- Joakim wrote the music with Peter Tägtgren for this song.
- Joakim said that knowing that Peter comes from a heavier side of the music with bands such as Hypocrisy, Pain and Lindemann, the song became a bit harder and is a very very dark one and as they were writing it they realized it wouldn't make sense at all to have a proud, uplifting song.
- The song uses 7-string guitars that gives the song a heavier tone.
- The intro is played on old Glockenspiel, it was composed along with the music for the song.
- The band had the idea for the song about Pilecki since 2009.
- The idea to make a song about Witold Pilecki prompted the band to make Heroes album.
Pär: "(...) Joakim wrote the music with Peter Tägtgren, our producer and musician of Pain and Hypocrisy, you can feel the influence, this being a very heavy song. With "Heroes" it was the first time we didn't limit ourselves in a musical sense. In the past we set ourselves limits, but now we don't care. For example in this song there are 7-string guitars, which give an even heavier tone. (...)"
Joakim Brodén: "Many people come to us and say “We have the best heroes! Sing about our country!” One guy was actually pretty cocky and said “There are many war heroes, but this guy is probably one of the top three you’ve ever heard of!”; he was talking about Witold Pilecki, who volunteered to go to Auschwitz for two years to collect evidence. It’s a really crazy story.Of course, it’s well-known in Poland. Since I can’t read Polish at all, we did some research online, but it’s still hard to find details, especially on events that took place in Eastern Europe, due to censoring from the Soviet Union."
Pär: "All of them (stories from Heroes -ed. note) are very emotional, but one in particular, I think. "Inmate 4859" is about a Polish soldier who was against what was happening in Auschwitz, but no one wanted to believe him about what was really going on. So he decided to take on a new identity and get himself arrested to see the concentration camp from the inside with his own eyes. There he collected as much evidence and documents as he could and fled the camp. However, when he showed them to his government, they did not believe him and completely hopeless, he went back to the war. Later, these documents became the most important pieces of evidence in the Nuremberg trial. I am fascinated by this story and it has been in our archives for a long time, we just hadn't made the right album for it yet. According to this, we already set the first milestone for "Heroes" 4 years ago when we wrote the song."
In September 1940 the Polish soldier Witold Pilecki used faked identity documents to be arrested and sent to Auschwitz, which he planned to infiltrate and destroy from within. Boldly, Pilecki organized the opposition from within, hoping that one day friends from outside would liberate the camp. When no help from outside came he decided to flee and inform the world of the atrocities inside. He managed not only to flee but also to bring secret documents which he planned to use as proof, and even then he was not believed, as the stories seemed exaggerated. After the war he was arrested for treason and executed by the communist regime that captured Poland after Germany was defeated.
- The song wasn't performed live.
The dawn of century, a boy born by a lake