Frontman, now famous punk bands Six Pack i A man without hearing (ČBS), Milan Miki Radojevic, recently embarked on solo water. Single “Sorry”, Miki presented what the project will look like, and we talked to him about how he decided on that move, earlier songs he released on his own, punk and underground, as well as bands ČBS and Six Pack.
Balkanrock: This project is in a way a logical sequence of events, considering that you have released a number of solo singles in the previous period. How did it come about?
Miki Radojevic: It started when they declared lock down at the time and when, without any desire for self-promotion, I tried to sing “The sparrows will return“I am sending a message to people that even in the most difficult times, we must preserve ourselves, ourselves as a being above all. The response, positive reactions and number of views of that single were above all my expectations. It was a strong sign that I could even deliver a good song on my own, but of course – I was hoping to meet any of my two bands (Six Pack and CBS) as soon as possible and perform together in front of an audience. The “Crown” case has lengthened, and instead of returning to the stage in the fall of 2020, I lost one of my leading stars.
Mikica Zdravković, the leader of the band ČBS and my friend, a friend you have once in your life, passed away. After a year of that event, not only did the CSB still not want to look for a replacement for it, I also realized that the Six Pack is difficult to gather and organize, because the circumstances are such that families should be fed another job at all costs – because this the music business just cracked on all fronts and on the backs of almost all bands. Then it became clear to me that if I don’t want to lose myself and if I don’t want to throw a good 25 years of career into the water – I have to establish some kind of home-study conditions and start working alone.
BR: “Sorry” is the first single to be official. What is the fate of these few earlier singles? Will they be united on some future issue, or will the stories remain for themselves?
Miki: “Sorry” was released by Masco and the contract offered me cooperation in terms of publishing the entire album, tomorrow if this idea of mine shines and is accepted by the audience. Therefore, the option to do more songs is open (which I intend to do), and the previous singles, which I released quite “partisan”, may be weighed down and will appear on the combined release in the future. What I’m saying is really listing options, and we’ll see what actually happens.
BR: You said earlier that the word “sorry” is “the most expensive word in our language”, and you often write texts about social injustices and similar topics. It seems easier today than ever to notice injustice…
Miki: Of course. That’s because it’s there wherever you turn. I think that the world around us has become so deviant and distorted that it is a bigger shock when you come across something fair than unfair. Let’s start with show business: is there any justice in the fact that a random person of dubious morals and almost no intellectual level lives 10 times better today than my colleague or I, as people who are into culture and music, just because of participating in one of the weird realities? have invested almost their entire lives?
BR: You stayed true to melodic punk rock…
Miki: The first musical love is not forgotten, and there is no reason to radically change something in which you have been proven to be something that is the current trend. The trick is to wear a suit that fits you well, and it’s certainly not bad to bring a hat with it if it gets cold. In translation, my sound is my sound, but I think that with the first official single, I have already stepped into latent modifications and upgrades, and that is the direction in which I will continue to try to go.
I have already said somewhere: music is not stagnant water but a river. It remains freshwater, but it must move at least a little. I want each of my next songs to smell like a pastry at the moment it was made. It terrifies me when I see a single from a band on TV and I don’t know if it’s a song from the 89th or this year. The same gig, the same wardrobe, the same lyrics for 30 years in a circle.
BR: You are the author of lyrics and music, you recorded all the instruments yourself. Now that you’ve tried everything, what’s more for you – when you’re recording alone or with a band?
Miki: There is no greater happiness than picking up common ideas with the band and going to the studio. However, this “soloing” is not such a new thing for me. When you stand behind music and lyrics in a band – you are absolutely the one who, no matter what, will spend 100 percent of the time in the studio recording a song or an entire album. You are there from the moment they start assembling the drums, and then until each of the instruments is played, then you play and sing what you are here for the last time, when everyone mostly does their thing and goes home – you stay for another half month with the producer and supervise mixing.
Let’s be clear, this is not a whining, but it really looks like that and I chose it that way. Well, working alone means at least relieving yourself and managing the time, budget, arrangement of the song and its final result. If you do shit – you are responsible for it, if you make a hit – you will be very proud because you did a seemingly impossible thing.
BR: What will the concert promotion of this project look like, is there a plan for a possible backing band? We know that it is not strange for you to play acoustically.
Miki: If the concert activities were going on normally, we would probably be doing a different interview now. At the moment, I don’t care about that kind of promotion at all, but there will be guest appearances in these few shows on TV where they play live. Yes, I gathered a backing band, but my intention is to keep that lineup mysterious until my first live appearance.
I have a reason for that, and the reason is the composition of that team. Besides me who sings and plays one of the guitars, it is about the rhythm section and the lead guitarists who are musical creams de la creme, everyone is so good on their instrument that it is almost unrealistic to see them in the same band. By the way, these are very famous musicians.
BR: You wrote countless songs for your bands Six Pack and The Man Without Hearing, and now there’s this solo project. When you play a riff, or write a chorus, how did you manage to break in your head which song is for which band?
Miki: He has been in the game for many years, and experience has come with them. It’s been very easy lately. When you have punk rock even in your cerebellum, then you can easily distinguish between those two bands and their sensibilities, and plus they themselves thicken that line by playing the way they used to play. Or let’s put it this way (I’ll give a horrible plastic example): if you let the band Blink 182 play the sexiest song – they’ll still sound like Blink 182.
BR: How do you see the future, not only of punk, but of underground music and culture in general in this area? It seems that there are more and more bands, and less and less clubs where they could play…
Miki: Video killed radio, now streaming kills video, everything has accumulated and unfortunately – mostly quantity. I am sorry for a lot of those children because they were deceived that “like” is a measure of success and a virtual spice for perseverance. We can only hope that one day this historical stage, called “Crown Time”, will pass and that the doors of the clubs will reopen, and that what was a futile attempt from the start or “let’s play a little band” will only to close ourselves off, to get back to normal. Likes are likes, and the applause is something else and much more tangible and authoritative, whether one should sacrifice college or a job because of the band.
BR: It is clear how much time has become uncertain today, but are there any plans, or goals that you would like to fulfill, either with bands or with this solo project in the coming period?
Miki: I don’t stop writing and recording. Almost every working day I work someone’s working time doing it. For now, I know that I will have a new single ready for the end of winter, and I will try to make my song and video my maximum again. What will happen in the future – there are no guarantees, there are only wishes. For now, I want everyone, including myself, to stay healthy, with a positive spirit, to fight for existence and not give up on dreams.
Source: Balkanrock.com by balkanrock.com.
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