Last week Sabaton was at Graspop Metal Meeting. Headlining on the mainstage of the first day of the biggest metal meeting in Belgium. Since 2012 their line-up has changed rather drastically, 4 members quit the band and only singer Joakim Brodén and bass player Pär Sundström stayed. But they searched for new band members and had found them quickly. In May Sabaton has released a new studio album called ‘Heroes’. FrontView Magazine had the chance to meet up with Pär Sundström at Graspop.

FVM: Sabaton has a new line-up since 2012. You now have a new album ‘Heroes’ out with this new line-up. How was that? Did it feel like brand new?

Pär Sundström: It was exciting to record it. Because everyone had so much energy this time. That was great but in general no so much has changed. I was in the band from the beginning and Joakim too and we always did everything. We wrote all the song together and we did all the work, so, there was not so much difference, but a lot more fun and it went smoother and easier. When we recruited the new band members, we were looking for extremely talented ones and we got it. So that made it a lot easier to record it.

FVM: The album is out since May. How are the reactions so far?

Pär: Very good, very Good! I wouldn’t say yet we know but I think this will be by far our most popular album. Fans do always need a little bit of time, to listen to the songs and get them in. We need to play them a couple of times live before everything is perfect, but people like the new album a lot.

FVM: We saw your show last night. You got a tank on stage, was that a real one?

Pär: (smiling) Euh, it looks like a real one, you can say that. I mean, a long time ago I really had the idea and already drew the sketches for this. It took until now before we could have it.

FVM: Sabaton’s songs are always war related, most of the time WWII, we heard you’ve been visiting Bastogne?

Pär: Yes, we were there two weeks ago. We came there last year just quickly, we were just passing by and we knew we had to come back there one day. And we had these two days, after playing in England and were going for Germany and we thought “Ok, were should we go to these two days?” we were looking at the map and saw Bastogne and that was perfect.

FVM: What did you thing about it?

Pär: I think it was very exciting. We had a guide there. A guide who was a specialist in WWII in that area. So it was very exciting for us.

FVM: Do you do your own research for your songs?

Pär: Usually yes, but we have help from different sources to find the informations, but we do a lot of research, yes.

FVM: Here in Belgium we have now some celebrations/memorials around WWI. It’s now 100 years ago. So is that something to inspire you for new songs? Or do you stay with WWII?

Pär: For us WWII is more interesting for many reasons, but one of them is that there are more facts. When it was WWI not so much was documented. There wasn’t any filming material, a lot of things we’re not the same. WWII is very well documented, you can follow single people,... We like that, so we can stay to more facts instead of having to try to imagine how it was.

FVM: Was there something in particular that made you choose for this theme? A passion for war?

Pär: Well, we have to sing about something. We don’t want to sing about our own private live. We don’t want to sing about our thoughts or anything like that, so we wanted to tell stories and we tell this story, ‘cause we find it very interesting and history is more exciting than fiction. It’s as simple as that I guess.

FVM: You have been signing for 3 hours here at GMM. Do you always take this much time for your fans?

Pär: If we can, I mean, if time allows. Sometimes we have to go to another place or to another place to play of we have interviews to do or we have other obligations to do, but if we don’t...I mean, instead of just sitting and waiting or just sitting in the dressing room or something, we love to meet the fans.

FVM: Thank you for this interview and a lot of luck with the rest of your tour and have fun!

Pär: Thank you!

For the rest of the summer Sabaton will be playing around Europe, but afterwards they leave for South and North America. In the winter they will be back in Europe and they will visit Belgium and The Netherlands again. They will be headed for 013 in Tilburg(NL) at the 11th of Januari and for the Lotto Arena in Antwerp (B) at the 13th of Februari 2015.

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