Oscar Dronjak, guitarist for the Swedish heavy metal band HAMMERFALL, is a maniac for music, but ask him what he dedicates most of his time to outside of recording new albums & touring and the response is both quick & passionate: mixed martial arts, and the UFC, in particular.
When it comes to having knowledge about the latest news or controversies in the world’s fastest growing sport, Dronjak is the MMA go-to guy in the metal world. “[T]he first UFC event I watched was Ultimate Ultimate 1996. That was all it took; I was instantly hooked to the beautiful combination of violence and technique,” he confesses.
In the first installment of his weekly blog, Dronjak discusses his jump from being a pro-wresting fan to his introduction to the MMA world, censorship in Sweden, and how the metal underground wasn’t the only scene with a tape-trading community. Read the full blog here.
Having teamed up with producer James Michael (Mötley Crüe, Scorpions, SIXX:AM, Meat Loaf), HAMMERFALL are currently finishing up the recording of their new album, which is the follow-up to 2009’s No Sacrifice, No Victory (which debuted at #38 on the Billboard Heatseekers chart). The as-yet-untitled new release will be available in Europe on May 20th. A summer release date in North America is expected.
View the band’s latest video blog installment, “Zombified,” here.
No Sacrifice, No Victory achieved gold status in Sweden for sales in excess of 20,000 copies. The album registered the following first-week chart positions in Europe: #2 in Sweden, #7 in Germany, #20 in Switzerland, #21 in the U.K. (Indie Albums chart), #25 in Austria, #46 in Norway, and #95 in France.