Interview by Robert Baker
Civil War was formed when Daniel Myhr, Daniel Mullback, Oskar Montelius and Rikard Sundén left Swedish power metal band Sabaton and began working on a wholly new project. Bringing in Patrik Johansson on vocals and Stefan “Pizza” Erikssonon on bass Civil War released their debut album The Killer Angels in May of this year (reviewed here), and we were lucky enough to sit down and talk with Oskar Montelius a little about the new band, their debut album, and flipping burgers…
Robert: You describe your sound as both ‘heavy’ and ‘metal’. How far apart is Civil War from your Sabaton times?
Oskar Montelius: Well both bands are playing melodic Heavy Metal but Civil War might sound a bit more classic than what Sabaton does. Then of course the vocals are very different from each other.
Robert: How’s the reaction to the bands May 2013 album release The Killer Angels been?
Oskar: Absolutely fantastic! We have got such a great response for the album so we could not be happier.
Robert: Has there been any response or critique of your material from members of your old band?
Oskar: No I haven’t heard anything from them.
Robert: What does Civil War offer the ear waiting to hear your debut album, The Killer Angels?
Oskar: You get to hear a great variety of songs; fast ones, heavy ones, epic ones and some beer drinking songs. And you get to hear one of the best vocalists in the world!
Robert: Lyrically and musically The Killer Angels is a rich tableau of detail and some amazing riffs throughout. Where does all this imaginative output come from?
Oskar: I don’t know really. Patrick and Myhr have done most of the songs but the rest of us have put stuff in there as well, so I guess the mixture of us is a good recipe.
Robert: Your upcoming show in Gävle at the Getaway Rock Festival on August 10 is already marked down on my calendar, with Civil War sharing the same bill as SOAD, In Flames and Testament.
Oskar: Yeah, we are really looking forward to the Getaway Rock Festival. We haven’t done a show in a while now so we are coming in at full speed! They have a really great line up so I’m looking forward to see some bands as well!
Robert: What was the deciding moment in your mind when you knew your time with Sabaton was at an end?
Oskar: It is a decision that took a long time for me to make. But when Carolus Rex was done I felt so exhausted. Not in the mood for a long tour and all the rest that comes with it. So it was best for both Sabaton and me that I left.
Robert: Do you keep in touch with anyone from the old group?
Oskar: Not really, I met Pär Sundström at the local pub some time ago, we had a beer and talked a bit, but they are always touring so we don’t run in to each other so often.
Robert: The Killer Angels title is taken from American novelist Michael Shaara’s novel; was he a big influence on the band?
Oskar: Not really. It’s just a great title! haha…
Robert: The album feels very complete, very tight and incredibly well produced for a first release.
Oskar: We recorded the drums at the Abyss studio and the rest we did in Myhr’s bedroom so I’m quite surprised that it sounds so great. We didn’t have so much time either so it was kind of stressful situation, but I’m very proud of how it turned out.
Robert: Currently Civil War are taking Europe by storm on their tour, but which upcoming gig (Getaway Rock Festival excluded) is the band most looking forward to?
Oskar: We have only been playing in Sweden so far so it will be really interesting to see what the fans will be like outside of Sweden. So the gig at RommelRock in Belgium will be very interesting!
Robert: Has there ever been a time during the band’s inception through to The Killer Angels release when it seemed like it could all end up not working out?
Oskar: Not at all. It has been a lot of work and very little time but we have never had any doubts that we could do a great album.
Robert: If Civil War hadn’t worked out (for whatever reasons) where would the individual members of the band now be; still plugging away in a band somewhere defying all the odds, or flipping burgers for minimum wage plus all the insults you can take?
Oskar: Haha. That’s a tough question. I think that we all would be playing in a band someway, and maybe flip some burgers in between.
Robert: And finally; we’d all love to witness a Sabaton/Civil War co-headlining show at some point. Is this a likely possibility-at all?
Oskar: Haha. Yeah that would be really cool, but we’ll see what happens in the future.
Civil War’s debut album The Killer Angels is out now and available here
And you can visit their website here