Text: Mirek Valenta, Jiří Olszar
Foto: band archive
In 2012, the majority of the Sabaton staff got together heavy band CIVIL WAR which realised an excellent debut album The Killer Angels in the following year. In Sweden this album relatively soon earned statute 'gold record', which opened them the gates to a wider metal world. Last year the band presented itself for the first time in our festival Masters Of Rock and little earlier also at club Storm, and immediately became more popular Swedish band for the local fans. The band will return to the Pilsen Metalfest to introduce their brand new album Gods And General this year. One of the former members of Sabaton – drummer and producer DANIEL MULLBACK talked to us not only about this.
Civil War probably don't need further introduction. Just briefly about the past. What was the main reason for mass 'stampede' of Sabaton? I don't know what stampede means but I think you asking why we left the band?
I can only speak for myself, my body and soul was tired of not having a break from touring. I really needed a break from drumming and touring and I didn't see any other possibilities than quit the band after recording the Carolus Rex album. I played drums two times I think during the rest of that year, and that was when I recorded the EP and the album with Civil War. Now I'm back in track again and want to tour as usual.
Did you have a chance to meet Sabaton, with Joakim and Pär respectively, somewhere at a festival or other playing together?
Yes, we met at Graspop last summer after our show, and it was really fun to meet and see them again after all this time.
What is your current relationship? Are you more musical rivals – with The Killer Angels you became competitors to Sabaton – or do you wish success to each other?
We are absolutely not enemies! We play heavy metal and so do they. Sabaton is really kicking ass right now with the new line-up and stageshow. I'm glad that they are growing everywhere around the world! They really deserve it!
Your fans probably know that this year you are visiting two open air events with Sabaton. In what spirit it will be done? Will they be separate concerts, or will you remember back to the good old time?
Of course there will be some emotions, but we will kick ass with Civil War and enjoy both shows. There will be separate shows what I heard.
With The Killer Angels debut you very quickly leapt on the ladder of popularity. The record received very good reviews and in your native Sweden you fairly soon won a gold award for sale. Were you surprised with such success and how do you see its origins?
I really love The Killer Angels and I believed in it from the beginning. Its very traditional heavy metal so I knew somehow that a lot of people would like it easily. But I couldn't think that it could sell so much so fast. But I'm really happy about the response from everyone.
Just imagine how many albums are needed to sold for achieve gold status?
In Sweden it's 20 000 copies.
According to sales, the record has reached mainly fans. Can you assess what kind of listeners enjoy your music? Is it fans of Sabaton or other fans of Nils Patrik Johansson or have you taken completely new fans who never really listened to you in your previous band?
I think both. We met new fans that just discovered us, and fans from both Sabaton and astral doors of course.
Last year you presented your music to the Czech audience twice, I think that you also got very well accepted. How do you recollect last year for example at Masters Of Rock?
Both shows were amazing and I can't wait to come back to your fantastic country! MoR was a shock for me because of the big crowd and the fantastic response during and after the show!
And how are you looking forward this year to Pilsen to Metalfest – will you enjoy a festival atmosphere there or do you plan other entertainment?
Yes, we are talking about Metalfest almost every time we meet so we will absolutely enjoy the whole festival.
Do you like something special on the Czech Republic or on the fans?
I really like the fans because they are very polite and nice! They are very loud and always give a lot of energy to us on stage! Then I love the food and the beer of course.
What will visitors enjoy at Metalfest? Will you arrive with the complete line up of seven members, including the new guitarist Petrus Granary and will you arrive with your new album, which you are working at?
We will come with three guitarists and a full show with a lot of new material from our new album Gods and Generals that will be out early in May this year, but of course some from The Killer Angels too.
If you can describe and introduce the new album to us, what actually will it be like?
The sound is more heavy and full. It has a little bit of everything, fast, heavy and slow songs. I really love the new album and I know that people will not be disappointed.
You haven't made any video for your debut. Are you going to shoot a promotional video for any of the songs?
Actually, we will record a video next weekend so it will be out before the festivals.
Signing of a contract with Napalm Records certainly contributed to the success. This is definitely a dream of every musician. What did this particular contract bring or will bring to you?
Yes, we are very happy about that! It will be a chance for us to come out to a lot of new people and countries that wouldn't be possible otherwise. Now we know that everyone can get our music wherever they live.
I suppose signing to Napalm Records will open new possibilities regarding the concerts. You have probably reached the same stage with many icons of the world of rock and metal. But do you still have a dream, with whom you would like to play? I can think for example Black Sabbath, whose Children Of The Grave you included as a bonus on your debut album.
Yes, I really hope that we can go out and play together with some icons some day soon. Children Of The Grave turned out to be really good with Patricks voice. He can really sing everything. We will see if we will come out with some tribute songs in the future with some of the icons out there.
Do you have a similar bonus ready for the upcoming album?
So you are going to release a new album and support it at couple of interesting events, but what about own tour? Are you going to prepare something like that?
We will go on tour together with PowerWolf and Orden Ogan in October/November this year. Than we are planning some headlining tour as well but nothing is set yet.
I can only thank you for your time and interesting insights. Me and Czech fans are looking forward to your performance at Metalfest in Pilsen.
Thank you very much! I know I'm speaking for the whole band whe I say that we are really looking forward to come to you guys again and play heavy metal and having a good time again! Thank you Czech Republic for being who you are!