SABATON Singer On Why His Band Avoids Political Commentary: 'I Don't Wanna Tell People' Whom 'To Vote For'
May 11, 2022
Vocalist Joakim Brodén of Swedish metallers SABATON, who are best known for their war-inspired lyrics, spoke to Germany's Moshpit Passion about his band's reluctance to share its political views and opinions through its music and interviews. He said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "We're controversial as it is enough, singing about the military history. We have always avoided any political or religious commentary — for that reason; we're already controversial enough. And also, I think it's a statement in itself, and I think it's refreshing.
"I don't wanna tell people what to eat, what to vote for," he explained. "I think it is important to respect people [with] different opinions, even if you think that opinion is totally wrong. And it's that lack of respect from all sides that created that situation we are in right now. So in that sense, I don't wanna put myself in that situation and I don't wanna put the band under the line of fire as well. Because also, here's the thing — we all in the band think about different things, but there's one thing we have really in common, is that, well, let's agree to disagree; that's totally okay. And it's totally okay to have arguments, it's totally okay to be almost angry with each other, but that doesn't mean you should hate each other; it doesn't mean you have to punch the other person.
"Sometimes people are requesting from us, 'Well, how could you sing about that?' We're, like, why not?" he added. "'How could you go there and play because of that and that government?' And it's, like, none of the people who came to our concert [had] any part in that decision. Choosing not to go somewhere based on those reasons, that would be a statement. And we don't do those kind of statements. I mean, if there's one thing we make statements for, it would be free speech, because we use that a lot. [Laughs]"
Joakim went on to say that we should all be able to disagree respectfully, listen to one another and try to brainstorm solutions.
"Here's the thing: why do people think everything we've been taught, we should be all… We've been taught that we should all be in a golden world where we all agree, where everything is black and white, bad and evil," he said. "You know what? The best people in history, some of the biggest heroes have done some really bad shit. And still — heh… Where's the good? Where's the bad? And it's the only way to judge this. If you have somebody you disagree [with]. Okay, you have a really bad disagreement with that person about that, but [that person] has that many good qualities. So should that destroy that?
"I think people have become pussies; they can't handle people [having] different opinions," he added. "Everybody has to agree all the time."
This past March, SABATON announced "The Tour To End All Tours - North America 2022", a 25-date U.S. trek that will include a special headline show at Montreal's Place Bell, the band's first-ever arena headline concert in Canada. The tour, produced by FPC Live, kicks off on Thursday, September 15 at the Paramount Theatre in Seattle, Washington, and will wrap up at New York City's Hammerstein Ballroom on October 23. Supporting SABATON on all dates will be special guest EPICA, the renowned Dutch symphonic metal band.
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