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2016 marks the 20th Anniversary of Millencolin’s first ever trip to Australia, so to celebrate, everyone’s favourite Swedish punkers are headed our way to play a round of headline gigs that will showcase their eighth studio album – that coincidently has a very Aussie-sounding name.

“We’re looking forward to playing a lot from True Brew [2015] at these shows. Australia is very special for us because it’s the first country outside of Europe that we ever visited, back in ‘96. I don’t really know why we went there that early [in our career], but someone told us to go there – so we did!” laughs guitarist Mathias Färm.

“It was a crazy tour. It was full of long (very long) drives, but it was a lot of fun. We slept on people’s floors after we’d play a show. I can’t believe it’s been 20 years since we first came to Australia.”

Millencolin have enjoyed a steady stream of success since forming in 1993, and are one of the few bands of their day to have maintained the original line-up. Brought together by their love of skateboarding – in fact, their name was inspired by a skateboard trick called ‘melancholy’ – the foursome have been friends since the beginning.

“Me and Nickola [Sarcevic – lead vocals, bass] have known each other since we were six years old,” Färm says. “We went to preschool together, and we were always in the same class. We met Erik [Ohlsson – rhythm guitar] and Fredrick [Larzon – drums, percussion] when we were older, and we still love to go on tour and hang out together. A lot of crazy stuff still happens on tour,” he smiles.

In the early days Millencolin were couch surfing and more concerned with having fun: “If you go back 20 years in time when we were touring, all we wanted to do was see new places, and the show in the evening was just something we did, you know? Back then we were more focused on running around doing crazy stuff than playing music.” Nowadays, Färm says the show comes first. “We’ve realised our performance is so much more important, because that’s why we’re here.”

As well as playing tracks from last year’s full-length release True Brew, Färm says that they’re excited to premier their latest EP of the same name, out now through De.Nilhil Records. Also available on 12” vinyl, the EP features two brand new songs and the Swedish version of the title track.

“There are two really good new songs. Fast punk rock songs – that classic Millencolin sound. There’s also the Swedish version of the song ‘True Brew’ with Swedish lyrics. It’s just a fun thing to do – we also did it on the album Home From Home with the song ‘Battery Check’. People in Sweden like it and people abroad like it too, because it’s funny for them to hear us sing in Swedish. It’s like the Swedish chef on the Muppet Show, you know?” he jokes.

Millencolin are known for their witty banter and sense of humour on stage, and Färm is not afraid to have a laugh at the expense of himself. “When I’m in Australia people call me by the name ‘Laksa Boy’,” he grins. “I love the Malaysian dish Laksa, but it’s hard to find in Sweden.

So I try to eat Laksa every day when I’m in Australia. I know it’s not an Australian dish, like Vegemite, but it’s just the thing I do in Australia and I love it. In every new city I go all over town trying to find the best.” Why not hit up their Facebook page if you know of a local Laksa spot.

Written by Natalie Rogers

When & Where: 170 Russell, Melbourne – May 3