By Fredrik Hjelm

FH: Yeah, the American market wasn't too into Metal in the nineties, were they?

YM: No, I felt as the American market totally turned it's back to Heavy Metal, but I thought to myself, "Hey, whatever." I released those albums in the States as well as in Europe and Japan. Japan went off the rocks, success-wise, and so did parts of Europe. Now everything's a little bit different and the American market is really opening up.

FH: You're touring with DIO this time around. How did that come about?

YM: Well, we're on the same record label and it's a really good bill. Everybody likes it - a lot!

FH: After you recorded the Aerosmith-tribute with Ronnie James Dio (the song "Dream On"), there were plenty of rumors that you were going to get serious with more projects together. Is that going to happen now?

YM: Well, we've been discussing it back and forth every time we kick back with a few beers, and both I and Dio want to do it. One thing is, though, that both of us are really stubborn, so we'll see how far we can take it.

FH: Dio is what you might call a "Heavy Metal Classic", and he has to be one of you're old heroes too, right?

YM: Yeah, well...(laughter), but I've toured with Dio before, so - what can I say?!

FH: Jens and Anders Johansson, who were at one-time a part of your "Rising Force," have recently reunited with the Swedish band "Silver Mountain", led by singer and guitar-player Jonas Hansson. Have you heard about this?

YM: "Ah, fan!" (Swedish) Oh, really!? Well...I didn't know that! What happened to "Hammerfall" and "Stratovarius"?

FH: Well, they're not with them anymore (joke). No, really - they did the "Silver Mountain-project on the side.

YM: Oh, OK!

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