Sabaton unleashed their latest album, “Carolus Rex”, and that alone is an eleven track, lighter waving, fist pumping, thing of metal goodness. I got the chance to catch up with the Pär Sundström from the band at recent UK show.
Well, thank you for taking this interview.
No, thank you.
Been quite a long trek for this UK tour how has it gone so far?
It’s been going great, for us it’s still a short tour, but this is the most dates we’ve ever done as a headliner in the UK so we’re very happy with the outcome of it, the fans have been great so, yeah I am happy.
You’ve chosen today to record for a live DVD? Can you tell us about this?
Yeah actually, London will be one of a series of concerts we will film for this, we already filmed one show and then one more in Germany and Sweden. We have chosen this because we have so many songs and so many in different languages that we want to put down on this DVD, and we can’t fit it all in one evening and we wanted to show the people a lot of locations, so we decided to do it this way.
And you’ve brought your full stage setup tonight?
Yeah, we are bringing a lot more than we have for other UK gigs, we are using a lot tonight, it’s going to be great to do so, this will be the first UK show with what we call a ‘big production’. Yeah, we really wanted to give the UK a taste when we can do it.
How have the songs of the new album been received?
Perfect. Absolutely great. It’s easy to see that the new album has been very well received, because before new songs don’t get a response when they are played, but this one people really ask for them.
Any highlights you particularly like to play off the new record.
Yeah, the title track and, for me it means a lot to play them in Swedish and when we can, it means a lot always. The title track is great to play live because it is fun.
You did an interview with us a while ago and you said the UK was thought of as a difficult place to play for power metal bands? Curious to know why you think this?
It’s just what people tell me. I don’t find it difficult it’s just what people say. But we keep coming back here over and over and it gets better. It’s harder for a lot of bands because they don’t try hard enough. It can be hard over here because the circumstances aren’t as nice and friendly as they are in a lot of other places. If you compare to other countries the treatment over here isn’t always as nice.
Ok, now you’ve probably been asked this quite a lot by now but, obviously with such a big change in the band’s personnel. With the new members coming in is the atmosphere better and a lot more comfortable than before?
Yeah, I mean were the same lineup for 11 years which is quite unusual and we tried to keep it in tact as possible for as long as possible. However, a lot of things were going on that people didn’t know about, of course, and it’s easy for peoples priorities to change over time, compared to when they were 18 years old. They have bills to pay, families and kids and stuff like that and they cant be on tour all the time. It looked like it happened over night with the band members, it wasn’t overnight, it took a long time and it was very thought through.
Now, with the new guys it feels so fresh and easy its like there is a clear straight road of where we are going because all of us want to go there; me and Joakim were always like “there is nothing else, just the band” while other people were like “oh this and I don’t want to be away so long” but we were always this. Now we are a new band that shares the same vision, so it’s pretty simple.
Looking from the outside it does look like things are quite comfortable again.
Oh yeah, you see there is a new born happiness on stage and this was kind of gone before, so there is a new chemistry in the band now.
Right ok that’s good to hear, so what is going to happen for you after this tour? Is there a lot more touring to go?
Of course, we have done about 80 shows on this tour already and we have about 100 to go. We have a lot of things to do that’s for sure, in about a years’ time the tour will be done!
You’ve got a few festivals booked, are there more planned?
Oh yeah, we know we are facing another summer which is just fully booked every weekend. I haven’t seen my home in the summer for the last 3 years and I won’t this summer either. But I enjoy it so I think everything is super cool, I like being out with that.
Possibly a bit early to talk of new albums now but obviously ‘Carolus Rex’ had a major focus on Swedish War History, is this a concept you would continue on future albums at all?
We’ve done this now, when we did it before it turned out there was a lot of ideas and it was fun to do and so we would have preferred to do more, but I’m pretty sure the next album won’t be about it.
There was more things to go through and so many years, which we couldn’t do in a few songs, its something we felt we should have done like a bigger concept that’s what we thought about. But now we have done it from the start and it makes no sense to do it again.
Are there any themes of history you would like to talk about?
(thinks) I still think there is a lot of stuff around the World Wars that for me personally is the most interesting and fitting thing for the band.
I think i’m starting to run out of time now so I guess one final question; just how much of your audience really does turn up in camo gear?
Erm, not many (laughs) I love people who put an extra effort when they go to the shows and its super cool and there is a Sabaton army which is fantastic but I don’t think they do too regularly. Because we don’t. But when it comes to the show time we gear up and there are a lot of fans that do too, and its a way of appreciation for what we do and a sense to be part of something and I really appreciate that.
Well you’ll be pleased to know there are quite a few queued up already in camo gear outside so you have a few.
Oh, that’s great!
Right well that is all I have time for so thanks a lot for the interview, anything you wish to add at all?
I would like to thank all the fans that turn up and don’t judge before the show, you know, like you’ve changed members it’s not going to be the same. It’s not going to be the same but it’s definitely not going to be less good!