Millencolin have been skating their way into our hearts for over twenty tears now. We caught up the Swedish punk rockers guitarist Mathias Färm to talk about the latest album True Brew and upcoming 2016 Australian tour.

SCENEzine
Hey Mathias how are you?

Mathias Färm
I’m good it’s a nice morning here in Sweden.

SCENEzine
What has Millencolin been up to so far in 2016?

Mathias Färm
We just finished off a European tour. We had a break for the Christmas holidays then did a European tour now we have a couple of weeks off. Now we are focusing on the upcoming Australian tour.

SCENEzine
You recorded your latest album True Brew by yourselves. Was it less pressure that way?

Mathias Färm
It’s a quite a big pressure in a way. Me and Nikola produced it. we did it ourselves. I basically engineered it in our own studio. You have to write down what you have to do.
I consider a producer outside of the creative part it’s like a team captain. He’s the one who is telling what to do and when to do it. So there’s quite a lot of pressure to remember what to do and also having to trust yourself that it’s good enough. It’s something that I am really proud of. I’ve been producing bands and recording stuff for almost twenty years in studios. So I am kind of used to the whole operation but it’s something different when your doing it with your own band.

SCENEzine
Is there a story behind the bear artwork on the new album?

Mathias Färm
Yeah basically we have a song called “penguins and polar bears” on the pennybridge pioneers album so the bear has been with us for a while. So since the new album is called True Brew it’s meaning is that the four of us are the ingredients to get the true brew. We thought the bear artwork best represents us.

SCENEzine
You recently released a video for “Bring me home”. Was that a fun video to put together?

Mathias Färm
Definitely it was really fun because when you were in the bird costume you couldn’t really see. You had some vision through the beak of the bird but it was kind of sketchy.
I’m really proud of that video clip I think it’s very cool and kind of funny.

SCENEzine
So who was inside the bird costume?

Mathias Färm
It was a lot of different people (laughs) that was the beauty of it. When we were shooting in Paris it was a French skateboarder in the bird. So there was a lot of people inside of that thing actually (laughs)

SCENEzine
Our favourite song from the new album is the title track “True Brew”. How did that song come about in the writing process?

Mathias Färm
Nikola had an idea with just an acoustic guitar and a melody. Then I actually made a song out of it. I made up the intro then turned it into a heavier more punk rock song.
I made a demo of it in our studio then we recorded the whole thing. It’s a cool thing cause the song is different in a way because it’s a little pop punkish in the beginning but also catchy and hard hitting. I really like that song on the album.

SCENEzine
Speaking of brew do you guys like Australian beer?

Mathias Färm
Yeah it’s funny because the first time we visited Australia back in 1996 everyone was drinking VB (laughs) what we were told to drink. I’m kind of nostalgic when I think about it but it’s probably not the best brew I had. Maybe I like Coopers better nowadays that’s a good beer.

SCENEzine
You recently released an EP with a version of “True Brew” in Swedish. Was it challenging converting the songs lyrics into Swedish?

Mathias Färm
In a way but we have done it before with a song called “battery check” from our album Home from Home. We did that one in Swedish too. We wanted to do it again so we did it with “True Brew”. It’s just kind of weird because you have to make up a new lyric with Swedish words but it has to articulate the song in the same way.
It’s quite a challenge in a way but it turned out good. It’s probably funny for Australian’s to listen to because it sounds kind of strange I guess. Like the Swedish chef from the muppet show (laughs)

SCENEzine
Growing up in Sweden was there much of a punk rock scene or was it more about Metal music?

Mathias Färm
It was actually a mix. There was a lot of punk rock but it was not mainstream at all. Metal turned mainstream much earlier than the punk rock did. Back then most punk rock bands sang in Swedish. We were probably one of the first to do it in English. It was a new thing then everything exploded when bands like Green Day became popular. When we were younger in our first punk rock bands we would sing in Swedish though.

SCENEzine
So do the Swedish crowds know what your singing?

Mathias Färm
Yeah everyone in Sweden speaks English. We learn it in school since third grade. So I guess we are one of those countries in the world where everyone even old people speak English.
Most other countries in Europe don’t. When you watch an American TV show in Sweden it’s subtitled but in Germany they will dub it in the German language so people are not really used to hearing the English language. For us it’s much easier because we hear it in the media and on TV all the time..

SCENEzine
The exciting news for Australian’s is you will soon be back touring in late April. Are you excited to come back down?

Mathias Färm
I’m excited. It’s actually the first club tour for many years. We did Soundwave a couple of times but we haven’t done our own club tours for a long time. I’m excited to do a club tour. I like those big festivals but this is going to really nice.

SCENEzine
Do you have a favourite Australian memory from a previous tour?

Mathias Färm
The first time we visited Australia back in 1996 was really special for us because it was actually the first place we went outside of Europe. It was so far away but very, very nice.
On the first day when we got to Australia I went down to the beach in Melbourne with no sunblock and stayed the whole day. I burned myself so bad I had blisters on my face and body. I was used to the Swedish sun not the Australian. People were looking at me like a freakshow.

SCENEzine
I guess that’s an interesting memory to have.

Mathias Färm
(laughs) yeah a painful one.

SCENEzine
The song “Fox” is a huge crowd favourite. Can you take us back in time to how that song came about?

Mathias Färm
I think we were just rehearsing at the time to make the album Pennybridge Pioneers. Nikola had some acoustic thing that we made into more of a punk rock song. It’s about this old Vespa.
It’s a cool lyric. People at first thought it was about a girl but it’s about a motorcycle. That’s kind of funny.

SCENEzine
A lot of newer pop punk bands acknowledge Millencolin as one of their influences. Do you get a chance to listen to much new music yourself?

Mathias Färm
Yeah of course. I listen to everything. My way of consuming music these days is quite old school. I like the days when you bought albums. When I grew up and bought an album I didn’t have much money so if I bought an album I had to listen to it. I really gave it a chance. Nowadays people listen in a different way. There’s so much music out there so people will listen to half a song and change it. There is a constant flow of great new music all the time but I also listen to old stuff that I grew up on. It’s probably harder nowadays for bands to make it because there’s just so much out there.

SCENEzine
Millencolin’s music seems to go hand in hand with skateboarding culture. Why do you think there’s been such a long association?

Mathias Färm
For us as a band the reason why we are in this band is because of skateboarding. Growing up it was hard to find music and we watched all of the American skateboarding movies and liked the music. Since we couldn’t really find much of that kind of music we decided to make our own. We are all skateboarders to so without skateboarding we wouldn’t be doing this.
It’s a super important part of my life and way of growing up. Skateboarding is my foundation. We also involve that in our music a lot. I understand why people connect us to skateboarding and I think it’s really nice.

SCENEzine
Can you leave us a last message for your Australian fans?

Mathias Färm
We hope that we will see all of our fans on the tour we are going to put on one hell of a show. It’s going to be a good mix from all of the albums we’ve done.
It’s going to be a blast, hope to see you there.

(interview by Christian Ross)

Millencolin tour

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