Interview: Miljenko Matijević of STEELHEART

Trust in Love album coverMiljenko Matijević is a world-class vocalist who embodies STEELHEART and has performed as the lead singer for the current-day DOORS and as the singer for the ‘fictional’ band STEEL DRAGON from the film ROCK STAR (starring Mark Wahlberg) which also includes Zakk Wylde, Matt Sorum and Jeff Pilson.

The Croatian rocker has lived in Korea and is now living in Los Angeles as he pursues music and acting opportunities.  Matijevic has dedicated his most recent material to bringing the world together – releasing “Trust In Love”.   The epic video is a love-letter to Korean culture, Directed/Produced by Matijevic along with Director of photography Robert Reed Altman (son of legendary director, Robert Altman).

Over two years in the making, the song was originally conceived as a plea for the peaceful unification of the Korean peninsula, but the song has evolved into a wider-reaching message for the masses. Amidst the current geopolitical climate, and the invasion and war on Ukraine in particular, Matijević’s song is inspirational and highly relevant. “One night after watching the news on television, I was saddened to hear about the pain and suffering that the people of North and South Korea are going through,” says Matijević. “I turned off the television and sat down at my piano, immediately the song started writing itself. The words ‘Trust in Love’ came to me, and I knew this song was meant for the Korean people. And now, in light of what’s happening in Ukraine, I feel that this message is something meant for the entire world.”

I was lucky enough to catch up with the vocal legend recently.

Miljenko Matijević:  How are you doing?

ANTIHERO: I’m good. I think you look cool, even without the shades.

Miljenko Matijević:  Okay. There we go. Okay. I’m outside. Nice. Beautiful. Kind of dark. Gloomy. The Los Angeles weather was kind of nice. How are you? Nice to meet you.

ANTIHERO: I’m good. Let’s talk about, first of all, about the trust in love song that you have at the moment, which seems to personally resonate with a lot of people. Why do you feel it’s got such a personal connection to so many people? 

Miljenko Matijević: Well, the whole point was to bring people together. You know, that’s what the song was written and what I did. You know, I wrote it during the pandemic. So it’s two years in the making. And what I did in the beginning, I had a whole choir set up, you know, for people coming in and saying the chorus. And of course, the pandemic just put the kibosh on everything. And so what I did, I said, well, you know what? Let me do something even nicer. I think it’ll be even cooler. So I put the chorus up on my website, and I sang the chorus for everybody and put the lyrics up. And I said, Hey, send in your vocal to all my fans. Please send me your vocal. I don’t care if it’s on a phone. I don’t care if it’s on, you know, professional, whatever it is. I just want your energy. I want you to love and get support on this, you know, chorus. And I got about 300, almost 350 people that sent in their vocals. And I have managed to put all of them on that chorus. They’re not all like, you know, what do you call it all? We came in. Some came in. Not as good as some can. Pretty damn good. Some kind of great. But they’re all there. And I think that’s part of the energy that some people hear. The song is, as I said, the best way to describe it. It’s honest. Okay. It’s not a premeditated thing. Like, I’m going to write this song for the world and I’m going to save the world. You know, that’s not what it is. I wrote it. You know, I started writing it when I’m watching the news one day and the news was just horrific that way. And we do a lot of I do a lot of work and growing up, you know, and and it was just the human trafficking and the and the, you know, the threats from North Korea. And it just saddened me just to watch it. And I said, you know, let me try to write a song, you know, to do something to unify this peninsula of Korea. You know, the two. And as soon as I sat by the piano. The song started writing itself on the mean. It was just like something else coming through me, you know? And it just came. It came together. And then when I finished singing the English version, we translated into Korean. And I sang it in Korean. And then. I don’t know. Something kept, you know, driving me to do it. I said, Well, you know, this is so beautiful. I mean, I should probably sing it in my language , Croatian. So language is perfect as well as elegant. So I sang it in Italian and then I said, Well, Italian, so close to Spanish, I’ll be focused on the beat, you know. So then I sang in Spanish, Portuguese and Chinese Japanese and it just grew, you know, we went on to make the video and the video and there’s over 700 people involved with that video. That’s more than a feature film, sometimes with some of the movies, you know? Yeah. And it is beautiful because one song is about pulling people together, you know? And that was my vision. And it has a life of its own, has a soul of its own. And honestly, there were a few people that were working on the project, and the project itself kind of just guided them out of the project, not me. I think you’ve got to be inspiring. I didn’t say anything. It was just to see what it’s like. I was like, wow, what an amazing, you know, thing. So I believe all of those elements, seeing all those elements and I believe. Just that, the honesty of it. I didn’t ask anyone for money. I didn’t ask anyone to help me pay for it. I didn’t ask any of that. It was something that I felt. I just. I just needed to do something. Just drop me a bullet. And here it is.

ANTIHERO: What about that you mentioned there? You sang the song in different languages. Is that an interest in languages, something that you’ve always had over the years or just something that you’ve recently developed as you’ve lived in different places over the years?

Miljenko Matijević:  Well, I’ve been you know, I’ve been travelling the world for 30 years and I’ve been to Asia and Mohammed two times, you know, and well everywhere. And it’s. Considering I speak Croatian fluently. The vowels are easy for me. You know what I mean? Then only. The only challenges have come in the subtleties when, like in Korean, let the South. And, you know, there’s just little things you need to learn and you need to listen and focus on. And then when you get that. It’s really not that difficult. You know, it really isn’t. So the rest is to finesse it. I guess the other challenge is to make sure that I need to know exactly how to make sure it’s translated properly. Mm hmm. Because, let’s say, look, Japanese is the most difficult translation because they would never say black and white. It’s just way too hard core. You know, the language has to be gently rewritten, and then when it’s written properly, then I need to know exactly what I’m saying. And so I could put the emotion in as some spirit can come through me and sing it properly. You too. I mean. So. Yeah. I mean, it was. Yeah. What can I say? I mean, what an amazing experience. I mean, I do. I mean, I’ll do it across a resume, you know, Chinese artists. And I did it with a Hindi artist, you know, and the Spanish and I mean, it’s. What a great, great, amazing thing. What a gift. You know?

ANTIHERO: What about the video recording? Any particular memories of making the video?

Miljenko Matijević: Oh, man, the video. There’s so much footage behind the scenes that we also filmed. There’s. There is just an endless amount of memories in that video. You know, the intro. I mean, I connected with Casey Clay here in Los Angeles, and I and I had this vision. I go, you know, the freedom bill down in San Pedro. And since I call him, it’s like, hey, what about I like to use the freedom bill and this my video. And we had a nice dinner. We had a big dinner. The director of the parks came over and Dr. Park, who was a director of Casey Clay, we had allowed eight or nine people for dinner and drinks. And I was like, what do I’d like to do? I want to shoot this video and I want to shoot it with Korean culture, and I want to bring the studio into it. I want to bring the old. I want to bring the dancers. I want to bring love and colour. What do you say they were like? Wow. Okay. So, you know, they gave me the park to use and, um, that belt is sacred. It’s the unification of 12 countries of peace that came together.  No one is allowed to strike that bell. You can’t just go up there and hit that bill. It is like a bad karma kind of thing if you don’t do that, you know? And I mean, and, you know, I was granted the opportunity to hit that bell. And I said, let’s hit this bell together and let it ring through the world. Let it ring to the universe. Let’s see some give somebody a new vibration of thinking, not just peace and love, but a new way of saying we can change our way of thinking. The rest will follow. You know.

ANTIHERO:  I see the songs being released and labeled as Steelheart. So, what about the involvement of the band there? Obviously, your vocals are clear, but what role did the other musicians of Steelheart contribute to the song?

Miljenko Matijević: Well, what happened to Joe? Joe did some guitar work on it. The song is more of a world song, but it is Steelheart. Yeah, I am still here. And we are. It’s. It’s like this. I went through so many name changes. It’s Steelheart as I have been through it for 30 years. And I’m tired of trying to figure out something else. 

ANTIHERO: You first came on my musical radar, with the band’s first two albums. How do you explain the enduring appeal of eighties rock music? Many of those bands are still around today, maybe not in the original line-up, but a lot of those bands are still out there, still playing live, and still releasing albums.

Miljenko Matijević: Yeah. I mean, I think it’s wonderful. I mean, whoever is, you know, still standing, so to speak, you know, I mean, with their heart and soul into it, I applaud all of them. I think, you know, that’s the beauty. It’s interesting. It’s like I’m feeling this whole level of the resurgence of the eighties into the younger generation now, you know? And it’s like. I mean, I welcome that because they missed out. You know, today’s music, there are some amazing artists, but it’s all a bit all over the place. It’s not. You know, back in the eighties, he was like, it was a lot of fun. You know, it was fun to make music. And if you got signed to a record company. You got a shot to actually make it, you know? Yeah. And, um, now it’s. It’s, you know, they. They got that perception of autism. So I can do whatever I want at the record company and I’m like, oh, man, please, please let me help you out. It’s not easy today. And I don’t know, it’s just all over the place. And again, I’d say this. I applaud the guys who are still doing it.

ANTIHERO:  You actually paid homage to Eighties rock music by having a role in the Rock Star film. How was that experience? Was it just another live performance in another environment for you, or how did you find yourself getting involved in the movie experience?

Miljenko Matijević:  Oh, I was amazing. I mean, it was great. I mean, from day one, we day one, the first day of rehearsal, the first three days of rehearsal. The crew was literally on his shoulders carrying cases and cases of beer. Which was insane, which Zach and Jason drank all, you know. I mean, they had one. And then. And then they cut it and they were like, okay, no more alcohol. Loud rehearsals. You know, they were just hammered. You know, and anyway, so that was amazing. We did it while we were rehearsing. The music director asked me if I had music that I could contribute to the movie. And I gave them the White Album and they came back in the morning. So we got to have yeah, we got to have it. So it’s like, sure. So we, you know, we recorded all day after the movie. And funny enough, also, my jacket, you know, the movie was called First Metal God. Okay, originally. And the band was called I Forget what the name of the band and the in the movie. And I came to rehearsal quite a bit with my jacket and I had a stage, a dragon painted on the right side of my jacket. Okay. Which I had done in Japan. Well, I mean, it’s kind of like Steel Dragon, Steel Heart, and I just so happened to have a dragon on my, you know, on my sleeve. And so, I mean, all of these things are kind of like a nice experience, you know that. Yeah. The recording was intense. It was amazing. It was everything you could imagine being, you know, doing a movie or an album of this magnitude. There were laughs, there were arguments, there were drinking, there was insanity. And it all added up to an amazing experience. And I wouldn’t change it for the world?

ANTIHERO:  And obviously, the principal contributed to that musical chemistry of the band.

Miljenko Matijević: Yeah, definitely.

ANTIHERO: Had you worked with those guys prior to the movie? Obviously, they’re all legendary musicians. How did you come across some previously or was it all just meeting for the first time on the movie set?

Miljenko Matijević:  That was the first time. That was the first time. And, you know, we got to the room and we played them. It’s just magic, you know? And, you know, the band would have gone on, I’ll tell you a little story. So. The song We All Die Young was going to radio. Okay? The week of the movie, I was going out the following week, so it came out on the weekend and it went to number two in the box office and that following week was going to radio and it’s gone to radio and we all die young spy radio in that video. They’ve spent an enormous amount of money on promotion, and I really feel that song could have been something else, you know? Yeah. And then 9/11 happened, and when 9/11 happened, President Bush said, that’s it. Nothing with the word kill, die or blood. And it was that morning it was gone. The song was gone. It was just terrible. So, no, I forgot. What was that song about? Try to get to that. What was the question before?

ANTIHERO: About musical chemistry? Had you met the guy and musicians before the film?

Miljenko Matijević:  Oh, right, right. So Joe and I went off a little bit on a side check here, but. But the band, when we got together, we just gel. So what I was trying to say is that we were going to actually put that band on the road. That was the vision. First, get the movie, then get the song out there and then still drag it out. So right now I am waiting on a couple of answers. We may actually excuse the sirens here. We may actually put the band back together. It may actually happen. So fingers crossed it’s in the works. Let’s see what happens.

ANTIHERO:  That would be good. Okay, another one. What is your appetite for doing any other movies? Obviously, you’re a busy guy. You’ve got a lot of different projects going on. Did you ever have any desire after that to go and maybe do some acting yourself or no?

Miljenko Matijević:  Absolutely. I feel that’s part of my future. I would love to do it. I think it’s a lot of fun. And I do have two movies right now with opportunities that are coming up this year and they seem to be a go, but we’ll let you know when it’s really locked in. But they both want to use my songs. And are you there yet? Yeah, I’m still interested in movies. So let’s see what happens. I’m excited about that. 

ANTIHERO:  You had another quite unique musical experience back in 2007 when you did a tour with a couple of the original Doors members. I just wondered how that came about.   Well, you listened to The Doors growing up. I just wondered how difficult it was to sing those iconic songs with a couple of the original band members.

Miljenko Matijević:  Oh, that was. That was wow. That was a beautiful, a beautiful couple of major tours I did. And. No. The funny thing was, is with respect. I didn’t. I was in bad shape, you know. Welcome to our planet Deep Purple. And, you know, that was like Black Sabbath, you know, and the Doors was the other side of the high school. You know, those are the other bands on that side. And when I had a meeting, I had a meeting with the manager because I was looking for a manager and we’re talking and he goes, you know, I manage this other band. And so they’re pretty famous. It’s all about 80 million records. I’m like, Oh, it’s just 80 million. And it wasn’t one person possibly. Joining. You know, fronting the band. And I was like, Sure, who’s the band? And he said, The Doors. And I was like, Oh, shit. No, no, no. But the funny part was, two weeks prior, I had a premonition that I’m going to do something completely off that I’m used to doing. As soon as he said that, I got. There it is. And I said, absolutely, I’m happy for the challenge. And this one, you know, and I went back I was wondering at the time I went back home. I’ll never forget. I start digging and following the hints kind of thing. I didn’t know where the was kind of, you know, following, you know, the sounds. So and when I really started digging it, I was just like, oh, that’s okay. This is a whole nother depth of amazing, you know, poetry, you know? Writing. It’s something completely different than I’m used to. And when I fell in. I fell in. I was invited in, you know, inspired by the spirit of it. And. And when you’re invited by the spirit of it, it’s just like it’s magic. So that was just something spectacular. And also, you know, I got Robbie and I got right on the right side of me. So it’s like. And honestly, I had Jim come to me so many times whether I made it up in my head or not. But I was there was many shows. One in particular that sticks in my head is in Prague, and it’s a massive theatre. And I’ll never forget I was quoted as saying, If something goes, they stop. No, don’t say don’t sing. Stay, stay, stay, stay with me. I’m like, Well, what’s over? My eyes close and I go away. I’m not doing any drugs. I’m not wasted. It was going on, you know. Yeah. And it was just like, nah, I’ll just stay, listen to music, to stay, to stay and let the music play. Let it go, let the people go feel it, just feel it, feel energy. And they’re not saying things like when the music. So it was. Magic.


ANTIHERO:  Excluding those first two albums, your last band album, released way back there was Stardust. Any plans to record a follow-up, a new Steelheart Album?

Miljenko Matijević: ] Well, right now we’re finishing up. We’re finishing up this 30th anniversary. Right. Yeah. We remix, we all die young. And I’m waiting to see if we can ask another famous PA player to do the guitar solo on it. And then we are. I re-recorded She’s gone. With a 40-piece orchestra. And I recorded Mama Don’t You Cry with a 40-piece orchestra and some vocals. Piano and an orchestra. And also trust and love as a boy. We re-recorded Everybody Loves I Lead for the Band, kind of like a Live by TV version. And, and also there’s a couple of new songs, and, uh, that’s what’s coming out next. That’s the next thing. A follow-up to that. Well, let’s she would like you know, knows me to do. I’m just here. I’m just the messenger, you know. I’m here to. Send a message through the world. So if a new album, the next one comes up right away, I’m in. I love music. So you know what I do. 

ANTIHERO: Right. I have a few more questions if that’s okay with you.

Miljenko Matijević:  Yeah, sure.

ANTIHERO:  Yeah, I. I’m just saying, did you expect the last album to achieve a greater level of success? Because I would put it on a par in terms of quality. But those first two albums.

Miljenko Matijević: So didn’t you mean you didn’t like it as much as the first two albums?

ANTIHERO: No, it’s in my personal opinion, it’s as good as those first two albums. 

Miljenko Matijević: Thank you. I agree with you. I mean, every album, everything I do, I do at 150%. I don’t do anything, you know, halfway. I don’t do any. There’s no there’s never a song on the album. This is just the throwaway. Every song is given the right attention and love. Yeah. Now you know the label. Embarrassingly put like $600 worth of promotion into it. And that is beyond embarrassing. Am I angry? Yes. Am I disappointed? Yes. Because that album is really powerful. But, you know, songs like Lips of Rain, I feel. Yeah. I mean, I again, you know, I paid for most of that myself out of my own money also. They were supposed to PayPal, but, you know, they gave me a small budget and I was like, I can’t make a video for this budget. You know, I’m not going to do that, you know? So my legacy is who I am and. Yeah, it’s too bad. And when I do get the rights back for it, I will re-release it properly. You know, we will re-release it properly.

ANTIHERO:  Yeah. It must have been very disappointing. I mean, because let’s not name names. It’s a pretty big record label. And melodic rock is where it seems to be primarily focused. Yeah, you’re not. You would have expected something a hell of a lot better than that treatment I guess.

Miljenko Matijević:  Yeah, I really thought, you know, I really had high hopes for that. And that’s why I did it, you know, that’s why I did it. And I thought, well, okay, let me, you know, let me work with the labels. Let them do the marketing. Let them do that, you know, all the business stuff. Let them get it out to this, you know, to the world. And. Sure enough. It’s not going to happen again. That’s why I built my own record label. I’m doing it. I got a beautiful team. I  have got amazing people there. And we are focused. And, you know, basically, I’m the guinea pig of the new label. See how we do. And, you know, I have if the way I look at it is. I trust myself. Okay? It’s like one of those things that trust me to pay everybody on post everyone to pay me, if that makes sense. And I trust that I will do what’s right for the project.

ANTIHERO:  Okay, let’s talk about you. In particular your singing. Many bands of the eighties era have vocalists, for various reasons health, age, etc. just can’t sing like we used to. What is your secret that you can still do vocally challenging tunes like  Never let you go? She’s gone. You can still do it. Why?

Miljenko Matijević:  Let’s just give a little praise to the universe here. You know, a little love and. And luck and whatever you want to call it. You know, I feel. There’s so much involved. You know what I’m saying is it’s so physical. First of all, you got to be in shape. Second of all, you gotta take care of it. You know, you can’t smoke. You can’t drink. You can’t do drugs. It doesn’t work. It’s all a part of it. You know? So there’s nothing better, though, for me is a good scotch and a cigar. I do love that. But once in a while, I can’t do it all the time, you know? And it’s really mean. It’s really I mean, I don’t do much. You know, I’ll get you know, I’ll have some drinks, you know, sometimes be a buzz on. But it’s really never done cocaine in my life. Can you believe that? Even on all those tours. Well, and I learned a you know, I learned that I learned that from this one singer. I’ll never forget it is doing lines and he’s going off. This thing is like, what? You know, but it’s something not to do anything, I feel, to be able to, you know, like the present and except if you’re if you sang or at least I learned what it was, you know, that this we are you want to do this, then you accept. Well, then you gotta respect the gift if you don’t respect it. They take us away? Yeah. That’s where I look at it. So I do respect it. And I hope I can keep going until, you know. until I’m gone.

ANTIHERO:  You mentioned earlier some of your musical influences growing up, the likes of all those heavy rock bands, Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, Steelheart have received many plaudits. And I read one that actually compared you to Led Zeppelin. How does it make you feel reading stuff like that?

Miljenko Matijević:  Oh, well, I, I mean, that is an honour. You know, that is an honour coming from, you know, for people to recognize that. To feel that even though the band, you know, had more the eighties rock thing, you know, which by the way, wasn’t glam, you know, they put us into a glam thing kind of. Not quite sure why, but, um. But they still felt the energy of Zeppelin in it, you know, it’s the spirit and. And Led Zeppelin had a lot of spirits around them. You know, there’s a lot of energy there. And I’m just happy that they recognize that and Steelheart as well. So it’s an honour.

ANTIHERO: How do you view your own musical legacy of what you’ve personally achieved? I’m assuming as you are originally from Croatia, you must have battled through a lot of adversity. Difficult times to get to where you are. And I achieved that level of success.

Miljenko Matijević:  Oh, yeah. I mean, but you know what? I think every artist goes through your journey to success. You know, when people, artists make it overnight, it’s like there’s no such thing, you know what I mean? Unless you’re 15 and then, boom, you blow up and then you stay there. You know what I mean? But the road, the journey builds you into a personal, how would I say, of more patience, understanding and building. And as you grow, you understand more. And then you’ll be able to keep going to another level and another level and keep building from there. It has been. A long journey. It’s been a journey through beautiful performances to accidents on stage. As you know, I almost died. Yeah, too. Like, I don’t even know how I made it out of that one, which is crazy. I just realised I just. I was, like, almost 28. So I always died at the age of 27 year, you know, with John and Janis and. Yeah. And Hendrix and everybody else, you know. Yeah. So. Yeah, it was. It’s. The legacy. The legacy is you do the best you can. You give it your honesty. And. That is what it is. I am grateful. And I am. I am proud of what I’ve created thus far. And it’s not just me. It’s me, the fans, the energy, the spirit that comes through me. It’s all of that put together what creates that.

ANTIHERO: Obviously, the music business is vastly different these days from when you first started out. The role of record labels has changed. But on the positive side, you’re able to interact more on a 1-to-1 basis with your fans. I’m thinking about the high noon video broadcasts that you made that fans absolutely love. You must enjoy that more direct interaction with fans that you have these days.

Miljenko Matijević:  The high noon yeah. No, it’s wonderful. I mean, there is you know, look, today, there’s a lot of positives to what’s going on, but there’s a lot of negatives. Here’s which one you want to start with. The positive side, the positives are, is like, yeah, hey, you could put this on high noon and you can, you know, have a whole bunch of people just in their living room and have a nice conversation, which is wonderful. It’s beautiful. Hmm. The negative of that is that it’s that they’ve created such a, you know, the YouTubes and the Pandora and the Spotify and Facebook. It costs money to reach your own fans, you know? So it would be wonderful if you put it together, we are close to, I don’t know, seven, 800,000 subscribers. If I could just go on YouTube and I would reach all those subscribers now, that would be awesome. But that’s not how it works. No. Okay. Do you want to do it? You got to pay. You got to pay. You know, to reach all my fans. On Facebook, it’s I think it’s 1500 dollars. So that’s the kind of the downside because. In today’s world. The artist. I, I really feel. I really feel for the true artist. Today’s world. Because it takes so much energy to be an artist today. Okay. I’ve been around the world 30 years. This is my 30th anniversary. I mean. I’ve never worked harder in my life, I’m telling you. And I’m. I’m there. Right. Supposedly, it’s to break through the madness. First of all, the channels that kind of owned the market and the number of people that are creating and they have this illusion, just say, well, I can make this record in my closet and I’ll put up a sacrifice and who knows, maybe something will happen. Those people are in the way of true artists. So, we have that problem, too. We have 70,000 songs uploaded a day to Spotify. 70,000. How does anybody breakthrough? Yeah, you know, that’s the bad side of it. But I hope I answered the question right.

ANTIHERO:  So essentially as well, I mean, it’s more difficult these days to make money when you release music. I guess you guys only really make money when you go out and tour.

Miljenko Matijević:  I, you know, I hear I got to speak at some point. I got to say something, and I’ve got to say I got to start saying I think it’s. Look, my message to all the people, the fans. If you enjoy and you really love the band that you love, support the band to love by the record. Don’t download it. Yeah. Feeling okay? Don’t do that because you’re not healthy. I don’t think anyone realizes the amount of energy, time, focus, devotion, love that an artist puts into their art to create this gift to give to you. Now people say it should be free. Sure. Okay, it’s free. But how do we take care of the artists? Because, you know, that light bill comes. Comes every week, just like everybody else, you know? Yeah. And that’s where it gets tricky. Um, it was as funny as, like, I had a friend of mine literally call him. He’s like, this. Check this one out, forgot where I was, and my record just came out and it’s from the Hey, could you meet the chef? He really loves your music. He’s crazy about your music. And, you know, can, can you, um, you know, can you meet up and say hello? Sure. So, I go and I go say hello to the chef. It’s like, hey, how you doing? It’s like, oh no, he’s got a new album. Was like, Oh, yeah, redownload. And I’m sitting there going. Are you kidding me? Why would you say that to me? You know, I didn’t say anything. I didn’t say anything. And I could feel them feeling like shit. You know what I mean? So, it’s again, we have to support the artists you love. Okay? It’s a dollar. You know, people go out to a bar, they’ll listen to, let’s say, my music, right? They listen to the music in the car jam and having a great time. They get to the bottom of music playing in the, you know, on the at the speakers. Great. Give me two shots of tequila. Give me two shots. Give me two beers. You know, right there, you’re about. I don’t know. It depends where you are. You’re at 50, 60 bucks, right? And you can’t spend a dollar on what took thousands. 

Thousands of dollars and thousands of hours. Hundreds of hours to create. So. It doesn’t leave much room for the artists to grow. It’s not sustainable. And I’m not speaking, I feel I’m speaking for all the arts. You know, there are a few guys in the top and they’re making trillions, but there’s a million that are not, you know, sustaining, and they should be heard and supported.

ANTIHERO:  How do you feel then about some of those fan-funded projects that some bands have set up where the fans contribute?

Miljenko Matijević: Yeah, I mean, you know, it’s, you know, I, I, you know, it’s that’s almost like it’s almost like it feels almost like charity, you know, it’s like, hey, please send me some money. Like, no, that’s not what it is. It’s like, hey, if you like the song. Spend the $0.99. Be honest to yourself. Good karma, that’s all. You know, I just feel bad. It’s like a contributor. Give me a, you know, donation. It’s just like. It just feels weird for me. You know, if you support me, support me? 

ANTIHERO:  Just a couple more than to finish. What are your future plans in terms of touring? Specifically, I’m thinking of Europe and the UK.

Miljenko Matijević:  am. I am open all the time. We are working hard to get the band out there everywhere. Back to the world. I am. I love performing live. I miss it when I’m home. Too long. It feels really… It just feels like I’m not doing what I’m supposed to be doing, you know? And I’m excited to get back on the road. So we are working, definitely. I would love to go to Europe. I miss it. I miss it dearly.

ANTIHERO:  And I guess it comes down to, again, getting the right offer. Yeah. To make it worth your while.

Miljenko Matijević: That’s the other thing. You know, the gas price, the fuel prices for the flight flights. Yeah. I mean, it’s just to do a show. It costs thousands and thousands of dollars just to get there. Mm-hmm. You know, it’s become, you know, challenging, you know? But. If I could break even, I’ll go. You know. Yeah, but I’m not going to pay to play. That’s just. That’s absolutely crazy. Yeah, I just made a video. You saw the video I just made. That is in Spanish.

ANTIHERO: That’s great. Thank you very much for joining me. I got to wrap up now. I know you’ve got another interview due. Thank you very much.

Miljenko Matijević: My pleasure. Thank you. Thank you for having me. Cheers again.


Mark Dean

I'm a 40+ music fan. Fond mostly of rock and metal - my staple musical food delights. Originally from Northern Ireland, I am now based in the UK-Manchester. I have a hectic musical existence with regular shows and interviews. Been writing freelance for five years now with several international websites. Passionate about what I do, I have been fortunate already to interview many of my all-time musical heroes. My music passion was first created by seeing Status Quo at the tender age of 15. While I still am passionate about my rock and metal, I have found that with age my taste has diversified so that now I am actually dipping into different musical genres and styles for the first time.

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