Scandinavian vocalist Nikola Sarcevic is best known for his work as the lead singer of Millencolin, a Swedish punk/alternative rock band that commanded a loyal following in Europe and the United States in the '90s and 2000s.
Sarcevic's many years with Millencolin have earned the Swede a reputation for being a loud, forceful, brash, and very extroverted type of artist; however, a much more introspective and sensitive side of Sarcevic emerged after he launched a solo career in the early 2000s. As Millencolin's frontman, Sarcevic has been influenced by the amplified, in-your-face aggression of bands ranging from the Clash to NOFX and the Descendants, but as a solo artist, Sarcevic has favored more of a singer/songwriter aesthetic. Concentrating on folk-rock and adult alternative, Sarcevic the solo artist has invited comparisons to John Mayer, Ben Folds Five, Counting Crows, and the Gin Blossoms rather than Cock Sparrer, the Circle Jerks, or Sham 69.
Sarcevic (who has played electric bass with Millencolin and guitar on some of his solo recordings) started to make a name for himself in Nordic rock circles in the late '80s, when he co-founded Millencolin's original three-man lineup with guitarists Erik Ohlsson and Mathias Färm in Örebro, Sweden; Millencolin officially became a quartet when Fredrik Larzon was hired as the band's full-time drummer in 1993. At first, Millencolin was a Swedish-language group, but after a few years, Sarcevic and his colleagues began writing in English. In Sweden, some artists write in Swedish exclusively and concentrate on the Scandinavian market; many others, however, opt to broaden their appeal by performing mostly or entirely in English -- and by making the transition to English lyrics, Millencolin was following the lead of countless Swedish performers who had ranged from satanic death metal, black metal, and grindcore bands to ABBA-obsessed bubblegum Europopsters to Ella Fitzgerald-influenced jazz vocalists. By the time Millencolin's first album, Life on a Plate, was released in Sweden on Burning Heart Records in 1995, they had acquired an enthusiastic following in the Nordic countries -- and after they signed with the Los Angeles-based Epitaph label, the Swedes became increasingly popular in the United States. By the spring of 2001, Epitaph had distributed five Millencolin albums in North America.
Around 2003, Sarcevic made a decision: he would launch a solo career on the side while continuing to serve as Millencolin's lead singer/frontman -- a game plan that Epitaph was obviously comfortable with. The world-weary Lock-Sport-Krock, Sarcevic's first solo effort, was released on Burning Heart/Epitaph in July 2004 -- and much to the surprise of his longtime fans, the album was a total departure from anything he had done with Millencolin. No one expected Sarcevic, of all people, to branch out into folk-rock and adult alternative territory and come up with such an introspective, reflective CD. Nonetheless, Sarcevic continued to perform live with Millencolin, and a sixth album with that band, Kingwood, was released on Burning Heart/Epitaph in April 2005. His sophomore solo effort, Roll Roll and Flee, was issued the following year in Europe via Burning Heart; a North American release was delayed when Epitaph chose not to pick the record up. ~ Alex Henderson, Rovi