Thursday, February 28, 2013

Interview with Ivan Mihaljevic

Hello everyone - I have a treat for you, today!

Remember when I review the music of Ivan Mihaljevic & Side Effects? (link here)

Today, I have got an interview with the frontman of the band. CHECK IT OUT BELOW, and check out the music of Ivan Mihaljevic & Side Effects. You won't regret it - promise


What member of the band am I talking to?
Hello, Ivan Mihaljevic (guitar, vocals) here.

Who are the band members, and what do they each play?
Alen Frljak is playing drums and singing backing vocals. Marko Karacic Karo is playing bass guitar and singing backing vocals and I'm on guitar and lead vocals.

How did the band come together?
I recorded the first album Sandcastle by myself (as my solo album) in 2008. Then I got some gig offers, so I needed to find a band to play the material with. I've known Alen (drummer) and Majkl (our ex-bass player) for a while and they were very happy to join the band. Last year we had the first line-up change so far. We had to split with Majkl since he was drowning [with] family and job commitments, so we invited Marko Karacic Karo to the band. Alen and I have known him for a long time and he's a killer bass player, so we decided he's the right choice for us.

Your band's name - how did that come about?
I recorded the first album Sandcastle on my own (without a band) in 2008 and it was released under my name (Ivan Mihaljevic). After the album was released, I needed a band to play those songs with live. So we formed Side Effects. We wanted people to know that it's a continuation of that same project, so the second album was released under the name Ivan Mihaljevic & Side Effects. For the third album, we actually wanted to change the name and leave only the band name, but our friends and record label strongly advised us not to do so because we got a lot of publicity under the current name, so the name stayed.

What do you feel sets you guys apart from the crowd?
I don't know. We don't think in terms of setting ourselves apart from the others. We just do what we love with all of our passion and hopefully others can feel it and connect with us.

If you could describe the band and your music in five words, what would they be?
Passionate, eclectic, progressive, meaningful, technical.
At least that's our goal! :)

What is the inspiration for your music?
Anything. There is no exact formula. Sometimes it can be an event, sometimes it can be a book I read, a movie or a piece of music. Anything that can move me emotionally is a possible inspiration.

Have you guys ever worked with any other notable musicians, or on any other projects/collaborations?
We're all workaholics and always work on a bunch of projects at the same time. We've opened for Richie Kotzen a couple of times, for Paul Gilbert once, Brett Garsed and Phil Hilborne were guests on our last album, I've played live on stage as a guest with Les Paul in New York...

How were you first introduced to music in your life?
Well, we're all surrounded by music and we listen to it every day whether we like it or not. I've always loved music. The idea of playing an instrument was heating up for a couple of years until it reached the boiling point and then I just had to pick up an instrument and there was no way back.

At what point in your life was the defining moment that made you realize what you wanted to do, as a musician?
I think it was at about age 16. I remember sitting down with my parents and telling them that I wanted to be a professional musician. I thought they wouldn't take it too well, but they were actually OK with it and they always support me.

What do you feel is the best piece of music you've created? Why do you choose this one?
That's always a very hard question. I don't have a favorite piece of music, but there is one that I'm the most proud of. It's the song Eclipse from our new album Counterclockwise. It was very challenging to make such a long song with so many different parts sound interesting and cohesive. I think we did a great job and that's why I'm very proud of that song.

Tell us about your current album? What sets this project apart from the others you've done before?
Counterclockwise is a concept album which is something we've never done before. On the previous albums we usually had a lot of instrumental tracks and for this album we decided to cut down on the amount of instumentals and make songs longer with extended instrumental sections in the vocal songs instead.

Where do you see yourself and the band five years from now?
I don't make such long term plans. I hope we'll continue making the music that we love and touring with it. It would be nice to gain a wider audience and be able to earn a living just by playing in this band. We'll see what the future brings once it comes.

What plans do you have in the near future for music release/recording? What sets this upcoming project apart from your previous ones?
We just released our new album Counterclockwise about a month ago. We're already working on some new songs, but don't plan any official releases for a while since the album is still very fresh. But we always have plans for some YouTube projects and we will surely have some new videos before the next album.

Any upcoming tour plans?
We hope to do an Italian tour as soon as possible. We've played some gigs in Italy and the reception has been great, so we're looking forward to do more of those. We're also playing and Croatia and looking forward to any other invitations that might float along.

What are your thoughts of the current state of the music industry? How do you feel you and the band fit into it? 
Music industry is falling apart. There are great bands out there, but the CDs don't sell anymore and record labels are in trouble. We don't really care about the music industry. I actually feel that the current state has helped to link musicians and fans closer. However, the problem is earning money from the work you do. It's absolutely obvious that we're not doing this for the money, because this is the riskiest job on the planet. If we wanted to earn a lot of money, we'd be stock brokers or bankers, but in today's world you still have to earn some money to survive and that's very hard to achieve as a musician. If you can't live from playing music, then you need to get another job and if you get another job, you probably won't be able to play music as much and keep the quality as high. So, I think something will have to change...

Any words of advice for young/aspiring musicians?
Just keep doing what you love and enjoy playing music! Play songs that you like and it will make you want to play often and get better quickly.

Anything else? 
Thank you for this interview. Please visit our website if you'd like to learn more about us.
You can listen to our whole new album for free on Soundcloud here -
and if you like it, we would appreciate it if you could buy it from CD Baby -


Thanks for reading! Check out Ivan Mihaljevic & Side Effects here!

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