INTERVIEW: Pär Sundström (SABATON)
On recent and upcoming tourmates AMON AMARTH:
Pär: "We are great friends, and I like their music. We've toured together before, so even if there was a few of their loud fans that made some noise before the tour, saying 'You can't tour with SABATON — you don't fit together,' once the evening started, it was fine. Everybody was super-happy; it was a great atmosphere in the venue. We are both bands that fit together. We are both from Sweden; we are good friends; so I see definitely no whatsoever problem with that."
On how the group's interest in military history developed:
Pär: "We need to write about something, of course. You need to have a topic for the band and we have to have topics and themes for the songs, and instead of making up something or writing something about, I don't know, some random stuff, we decided we wanted to write about stuff from history. We thought, 'Okay, there's different kind of history, but the war history fits with heavy metal.' It's the part of history which we find most interesting, so we decided to go for that, and we liked this theme. We have stumbled upon so many great fates and stories, that some of those, we have made into songs and made worldwide famous. I'm excited to write them and every time we sing them, because I know they mean something. They're not just made-up lyrics."
On the band's young fan base:
Pär: "I can't understand the people that blame us when they say, 'Oh, there's, like, young people going to SABATON shows.' I get so upset when somebody says that. Are young people not allowed to be future metal heads? Were all the true metal people, were they born, like, okay, just born [a] 30-years-old metalhead? No. You grow up. Everybody grows up, so it's just [a] stupid way to think like that. We often fight against age limits. That's why some people say, 'Oh, SABATON shows are for kids' — yeah, for the hope for the future of metal."
On the band's do-it-yourself work ethic:
Pär: "We've been doing it our way all the time. We are self-managed since day one, and we still manage ourselves and take care of everything ourselves. We grow every day, and we get stronger and stronger."
On the group's plans for 2018:
Pär: "We're not going to do that much touring. We have been touring extensively the last years, and we did a lot in 2017 and 2016. In 2018, we need to focus on a new album. We have to take a little bit of time off from touring and focus on a new album. It's difficult to keep up the songwriting cycle that you used to have when you're touring more than ever, so we will have to take a little bit of a break in touring to make a new album."
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SABATON's eighth album, "The Last Stand", was released in August 2016 via Nuclear Blast. The follow-up to 2014's "Heroes" was once again produced by Peter Tägtgren (PAIN, LINDEMANN, HYPOCRISY).
The artwork for "The Last Stand" was created by Peter Sallaí, who has worked with SABATON since "Carolus Rex".
SABATON last year parted ways with guitarist Thobbe Englund and replaced him with Tommy Johansson (GOLDEN RESURRECTION, REINXEED).