Loud TV has posted footage of SABATON's press conference at this year's Hellfest, which was held June 16-18 in Clisson, France. You can watch the question-and-answer session below. A few excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On the importance of exploring historical topics within the band's lyrics:
Joakim Brodén (vocals): "It's pretty easy for us. I mean, look at history: People have been killing each other for centuries or millennia, even. People make sacrifices, lost their lives and people are forgetting about these stories. So why the fuck should we make up new stories? The ones who actually did the sacrifice are being forgotten, no matter which country they fought for. I think it's pretty important that we remember what is behind us to avoid the same shit happening again."
On how the band chooses its lyrical topics:
Pär Sundström (bass): "We get a lot of ideas. We have been sent ideas since 2010 when we did them 'Coat Of Arms' album, we asked the fans to send in ideas. So far, we have received well over 10,000 ideas. We have enough to write a lot of material; they are all categorized so we can, in a belated time, we can pick them up for something we see fits for an album. When we get enough material ready, we start to plan for what kind of themes we're going to have for an album, and decide upon a topic. Then we dig into the library and we're going to find enough stuff to write about, because, as Joakim said, people have been sadly killing each other for a long time. There is no shortage of material for us."
On whether SABATON would ever tour with CIVIL WAR, the band comprised of four ex-SABATON members who left the band in 2012:
Joakim: "I don't see why we wouldn't ever tour with them. They're still friends; I don't mind that. When it comes to the American Civil War, I think it was pretty well fucking covered by ICED EARTH. It belongs to America in that sense. Until some more [wars] pass, there enough wars for us to sing about anyway. [Laughs]"
On whether people can learn about history by listening to SABATON:
Pär: "Yes, you can. Over the years, we have received so many e-mails, especially from people working in schools and similar [areas], both from teachers and from students, both said that our songs have inspired them to be able to teach our children in a little easier way, [make it] more interesting, or for kids to pass their tests in an easier way."
On how the band plans to expand upon their live show presentation:
Pär: "We have a lot of ideas how to further evolve our stage show. As we have a theme, which is kind of nice to visualize, we will have a lot of ideas for this in the future. You have seen a few of them and seen a little bit of what we can do on the stage and expect that in the future, we will do a lot more."
On why SABATON provides a full point of view when describing history in their songs:
Pär: "History, as you said, usually contains two different sides. When we write the songs, sometimes it's easy and not too easy to not upset some people. We have to pick and choose a side when we write the songs and we never choose the side of 'us.' It should never represent us; it represents the way we were told the story and that's how we re-tell it. As you said, there's also a lot of different ways to get the facts from and some of them are never facts, they are just ideas, but we try to stay in later warfare. If we stuck to the last 100 years, for example, it's much more well-documented. When we went back 300 years in history to write about our own [Swedish] history for the 'Carolus Rex' album, it became way more difficult since, at this time, not so much is written down. Those things that are written down are written down by the victors and the generals and the kings to make themselves look better, not by the individual soldiers who were on the front of the battle."
On whether drummer Hannes Van Dahl will push his newborn daughter (with NIGHTWISH frontwoman Floor Jansen) into a musical career:
Hannes: "[She'll have] absolute freedom. Both her parents are pretty loud by nature, so if she wants to drum or sing and do both at the same time, the opportunity is there. She can do whatever she likes and we will always be there to support [her]."
On what the band would say to the people who complained about SABATON headlining over legendary German metallers ACCEPT on their recent European tour:
Joakim: "I don't really care who is the headliner and who is playing in support. I do understand, intellectually, that we sell more tickets, we sell more albums, from that point of view, but yes, absolutely, emotionally, it's really strange for us to walk up and go on stage after 'Balls To The Wall' and these metal classics. We grew up listening to these guys. We have an enormous amount of respect for them. It's never about what you feel sometimes. I'm really happy about the tour and I think they are too, at least I hope so. [Laughs]"
Hannes: "To fill in a little bit there, for us, at least for me, it's a big dream to be on the same tour as our old childhood heroes. It was nothing but really good and [they're] really good guys and a great band. It was really a good night, every night."
SABATON's eighth album, "The Last Stand", was released last August via Nuclear Blast. The follow-up to 2014's "Heroes" was once again produced by Peter Tägtgren (PAIN, LINDEMANN, HYPOCRISY) and it "marks a brand new chapter in SABATON history," according to a press release.
The artwork for "The Last Stand" was created by Peter Sallaí, who has worked with SABATON since "Carolus Rex".
SABATON last year parted ways with guitarist Thobbe Englund and replaced him with Tommy Johansson (GOLDEN RESURRECTION, REINXEED).