Of particular note in this interview: information about the upcoming DVD release, plans for the next studio album, what it's like to self-manage the band, and the current lineup of the band with Snowy Snaw filling in for Robben on drums. Below you will find highlights, but I encourage you to listen to the full audio above.
On the forthcoming DVD/CD: In Sweden, we play only Swedish songs. That's what people want. So definitely, the setlist looks different in Sweden. In late this year, we will release a live DVD of Sabaton, where there will be an edition where you can see shows from several places. And then you will be able to see the difference how a show in Sweden looks like versus a show in, for example, London, or Oberhausen, Germany, or Poland...We have not decided if there's going to be a CD to it, but likely, yes.
The lost music videos for Carolus Rex: Right after the last US tour, we went to record two music videos. Unfortunately, we don't know what happened to the guy who edited them, or filmed them, so at the moment, we are not sure what's going to happen. It feels very, very annoying, and very weird, because we normally have pretty good control over what we are doing. But this time, we have lost the control, which feels bad. We're going to go there, we filmed it in Poland, and we're going to try to find out what happened.
No keyboardist yet: This thing, that we didn't have the time to find a keyboard player during that time, we decided to put the keyboards on prerecorded. Then we didn't know how it was going to work out. Now we know that it worked out really, really fine. So we are not really at the moment looking for a keyboard player. It's definitely not going to happen during the touring period of the album. Maybe when we write another album, maybe we find out, 'Maybe we should take in a keyboard player and try.' But before that, we're not going to care for that. We like it the way it is.
On managing the band: Well, it is a lot of work, of course. It means that every day there is several hours that needs to be done by emailing and on the phone to do the business part. But, what else to do? Drink and **** ? That's the only thing I can think of, and without that, it would drive you mad if I didn't have a lot of things to do and just sit down and do nothing. So I'm that kind of guy. I like to have a lot of things to do, and I like to be involved, I like to plan some routings and business things. So I don't mind that at all. It is a lot of work, though, but I like it.
There is also the aspect about money. There is not as much money in the business as there used to be, so there is not as much money in the music business at all. People don't sell millions of albums anymore, and touring becomes more and more complicated because more and more bands increase ticket price, and the competition is higher for the crowds. The whole situation has become that there is less money for the bands. It's as simple as that. That means also that you cannot hire people to do anything. You just have to learn to do as much as possible for yourself in order to survive on the small amount of money that there is left for the artists.
There is a lot of people who have over the years tried to become the management of Sabaton. We know when we are ready, and we know what we are looking for in a management. And we're not just looking for somebody who thinks like the ordinary metal manager. We need to think outside of the box a lot. When we find the right persons or the right company, then we'll have a manager. Before that, it's our wish, and it's our rules, and we're doing well. I'm sure there is somebody who can do it better, but until we can find him and everything feels right, we're going to do it ourselves.
Robben's hiatus: He was very quick in announcing, when he found out that 'Okay, I'm going to have a baby, guys. How are we going to do this?' We were like, 'Okay, thanks for the heads up so far in advance.' So then we had time to locate another drummer. And he was always like, 'I'm not going to let you down, guys, so if you don't find another drummer, I'll play, but I would be happy if you guys find another one to fill in for me.'
Snowy Shaw on drums: We're not sure exactly how long Snowy's going to be with us, because he has plans of his own. He's got his own band, he's planning to make an album for himself, a solo album. There's a lot of things he wants to do, so I don't think he's going to stay in Sabaton for too long, but he's welcome to stay while Robben is taking vacation. For the moment it works out fine, so we're just going on.
Connecting to local audiences: We try as much as possible. I want to know as much as possible. When we come to a city or a new country, I like to know a little bit more about the city and what to expect. When I look at the maps, I try to plan and route things, and see what it is going on. There is a lot of thought behind this. We also interact a lot with the fans to know what they think, and what they want, and what they like and don't like. Without interacting with the fans, we can never know what they want.
Polish Woodstock in Summer 2012: The show went pretty well, to say. 600,000 people came, and it was a magic night. Because we were recording it, the feeling is never there, because you have to focus on how you play. So you can't really enjoy the atmosphere that much. We should have done that show without recording it - that would have been awesome, because then we could have relaxed more.