SABATON Bassist On Group's 'History Channel': 'Now We Can Properly Teach'

July 6, 2019

Prior to SABATON's performance at Austria's Nova Rock festival, bassist Pär Sundström spoke with Claudia of We Don't Care. The full conversation can be seen below. A few excerpts follow (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).

On his excitement to perform songs from the group's forthcoming album, "The Great War":

Pär: "As soon as songs are being released from the new album, as soon as songs come out, we want to include them in the set list. For us, to be on the road for the past two and a half years and playing the same songs, it's exciting for a while, but then you want new songs. But it's not up to what we want — it's up to what the fans want. When we are touring around the world, people want to hear the new song. Even though they might be two years old, they are new to some people we are playing for. It's a big world, and it takes a little bit of time to travel around everywhere and play for everyone. That's why the old songs for us are still new for some people."

On moderation and touring:

Pär: "A lot of people have the misconception [about] rock 'n' roll and partying all the time. That is not really working out. I know that there are some bands who party a lot, but it's only sustainable for a short period of time. SABATON was partying a lot in the beginning. Nowadays, we have to carefully select when we have some kind of drinks. It wouldn't be sustainable to be partying like we did 15 years ago. We still enjoy a few drinks every now and then, but we have to focus on other things nowadays."

On coming home from tours:

Pär: "I think everybody is different. Some people, they have, like, this post-tour stress disorder, which some people can suffer from. When they go home, they miss touring so much that they lack a sense of meaning in their lives. I know that some musicians are like that. Some people, they really enjoy to come home because they miss home all the time. I think touring will not be so good for them. For me personally, I work a lot, and I work when I'm home with the band, so for me, it doesn't really matter. In theory, my days on the tour — even today, [which] is fully packed with things to do — it's still sort of a holiday compared to being home. I do more hours of working when I'm home."

On the SABATON History Channel:

Pär: "It was an idea we wanted to have for a very long time — to tell more deeper stories behind the songs. The idea has been growing in our minds, and we had he hope that one day, we will make it happen. Even though there's a lot of people [who] say, 'SABATON is the best history teachers in the world, and I learned more history from SABATON than from school,' I cannot really 100 percent agree when it came to the past, because in the past, you can only learn a little bit. If we have a song [that's] three minutes [long], there is impossibility for you to learn a lot about history in three minutes. You can figure out some thing — 'This is song is about this that happened there at that time' — but it can inspire you to go and search for it, and then you remember things thanks to the song. When we launched the SABATON History Channel, things changed. Now we can properly teach, and now I look forward to see these kind of comments that the band is the best history teachers in the world... We wanted people to understand more what the songs are about [and] why we wrote them. There is no bad things about knowing history. It can never hurt anybody to know history. I do think that to understand each other better and to avoid conflicts and to avoid disagreements, knowledge is a key point to it. In order to understand why the world looks like it is, why this person thinks this way and not that way, by studying history, you will understand a little bit more... I'm just here to tell history, but not really to tell people what to do with it. It's up to them. We tell them a story, but [what] they will do with it, it's up to them."

SABATON's ninth full-length album, "The Great War", is due on July 19 via Nuclear Blast Records. The band started recording the disc exactly 100 years after the end of the First World War (November 11, 1918) and took three months of intensive work to complete the album with longtime producer and collaborator Jonas Kjellgren at Black Lounge studios. The effort was mastered by Maor Appelbaum and the artwork was once again created by Peter Sallaí.

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