With tour dates on Aussie shores fast approaching next month, I had a chat with guitarist Mathias Färm from Millencolin talks about new single 'True Blue' as well as the process involved in recording in Swedish. He also shares a fact about the band.
Emily: Hey man, thanks for talking to me today, how are you going?
Mathias: Heey... well it's 9 o’clock in the morning here and I have just come back from a morning walk. It's been a good morning.
Nice. Well first I’d like to say congrats on the release of your single and video ‘True Brew’. How is it being received?
Thanks. Yeah it’s going good. Being the title track to the album I think it’s a really good song and it’s great to have it out. We’re excited! Definitely!
Awesome! Now in ‘True Brew’, there are lyrics that say things like you don’t want to pretend or do things you don’t want to do and that you want to “live for something true”. Now, ‘True Brew’ is what you call that. It’s quite similar to an Aussie expression we have down here which is “true blue” and it means that something is genuine. Is ‘true brew’ a phrase you guys have coined or is it something often said in Sweden?
No it’s a thing that we have made up! We see ‘true brew’ as our band, we, the four of us, are the right ingredients to make the ‘true brew’ you know. It’s how we say we do the things we want to do, and when it’s the four of us together then were making this happen you know? It’s more a meaning of us and a nice thing.
So what are the specific things that each member brings then to make this ‘True Brew’?
That’s just who we are, we all have our roles in the band, you know. Coz we have been the same guys since we started the band back in ’92, we have been together a while and it’s pretty unique to have the same members in the band for such a long time and I think it’s amazing that we still love doing this with as much energy as we ever have. Yeah it’s quite a special thing.
Yeah for sure! Now you guys have recorded a Swedish and an English version of the song and it got me wondering how you write it, in Swedish or English?
Oh in English! I mean it sounds weird maybe, but it’s always been in English since the start of the band. It’s harder to make a Swedish song out of an English one! Because you have to pronounce it the same way but in Swedish. It’s quite a challenge but as it’s our native language it’s not a problem. It’s just a cool thing and I think it’s probably fun for people to hear it you know. We probably sound like the Swedish chef. (Laughs)
(laughs) Yeah it is quite a novelty to hear it!
Yeah for sure!
So you have produced for other artists previously, do you find that there is more pressure when producing for you own band or is it easier?
No it’s much harder! I have been producing for a long time but your own band is so important to you, it’s hard and you have to trust yourself to know when it’s good enough. The producer is like team captain, takes control of the whole creative side, tells you when to do something and when it is good enough... and I have to do that! It’s a lot of fun but tiering in a way and kind of scary to start with, but we will probably do it again like this, just because, we have so much experience, been doing it for such a long time, and have realised that if we think it is good, hopefully our fans will to!
As you were saying, you have been going for over 20 years, do you still have fans from the beginning rocking up at your shows?
I think so... there probably up the back somewhere (laughs) but yeah it’s great for us to see we have new fans as well... it would be depressing in a way if it was only the people from the beginning. (Laughs) but we get a healthy mix of ages. I think if you are getting into punk rock these days, you’re probably going to bump into our band in one way or another sooner or later. And I think that is something I am proud of. We have had a good ride.
Yeah you sure have! Have you noticed much of a difference with your fans from now to back n the days when you were first starting up?
No not really... maybe like when we started we were a young bad and all the fans were about the same age as we were, but now it is maybe a little more spread out. I see it as a healthy change to. We are still the same people, but yeah it’s kinda different now. It’s a good crowd, probably better now than it was at the start!
Yeah? Nice. Well you are about to tour Australia again and you have had to add an extra show in Melbourne, which is really cool, but it does give you less time off. Do you ever get to do much touristy stuff while you’re here?
Well we totally love Australia and it is special to us because it is the first country we went to outside of Europe back in ’96 you know. Now we have been to Australia so many times and we have managed to do all of the touristy stuff so many times to. So when we tour these days the main purpose is to make a good live show. Between the shows we just try to take it easy. We like to play every day. Don’t want to lose the rhythm of the tour!
Off your latest album, which song do you find the crowd really gets into? Which is the most kick ass live one?
I think it’s probably ‘Sense and Sensibility’. It was the song we released first off the album, so people have heard that song. And then the new title track ‘True Brew’ has been working really well. It’s hard to choose the songs, we have so many and we try to please everyone! (laughs)
And so finally can you give me a little factoid on your band? Can you tell me a little fun fact that maybe your fans won’t know?
Hmmm... Well a fun fact could be that the new album is called ‘True Brew’ and we are, or well Nikola, the singer in the band actually brews his own beer! He has his own brewery, and we are actually going to make our own Millencolin beer!
Oh that’s so awesome! So what type of beer is it going o be?
It’s got to be kinda strong, more than 6% alcohol! And it will be a bit fruity, hoppy, home brew style...
Sounds great! Now thank you again for taking the time to talk to me and enjoy the rest of your morning over there!
Yeah you to, thanks a lot for chatting to me.
Written by Emily O'Brien