INTERVIEW WITH DANIEL MYHR (CIVIL WAR)
“[After we left Sabaton] It was a big silence really. We didn’t really talk to eachother since there wasn’t much to say.”
A few weeks ago we could listen and review the new CIVIL WAR “Gods And Generals“, the second long play form the exSABATON members, an album that, as expected, has a certain feeling of their former band, with whom they also share lyrical topics.
We had the chance to talk about this with Daniel Myhr, keyboardis in CIVIL WAR, as well as discusing their diferences with SABATON, Oskar Montelius departure and many more:
Daniel, How was the composition process for Gods and Generals?
It was effective. We already had some material finished before The Killer Angels was released. Then it just went on smoothly. All pieces just fell inte place in time. And we also felt that we had more time to sit tdown and experiment a little, which made it all a bit more interesting. At least for us.
Which differences can we find in your new album compared to your first release?
The songs got more care and thought. The writing and arranging wasn’t stressed as much as on The Killer Angels which gave us more time to work on details in the songs. So it’s bigger so to say. But not too big, so we didn’t lose the main core in the music.
You spent 13 years altogether with Oskar Montelius, who was the main composer first in SABATON and later in CIVIL WAR…How was your life changed as a band after his departure?
We will miss him a lot. He’s been around all the time and is one in the family. Musically it won’t change that much. He didnt write any songs really, but his solos were very characteristic and stood out from most of the stuff that you hear around nowadays. So that will be a big change in the sound. But maybe we can convince him to make a guest solo on the next album. So we can get our fair share of his guitar weirdo stuff again.
After the departure of most os you from SABATON, we expected a soap opera between both parts but nothing appeared in the press, and now we can even see you this year at Sabaton Open Air. As you can supose, all the fans of both bands want to know: Which is the currentrelationship between both bands?
It was a big silence really. We didn’t really talk to eachother since there wasn’t much to say. I guess the big soap opera didn’t happen since none of us did feel the need to trashtalk the other part for no certain reason. But last year we met them at Graspop Festival in Belgium. First it was a bit stiff and awkward, but after a few minutes it was as normal. Beer and talking. So all is fine between us.
WATAIN, TRIBULATION, UNLEASHED, ECLIPSE, CIVIL WAR …No matter the genre you talk about, there’s a swedish band releasing top notch albums…Tell us your secret!
Boredom I guess. We’reso bored that we take out the frustration through music. Haha! Well, actually I have no idea of why little Sweden is able to come up with so much great music. Maybe it’s genetical?
Most of your songs are dedicated or sing about historic wars, battles and heroes, what is the intention behind? Are you trying to teach history while listening heavy metal?
Not really. But history is always an interesting subject, and it’s real. But it wasn’t our intention to write about it from the beginning. It just got that way. Since Patrik is the lyric writer he decides what’s in the songs. If he want to write about knitting or ponies he can do that if he’s like. I think the rest of us would just laugh at the idea and tag along on it. We don’t wanna paint ourselves into a corner totally in that way.
When you write lyrics about historical wars, I guess it gets hard not to fall into talking about WWII. The sad truth is there are plenty of other big and interesting wars in history, which one would you like to write about in a hypotetical new album?
I have no clue really. We do get suggestions every now and then, but at the same time Sabaton is covering that quite well, so we spread it out a bit more. Though we have touched the subject a bit. We’ll just have to see what will pop up on the way.
Leaving history books apart, which are your main inspirations when composing songs and writing lyrics?
The moment. At least it works like that for me. I don’t really look for inspiration, it comes to me. But of course some things has a bit of ideas ”borrowed” from other stuff, but not straight off stolen. But most of it just comes.
Who are your referents, your favourite musicians?
Many! I think I can hardly name them all. But it stretches from Folkk/Jazz to Death Metal. My most influencing band might be STRATOVARIUS though. They stood for a big musical change in my life at that point, and it follows me even now. Jens Johansson was actually the reason that I started playing keys again after a long break when I was only playing guitar and bass.
If you could back in time and be a part of an album, which one would you choose?
Any that would earn me shitloads of money! So probably Dark Side of the Moon with PINK FLOYD or Thriller by MICHAEL JACKSON. Something by ABBA would be cool also.
We are eager to see CIVIL WAR live on stage, any european tour plans?
Yes there is! We’re firs of all doing a couple of festivals down on the continent, then in the autumn we’re going out togethere with our friends in POWERWOLF in the autumn. Then there are a couple of spread out gigs after that.
How is a CIVIL WAR show anyway? What can fans expect from you?
Great music, perform in a good way. We’re working alot on this right now, and then you’ll of course get the old energy from us ex-Sabaton member, mixed with the new energy from the others. I guess you’ll just have to show up yourself and find out how that looks like.
Do you prefer to play at a nice venue or a nice festival?
Both are great in their own way. On a venue there will be showing up for your show and nothing else. And that is a very nice feeling. But on a festival new people are able to get there and maybe get the chance to discover us for the first time.
Is not a secret music industry is not going through it best moment. The Internet played it’s role in that, but one can’t but think there must also be some internal issues to solve, what is your point of view about the current situation? What would be a nice solution in your opinion?
It has both advantages and disadvantages. Nowadays it’s much easier to discover bands and find out what they’re up to and if they show up close to you for a show….in case you like it. But also the record-sales is the thing that matter for the record companies. They, and the bands don’t really get any receipt on where it’s going well so ,maiking tours and such gets a bit harder. Maybe you got downloaded 1 million times in Germany and 50 times in the US, but you have no clue of that so you go on an american tour instead and leave Germany out totally for example.
Now I guess it’s not that bad really, but you get the point.
Finally, feel free to say whatever you feel to your fans: