Not in his wildest dreams did Nikola Sarcevic imagine he'd still be rocking out with his beloved Millencolin in 2008.
"Fifteen years is a long time!" says the singer-bassist crunching on cereal in his parents' kitchen in Gothenburg, Sweden.
Debuting in 1994 with the skate-punk collection Tiny Tunes, an album Sarcevic describes as "so full of energy that those songs are going at 100 miles an hour", Millencolin soon found themselves at the vanguard of Sweden's 90s neo-punk revival alongside friends No Fun At All, The Refused and garage-rockers The Hives, all of whom found a home of the country's burgeoning punk label Burning Heart.
The quartet from small town Orebro also struck a chord with European and Californian audiences while Australia presented the band with their first ever Gold records, for 2000's Pennybridge Pioneers and 2002's Home From Home. The latter embraced a more aggressive and orthodox rock sound, a result of time spent on the road with Swedish rock vikings The Hellacopters and Backyard Babies.
Now, with their seventh and latest studio effort Machine 15, Millencolin have returned to what they do best - crafting pure power-pop melodies.
"I think this album is very melodic, I mean Millencolin has always been melodic but this time even more so," offers Sarcevic in slow broken English. "There's a lot of harmonies and we love that, just good pop songs - catchy tunes."
Releasing a couple of solo albums in recent years has also inspired Sarcevic to adopt new forms of instrumentation. As a consequence, Millencolin has, within a clear pop framework, broadened its musical palette on Machine 15 by working alongside the Swedish Philharmonic Orchestra.
"There are some songs here we haven't really written before and it feels great to move into unexplored ground," says Sarcevic. "If you look at the song writing there are some different chords and techniques but also the obvious new thing is that we have strings on three different songs on the album which is adding something new. The strings especially came out really cool and added quite a natural lift to the album."
Having previously worked with the band on Home From Home noted American producer Lou Giordano (Sugar, Plain White Ts, Goo Goo Dolls) was enlisted to oversee the sessions.
"He flies over from the States and when he's here he's very focused and professional and easy to work with," says Sarcevic. "He's very talented musically too, he knows if a note is wrong. He has a really good ear for music and he did a really great job on Home From Home. He's one of the best producers we've worked with and for that we chose him again.
"One interesting thing was when he was doing vocals for Sugar's Copper Blue album, the only thing Bob Mould had in his headphones was the piano note to the right key to the song - and a click track. He heard nothing of the music except for the right key and the tempo of the song.
"And I can see the point of doing that because you can hear yourself really good that way. We actually did the same thing for back-up vocals on this album. Lou put down a keyboard chord but I didn't hear the rest of the band and I tried to match it using that. It was cool how it worked out."
The album's first single is Detox, a track Sarcevic wrote after a conversation with his neighbour.
"We were talking about diets and he just mentioned detox," he says. "He said 'you should go on detox' and I actually hadn't heard that expression before. But then he told me about it and I though 'oh cool I should write a song about it'. So it's not a song about detoxing from food, it's more about staying away from music. The person in the song is too much into music and not enough involved in her."