Bass player Par Sundström Swedish metallurgists SABATON spoke to Music Connection on what it is like for him and his comrades to exist as a self-governing entity – a rarity among groups operating at their level. He said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): “You create a group because you like to play. This is how you start a band – you want to play your instrument in a band. And there was no difference for me. And that’s the first thing you do as a band – you get together, you walk into a rehearsal room, and you start playing a few songs. After that you have to develop yourself, you have to grow, you have to do something. You have to call someone to have a gig, and someone in the band has to pick up the phone and call someone to get a gig. And then someone has to make a poster. And then someone has to make arrangements that somehow we get there or that there is some technical stuff out there. So someone has to do it. And I can’t stand and watch while things aren’t going on. So I jump right in on it and do it all. So, it doesn’t matter if it becomes the design of a tour poster, an album cover or if it was about having a recording session … And eventually these things evolve, and suddenly you you are dealing with the economy, you are dealing with the logistics, you are dead with the legal aspects. So I started to take this. I don’t have any training, but suddenly I needed to know how to sell myself, I needed to know how to present something in a good way, I needed to know how to sell it, how to invoice it, how to count it and how to put the show on the road. And over the years, I think I’ve done just about everything, it doesn’t matter whether it’s fixing the tour bus or fixing it for damage to being a guitar technician. I am also a qualified pyrotechnician. I hung lights on the roof. I built my own festival and cruise, and promoted tours, festivals, shows, other bands, marketing. And all because I have an interest in learning things, and I don’t want to sit and watch nothing happen; I can not do that. I just have to shake things up. And that’s why I jump on things, and eventually it just gets bigger and bigger and bigger. “
He continued, “I think I’m pretty demanding. And I love this band so much that I don’t want too many others… I don’t mind other people coming to help me – of course I do. no – but it would be hard for another manager to come in and do it in a better way than I would. The other way we did is that the SABATON the team has grown. So everything we do internally. Today we run the indoor label business. We take care of the management ourselves. We do all the logistics for the visits. We reserve everything. We reserve anything – from a hundred crew, 10 trucks and whatever we need, we have it in-house. We have huge warehouses. We own so much that it’s crazy. I was browsing it two days ago in our main warehouse for one of the projects, and I was just looking at the costumes. And I realized that you could equip entire armies of Vikings, Crusaders, Spartans, Greek warriors, WWI troops from France or Belgium, or WWII soldiers from the United States. , modern armies… We have pile after pile after pile, or case after case with clothes, just because of different projects. And we always think we’re taking control of things. We don’t hire it, we don’t outsource it – we control it, we own it, and we set it up and we do it ourselves. Same thing with a lot of photo shoots, music videos – we produce them, we direct them, we participate in the whole production. The albums, we are the main producers of our albums. We do things our way. And it’s demanding, but we have a big team. And we are constantly growing. And even during the pandemic, we have done quite well. Even though we couldn’t tour, and we have a lot of people who depend on touring, but we still did well. We run our own mail order business; he has several people. We have also developed this further. We [do it] completely by ourselves. We do not use any merchandising company. We develop the material ourselves. We design it, we buy it, we market it and we have it in our own mail order business. “
Earlier this week, Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet reported that SABATON founders Joakim Brodén and Sundstrom were commissioned by the Swedish tax agency (Skatteverket) pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in tax surcharges.
the Swedish tax agency, which manages the civil status of natural persons and collects taxes such as personal income tax, corporation tax, VAT and excise duties, believes that Brodén and Sundstrom did not correctly report their income from touring in the United States in 2016-18. Consequently, each of the musicians will have to pay a substantial sum to settle their debt.
Brodén, who writes all the music for SABATON, is the one who suffers the biggest tax blow, having been ordered to repay more than two million Swedish crowns (more than $ 233,000).
Brodén and Sundstrom claim to have followed the US-Swedish tax treaty that covers double taxation for income tax, corporation tax and capital gains tax, and insists that ‘They had hired experts to make sure the paperwork was completed correctly. Despite this, the Swedish tax agency said the accounting was not handled accurately.
Brodén and Sundstrom can appeal the decision.
SABATON is considered one of the most important groups to emerge from the modern Swedish metal scene, having been honored with five Metal Hammer Gold Gods Award (including “Best Live Band” three different years) and nominated several times for the Swedish equivalent of Grammy Awards, the Grammis. In 2016, SABATON‘s “The last Stand” the album debuted at No. 1 in three different European countries and reached the Top 3 in four others. Brodén, Sundstrom, Chris Rörland (guitar), Hannes Van Dahl (battery) and Tommy johansson (guitar) organizes its own festival, Outdoor sabaton, which started in 2008, as well as their own vision Sabaton Cruise which has been taking place since 2009.
SABATON will support JUDAS PRIEST on the “50 years of heavy metal” tour of North America, which kicks off this week.