Swedish punk rockers Millencolin are currently celebrating their 30th anniversary as a band. What better way to celebrate than a huge amount of European tour dates then ending the year playing Good Things Festival in Australia. We were lucky enough to catch up with Millencolin guitarist Erik Ohlsson ahead of their return to the land down under.

SCENEzine

Firtsly, how was playing Hellfest in France recently?

Erik Ohlsson

It was a really great festival. Wow, the best festival this summer so far. A huge crowd and a very good show. A very well organised festival as well.

SCENEzine

When it comes to huge festivals you’ve played some of Australia’s biggest. Do you have any memories of playing Soundwave or Big Day Out?

Erik Ohlsson
They were awesome. Big Day Out 2003 when we played Melbourne that one and Rock AM Ring are probably the biggest crowds we ever had. I think it was 60,000 people in Melbourne and 75,000 at Rock AM Ring. That’s insane, standing up on stage and you see that ocean of people.

SCENEzine

I guess you must be pretty excited to be coming back to Australia in December for the Good Things festival?

Erik Ohlsson
Yeah absolutely, like always we love playing festivals. It’s so much fun with the big stages, playing outdoors. We also love playing club shows. It’s so nice to be able to do both because they are quite different. Festivals are so much fun seeing the other bands backstage and Australia on top of that is perfect.

SCENEzine

Good Things festival has a really impressive lineup featuring Bring Me The Horizon, Deftones, NOFX, Gojira, Lacuna Coil, Soulfy, Sabaton.

Erik Ohlsson
Sabaton are playing?

SCENEzine

Yeah

Erik Ohlsson
They are Swedish guys. I read through the lineup but I missed Sabaton.

SCENEzine

Are there any bands on the lineup you guys are mates with?

Erik Ohlsson
We have toured with NOFX. First show with NOFX was in Sweden in 1994. So we are good friends with Mike. We’ve met many times over the years like the Warped Tour in USA. I’m also excited to see Fever 333 they are a really great band.

SCENEzine

You guys are known for your really cool merch designs. Do you think you might do something special for us in Australia?

Erik Ohlsson

Thanks alot for that, I do all the designs. I’ll probably come up with something for the 30th anniversary. I’m always doing something new.

SCENEzine

When you get back down here is there a particular beer you are looking forward to having?

Erik Ohlsson
Carlton lager is nice but I think VB is a little bit overrated to be honest (laughs). There are good beers in Australia. IPA’s the other guys in the band are all about. Nikola he’s a brewer and super into sours mostly. I am more into just a good lager. A cold one on tap at a pub can be the best thing in the world.

SCENEzine

I caught your set at the Roundhouse Sydney in 2019. What was it like touring with Goldfinger?

Erik Ohlsson

That was actually the first time we played with Goldfinger. Although they’ve been around for a long time. Mike Herrara the bass player he’s from MXPX and we toured with them , so we knew him. But we hadn’t met John Feldmann before, he’s a really great producer . They were all really nice guys.

SCENEzine

It’s crazy that you are celebrating 30 years of Millencolin. Does it feel like 30 years have flown by?

Erik Ohlsson

It’s so strange because I realised 15 years ago at half time we released Machine 15 our album. That feels like a new album (laughs). It’s true what old people say, years fly by the older you get, sadly enough. It’s just such a huge part of our lives I am very close to being in this band two thirds of my life. We are truly humbled that we are able to do this. 

SCENEzine

A huge fan favourite is the song “Penguins And Polarbears”. What’s it like for you hitting those guitar chords and seeing the reaction of people in the crowd?

Erik Ohlsson

It’s alway’s as good. I love playing that song. I could wake up at 3am super hungover and if someone gave me a guitar I could play the song. It’s automatic for me. Seeing the crowd response is great and that’s something you realise how much you miss during the pandemic.

SCENEzine

What’s it been like being part of the Epitaph records family over the years?

Erik Ohlsson
It’s a huge honour. Brett is super inspirational to us being from Bad Religion. He signed us and pin pointed us as the first European band to be on Epitaph. It was completely a dream come true, it was the biggest step of our career. Since when we started the band we bought every single Epitaph album, we thought everything was great on Epitaph. So to be a part of that was something we never dreamt of. Then over the years they have grown to become our label. They are a super supportive label, we mostly talk to the European office in Amsterdam. They are the best you can ask them about anything, such a great label.     

SCENEzine

I really like the video for “Sour Days”. How did that idea all come about?

Erik Ohlsson
The guy who animated the whole thing is a close friend of ours. He used to work at Burning Heart records, he did our Kemp video back in the early days with the robots. He worked at a company called style war and did videos for the Rolling Stones, most of the Hives videos and so many more bands. We just asked him can you animate something he said yeah but you will see the finished product and that will be it (laughs). I’ve been involved in every video shoot but this was the first time I wasn’t but I was like ok. He shot everything with his iPhone, then had it animated.

SCENEzine

Lastly is there any news on new Millencolin music?

Erik Ohlsson  

We have new ideas and new stuff which we haven’t started rehearsing and recording yet. We can’t start recording while we are touring, we have almost a year of touring still to go before we can start a new album. It could be after next summer’s festivals, we will see. But we will definitely release a tenth album.  

(interview by Christian Ross)

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