Home » CHRISTIAN CARLSSON – THE QUILL – Exclusive interview

CHRISTIAN CARLSSON – THE QUILL – Exclusive interview

by Antonis Mantzavinos

Myth of Rock has had the pleasure of speaking with Christian Carlsson, founding member and guitarist of the Swedish hard rock band The Quill,  about their upcoming album ‘Wheel of Illusion’
(the album review can be read here), his past, present and future with the band, starting as a drummer, being a singer on another band and also his first ever gig as a teenager!

By Antonis Mantzavinos


Hello Christian and thank you very much for your time. How are you doing?

Hej Antonis! I am doing fine, thank you, hope the same for you. I got a little bit late from work, but overall, just fine.

No worries at all, thanks for being available so that we can have this interview together.
First I would like to start with the new album ‘Wheel of Illusion’. I really like this new record, I think it is very diverse and interesting, it represents everything that I – as a fan – like about the Quill, so, tell us a few things about the writing process,, where and when it was recorded, etc.

We are very pleased with it, as you say, we managed to add on the album a lot of classic The Quill elements, so we are very happy with the end result! About the actual recording process, we started the writing pretty much directly after the previous album, we had no touring schedule, due to the pandemic of course, and we thought why not writing songs for a new album. We started slowly, but we picked up the pace. The main difference this time was, because we could not rehearse during the pandemic, we rehearsed at home, and shared songs and ideas via e-mails, that was a new way for all of us. Because, back in the days, we got to the rehearsal room and jammed on different ideas directly. So, this time was different. And then we started rehearsing these shared ideas, that everybody was already familiar with. We had pretty much 15 song ideas ready. Then, around Christmas of ’22 we booked the studio for February and March last year, and we pretty much recorded everything within one month. We are a very well-oiled machine, you know! Hana! And, the studio is in Oskarshamn, just 20 minutes where me and Magnus live, closer to where Roger lives. The last 3 albums were recorded in this studio, with a very nice guy who owns the studio and fixed everything for us. So, it was a pretty smooth process I must say.

What would the band like to achieve with this record, in regard to the evolution throughout the time, compared to the previous albums you have released?

I mean, musically, we have done so many albums now, since we sort of reunited, the 3 last albums. We had a long break before that. Before that break we had different singers. Since we reunited, we looked back at our catalogue and there are 2 albums that we really liked and wanted to have elements from those 2 on our new album, that is ‘Silver Haze’ and ‘Voodoo Caravan’. I think those albums really have some essential parts that Quill needs to have. Those elements got lost somewhere a bit, especially when we had other singers, but we always thought that, the ‘Silver Haze’ era and the ‘Voodoo Caravan’ era, we must not forget that vibe represented there, and we managed or at least we tried, to capture that feeling from that era on our new album.

I like the trick with the album title, pointing out to the ‘Wheels of Confusion’ of Black Sabbath. How did this idea come from and from whom? I am really interested to know.

Well, Magnus always writes our lyrics, when we jammed this song, he didn’t have any lyrics. I think that, when we created the chorus, he actually sung ‘Wheel of confusion’! And we said, “that’s really cool, but we cannot have a song Wheel of Confusion”. So, it’s just change of one word, and then we wrote the lyrics around it. It is a very Sabbathy song after all, there is so many Sabbath references, absolutely, but we love that too!

I also loved the cover of the album. Could you please share some inside information about it as well?

It turned out really good I believe. It is the same guy who did the covers for all our 3 albums, it’s a German guy called Sebastian Jerke. We got in touch with him, we thought he has done some really cool stuff, that was his idea from the beginning to incorporate the song titles and the lyrics on the cover itself, what the songs are really about, so it was really nice at the end I believe. And it’s more or less the same patterns associating the songs with the cover, with the ‘Born from Fire’ or ‘Earthrise’ too.

How easy of difficult it is to get gathered together for rehearsals or to get touring dates, managing everyone’s programs and schedules? I suppose you all have a daily job.

Yeah, it’s a bit difficult nowadays, we all have our regular works, Magnus and me live relatively close in Mönsterås, Roger lives about 20 mins away with the car. Quite recently Jolle moved to his girlfriend in Stockholm, so I could say that things are not very easy overall, we don’t rehearse of course every week, the whole band, this is impossible. But once we have some, we probably book time in the weekends. Me and Magnus sometimes we meet up in the rehearsal and try out new stuff. We do our best, all of us and it works at the end.

If someone asked you, what are you most proud about the Quill, what would your answer be?

I think just the fact that are here, and we play the music we like! After 30 years.. We are pretty much the same, 4 old guys, the more I think about it, the more proud it makes me. And we still love making new songs and write new stuff, without big rush, but when you have an idea, saying ‘This is fucking great! Let’s go ahead and record it!”. You know, being in a band for 30 years, and still think your new album is the best, I think this is really great!

A few things about yourself now, a bit more personal. How did you start playing music, who were your main influences, etc.

I think, I when I was 3-4 years, listening to records and albums that my parents used to listen to, when I was a kid. I was so fascinated by that! It was something about music that I found very interesting. When I got a bit older, 7-8 years, KISS was on the top of the worlds, seeing KISS pictures, and doing ‘Wow! This is so cool!’ I was so fascinated and loved that music, and finally bought my first albums, they were from KISS. And I also remember Aerosmith, one of my favorite bands. Friends, siblings, they were all watching these bands on the tv, it was really big with music on tv back in the days. I remember I Saw a video of Aerosmith, from the Toys in the Attic album, I got really into this band. And, at the beginning, I started with drums! I was more fascinated by that at the very beginning. My parents bought me a drum kit, when I was 10 y/so. My grand da had a guitar, so when I visited my grandparents I sat with him and we played together, he taught me how to play. It was still the drums though, my thing..! Then, on my first ever band, I was the drummer! I wrote the songs, I learned to play the guitar a bit, sung the songs and wrote them on guitar. Then I was more fascinated with the guitar, I bought a new guitar, and it was then pretty much when I met with Jolle. We started to play together, he played on my drum kit, we rehearsed on my home, I played the guitar, yeah, it kind of evolved after that! I mean, I got pictures of me and Jolle, 15 years old playing in my room, and now we are still playing together after all those years! Here we are!

I would like you to speak a bit about your other band, Cirkus Prütz, how you have been involved, how it started, etc. Honestly, I was not aware of this until quite recently!

Yeah, actually, this band has been a band before many years, they are based in Linköping. I knew the bass player, he is a journalist, he had played bass in a couple of other bands as well. They have been a blues rock band for some years already. Their guitar player decided to quit the band, and the called me, asking me if I was interested to join the band one summer for some gigs. We played blues rock covers, after that summer. They told me ‘now, you can’t quit’! ha-ha! I told them of course that, the Quill is my baby and will always be my main focus, but they were fine with that. After, we just developed, I started singing as well, it was up to me to do the singing actually, I am not a great singer of course, but I guess it works! Maybe I consider a career changing! Ha-ha!! It’s a bit different than the Quill, but its 70s rock blues, Pat Travers, ZZ Top, this kind of stuff. And about further plans, I mean, we got shows coming up now and then, we have already written a bunch of songs and we will start recording very soon, so there are things happening, yes. I like being busy, and be creative every day with music, otherwise I will be lousy!

What are the next plans for the Quill in regard to gigs and festivals this year?

We will be doing some shows in Sweden (close to our ‘home’ are and also in Stockholm), and, we are going to France, Netherlands, and Germany, that is the plan for the moment, after the release. There are not many festivals planned so far, I think we will have enough to do, spring and summer, and autumn as well, some touring will be announced later.

Last but not least, some quick personal questions about you.
– Your first ever gig you attended:

That was I think, when I went to see KISS in Gothenburg, 1983, whey they had just released ‘Lick it Up’. We loaded a whole bus from my home area, going to Gothenburg, that was magic!

– Very first gig you played with the Quill – when and where:
When Jolle and me started out at the beginning, this band later evolved as the Quill. We changed members etc. The first gig we played we were a 4 piece, we did maybe 1 show in Oskarshamn, that was when we were 16-17 y/o.

– What do you usually do on your free time, when not playing music:
Well, I live in a big house in the countryside, with a big garden, we can go fishing, walk around in the forest, I am pretty much a lot out in the nature everyday, enjoying the countryside.

– What is your favorite Spotify playlist (if you listen to Spotify of course):
Pretty much when I am interested in a new band or listen something that I need to check as new stuff, yes, I do listen to Spotify, and, once I find something I do like, I go ahead and buy their record or album, definitely. I don’t listen to Spotify all day, but when I want to explore something new, it is a perfect getaway to find and explore something new.

– If you could pick up 5 musicians, who would you be your all-time favorite band? (singer, drummer, guitarist, bass, and keyboard player):
Wow..! This is extremely tricky and difficult! Well, if I start with the drummer.. I have a thing with drummers… Well.. I can only pick one..?

Drummer would be Brian Downey from Thin Lizzy, not a very heavy handed but he had a very special touch and way of playing.

Bass player.. This would be Neil Murray. He has done a fantastic job overall, but, especially with Whitesnake.

Guitar.. Yeah.. Oooh.. That is very tricky.. Well, you have listened to my playing, probably you have picked that up, it’s Ace Frehley, one of my favorites ever! Fantastic player! It’s the way he talks to my heart with his playing, there is something special from that sense.

Vocals.. When I listen to today, I am a music teacher, teaching rock n roll history, I would say Little Richard..! I can also say Steven Tyler.. Well, I would choose Steven Tyler, like I said before, he is totally amazing, he is closer to my heart, very special.

Keyboardist.. I have to say John Paul Jones, the things he did with Zeppelin, ‘No Quarter’, amazing stuff, fantastic musician. He was a genious!

Thank you very much for your time today, I leave the last words to you, for a message to your answer on the consent fans and to our readers.

Thank you for keeping up to listen to the band, we have been around many years, some people follow the band since the first album, amazing! It has been a life journey; I am so grateful. I am also happy for people who never heard of us before and discovered us later ‘I’ve never heard of you but you are a fucking great band!’ We are old guys now, but our music attracts younger people. We don’t play outdated rock, our music has still something to say in 2024 as well, so I am very happy about that. So, a big ‘Thank you’ to everyone and thank you Antonis for this interview, I appreciated this.

See you soon in your next gigs!

Absolutely, lets meet up!


Christian Carlsson @ Facebook

The Quill @ Facebook

The Quill website


You may also like

Leave a Comment

The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.