Interview Sabaton – “I know the other guys don’t consider Sabaton power metal, but just listen to Stormtroopers, that song is so power metal”

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Sabaton is reaching incredible heights in the last years, and now they are filling the largest stadiums across Europe. Yes, this once little band only known in Sweden and Belgium is now amongst the legends such as Maiden, Metallica or Rammstein. An interview with GRIMM was therefore long overdue, and we were honoured to have the opportunity to interview one of power metal’s top guitarists with Tommy Johannson.

Notwithstanding the short amount of time we had with Tommy, in this interview we talk about a huge variety of subjects and there are quite some scoops here. However, the heart of the interview were Tommy‘s inspirations for his guitar work and how these sounds make power metal and make Sabaton. Ergo, Sabaton is power metal as we firmly established, laying to rest a discussion the lead vocalist Joakim Broden once started.

We discussed the new 1916 Motörhead cover and its amazing video, but also the drive behind Sabaton‘s relentless effort to make history accessible to large audiences. And guess what? They even succeeded to turn Tommy into a real history buff.

We continued discussing the guitar work, particularly the solos and how Tommy made those, revealing some deep insights into how he actually composes them. For the song Race to the Sea, a song about the Belgian Yser offensive during WOI and first performed live at Grasspop Metal Meeting, we even get a little look in the mind of the master as he explains how he interacts with Joakim and plays with the melodies to get this very poetic and heartfelt solo.

We ventured further into Tommy‘s inspiration, learning about his deep love for the eighties. And not, not just the music, this man goes out and buys woman’s pants just because they look eighties. Respect for that dedication, man!

Of course, controversy was not spurned, and I presented him with the “is Sabaton power metal” question, as this categorisation is heavily disputed by both Joakim Broden and Pär Sundström, but Tommy was real adamant about it. Sabaton is power metal!

Taking us to the end of the interview, where Tommy revealed that a more medieval themed album, or at least songs, are being discussed, which really excites this medievalist’s heart. To conclude with a rather revealing quick question round.

For all of that and more go see the full interview on our Youtube channel or right here:

Sabaton‘s performance at the Ziggo Dome in Amsterdam was really impressive, but that is because these guys are really impressive, both as musicians and humans. They treat their subject matter with a sense of serious and respect and bring that to the world in the shape of great music. This attitude is most certain also present in its youngest member, Tommy Johansson, and I was absolutely honoured to pick this man’s mind.

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