Mladen via e-mail - Interviewer: Dave Attrill.
Canada has enjoyed a wealthy infiltration of guitar talent over recent years with Jeff Waters, Pete Lesperance and Kenny Kaos being amongst the country's most respected riff-smiths. But there's also another chap who has come very much to our attention of late. Mladen's crushing, seventies styled, hard rock tunes have created increasingly huge vibes within the melodic hard rock scene over the past decade, and his stunning new albums with his two bands, Von Groove and star-studded side act 24K are amongst the very best releases of 2001.
1. How are you doing at the moment - what are you currently up to?
Doing great thanx!
I am working on a million things as usual. Right now there is a melodic rock project in the works with a singer named Rob Moratti. The band is called M2 and the record should be done by next summer. I am recording it in my studio in Toronto (24-7 Sound Central.) and the tracks are reminiscent of old Bon Jovi and Journey.
I've also got another project in the hip hop vein called TWIGG which is getting alot of interest.
Those are the two latest projects.
2. Why was the Von Groove Tour Cancelled?
They were going to pay us too much money and were in it for the art! Honestly, it just didn't make financial sense as it costs so much to bring a band over from Canada. I guess no wanted to go in the hole. It's a shame as we were ready for a wild time. Maybe next year?
3. Any plans for another UK appearance, such as Z-2002 for instance?
...Who have you been talking to? I've heard rumours...You never know what can happen.
I'd say get your tickets now!
We had never played there before so we didn't know quite what to expect. We just gave it our all and the response was phenomenal. Plus having Tom on bass and Mark on drums gave the band an extra kick. We had an incredible time and cant wait to come back.
5. When can we expect further activity from the 24K?
You may have to wait a while as we are searching for a new deal. Any ideas?
I was brought in at the end of the 80s to fill in for Rik Emmet. I initially was hired to help write and play guitar in the studio. We did this for just over a year. When they offered me the gig, I already had a million dollar offer for Von Groove and I had to decide. Bloody hard decision! It was a great experience though and Gil and Mike and I are still buddies to this day.
7. Have you ever had plans to collaborate with guys from fellow Canadian acts, such as Harem Scarem or Emerald Rain?
Funny you should ask. I was in a band with Darren Smith (Harem) called Juice in 99. Darren was the front man vocalist and the band was heavy industrial. I left after a year to pursue some of my own stuff but that was a lot of fun.
8. What musicians mainly influence your retro-tinged musical style?
I am and have been influenced by everything I have ever heard from an elevator door to a gas furnace. I guess my main guitar influences are Page, Beck, Angus, Iommi, Howe, Nugent, Frehley. All the seventies cats mainly.
9. I understand you actually gave 24K a first attempt some years ago. What happened there?
Lots of nibbles, none in the boat.
10.How did you and Mike Shotton meet up?
Mike was singing backups on the Triumph record when I was with them. We hit it off right away and wrote 'Heavens Door'and 'The Best In Me' in the first week we met. He was also working with Matthew at the time. He suggested that the three of us meet and BANG!!! Von Groove...
Never musical clashes; just personal!
12. Are you ever going to do a solo project of any sort or would you class 24K as one?
I like collaborating so for me it is more fun to work with someone else. Plus I don't drink alone! 24K was sort of a solo record. Mine and Phil's. Maybe one day Id like to do a solo guitar instrumental record.
Impossible question to answer. Maybe I could pick my favourite song off each record but we have over 70 tunes and my favourites change all the time. My last favourite was 'I CAN'T FIND MY GROOVE' off 'Drivin Off The Edge'. What's your favourite?
14. What are your favourite 24K numbers and why?
Same thing. Top song today: BULLETPROOF cause it rips your head off.
We are looking at a summer 2002 release.It will have something a little different.
No problem and