Civil War – Sabaton Open Air 2018

This summer is hot. The heat was here in june already and when I was attending this years Sweden Rock Festival I hooked up with two of the greatest guys in the metal world, Daniel Mullback and Rikard Sundén from Civil War. We were talking Kiss-drummers, Sabaton and of course Sabaton Open Air.

First of all I would like to say welcome back to Sabaton Open Air. You played SOA a couple of years ago and is there any special memories from that performance?

-I remember it was very crowdy, Daniel says. And the people there was extremely dedicated. We didn’t know at the time how the audience was going to react but we were definitely accepted.

You have played a few shows with Sabaton also at Sabaton Open Air. Do you have any special memories from those performances?

-One of the greatest moments were when we were playing ”Art Of War” in it’s entirety and we had guest apperances, like U.D.O., Van Canto and Chris Boltendahl from Grave Digger.

-Don’t forget Peter Tägtgren, Rikard adds to the discussion.

-No of course not, Daniel says. One incredibly funny thing was when Chris from Grave Digger were going to sing the titletrack of the album and he managed to sing the whole song during a very short time. When we came to the first chorus he was done, ha ha ha.

It’s been quite a few years since you broke up from Sabaton. What’s your side about the break-up?

-We were going on tour for two years and the four of us were not dedicated in the same way as Jocke and Pär. I was mentally broken and we got tired of the whole situation, Daniel says. I didn’t play drums for several months and when we formed Civil War I was playing drums only when we did our demos.

Afterwards I realize how tired I was and it became too much of everything. When you’re in a band of Sabatons size you easily get spoiled and one night when I was playing live and thinking what me and my brother were going to eat the next weekend it was time to leave the band. We are still staying in touch though.

Civil War released three albums and then the singer Nils Patrik Johansson left the band. Did it come as a surprise for you?

-You can say that for sure. Nils Patrik left us a message on facebook and that was pretty much it. He told us he was going in for Astral Doors, and this happened the same day that we were making the tour for ”The Last Full Measure” official. We had to gather together and check if there was any available singer out there who would fit in Civil War.

Nils Patrik is an incredible singer, he is brilliant every time he sings live and he has a dynamic style when he sings. We had to get a guy who could fit into Nils Patriks shoes. It ended up that we had two guys left for the final audition and Kelly Sundown was one of them.

-I rejected him because he was too good, Rikard says. But it turned out that he was interested. He was pretty nervous and had a sore throat on the audition but it was our man and we have no reason to regret our choice.

And now that you got a new singer what’s in the future for Civil War?

-We are making some new songs and we want to release a couple of singles to present Kelly on record. What’s left is for Kelly to add the song on the two tracks which are two different styles. Than we will play some festivals and we’re going to Japan and that should be extremely fun.

A new album will hopefully be released in 2019 so we can have a new album out when the summer festivals starts. We really like the level we are on right now. Everyone contributes and we are a great team and if one of us says no to a gig for example the band says no.

You Daniel are a huge Kiss-fan. If you have to rank the three drummers in Kisstory who will win?

-This is funny because I was thinking about it earlier today. The best drummer in Kiss is Peter Criss at the time he was peaking.  The groove on the six first studio albums is outstanding, I’m also a great fan of Eric Singer when he was a new member in Kiss in the early 90’s. The drums on ”Revenge” is definitely ten out of ten.

Nowadays it’s sad that Kiss have forced him to play exactly like Peter Criss did. It feels like Eric Singer doesn’t use his fully potential these days. And because of that fact I have to put Eric Carr as number two.

What about you Rikard? Can you rank the best guitarplayers in Kiss over the years?

-I really can’t do that because I don’t have any relation to Kiss at all. I’ve seen them live two times, the first time at Graspop when there was a power failure and I also see them at Hellfest and it was a total disaster. If we talk about the guitar players in Kiss over the years the only thing I can say is that Ace Frehley is Ace Frehley. For me he is the guitar player in Kiss but he was never an influence for myself.

And your favourite guitar player is?

-Without any competition I say Gary Moore. No one could hit a tone like him.

And what do you say Daniel? Who is your favourite drummer?

-Tommy Lee is my favourite. I just love the groove and his fills, amazing drummer who are doing amazing stuff behind the drums. I like him even if the song is pretty bad.

I wish you good luck in Falun at the Sabaton Open Air and thank you very much that you were taking time for me.

-Thank you. We hope that we’ll see you in Falun.

Johan Hagberg

Johan Hagberg

Editor & writer

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