Interview: Nils Patrik Johansson (Civil War)

imagesLast week we reviewed the new album from Civil War, this week we round off the trip through history by way of an interview with the bands vocalist, Nils Patrik Johansson. Remember to click the links at the bottom of the page to pick up your copy of the new album, Gods & Generals, it’s not one to be missed.

Bold: STC

Regular: NPJ

While the songs themselves span various locations and themes, the album covers themselves have an American focus. What made you pick the North American imagery?

Just because we think it’s a cool image. I must add and explain: many, many Swedes went to America to seek their fortune, since Sweden was so poor back in those days. So Swedes feel strongly connected to America. Many Swedes have relatives in the US.

Gods & Generals is out now, can you give us the story behind the title?

Well, when we were about to come up with our debut, we came over this trilogy about the American civil war and the titles were so fucking good. We just said: this is us. However I cannot guarantee you that our next album will be called “The Last full Measure”…..it would be too easy, right?

Video for Bay of Pigs

How was the writing process for album two compared to The Killer Angels?

Pretty similar. Me, Petrus and Myhr wrote everything. Yes…Petrus was involved on the first album as well, but not as a full worthy member. So I said to the boys…Petrus must be a member from now on.

It’s been almost a year since Peturs Granar was added to the lineup, did the extra member allow you to explore more when writing and recording?

Sure. Petrus is not only one hell of a guitar player; he’s also an extra ordinary song writer.

cwNewAlbumHave you found any problems promoting the new release with the loss of two members; for example, was the performance at the Dalecarlia Awards acoustic out of necessity or a creative choice?

There are no problems whatsoever. Neither Oskar or Pizza was a creative force in this band. They just played the songs that we already had written. The reason of why we played acoustic at Dalecarlia was because we wanted to do something different.

We’re a Scottish website so it would remiss not to mention Braveheart and The Mad Piper. Would I be right in saying this was about Bill Millin? Why did you choose Millin’s story for a song?

The Braveheart story is very classic. The reason why I wrote a song about him was because Mullback really tried to find William Wallace’s grave when Sabaton toured Scotland. The Bill Millin story was told to me by Myhr. I googled it up and found out that this was an amazing story. Bill was such a hero. I also must add that Scotland and Sweden is pretty much the same. I mean…we are all children of the north!

Samples from the latest album

Are there any stories you’ve wanted to tell but haven’t been able to make into a song?

Not yet! Well perhaps the situation in the Middle East is a bit to sensitive to actually write songs about, but we’ll see what happens in the future.

Can you see yourselves covering modern day topics, or are the historical stories the focus?

I cover a lot of “today topics” with Astral Doors, but I feel that Civil War must be a band that stand outside today’s politics. We are a party band and not a political band.

I want to avoid the whole “ex-Sabaton” thing as it’s been years, but have you found it easier getting tours and recognition with that in the bands past, or has it been a case of clawing your way back up?

Of course this whole Sabaton thing has made it easier for us to achieve fame. No doubt about that. On the other hand it is tough for us to convince the “real” music fans that we actually are a good band since most of the real metal fans hate Sabaton. So it’s both good and bad.

And finally, what is in store for the rest 2015?

Oh my God; we’ll tour tour and tour. Civil War is on its way up. That’s for sure!

Thanks to Nils for typing us his answers for us. You can find the band on Facebook here and pick up your copy of Gods and Generals as well as any merch here

Follow us on Twitter: @SoundTheCharge_

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