Interview: Millencolin

I discovered Millencolin in high school when their song “Bullion” was included on Epitaph Records’ Punk-O-Rama Vol. 2. Two decades later, the Swedish punk band is still going strong–preparing to release their eighth studio album, True Brew. I had a chance to interview drummer Fredrik about the album, how it feels to have spent 20 years in punk, and how their debut album has held up over time.

It has been several years since your last album, what has the band been up to in those years?

Hi! It’s been a while yes. After the release of Machine 15 we did a couple of years of touring to promote M15. After that we did a special show in Örebro, Sweden where we played Pennybridge Pioneers all the way through, very fun. After that show we got asked to do the same in more places and basically started another two years of touring that one. We also had a 20yr Anniversary festival in Örebro 2012. We did a few festival summers the last years and started writing True Brew a couple of years back.

Your new album True Brew is your first self-produced album.  How different was the recording process without working with an outside producer?

It was great. Very relaxed to be recording in our own studio I’d say. We did all the instruments there and the vocals/mix at another studio called Fascination Street with Jens Bogren. Of course it’s more responsibility doing it by ourselves in a way but we always have kind of a clear picture how we wanna work and how we want the album to sound.

How do you think True Brew differs from your previous releases?

I’d say it’s a more of a old school feeling but with a modern production. More punkrock than Machine 15 over all. Lyrics are more political which feels needed theses dates. Love Nikolas way of writing lyrics.. It’s energetic, harder production as well as tons of melodies.

Are there any tracks on True Brew that you are particularly looking forward to playing live?

Yeah! I’m really proud of them all so I hope and think we’ll play most of them live eventually. The song we just released as teaser “Sense & Sensibility” is a great song for example.

It’s hard to believe it has been 20 years since the release of Life on a Plate.  It is considered by many to be your masterwork.  Where do you think it stands in your catalog?

Haha yes, tell me about it! It’s been a long and very fun ride mostly. I like all our albums but as musician in this band you always like the last album best I guess. I reckon many people like Pennybridge Pioneers as well, I guess we gained many new listeners through Tony Hawk skateboarding video game etc. Anyway, LOAP is up there with PP at the top with True Brew for sure!

Do you have a favorite song from Life on a Plate?

That would probably be “Friends Til The End” or “Olympic.”

How has your recording process changed from Life on a Plate to the new album, True Brew?

It’s been different situations everytime depending on where we’ve recorded. I guess it’s the writing process that have changed more. Nikola and Mathias have been writing the songs together since way back now so instead of spending nights and days in the rehearsing room they write the songs and then we meet and rehearse and record.

After the release of the new album, what’s next for Millencolin?

We’ll start touring as we speak! In Australia right now doing the Soundwave festival tour and in May we’ll start touring the world!! Stoked!

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