Some time ago, yours truly and Miss Ery had the pleasure of sitting down and having an interview with none other than Pär Sundström, the bass player and manager of Sabaton. Our secret meeting location was at the Royal Museum of the Army and War History, which if you think about it, seems like the perfect location. After talking for a few minutes and calming our fan girl nerves, we started the interview.
GRIMM: Is it your first time visiting this museum?
Yes, it is the first time coming here. I didn’t even know it existed even though I would imagine that there would be a museum like this.
GRIMM: This is probably a more interesting location than the gym that Joakim used a week ago?
Definitely more interesting than a sport center for a Sabaton interview. Especially now we go to a lot of museums but it is not that often that they have World War one Exhibitions. Because World War One doesn’t take that much attention as World War Two. I think most museums, if they are not state founded or are private and need an income from ticket sales. Then they go for tanks or other brutal machines of war and those are not World War One, but World War Two especially, war tanks which are visually more interesting to see for those who paid a ticket. There are not too many places who focus on World War One.
GRIMM: Have you seen a lot of museums as big as this one?
I have seen bigger and smaller. I have been to Kubinka in Russia and I don’t think that gets any bigger than that. I think that they took down most museums in Russia and moved everything to one place. But it is also an active military base therefore they also have everything that is new and hundreds of thousands of soldiers in the same place. It’s so big, it almost feels like driving in a city from one place to another, from the planes to the tanks. It’s easily a ten-minute drive by car. But alright now we are here in Belgium.
GRIMM: Indeed, we are here for ‘The Great War’, but first some basic questions: Did you ever expect to become this big with Sabaton?
No, I did not think this but I wanted this to happen so I would work for it. I wanted to have high expectations but I also wanted to be realistic. I was not stupid in 1999, I could hear the music that we made and I knew that it was not good enough to be the biggest band in the world. But in 2005 when we did Primo Victoria, I realised there was some substance in this song that is world class. And this has the potential of going all the way. But I have to work towards it. If I don’t believe in it nobody else will follow. In order to get Sabaton to a higher level I must have visions that stretches really far in the future. That is one of my jobs in the band: to be an inspiring person and to have a vision where to go with the band.
GRIMM: If you compare 1999 and 2005 with the recording of Primo Victoria do you think that you almost achieved the highest level?
No, there are some things that we already have achieved which is already the end of story. The biggest concert in our lives or at least my life was in 2015 at Sweden Rock Festival. It was not the biggest by numbers but emotionally. So emotionally I have done the biggest show in my life. Off course to play at Wacken is much bigger than Sweden Rock, so is Graspop, but not emotionally, at least not for me.
GRIMM: How does it feel when you are on the stage and all these people are cheering for you?
It is an amazing feeling and very rewarding. It is also inspiring and it gives fuel to do it again. And I am happy that all band members from Sabaton are encouraged and enforced by this. I know there are bands that look for other things. There are bands that look more for the backstage and the after parties. And I am thankful that Sabaton is a band that doesn’t give a fuck about what is happening backstage. We are only interested in the stage.
GRIMM: That is very noticeable since you guys change the stage from time to time. Does the band have saying in the changes or is it more management?
I am the management. We do not have a management. We never had. That is also the reason that we can feel a bit prouder of the band. Because it is all done by us.
GRIMM: You probably enjoy the freedom then?
Nobody has ever told us to do this or that. And nobody has ever given us a solution to a problem and we had to all figure it out ourselves. That is why it feels great to be standing where we stand now. But regarding the stage show. The upcoming tour I indeed decided how the stage would look.
For more about the upcoming new Sabaton album ‘The Great War’ and shows, keep an eye on the site because part 2 and 3 are coming really soon!