Hello Djordje! Can you please introduce our audience to Armageddon?
Armageddon was formed under the influence of German Symphonic Metal, but also has elements of other genres, from Classical and Jazz Rock to Thrash Metal. The lyrics often tell fairytales. I have personally covered a lot of themes, from Tolkien’s elven world and Egyptian mythology. The music was always intended to be illustrative, like doing arrangements for an SF movie.
You have been on the scene for a while now, since the end of 1980s. What changed since then? What does it all look like now?
It was really hard back then, because of modest studio opportunities. I had to wait 20 years so that I could realize theatrical and anthem-like projects I wrote in the past. The biggest problem was always the “lack of channels” in studios, especially when I was recording HM Symphony in 1993, where 21 instruments are included.
What is your vision of the band itself? What do you want to tell the audience?
Armageddon started as a multimedia project, which I intend to continue with. At Eldorado EP promo concert, I plan to combine various arts on the stage – music, poetry, virtuosity, opera and rock singers, narrators and thematically created costumes and the scene. In a long run, I am planning for the band to perform the whole 20 minutes of the Heavy Metal Symphony "Eternal Mystery" from the first album, as well as entire "Egyptian Suite".
Armageddon released a few official albums. What are you experiences with the labels and how do audience and the media like the albums?
Three albums have been released for the domestic market: "Eternal Mystery" in 1993 for Megaton from Novi Sad, "United Forces" in 1995 for ST Stage Records from Smederevo, and "Heavy Metal Saga" for Rock Express from Belgrade, in 2002. There were some re-issues on cassette tapes during the 90s, and the best material found its place on newer Armageddon discs. As far as foreign market, "Egyptian Suite" was released in 2010 for Karthago Records from Germany, and currently I am negotiating the release of my material for German Pure Stell Records, and the EP Eldorado, which will be out before Exit Festival, will be released for Belgrade’s One Records. The albums sold best in Germany and Japan, where Symphonic and Power Metal are listened to the most.
For many years the band functioned as a solo project. You are appearing at Exit Festival as a full concert line-up? What made you change the concept?
I have finally found the best people to work with, so I would like to mention them: Milos Krsmanovic on the vocals, Zoran Drazic on the guitars and backing vocals, Nebojsa Bjeletic on the bass and backing vocals, Milos Marceta on keyboards and backing vocals, Tara Kerac on drums, and three opera singers: Zeljko Andric – bass, Vlada Zorijan – bass and Marko Skendzic – tenor. Of course, I also play the guitar and sing backing vocals. As you can see, there are a lot of backing vocals, which was necessary to achieve the atmosphere of anthems and theater in some demanding compositions. I can freely say that whatever you hear on the album you will hear live!
What do you expect from the performace at Exit Festival and what can the audience expect from you?
I expect that the first Armageddon live performance after 20 years of studio work should be something special! That is why I gathered a numerous crew, and why I promise the audience that they won’t be disappointed. For those who followed the work of Armageddon, they will recognize old hits such as "Black Swan Rider" and “Magic Star", in a totally new manner, faster and more powerful! As far as new compositions, metal anthems "Eldorado" and "Bastet" are already some sort of a hit, thanks to the internet. The concert will begin with Eldorado, and end with Bastet, in a choral arrangement, made especially for Exit.
Greetings and see you at the Explosive Stage in July.
See you on Friday the 13th, a big day for Armageddon!