we do a maximum of five shows in a row and then a day off. We'll stay in a fairly good hotel and have a sauna... Good beer and a nice meal. We'll watch movies in our rooms and just relax. You're so drained, so tired whilst touring.

R13: How did you go about learning English? I used to learn French but I'm terrible at it! Was it a classic case of being exposed to English at a younger age?
HF: French is a pretty tough language to learn...My French is also terrible!
R13: I don't think that's much of an excuse, English is notoriously difficult to pick up as a second language and you've not made a single grammatical error tonight!
HF: The best way to learn a language is to go to the country and spend time over there and not read textbooks! With textbooks you get a picture of a table and the French word for it. When learning a language you should see *knocks on table* and you should only think the French word for it... or whatever language you're learning. In Sweden you start learning in 3rd grade.

R13: The normal age to pick a language up in the UK is 12- too old don't you think?
HF: Totally. With English you start in 3rd grade then when you're in 7th you can chose to continue with it or take another. I tried german. It didn't work! I went into computer science after that. It didn't work either! In Sweden you get exposed to English as a language a lot earlier because they don't dub films. Sometimes its like Mel Gibson can suddenly speak German! I think that in italy they even dub The Osbournes. It doesn't make sense. In Sweden we only have subtitles. You take away the acting part if you dub. You don't dub music, why should films be different? You don't get 'oh, we need that album without the singer because we've got our own'.

R13: What kind of fans do you attract at your shows?
HF: We get a mixture from seven years to sixty! It's kind of weird because usually it's not cool to like the same music as your father but somehow with metal music there's a nice atmosphere. I think it's the only music genre where there's a bond between the parents and their kids. I wouldn't listen to the stuff my dad listened to when I was a kid- it was horrible!

R13: What kind of horrible?
HF: Just... weird stuff! What we call dance music in Sweden. It's not like what they play in clubs, more like what you see on the Eurovision song contest in the old days.

R13: Not a fan of good old Eurovision then?
HF: No! Heh, we actually turned down an offer to be in it this year!

R13: Really?!
HF: Yeah, they had a song and they wanted a rock or metal band to perform it. We just said no because it would be the last nail in the coffin for us!

R13: Not even if it was a really good song?
HF: No! I didn't care about the song. If we were a brand new band perhaps. They only called us because they thought "okay, quite a big name here, it might work"

R13: Do you have any trouble going out on the streets now your band is bigger?
HF: It happens from time to time in our home town. Gothenburg is still our main territory. It's weird, cause that should never happen! It is hard but normally people just want to say "Hey! How are you? Nice record!" The further down south you go it's more different. In South America we got off the plane and people had banners on this balcony attached to the main airport building. It was like something you see to do with The Beatles. That's the most memorable welcome we've had- we had so many security guards! We had 14 guys just standing there so we could pass.

R13: Does that kind of attention make you uncomfortable?
HF: Heh, yeah. You do feel proud as well- you've achieved something worthy of it. We did a signing session in Columbia once and we had an armed security guard- with a hand gun! That felt... weird. Before that, when we came from the airport, people were banging on the windows. Some people just can't handle seeing us- they don't know what to do.

R13: Do you have any other creative outlets other than music?
HF: Not really. When I was younger I wrote a lot of stories. I liked comedy. I love to entertain and I wanted to write stories. With comedy you get something back. Laughter is your payoff. With sci-fi or horror, for example, you can't really tell what the audience thinks, but with comedy you can always tell if they get it. I always wanted to write a book but I don't know how!

R13: What's the very best thing about music?
HF: Being on stage, playing a song you've written and seeing the audience sing along.

R13: It must be nice to get a response back about the effect of your music on people... does it happen often?
HF: I've had letters about how the music of HammerFall has helped people through difficult periods of their lives. The one song they always refer to is the title track of the first album. Its some kind of hymn for people who have had loved ones die. Some people found strength in the song.