By John Strednansky

It has now been a month since the release of Renegade in early November, Hammerfall's already historic third album for Nuclear Blast Records. Recorded in Nashville, Renegade was produced by legendary metal mastermind Michael Wagener. Hmm, traveling to Nashville all the way from their native Sweden, to the country capitol of the world to record what is quickly becoming the penultimate heavy metal album of the new millennium? But as lead guitarist and main songwriter Oscar Dronjak explains, the band arrived in Nashville to get away from the clichˇs of the metal world.

"It was great to be in Nashville. We met also Wolf Hoffmann (of Accept fame) who lives there now with his wife Gaby. Wolf has always been my favorite guitar player and songwriter as well. He's the guitar hero of my life! Michael himself was fantastic, it was a wonderful, family type environment and we could work freely. We did work a lot, but we had an off day every week. I expected Nashville to be a big city, but it's actually pretty small. We did check out some country bars, but you know, it doesn't matter what the style of music it is, as long as the song is good."

"We decided early on that we did not want to record in the same studio as before, Oscar Dronjak continues. "We wanted to develop and decided on a producer who has been around for a long time, a professional one. I produced our albums in the past myself, but we wanted someone to take charge this time. We did have a couple of different names that were suggested to us by our label, but we ditched all the ideas for a contemporary producer - like the guy who did the Rhapsody albums. We certainly did not want to sound like Rhapsody. I admit, Michael was not our first choice, but he became the best choice."

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