According to the Swedish-language newspaper Dalarnas Tidningar (DT), former SABATON members Rikard Sundén (guitar), Daniel Mullback (drums), Daniel Mÿhr (keyboards) and Oskar Montelius (guitar) have formed a new band, CIVIL WAR, with singer Patrik Johansson (ASTRAL DOORS, LION'S SHARE) and bassist Stefan "Pizza" Eriksson (VOLTURYON). The group is currently writing songs for its debut album.
"It came pretty naturally," Mullback stated about CIVIL WAR's formation. "We always thought Patrik had a good voice and he accepted our offer when we asked him to join the band."
"I had no hesitation about getting involved," Patrik said. "ASTRAL DOORS certainly has a solid fan base, but we are a little more underground. I see this as an opportunity to reach a wider audience."
The four ex members of SABATON were never involved in the songwriting process with their former band since those duties were usually handled by vocalist Joakim Brodén. But in the new group, everyone is contributing ideas.
"This has been a reawakening of sorts," Mÿhr said. "I have never been in a situation where there has been so much creativity. We became a full band a week and a half ago and we already have 6-7 songs in the works."
CIVIL WAR will continue writing songs during the summer with the hopes of releasing an EP this fall. A full-length album is tentatively due early next year.
When asked how the new band will sound, Johansson said, "The one thing we all agree on is that we want to have good melodies. The music can be as hard as ever, but the melodies are important."
On the topic of whether CIVIL WAR will continue SABATON's tradition of focusing on war-related themes in its lyrics, Mÿhr said, "No, we won't. Now the lyrics can be about anything. [CIVIL WAR was just] a good name that sounded good."
Although the circumstances behind SABATON's split with Sundén, Mullback, Mÿhr and Montelius have not been fully explained, the group's former members admit that they have not spoken with Brodén and SABATON bassist Pär Sundström since they went their separate ways.
"There have been rumors that we did not want to continue playing together anymore but that is simply not the case," said Mullback. There are also many people who believe that we did not play on the new SABATON album, ['Carolus Rex'], that it's the new [SABATON members] that recorded the tracks. But that's not true either. It is us [that laid down the music in the studio]."
Photo credit: Lars Dafgård