Note to our readers: This letter was written by a nice person from Brazil. Please keep in mind that it was translated from Portuguese to English.
I was probably around 9 or 10 years old when I received the file “Chiquita Chaser” over ICQ. It was a catchy song and I’d be singing “papah papah parararah” all around. “Nice one,” I thought. “Do you have more songs of this band?” I asked my ICQ friend. Then, he sent me “Bullion.” It was enough, I was already addicted. Millencolin would come for a concert in the same year, 1998, but I was too young and really far from where it would be. Then, I downloaded and listened to everything related to the band. It was a happy time of my life and I remember I waited anxiously for the next album when finally, Pennybridge Pioneers was released. The album exceeded all my expectations, but the last song, “The Ballad,” was annoying to me so I’d skip it every time. The album cover was beautiful and the painting of your face looked really similar to the guy I was in love during school days (we were best friends and he still uses this album cover as his profile picture in every social network, even though he prefers heavy metal), which was funny. I would listen to Millencolin more than my own thoughts! The songs were with me everyday, encouraging me to live, never give up on my dreams and face the world. I started being “Millengirl” when almost nobody here knew what that meant. Seriously, it became my nickname.
Six years after Pennybridge’s release, you finally came to Rio de Janeiro and I was really excited to go. I was 17 years old and finally, I was grown enough to be there dancing with you guys. But in my mom’s head, I was still too young and, even seeing all my effort to save money and buy the tickets with my low salary working as a trainee in a hospital and going to the shopping mall with me to check the prices of the tickets one day before the show, she didn’t let me go. I think I only cried like that when my father or my best friend died. I got so angry that I spent almost a month quiet, talking only basic things with her. Then, Mom made me a promise: no matter where Millencolin would be, if the band came again to Brazil, I would be there.
The next year would be terrible: my dad died. It was the second big problem I ever faced in life (the first was when my parents got divorced) and I never thanked you for helping me face this. Afterward, mentally, I felt embraced by you and your lyrics every time I had a problem or a great moment (when I graduated, for example, I had to choose a song for the time they would call my name in the ceremony and I choose “Birdie“).
You came back in 2008, but the show was in São Paulo. I didn’t even ask my mom, just said “They’re coming to São Paulo and there’s this girl called Renata on Orkut with a van and she’ll take me and a lot of people I don’t know.” To my surprise, she replied “Don’t worry, I bought my car insurance with somebody I only know by phone and it works very well. Good luck, dear!”
So I went to São Paulo, happy as can be. I begged Renata and she let me go backstage with her and another friend. I finally met you in person and got so nervous, said so many things, made a huge mess that you even took a picture of me. (I tried to ask you on Facebook, but you didn’t reply. Maybe you don’t even remember this picture because I know your memory is really bad!) Of course, the producers kicked me out and I completely forgot that my friends gave me the t-shirts they were wearing hoping I could get them signed. I was very happy but they were naked and got mad at me and had to buy new t-shirts. I enjoyed every moment of the show and in the end, I reached Kimmo, the manager. He promised me he’d find the t-shirts and he actually did. He sent the t-shirts back, they travelled with the band to Porto Alegre (unfortunately, you didn’t sign them, but the guys were really happy that their t-shirts travelled with the band!).
What I couldn’t guess is that the day after, I would feel really sad. The show was something I anticipated for a long time and it was amazing, but it was over. I wanted and needed more. Two years later, 2010, you came to Rio de Janeiro again.
Being another face in the crowd wasn’t enough for me. I didn’t want to go home and feel so empty again, missing the energy and power of your presence on the stage. So I reached you at your hotel. I called you and said I was a journalist, if I could have a time with you for an interview or if you could sign my CDs. You said “Talk to Kimmo,” but he wouldn’t talk to me as I’m sure he thought I was another annoying groupie. Then, I took all of my CDs to the hotel and addressed them to you (and got them back the day after, in the reception, signed by everybody!). After that, I ran to the show.
At the show, I was so emotional, singing and dancing that, somehow, you invited me to sing the only Millencolin song I didn’t like: “The Ballad.” We had a quick talk on the stage and you said “You called me earlier.” You recognized my voice and I got so much more nervous than I was already, my voice on the microphone sounded horrible and I started jumping as a kangaroo. A roadie tried to kick me out (always like that!) and I ran back to the stage, kissed Erik’s cheek and got a pic. You found everything so funny! In the end, I took pictures with all the band again, a lot of people added me on Facebook, I received a lot of pictures and I was mentioned on a lot of music sites!
When I got home, I was singing a song, not a Millencolin one, but a random song. I tried to find it online and to my surprise, I wrote the song for you. My first song.
And this is not the end of our interaction, Nikola.
Millencolin came again in 2015. What else could I live with the band, after all these things? I made a t-shirt with the picture of us singing “The Ballad” (my favorite song now) and I wanted to be sure I’d get it signed. I asked everyone I knew, I ran to the local rock radio, I tried lots of things but nobody could give me a backstage pass. I was really close to the club where the show would be drinking a coffee with a friend and very upset when I had the idea of messaging you. I really bothered you, because you read all of my messages but didn’t reply, until you asked me “What do you want?” I said “My name on your guest list” and you said “Done.” I had no doubt my name was there for real because you scream “What’s done is done” in my ears uncountable times per month.
I went quickly to the concert and I waited until you arrived. You looked at me so serious and waved, I was pretending I was okay, even though I was just trying not to be kicked out again (I could really be, you know). Last time we met, I had long curly brown hair and this time, my hair was short, straight and blonde. I wasn’t expecting you to recognize me anyway. The show started and, when you started playing “The Balled,” I cried and screamed “THAT’S MY SONG!” You got a little confused and I screamed again “THAT’S MY SONG!” showing my t-shirt with our picture this time. You got really touched and said “Is that you? And that’s me, I suppose. You look so different, I didn’t recognize! So I’ll play this one for you.” And of course, I cried eve more. In the end and at the backstage, all the guys signed my t-shirt but this time, it was different. I was feeling so calm and peaceful, you were together with me all the time, paying attention to everything I said (don’t remember what), with eyes of someone who was really caring.
Right now for me, you are much more than a singer, bassist or music writer. You are a HERO, someone who has inspired my entire life only by existing and not giving up on your dreams, who doesn’t treat people badly, has a huge heart and politeness after all these years and fame. All of you guys actually, but it’s just that I have this connection with you somehow. I sent you the song I wrote and you said you liked it, but I could never explain all of this to you.
I really hope you read this letter, hero. Back in Örebro, sitting in your favorite chair, when you listen to “The Ballad” on the radio I hope you feel as special as I do.
Thank you for everything.
PS: Mom loves you (so does my entire family).