For Swedish group Millencolin, skateboarding and punk rock go hand in hand. "That's how we got into punk rock," lead singer and bassist Nikola Sarcevic says from his home in Göteborg, Sweden. "When we started skateboarding, all the skater kids that we got to know were playing punk and in their own little punk bands and that inspired us to start our first band."
Sarcevic says there isn't a large punk rock scene in his country, however.
"But there are a lot of different bands playing," he says. "There's a big (music) scene, but I don't know if there's a particular punk scene. Bands like The Hives and International Noise Conspiracy are big out here."
Millencolin, who formed 13 years ago in Orebro, Sweden, recently released "Dogwood," the follow-up to 2002's "Home From Home," which featured catchy tracks like "Man or Mouse," "Black Eye" and "Punk Rock Rebel."
"I think the whole production is a lot more diverse than 'Home From Home,' " Sarcevic says of the group's seventh effort. "On ('Home From Home'), all the songs were produced in the same format and they all have the same kind of guitar sound compared to the new (album), where every song sounds a bit different. It made the whole thing sound a bit bigger, in a way, and a bit more interesting."
In addition to his work with Millencolin, Sarcevic released his debut solo album, "Lock-Sport-Krock," in 2004.
"I have a lot of songs that I wanted to use that sounded different than Millencolin," he says of the album, which features soft pop and country tunes."I did it for the challenge of it. I wanted to make some kind of different music than punk rock. I've been in Millencolin playing punk rock since '92, so I was really eager to do something different and to inspire myself and challenge myself as a songwriter.
"It's much more mellow and acoustic and sort of laid-back. The energy level is lower."
Sarcevic says that he'd like to put out another solo album.
"I have a lot of ideas for songs," he says. "I just need to find the time and the right people to work with."
By KELLY WILSON