Lead vocalist Joakim Broden is also in a little disbelief that they have never made it here in almost a decade and a half, but now that it is locked in, he cannot wait. There is one part of the trip he is not looking forward too, however.
“We’re really looking forward to it, I’ve never been there before, in fact not even close!” he laughs. “But we can’t wait to get down there to see what’s happening. I think it’s a 35 hour flight or something like that,” he says in mock-complaining tones. “I’ll be sleeping. I usually stay up all night the night before long flights so I can sleep most of the way. And maybe a few movies. War documentaries of course!”
So why do you think it’s taken you so long to get out here? “We’ve just never had the opportunity,” he says diplomatically. “Every time we’ve had the opportunity to come we’ve always been booked elsewhere; we’re always booked six months in advance, so we couldn’t take the opportunities. But now, especially with Nightwish asking us if we wanted to join them, we said ‘hell yeah!’ For once we don’t have a fully booked schedule. So we’re all very happy, both on a personal and a professional level!”
So being that virtually no-one in Australia would have seen the band play before, the obvious question is: what do Aussie punters get from a Sabaton show? Joakim is a little hard pressed to provide and answer, and he also doesn’t really know what to expect from Australia and its crowds in return.
“Ooooh, that’s a tough one,” he says, “hopefully, if the heat allows, a very high energy show with lots of audience interaction. Hopefully our show is a really good time, lots of laughs and jokes and other shit happening.
“I honestly have no idea,” he says, regarding his expectations, “we’re expecting a good time, I mean, the Australians we’ve met are almost all really nice, they enjoy a beer and a good laugh, so we’re not too worried about that.”
Yet another new experience for Sabaton will be playing with the incredible Nightwish. Despite both bands being around since the mid-to-late ‘90s, being from a similar region of the world and plying similar musical terrain, they have never actually toured together, so this will be another first for Aussie audiences.
“Oh, it’s going to be fun,” he enthuses. “We’ve known them for years, they’re from Finland, so just around the corner from Sweden. We’ve played several festivals together, but apart from those we’ve never played together on normal shows, so we’re looking forward to it.
“It’s strange, it’s the same thing,” he continues, “we haven’t been to Australia and we’ve never been to Japan for instance. All the bands have these, ‘What? You haven’t done what?’ things. It’s kind of funny, we’ve supported Iron Maiden, we’ve supported Judas Priest, Accept and so on but we’ve never supported Nightwish.”
The band have a very busy year coming up in 2013. They have the Australian tour with Nightwish, a massive Swedish tour, a big North American tour, literally a dozen European summer festivals and they are also booked to play on the 70,000 Tons of Metal cruise at the end of January. And this is exactly how he likes it.
“Yeah, that one we actually have done,” he says, regarding the 70,000 Tons of Metal. “We did the first one two years ago. It’s a great experience, I like it, it’s more like a heavy metal holiday!” he laughs. “I really like being on the road,” he tells us, “being home for too long gets me crazy. If you’re home for ten days, if you’ve been out for two or three months touring, that’s nice, it’s relaxing, you can say hello to a few people you haven’t seen for a while. But more than that is just a waste!”
BY ROD WHITFIELD