SABATON Interview | Joakim about THE GREAT WAR |

SABATON Interview | Joakim about THE GREAT WAR |

so the record label told us next time
you make an album make sure you don’t put the word nazi in the intro okay we
said so we put it in the first verse because that’s “Attero Dominatus”. so! soon, new album, The Great War.
yes! what can your fans expect? heavy metal about war I think that’s a
safe bet for all of you guy. on the other hand it’s not really a spoiler or
giving anything away I mean I think I’m probably the worst person on the planet
to tell people to buy our new album it’s amazing because I’ve been with it you
know both for the songwriting part the pre productions the recording mixing
everything and it’s not about this album every album after we’ve made it I hate
it you know notated like that but I’m tired of it you know it takes me a year
or a year and a half to really get through it but I have a good feeling
about it but it’s not something I would put on and listen to you know because
I’ve been hearing these songs so many times now so it’s already old news if
you will but I’m I’m really proud and pleased of the production and I actually
think that on the second song Seven Pillars of wisdom that’s the best guitar
work and drum work we ever had in ourselves also that’s a big difference
our events would always tell other musicians about their latest record that
this is the best thing they’ve ever done and you say I don’t know I’m not saying
it’s bad I think it’s fucking good and it’s gonna be but I don’t know it’s not
up to me to say which is the best album that’s up to the listener I mean some
people like you know smoke on the water some people like the purpose later stuff
you never know so would you say at this point you like some of your older albums
more like no no not at all I was saying that I totally understand that some
people enjoy a certain era of a band for me I don’t know which sabaton favorite
album would be but I mean I the worst guy to judge it it’s like choosing your
favorite child all we do is we we raised them as good as we can and then we hope
they do well when we send them to college so would you just
the evolution like from earlier times or from the previous album to the new album
evolution is a good word because that is pretty much what we’re doing samples on
we’re not a revolutionary band at all that you know you go from one elbow to
the next and everything has changed however there has always been a certain
evolution where things move on maybe production wise songwriting wise or you
know musicianship wise so if you listen to let’s say do fists for fight or
metalizer and then compare it to the great war then there’s a huge difference
so well in a sense I’m pretty damn curious to see what the fans have
disabled I think after listening to that it’s a bit heavier than the last and
then was a bit more I would say soft but you know cheerful yeah and I think this
is much more heavier now would you agree yeah absolutely
I mean in a sense on the last and doing a last time is a heroic act isn’t it you
know to decide no matter what we’re making our stand here our lives be gone
or not and that of course would make the songwriting process both musically but
also lyrically feel a bit more proud or light or cheerful in the way even if in
many cases that meant total destruction and death we want we don’t want to be
you know totally having our albums musically and lyrically disconnected the
Great War is a very dark period in in our history and I think that is very
well reflected in the music so it is absolutely a more sinister darker album
stories to tell on the new album tell us about one of your favorites me mmm so
it’s useful I would probably go with a ghost in the trenches I think it’s so
number a fantastic story of a native Canadian or not even Canadian because
they wouldn’t give the native population citizenship and he decide
to join up voluntarily and go over and it turns out to be the most successful
sniper in the first world war even you know sneaking into the enemy trenches at
night you know stealing ships and stuff like that so many things and so many
legends about him so our friends is Packer Mogambo you should google him and
then try and find yeah it’s a very interesting episode on the great war
channel on YouTube check it out I personally really liked Seven Pillars of
wisdom what can you tell us about the story of this song
Loras Moravia TE Lawrence it’s a cool movie it’s a cool story but don’t read
the book Seven Pillars of wisdom I did it shit it’s its own book and oh my god those are the people who never read it I
swear to God no it is oh the language she uses it’s
horrible but it’s one of musically it’s one of my favorite tracks it’s very
basic plays classic hard on because look at the instrumentation it is really
basic background keyboards only the rest is just Sabaton and great guitar work
snappy drums as fuck and just well write good melodies I like it it really
reminded me of the coliforms album very classic sabaton style like metal riff
and maybe it’s something like that yeah it’s it’s a no I mean in the beginning
the first track it’s not totally out there but it’s a little bit of a
surprise but then at the sea saying on Seven Pillars of wisdom that’s when you
get a ha this is yeah you have a few very very experimental tracks almost
like the future of warfare attack of the dead man
those are pretty out there for Sabbath on Isaiah what can you tell us about
this style well it’s not like we’ve went into this deciding to change in any way
with the stories we tell affect the music and vice-versa and with the future
of warfare it’s about the introduction of Tanks into modern modern conflicts
and it is a the story is a bit industrialized and
harder more mechanical so it’s natural that you know both arrangement wise and
lyrically and how we would perform it is some more bit more yeah
mechanized I’d say I mean listening to it you can definitely hear it cellphone
but it’s not something from 101 yeah I think it’s always your voice always
always gives it away trust me other people very different
opinions but I’m happy anyway that’s cool as long as people have an opinion
then I’m fine if they if they don’t have it then it shows for now fields of
Verdun and the Red Baron as your singles why is that I don’t know really it’s a
matter of choosing it once again of between your favourites the children but
seeing as even though it’s not a part of the album we came out with Bismarck
which is sort of slow pounding epic and also a bit harking back to like primo
victoria era it feels like you know Sabbath on in the vibe of it at least and then we wanted something up-tempo for the first single that’s why we went
with people so we’re done and it’s also at least in my mind mean every country
has its own history for some people this battle or this battle was the most
important the Great War for some people no battle in the great world was
important because they didn’t know another part of the world who wasn’t
affected by it so for the British they would consider the Battle of the Somme
the pivotal moment but for the French and for also us in Sweden somehow we’re
done really personifies the hell that is you know the Western Front at that time
disease stalemate artillery from everywhere and we have thought let’s
let’s start off with something that represents at least the atmosphere of the album in a way and
I think it does it pretty good actually about the Red Baron I don’t know why we
chose that one actually I don’t know why we liked it sometimes it’s as easy as
that the band who chooses or do you sit with a label guys and go over the songs
that is basically the band we’ve had discussions with the label sometimes the
final word is always ours and we have however because we are so close to it
this does know me you know reply to me this applies to everyone in the band
sometimes we’re so close to it that we’re okay we’re thinking about these
four songs should be among the singles maybe which one should it be in then we
can ask it could be the record label it could be mom and dad for fuck’s sake you
know it’s not like a life-and-death decision the album is coming out anyway
anywhere everybody’s gonna hear the songs the life-and-death decisions is
when you’re deciding to remove something from the album because that means it’s
not going out there so it was only up to you what’s your
what’s your favourite track on the album which would you choose as a single no I
would do the Seven Pillars of wisdom I think it’s a good song and it represents
a lot on both now and in the past and it’s classic heavy metal I want to drink
beer and sing along when I hear it and if I have that feeling it can’t be that
bad you know so I noticed well everyone noticed since
5-10 years you haven’t done any more of the fun songs at the end of the album
you know you had a metal machine metal crew metal River and after this sadly
nothing anymore and you know because we were doing it we were doing themed
albums that is it I mean we had a gap also we didn’t do it in order war even
though it had its before because that one was following that thing I don’t
mind doing them it’s actually quite fun it trust me relaxing you’re going to
write music because you’re not thinking of it as you know it’s it’s not like
they’re not important but you don’t take them so seriously
which makes you go into the whole process with a different mindset which
is kind of liberating sometimes but it’s just
nothing it isn’t the last step maybe come to think with maybe we could have
made up a story about last times including you know whatever but
especially on an album like Canales Rex not really possible you know this one
it’s I mean you know you’ve heard now you know how the album ends yeah yeah
you know not in this case maybe not in this case it would really destroy the
atmosphere of the whole thing you know so but trust me I’m pretty sure we
haven’t done our last metal tribute song you know career but if there are not
themed album like this which is I don’t know it’s not really a concept but
stories are from World War one in you know not in chronological order but it
would fuck up the white totally in this case so that’s why we didn’t have it
this time at least so I think Corollas wrecks it was very well received with a
Swedish version if you considered doing whole albums or maybe just single songs
in other languages that would fit the theme maybe trying some German songs or
more Swedish French there aren’t that many languages I could decently sing in
actually that’s the problem if it’s if it makes sense we could probably do a
song or an album in Swedish again if it was about Swedish history we could do
something in German but I’m gonna need somebody to check my pronunciation
because I started a bit German in school and pronunciation wise your language is
pretty fantastic because in most cases you actually pronounce it you know as
it’s red somehow you know not many languages are like that you got around
that okay all all SS at the end are silent or you know if it’s these these
combinations then you don’t hear that but stuff like that and also hearing
German every day with German crew members used to study it in school even
though it wasn’t very good at it German would be possible I mean we did one song for it 1 in Polish recorded for a
charity thing that was so fucked up I have no idea you know what I was singing
so it takes a certain level I think I mean we covered for your fly-by
Rammstein where I say look instead of lick stupid because the dots weren’t
there on the print that I had over the you but I don’t think I would be very
good at it because even though I understand a little bit of German and
even if somebody could tell me or help me how could I deliver emotionally
without really understanding when when I’m when am i delivering aggression or
sadness or happiness whichever emotion we’re talking about so it’s it’s not
only about getting the words right it’s about getting them right with the right
feeling as well that’s the trick usually that’s why it took so short time to see
in context in Swedish I mean I would consider myself at least decent of
English but still it was easier to do it in Swedish are there any more topics you
still want to discuss like now you had a lot of well concept albums is there
anything that you still have coming up or are you consider I mean yeah so many
so many men oh we have always when we go into the songwriting process we have two
or three ideas that we’re aiming for usually turns out to be one of them
sometimes it just twists around last minute because the music isn’t speaking
the same language as those stories but all I’ve said before I mean one day it’s
not gonna be the next album is a future project and I’m not sure you can do it
in one song but you know something like Alexander the Great
we can go anywhere in history not holding is certainly an interesting
person but how where and when I have no idea
I’m sorry there is a lot to choose from yes everything would be interesting like
you could even go back about 2,000 years or something like that because it’s cool
it’s liberating it’s it’s still history but it’s so far back in time that
everybody’s gonna understand and accept that there is a certain amount of myth
involved as well which makes you a bit four-year when you’re writing the lyrics
which is feels cool anyway mostly you’re covered very recent war yeah scenarios
so you but you wouldn’t say it it never gets boring no but really I mean I’m so
much in love with the discovery phase you know reading about I mean I like all
kinds of history not only military history but we can sing about art
history in Sabbath on right that wouldn’t work so we we decided to go
with military history because all of the emotional well everything in the
emotional spectrum that’s in our music is already in military conflict there’s
aggression depression sadness all of that spectrum into happiness and pride
or you know power whatever you could call it and so they match together very
well well I’m so much in love with the finding out about these stories so I’m
everywhere all the time finding out about this battle this discovery it
could be and whatever it is and so I couldn’t be bored when it’s something I
I love finding out stuff and was still curious about but what would be boring
is what I found out is what I did the mistake of doing research for a song
long before we actually did the song that was really hard because it felt
like old news and I was not passionate about it so for example if you know we
did Stalingrad on primo Victoria I read the book by Anthony Deaver good book by
the way but it’s very detailed on you know on that date this happened
and even though I was really into it and I wouldn’t say it’s a bad book at all
great author but if that’s a massive amount of information I didn’t even know
where to begin and I read that book six months or more
before writing the lyrics and when I came there all that and looked at the
book again it felt like old news I wasn’t so passionate about it but I was
passionate them when I was reading that book so that song kind of twisted itself
onto something else I managed to find a translation of our Soviet soldiers diary
and use that as the basis for for the lyrics of Stalingrad of course it helped
have read that book because you have the setting in the facts but then at that
point already I realized that I can’t do you know massive research before cuz
it’s so nice to be there and oh this is amazing I don’t get at it at the same
time have you considered writing now there
it’s about fictional wars we have actually but I don’t think we’re gonna
go there also is especially thing I mean we’re controversial enough as it is you
know singing about military completes from left and right sometimes from what
people would argue is the bad guys point of view you know in many cases one
country’s hero can be the next country’s villain or in the end it’s stories and
we’re sticking to facts and I mean in most places we tour at least they have
freedom of speech we didn’t have to explain it this was the most interesting
way to tell the story don’t like it don’t listen easy as that but for us to
go into fictional that would mean we would have to create a fictional war and
then we’d have to then decide that maybe was this nation who fired the first
nuclear bomb or whatever then we’re talking even more controversial why even
though we wouldn’t mean anything about it
we’re bad with it so we try and stick away from that and also I think
genuinely that there are so many fantastic stories in our past that are
being forgotten so why the fuck should we make up new ones did you write
in trouble with any of the lyrics lots of them
I mean primo Victoria I was stopped for release in Germany yeah what blocked its
yes one week before the released they
approved it of course of the word Nazi in the first song we had to send the
lyrics in to have them look at it and then they of course realized that it’s
about d-day ok cool then we can release it so the record label told us next time
you make an album make sure you don’t put the word Nazi in the intro ok we
said so we put it in the first verse because that’s a teratoma lattice so so
if you ever expected to be this famous or when did you realize that well there
was kind of a breakthrough I’m still waiting I don’t know I do
realize I really do remember when I realized that I was a professional
musician and then that I made a living out of playing heavy metal and I think
this is 2019 if I’m not mistaken it could be eight nine ten and I had
already been doing nothing else than music but however you know I was
standing in on stage in Athens in Greece a couple of hundred people there and
during it must have been at least after they are to war but before coat of arms
because I can remember a bit to the setlist but anyway in the middle of a
song I froze up it was ghost division and you know everything given in slow
motions like Oh Here I am Athens fucking good crowd tonight lovely
and then I haven’t had any other job in like two years or two and a half but I
guess that makes me a professional musician I mean being a professional
musician means that you make your money from music not that you make more lots
of money from music but that was my sole source of income
but I’m standing there like yeah I can live with this and then give them
playing what are some life songs that you still really enjoy playing I can
imagine some songs you don’t like as much anymore but maybe some older songs
that you still like even after all those years so many times I get the question
how tired are you primo Victoria I’m like not at all but I’m not sure if that
mean I’m not tired of it in any way I’m not so sure I’m
anticipating clima Victoria because because of the musical experience rather
than the atmosphere because that’s what difference for us every night I mean we
play clean Victoria sure but if we focus on playing primo Victoria only and set
our limits there then the song is the same night of the night of the night
some improvisations something might happen you know physically but that’s a
whole different ballgame also doing something different on stage the crowd
is gonna be different their reaction that’s what makes it fun now there are a
few songs I would say I don’t hate it at all and it’s alright life but if we’re
rehearsing it it wasn’t long ago we did a few shows take Panzer battalion again
when we were rehearsing that one and that was a bit painful because oh why
the fuck did I put a third verse in there from the new album which songs do
you think you’re going to play live that’s up to the fast to decide we’re
gonna start off with singles and see which one worked for what the reactions
are absolutely in the in the end how good an album is is only judged by how
many songs from that album is still in in thus at least two albums later you

Author: Kevin Mason

17 thoughts on “SABATON Interview | Joakim about THE GREAT WAR |

  1. Can you please stop with a "what's your favorite…", questions. Those kind of questions are just confusing and hard to answer. Instead ask some open-ended questions.

  2. I kmow tons ofso gs already are about american soldiers in the world wars but songs about the american civil war or about the american war of independence would be cool.

  3. I'd say play The Great War in it's entirety. Incredible songs, not one dull or ok song. Let it happen, even if it'll done once. After all, it's been now more than a century since WW1, so let it be like a tribute and a memoriam to it.

  4. Ok Joakim, so you wanna know a true hero story? Find out about the great sacrifice of Husain ibn Ali, and the Karbala war

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