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The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world
Erik Ohlsson Millencolin - Interview
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ERIK OHLSSON

MILLENCOLIN


Millencolin

With 20 years experience behind the band, Millencolin are not looking to stop any time soon. Helping to forge the skate punk sound all those years ago while continuing to shape today's genre, the Swedish punk rockers continue to rock out with their latest release "True Brew" which came out in 2015. Australian fans finally get to see the legends bring their live show to the country with a headline tour in April/May so we spoke to guitarist Erik Ohlsson about the tour, the new songs and much more.

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Kat: First off! How are you doing?

Erik: I am doing great thanks! But please excuse if you hear any screams as my dog tends to jump up on me when I am doing these interviews!

Kat: Dog??! What a pleasure! What is his name?

Erik: Bussoh.

Kat: Does that mean anything special?

Erik: It is just like a very dog like name is Sweden. Means like, manly dog, you say Bussoh!

Kat: Well I am super stoked and I know a great deal of fans are too that you are headed back to Australia! Anything you look forward to doing in the limited time you guys have while you are here?

Erik: Well actually, I noticed something special, when we go back it would have been 20 years since our last show there and yeah, we do love Australia!

Kat: Your band are definitely no rookies! You guys have been touring for over twenty years! And have performed for over 15000 shows!? Dude, are you tired?

Erik: [laughs] No, like we started to do two weeks on and two weeks off so I am really excited to get back up there and play.

Kat: Does touring affect the other aspects of your life? Family? Friends? Hobbies? Missing birthdays events?

Erik: Yeah, Yeah exactly! You always miss out on the important dates it seems [laughs]. BUT I mean yeah hey! This is what we do and we make up for it when we come home.

Kat: Do you still get nervous playing shows?

Erik: No, Not really. At this point in the tour because we have played so many shows of this tour almost for a year or so. So you are like really familiar with the songs of the tour you are playing and you know everything. But the first show of a new tour for a new album, that's like real nervous because although YOU KNOW your songs, it always feels weird if you have never played them live. It always feels weird to play new stuff live and that makes you feel nervous!. In a way it almost feels like that all your friends are watching you very closely and watching you in every step that you do and you just don't want to disappoint them!

Kat: For the Perth show can we expect a mix and mash of Millencolin's other albums or is it strictly True Brew?

Erik: Yeah it will be one third True Brew and probably one third old. We will always play the old stuff as we have a lot of songs to choose from and I don't like going to a show where the band just plays the new stuff. But actually this is the first album EVER that we go to shows and people are asking and saying you should play more of the new stuff and that's the first time EVER! So we must have done something right with the new album.




Kat: Are there any hints on your support bands for your Aussie tour?

Erik: Yeah we got a great support band! They are called Grenadiers, we all listened to them and they are really good. You will probably hear a lot more about them in the future so yeah, I am looking forward to playing with them and I also hear The Living End have put out a really good new song!

Kat: I have heard (from a probably unreliable source) that part of the process of your first two albums, some of the vocals were recorded in a cupboard? Is that true?

Erik: [laughs] Yeah that would have been our first album, but yeah we don't do that now. We have a full studio so no singing in cupboards or strange things like that.

Kat: So you do all the artwork the band?

Erik: Yeah, ever since we started Millencolin I have been doing the artwork for the band.

Kat: Any reason you chose a bear for the new album?

Erik: Yeah, it's just an old reference to a song called "Penguins & Polar Bears" which is a song about opposites where Nikola is singing about penguins which you get down in the south and polar bears which you get up in the north It's a song about opposites. The Polar has been with us ever since and we kinda have fun where we just joke we have polar bears running around in Sweden, all though we don't! They are all the way up in the North Pole and Norway but not in Sweden.

Kat: And the name True Brew? I am not sure if you know but Brew for us means beer here!

Erik: [laughs] Yeah I am pretty sure it does everywhere and yeah, some of our band actually brew their own beer, we love our beer too! It's kind of like, we say when you make music, you kinda throw it all into the brewing pot, you know like you throw a riff in there, a beat and stir it and see what happens! And I guess staying true to music.




Kat: Awesome, I am absolutely digging the new album and my favorite track to be honest is "Egocentric Man" just because it stays stuck in my head and I am sure I know a few men like that! What was your favorite on the new record?

Erik: Yeah, I like "Egocentric Man" too and I really wanted that to be the first track when you play the new album.

Kat: Yeah, I can get that as it really gets your heart racing and is head on.

Erik: Yeah exactly!

Kat: Most bands break far beyond the length of time you guys have stuck together. You tour TOGETHER, you are All separately brilliant and confident artists in your own right and you must spend a hell of a lot of time together. So how do you all maintain the peace and stick out the hard times of being in such a close knit band?

Erik: Well the thing is we all contribute. We are all equal parts you know, we get paid the same, we all put something into it. And on top of that we have all been friends for a very long time!

Kat: Well we are almost out of time so can I ask you a few random questions?

Erik: Haha sure, go for it!

Kat: Favourite icecream?

Erik: Ben and Jerries cookie dough!

Kat: Feelings on vegemite?

Erik: Not a fan! I can understand that it's one of those things that you kinda grow up with then you like it but, it's a weird taste for a non Aussie!

Kat: What is something in Sweden we should try if we go there?

Erik: I don't know. Well you should try our vegemite I guess, the same type of spread, which is kinda strange for you guys. It's a caviar called Kalis Caviar, it's on a tube and is a type of spread with fish eggs.

Kat: That sounds absolutely awful!

Erik: [laughs] Yeah I guess it sounds nasty as I guess vegemite is for us as it would be for you guys.

Kat: Well that's all we have time for today but thank you so much for taking the time to talk to us today and I look forward to seeing you guys rock it in Perth!

Erik: Thanks, bye! Cheers guys!


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MILLENCOLIN AUSTRALIAN TOUR 2016:

Tuesday, 26th April - Metropolis, Fremantle
Thursday, 28th April - HQ, Adelaide
Friday, 29th April - Roundhouse, Sydney (AA)
Saturday, 30th April - Coolangatta Hotel, Coolangatta (SOLD OUT)
Sunday, 1st May - The Tivoli, Brisbane
Monday, 2nd May - 170 Russell, Melbourne (*NEW SHOW*)
Tuesday, 3rd May - 170 Russell, Melbourne (SOLD OUT)

Tickets and tour details can be found at Destroy All Lines.


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Interview by Kat Northey on March 22nd 2016