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Par Sundstrom (Sabaton)

Interview with Par Sundstrom from Sabaton
by Lakota (LakotaBlue "LB" Lewis) at 11 July 2012, 2:32 PM

There is something driving about waging war, but only in songs. Also there is something about remembering history through music. SABATON have been doing both for some time now. With a new lineup, they present a new album under the name of "Carolus Rex". Lakota had a chance to talk to one of the band's longstanding members, Par Sundstrom, about the band's live shows, success overseas and the new album.

Thanks for taking this time to chat casually with me on behalf of Metal-Temple Magazine.
I have been a fan of SABATON throughout the years, sorry to have missed your April stop in the US, but glad we have time here. First let me congratulate you on your newest album, are you, the band pleased with the reception you are receiving from it?

Oh yeah!. We knew a lot of journalists would think it is not good, especially in Sweden. But the fans speak a clear language. It is our best album until today and we are very proud about it.

Are US fans as zealous as your home grounds and in Europe?

Yes, with all rights. I mean we do a lot of shows in Europe and here we also can do it with a big production using lots of pyrotechnics and stagesets. I wish we one day can bring that also on tour in US. But on the other hand the shows in US are more intimate and we are closer to the fans. In US we can arrange meet & greets and such. It would not work in Europe.

I have viewed your website, and it is brilliant, do you feel its been a help in launching the new SABATON?  Also I am impressed with your videos, very informative. Do you find these outlets helpful?

We have tried to stay updated, many bands live in the past and still believes in that physical sales album is all that counts. We use all means necessary to spread the name and music that we stand for. Of course physical albums mean a lot and we put a lot of effort into creating interesting artwork and booklets. Unfortunately here the US versions were shortened down.

With the new lineup, do you find you have kept your original base of fans, are you seeing an increase in a new fan base now? I find demographics and age range of fan base of interest, especially with bands that have been around over a decade. Do you feel your past two albums are geared towards a particular crowd?

We have fans in every age and from all classes but the most important is that we have lots of fans that are really young, like 10-15. They are the future. Too many bands do not care for them and play only for their existing fanbase of older people. We embrace the younger generation of Metal fans.

Do you see an increase in your merch sales? The ages range of heavy merch buyers is 15-26, do you agree?

Well, we sell baby shirts like never before, we sell girlies, hoodies. XS and XXXXL sized shirts. And indeed we do well. We have a fantastic fanbase in all ages and we like to be able to please whatever they ask for.

Musicially speaking I am keen to the way you intertwine your music. lyrics and history into your songs, what was the reasoning, behind this? I have read the lyrics, what is back story in brief to take this route with SABATON's music?

In 2005 we had the song "Primo Victoria" written but no lyrics. Me and Joakim agreed that we need lyrics with something powerful. And we are not interested in fiction, fantasy or so. We are interested in history and mainly the war part. How it shaped the world we live in and so. We saw the movie "Saving Private Ryan" and decided that we should not write about anything that does not matter. And after we did that song we decided that it would be our thing to write about historical events. They matter to our fans and matters to us, and thats what matters.

The production of the album is brilliant, done with Peter Tägtgren, yes?

Yes, our first album completely done with Peter. He put into this album so much effort. We really love him for that and for sure we will work with him in the future.

With the nuiances and studio mix, do you feel SABATON performs up to par of album and/or is received well if not better live?

Most people prefer SABATON live, our live album "World War Live" can show that!

The newest members are brilliant, are you pleased with this new lineup?

Of course, I am impressed with how fast they were able to fit into the band and be able to handle all pressure and learn songs that quick. Last lineup lasted for 12 years, this one shall be at least 24.

Regarding your touring schedule, any particular fest/gig stands out more in memory?

The show in Wizna, Poland in 2009 was really something. Over 10 000 fans from all over Poland came to see the show. The show was set exactly on the hour, 70 years after the actual event we sing about in the song "40.1". The tour was called ”Always Remember Tour” and yes… I wont forget it.

It is nice to see you headlining at the Graspop Metal meeting fest, looking forward to this?
How are you received by your peers in the music business, fellow stage mates? I noticed epic lineup for the various fests you are scheduled to play. (sidenote: so nice to make special show in Dec for your hometown).

Well, we play a lot of festivals as they are everywhere in Europe and very popular. During these we meet a lot of friends from other bands and always also makes new ones. Festivals are important for spreading the music to the masses.

Finally, is there any particular message you would like to send to your fans, especialy here in the USA and in Australia?

Well, thanks for waiting so patiently. Sorry we have not had the possibilities to come more often (or at all) but we promise a change in the future.

Thank you very much for your time and I, as well as others, look forward to more from SABATON!

Thank you!


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