Greece’s “TV War” conducted an interview with bassist Pär Sundström of Swedish metallers SABATON prior to the band’s March 8 show at Piraeus 117 Academy in Athens, Greece with ACCEPT as direct support. You can watch the full chat below (the interview starts around the 20-minute mark). A few excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).

On the turning point in SABATON‘s career:

Pär: “There has been many turning points. Well, points, where I see, ‘Okay, we are ready for the next level.’ The first one was 2004 when we recorded ‘Primo Victoria’. I was listening to it and I realized, ‘This is good enough. This is so good that it can get somewhere.’ ‘Metalizer’ [2007] was just a cool album. It was nothing that I felt like it would be something big, it was just a cool album in some ways, some good songs, some not-so-good songs, but it was a cool album. ‘Primo Victoria’ was ‘Wow!’ So that was one thing. With ‘The Art Of War’ [2008], it was also one thing because it brought us outside of Sweden to a wider audience. We could tour. We got appreciated in some media, they wrote ‘This is a cool band.’ We got reviews and stuff, then a big turning point was a bit later as well, we signed a contract with Nuclear Blast, making our albums available worldwide. That was 2010. That was one thing. Around 2012, we were kind of really going towards something, but that’s when we split up with the band because some people thought it was too much. It was not what they wanted when they started. It was completely different.”

On why SABATON lost four of its members (who went on to form CIVIL WAR) in 2012:

Pär: “They saw that it could be possible, that it could be done, but it would require too much. That was the main thing why we went different ways. I said, ‘Okay, I believe in it. I will take it to the next level. If you guys also want to take it to the next level, you know what is required. It requires to tour this over two hundred days in a year and a lot of energy and sacrifices, but we can make it.’ And people [went] ‘No, no.’ That’s why we are now in two different bands. They tour when they feel like it and we tour all the time.”

On whether bands like AMON AMARTH, GHOST and SABATON are using bigger stage productions to appeal to younger audiences:

Pär: “I’m not sure exactly why others do it and why some don’t do it. It is very costly and it requires a lot. Also, a lot of regulations are popping up all the time making things complicated to use and do. We do everything by the book which makes it very complicated. I know a lot of bands do it without asking permission, so to say, and that makes it more possible and cheaper. If something happens, it’s going to be trouble for the band. But, of course, I think that as a fan, you ask of something more of a band. Some bands, they look good when they are stripped down. SABATON works fine stripped down in a small club, but when you want to move to a bigger place, you have to fill up the stage with something. Even if we are an active band running around the stage, I still don’t think it’s enough.”

On ACCEPT opening for SABATON in certain European markets despite ACCEPT‘s legendary status:

Pär: “We’ve heard the same, funnily enough only from a few countries. There was a few other countries where we also heard it. Actually, I was a little bit sad in some ways. We did some co-interviews together with Wolf [Hoffman, guitar] from ACCEPT. We did triple interviews where we and ACCEPT were doing together with journalists in front of the tour. They even approached us in kind of an evil way saying, ‘You are heretics. You are blasphemy’ and stuff like this. Then Wolf is there, and he’s like ‘Hey, this is not like we signed a contract that we have to do something we don’t want to do. We are here because we want to be here. This is a great opportunity for ACCEPT. These are my words. I am here because I want to be supporting SABATON. I’m not here because of any other reason. If I didn’t want to be here, I’d stay home. So, how can you be angry about this? This is a great opportunity for people to discover ACCEPT and yes, as a matter of fact, these days SABATON pulls a bigger crowd than ACCEPT. It’s no secret.’ It would be odd and more people would be disappointed if they played a longer set these days. For us, this is a good thing. For ACCEPT, it’s a good thing. For the fans, it’s a good thing. I don’t see the problem, really.

“Okay, if some people say ‘ACCEPT is this legendary band, how can they open for you?’ But if they are so big and legendary, why don’t people go out and buy their albums if they have so many fans that complain? But you’re right, they don’t support them that much [in Greece]. For ACCEPT, it’s great, they have a new audience now. Every night, you see a lot of young people in the crowd and they’re like, ‘Oh, wow!’ A lot of people can sing along to their tracks. I think it’s great. ACCEPT is still, even though they are quite old compared to us, they are still doing great albums, great shows and I think they still have a lot of things to give. That’s one of the reasons. If they weren’t interested in continuing with the band, they’d go ‘We’re not interested in the young crowd anyway. We’ll stay home and we won’t do this tour.’ Now, they are even seeing there is a couple of years more for ACCEPT in the future, which is great.”

SABATON began the North American leg of their “The Last Tour” headlining trek on April 20 at The Trocadero in Philadelphia. The tour will hit seven Canadian cities plus Chicago, Anaheim, Dallas, and conclude at the The Fillmore in Silver Springs, Maryland on May 22.

SABATON‘s eighth album, “The Last Stand”, was released last August via Nuclear Blast.