Sabaton's Pär Sundström
By Jay Oakley
First of all since you just got off stage, how was the set?
Today was really good. It's the last day of the tour which means that normally there can be something happening between the bands, ya know sometimes people change around and do funny stuff against each other. There was apparently a tank coming onto the stage which was a little bit unexpected and containing a Finnish bass player from Nightwish but generally we were all nice. There's been some terrible things that have gone on last show over the years which we have seen but these are all good people we are touring with. It's been absolutely great, it's been been such an easy and smooth run. We all know each other from the past, all the bands and everybody and since the singer of Nightwish is together with our drummer and having Delain with us who supported us for one of the bigger European tours in support of this new album so we're tight since then. Everything's so smooth, it's been a great tour and we're going to miss this.
Overall, were you happy with the tour since this is the last night?
Yeah, very happy. For us, this is the biggest tour in the US we've done so far and that has to count for something. The response has been great, the reviews have been great and I think and hope that we gained a lot of new fans in America.
It's not a super recent release but you're touring in regards to a new album, Heroes which came out last year. All-in-all how have you liked the reception for it?
Very good, everywhere we've gone I'm very happy that people are not crying out for old songs and they really want to hear the new stuff which means a lot. That means that we did a good album and there are bands who come out with new albums and fans just want to hear the old stuff. That's not the thing for us, we have more requests for the new music which is fantastic.
That's how it should be. You don't want to keep playing the old stuff because that's how you get stuck in nostalgia land. You want to bring new things. It's more creativity for you.
Also, Sabaton is on the rise. We are gaining new fans all the time, especially here in America. People have trouble keeping up that we have a lot of studio albums out. People think that Sabaton is brand new but we've been going on for over fifteen years and we have a lot of studio albums out. So for fans who have discovered Sabaton on Heroes, there is plenty to look back to and I hope they do. There is definitely a lot that America has missed in the ten years that we toured Europe before we even came over here.
Even though you haven't been able to tour the states much, each time you've come over has it been more positive for you?
Yes, it is a clear path that we can see and every time it's getting better and better.
With the tour ending, I assume that you are going back to Europe?
Do you have gigs coming up in Europe or do you have a little bit of downtime coming up?
We only have a few days to repack our bags and start getting together the European stage show. Obviously, when we tour there it is a much bigger thing since we are the headliners of most of the shows we do. That includes the festivals and we bring a big stage set which we unfortunately can not use here. We usually have tanks and things on the stage but we can't really do that here for obvious reasons. So we come home, repack our bags with clean clothes and start getting together the stage set and getting the gear together. We then start rehearsals because tonight we only played a few songs but now we turn into playing full sets. So we need some rehearsal time and then we're off because in a few days we start basically with our headline shows.
Besides the festivals is there anything else you guys are playing at that you are allowed to announce?
Well, in Europe, we play a lot of festivals. Our website is very full. There are some things that I can't say but our website is up to date and a reliable source for where we are going to be this summer.
How would you describe what people can expect at a Sabaton show?
We have a lot of fun when we are on stage and we want people to have the same. For us, everything is about entertaining the people and having fun together with the crowd. It is not just about us, it is about the whole evening and everybody inside. I think people can expect a very enthusiastic and happy band and also having fun. That's what people should expect.
Is there anything that you guys draw off the crowd? Are there things that you look for or are you guys the type of band that just love to play for people?
There's the perfect gig like playing to a maximum two thousand people because when it gets bigger then that you can't really feel everyone in the crowd, you can't see them. So everything above two thousand, it can be five thousand, it can be fifty or five hundred thousand, it will not matter basically because it will never become intimate. I personally love intimate concerts, in warm, hot places with maximum two thousand people. That's the best gig I can have.
Over the course of fifteen years, yourself and Joakim (Brodén, vocalist) are the two original members. Are you guys happy with the direction that Sabaton is going?
Extremely. After all, we are drawing the line ourselves. We don't have a management, we don't have a mainstream record label, we don't have much attention from media, it's the independent stuff that's going to be interested in doing something with Sabaton so we are doing a lot by ourselves. But, that is what is making us feel even more proud of the band.
Pär, thank you so much for taking the time especially since you have a lot going on with the end of the tour and going back to Europe.
Thank you and I'm sure when we come around again we can do a little bit more.