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Like Never Before

Bring Back Glam! interviewed Miljenko Matijevic, lead crooner for Steelheart, just minutes after he left the Rocklahoma stage. During the interview, Miljenko spoke about the re-birth of Steelheart, the time he died, and the band's new album. Transcription follows.

steelheartinterview_wm.JPGBring Back Glam! What was it like playing Rocklahoma?

Miljenko Matijevic: Well, it felt like…the beginning of a whole new vision. We were supposed to play up in Germany at the big open air festival (Wacken Open Air) and I was kind of waiting to see what show opened up the doors so to speak. The freedom. That didn’t happen and I’m actually glad it didn’t happen because I felt the need for it to start in the United States. That’s why this was the new beginning, of Steelheart.

BBG: It’s already been announced there will be a Rocklahoma 2008. Do you want to come back and play again?

Miljenko: Yeah, sure. In fact, a promoter just talked to me…and already ask me to come back…they want to put me up in a later night sort of thing. So yeah, absolutely.

BBG: What was it like playing so early? (Editor's note: Steelheart played around 2:00 p.m.)

Miljenko: It was…fine. Great. It’s nice to be playing before more people. But it don’t matter. The people we played for…if we touched them, I’m sure they’ll tell others. It’s the way life puts it together, you gotta do what you gotta do.

bwsteelheart3_wm.JPGBBG: What’s up with your new album? (Editor’s note: The Just a Taste EP is already available)

Miljenko: The new album is complete. It has been complete for awhile now. We are just trying to find out what is the right release date. That is what’s going on. What we’re thinking about is releasing it in October, the end of October. In a weird way, I was trying to release it on the way I died. October 30th, when I had my accident and I almost died (Editor’s note: Miljenko Matijevic was hit with an improper lighting truss in front of 13,000 people while opening for Slaughter. The result was extensive brain damage).

BBG: What do you think programs like the Hairball John Radio Show are doing for this type of music?

Miljenko: They’re giving a good energy. Putting that out there in the United States…it’s a positive thing. It’s giving people power. A smile. And that is so powerful…I’ll check this guy out. You’ll hear me…then they’ll play RATT…then something else. The 80s were such an incredible, good time of energy that the 90s…I don’t even want to talk about the 90s. Now, it’s like “What the hell is going on? These guys had something going on in the 80s.” There’s an energy. A vibe. So now, it’s coming back. At the same time, it can’t come back just like the 80s. If it does, it will last ten minutes and end up in Vegas –

BBG: Why do you think that?

Miljenko: Because…you haven’t evolved. Need to twist it and grow as a person. Change your music so you can prove you know what’s up. Give the people a little bit of what’s today…but not forgetting yesterday. That’s important.

steelheart_wm.JPGBBG: So, the new Steelheart album will be modern, with a reverence for your classic sound?

Miljenko: When I started from day one I said, I want to make a record with elements of the past, present and future. I don’t forget about everyone in the past, but still be modern.

Reader Comments (7)

I admit, of all the bands that played Rocklahoma, I probably know the least about Steelheart. However, talking with Miljenko Matijevic made me want to learn more. I wonder if he has that effect on everyone?
July 23, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterHeather
Fantastic interview! He is one of my favorite vocalists, and I am looking forward to the new album!
July 23, 2007 | Unregistered CommenteraXe mAn
Looking forward to a new Steelheart record. That first record was huge here in RI. Great interview!

Heavy Metal Addiction
July 24, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterRhodeislandrock
Saw Steelheart in Lincoln, Ne at a warmup show for Rocklahoma. I had never seen them before or heard much of their material other than the singles. I was blown away by the energy, passion and talent the whole band showed. Hope they make it back around this way in support of the new release.
July 24, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterJon
Because of this interview I picked up the EP Just a Taste and LOVE IT. Fantastic album. Strong record with a nice modern sound. Can't wait to hear a full album from these guys.
July 28, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterTyk
Amazing interview with one of the best vocalist on the world ever! I've heard this new ep Just A Taste mmmmmm, no, I want the first SteelHeart on the first album! I like the new but isn't the same, all the bands now looks for a new sounding but I dislike the new wave of this (its a way of commerciality!!!)! it's killin' the 80's; I know that we are on 2008! but I dislike the new sounds as well, if u want, leave me a message on my e-mail or blog!!! your blog is very nice! cheers from Argentina!
January 25, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJuan
Music has always been my passion and my obsession. That is the very reason I started a new company last year that handles music promotions in the midwest.

I have been listening to the debut Steelheart album since it came out, because I was (and still am) a child of the 80's. I love every aspect of music...from the guitars to the drums, to the bassline, to keyboards; to me, it is all sacred and beautiful. The ONE thing, however, that stands out to me more than any instrument, is VOCALS, which is what drew me to Steelheart to begin with.

I believe many things conspired to make the 90's music such a downturn: the advent of the "grunge" movement, Vince Neil leaving Motley Crue, and the accident that almost claimed the life of one of the world's best (if not THE best) male vocalists, Michael Miljenko Matijevik. This is something I do not say lightly, and I am a very discerning listener.

Until recently, I was unaware of the other albums put out by Steelheart. You can bet the farm they will be purchased ASAP.

Weirdly enough, when I watched the movie "Rock Star" a few years ago, I kept thinking to myself, "Gosh, that guy sounds like Michael Matijevic!"...little did I know that it was, in fact, Mr. Matijevic that lent his vocal talents to the film, and the soundtrack.

Just as amazing as his voice, Miljenko's comeback from a near-death experience shows his resiliency, determination, and ambition to be the very best. That in itself deserves a standing ovation of epic proportions!

His voice is so pure, so melodic...Jeez, that man could do a superb job singing a McDonald's jingle!

Next on the "Rocker's To-Do List"...put the fun back into mainstream music!!! It has been missing for far too long!

Good luck, Miljenko Matijevic!!

Patricia Mitchell
Saint Charles, Missouri
May 31, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterPatricia Mitchell

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