When the chance to sit down with SABATON’S Joakim Brodén comes up again, you take it. I don’t care where you are, you just do it. Me? I was hiding in a storage room at the day job at 10 a.m. as that was the only time available…and I’d do it again in a heartbeat. Joakim called in to A&GS to talk about the new live DVD/CD Heroes On Tour (out now on Nuclear Blast Records), the next SABATON record, tour plans and more. Check it:
Amps: So tell me…what’s happening in the busy world of SABATON right now?
Joakim: Well, we just came off a six-week tour, and we have the live DVD/CD out now. And of course I’m currently writing songs for the new album, which will hopefully be finished by summer.
Amps: Do you mean finished, as in finished recording?
Joakim: No, I mean finished and out. The goal is to have it out this summer.
Amps: Wow, you guys never stop working, do you? Why the decision to release a double live DVD/CD now?
Joakim: We put it out for a couple of reasons: One, we headlined Wacken Open Air, and we wanted to share that memory with our fans. Plus, when it’s actually happening it goes by so fast, you know? So we wanted to have something permanent. I remember sitting around the house with Pär (Sundström, bass) in 2000 drinking beer and listening to JUDAS PRIEST’S Painkiller and talking about how cool it would be to headline Wacken one day. Now here we are. The second reason is that we’re known as a live band so we wanted to share that as well. That’s why we included the show from our own Sabaton Open Air. Live SABATON is a totally different experience than what’s on the records.
Amps: Speaking of which, I caught your headlining show in Dallas back in November of 2014. SABATON is one of THE best live bands I have ever seen!! And the crowd there sounded like it was 2,000 strong!!
Joakim: Ah yes, at Trees!! That was a great show and a great night. The place wasn’t fully packed but it was one of our loudest audiences. What a night! And thank you very much. We take pride in being a great live band.
Amps: Getting back to new music, following up Heroes is a monumental task, no? Because I think that record is your best yet.
Joakim: Thank you. Heroes was scary because it was our first record with the new line-up. But looking back at it over a year later I am very pleased with it. Hopefully the best is yet to come.
Amps: Much like with IRON MAIDEN, when you listen to SABATON you always get a history lesson. Your subject matter has inspired me to go and research a lot of historic old battles, and I’m sure I’m not alone there.
Joakim: (Laughs) well I’m glad we made you do that. I think more people should sing about important events of the past, simple as that. It’s important to recognize and learn from our history, you know?
Amps: You’ve mentioned before that one of the things that make SABATON work is that everyone has areas they handle more so than others.
Joakim: Exactly. Right now Pär is handling much of the business side of things, while I am more focused on the writing for the new album. The dynamic works. And that’s why we don’t have a manager. Someone tried to pitch themselves to us once and I said to him, “How the FUCK are you gonna convince me that YOU care more about SABATON than I care about SABATON??” You can’t! Also, a manager may not respond to e-mails if it’s someone they don’t know. If someone in the German fan club sends an e-mail he may not reply. But WE will. We answer everything from our fans.
Amps: What are the chances of a SABATON U.S. headlining tour and not just one or two dates this time?
Joakim: It’s funny you ask that because we are discussing some things and exploring those options right now. I can’t say anything just yet, but if we were having this conversation in three or four weeks I could (laughs). But yes, we would love to do a full U.S. headlining tour.
Amps: What newer albums have you been rocking out to?
Joakim: You know, I am always the last to know when a new album comes out because I’m away so much. I quite liked the latest BATTLE BEAST (Unholy Savior), and the last ACCEPT album Blind Rage. I thought that was an excellent return to form.
I loved Blood of the Nations, but Stalingrad really wasn’t for me. This album is excellent, though. You know what i just bought? The Best of SLADE!
Amps: Hey, I love them! What would you like to say to all the SABATON fans around the world?
Joakim: Thank you for all the good times. We’ve been able to do this for 17 years now, and I hope we can go 17 more! Hope to see all of you on the road. Thank you very much.
Not bad for a guy who conducted an interview while constantly peeking around the corner looking for his boss, eh? Once again I thoroughly enjoyed speaking with Joakim and am anxiously awaiting the next release from SABATON. In the meantime I, like many of you, will satisfy my need for a fix with Heroes On Tour. And make sure you get out to a tour stop when they come to your city. You’ll hate yourself if you don’t!
LIVE PHOTOS: ANYA SVIRSKAYA