SABATON vocalist Joakim Brodén talked band’s lyrical content, which always revolves around historical conflicts, addressing some of the accusations that band supports N*zis.
In an interview with Heavy Metal DK, Brodén was asked if “most of the songs on [the latest SABATON album] The Great War seem to revolve around The Allied forces. How come?”
“We do have ‘The Red Baron’ and stuff like that… In a way, partly because the material is easier to find it’s available in English,” he responded. A lot of this, we constantly run into language barriers because a lot of these stories are told from other sides.
“Even if you’re talking about WWII or the Brazilian Expeditionary Force, nobody talks about that. A lot of stuff that happened maybe in Italy or… even if it’s written about, it’s written from a British side, and those are the times that are easier for us to access.
“The Turkish side – or the Ottoman side – the Gallipoli campaign, very little is translated,” he continued. “Obviously we know of it, but for us to get access to that here it’s much harder. It’s really cool that we do actually get it. I remember a song called ‘Stalingrad’ from [SABATON‘s 2005 debut] Primo Victoria album, and I read the whole Antony Beevor book about song, then I found a translation only a few pages of a Russian soldier’s diary, and I used that instead. It’s really nice to find that new angles but it is really hard to find it.”
When asked if people ever think they are N*zis due to some related lyrics, musician responded: “We come across that all the time, actually. The first time was when we released ‘Primo Victoria’ – it was banned in Germany because the first song – the intro was, ‘Through the gates of hell, as we make our way to heaven, trough the N*zi lines…”
“And basically we had the word ‘N*zi’ in the intro. We had to send the lyrics for the whole album and they passed the censorship so it was released and then the record label told us, ‘For the next album, whatever you do, don’t put the word ‘N*zi’ in the intro.’
“‘Okay, we will not do it in the intro.’ So we did it in the first verse instead,” he added. “We have also been banned, we were supposed to play on the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Stalingrad in Volgograd and they renamed the city for that day to Stalingrad again, and we were banned.
“We were booked to play, but a local politician saw ‘The Ghost Division’ and thought, ‘These guys must be N*zis,’ and lifted our visas so we couldn’t go into the country.”
One of heavy metal’s all-time greats, JUDAS PRIEST will be celebrating their 50th anniversary this year with a world tour coming to the U.S. in the fall. The 50 Heavy Metal Years Tour will also feature SABATON as openers and is being fueled by the highest charting album of PRIEST’s career Firepower which peaked at #5 on the Billboard 200.
Tickets for the tour are now available HERE.