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NUMENOR's Marko Milojević: "It’s easier to make one more CD than to prepare for live shows, and it will be become more difficult. I have heard many stories that bands suffered on their long tours and returned without any income."

Interview with Marko Milojević from NUMENOR
by Leanne Evans at 03 May 2021, 9:26 AM

There is something deeply rousing and fulfilling to the soul when it comes to listening to a dose of power, and when you combine traditional power elements with a fistful of heavy, black and death metal – and some bits in-between - maaaan, it’s mind-blowingly brilliant! Serbian power giants, Númenor, managed to create exactly that in their latest album release, “Draconian Age”. Metal Temple’s staff writer and interviewer, Leanne Evans, had the chance to catch-up with Marko Miranović, the man behind those EPIC vocals in Númenor, to ask him about the band’s latest release, Númenor’s future plans, who he’d invite to his own metal tea party and all the wonderful bits in-between…

Thank you for speaking with Metal Temple today, Marko, how have you been?

Hello Leanne! I've been just in the studio after almost a year and I've recorded four new tracks just in a day, two for a brand-new album and two bonus tracks, cover version of Iron Maiden and Rainbow (one more boy-dream achieved) which will appear on our upcoming re-issue of Colossal Darkness CD. So, we are quite busy. And, of course, we are constantly working on the promotion of our brand-new album, giving interviews, or sending CDs world-wide since the sales are indeed increased. Just yesterday, I filmed one long interview for Serbian national TV RTS when they have named Númenor as the most successful export (metal) band ever coming from Serbia. Númenor here has become, as far as I could notice, not only a musical band, but also a cultural thing.

And how has the last 12 months been for you all personally?

I was having many personal issues so more or less I was more into solving of these things since my mother has passed away (not from Covid) so it has been a very hard time and I have to say that I was not so familiar with them. This has the mark unfortunately my last 12 months.

Have you found that your creativity has been enhanced or hindered in the pandemic?

I really don’t know. It’s hard times, sometimes I got some great ideas, sometimes I am completely flat. It’s very hard to describe. Mostly I am watching movies or have some reading or listenin' to music. Also, I spent much time on Skype as well just talking with some finds of mine. Don't get me wrong, but I am just trying to escape reality (as I always did).

So, I had the pleasure of reviewing “Draconian Age”, what a magnificent album! It really is a stunning masterpiece and you have cleverly created a power crossover into black and death metal, as with the previous album releases. What was your inspiration behind this concept?

I would like to thank you for your great words and compliment! This time we started with less experimenting, just creating two songs “Mirror Mirror” and “Feanor”. Both tracks were somehow already style-wise known to us, but later on we started to explore some new sound with “Where the Battle Rages On” and “At the Gates of Moria” (which later turned out to be a song with Hansi Kursch). Originally this track supposed to be a song only with black metal vocals. And then we ended with “Hall of the Mountain King” and “Twilight of the Gods”, both songs adding something new to our style that we have not done before, at least not in this way.

Listening to “Draconian Age”, there are very obvious Bal-Sagoth influences, which work incredibly well, and you also feel the old Dimmu Borgir vibe with your vocals; are those artists personal inspirations to you?

Bal-Sagoth was always my personal inspiration from the very start although the most inspiration came on the debut record Colossal Darkness. Today, it’s not so obviously present since our composer Srdjan is more inspired by other bands, but in my narration vocals, one could always make a direct reference to Byron Roberts. Dimmu Borgir is not so, but yet I love their records from the 90s and I guess there are some references, too. My black metal vocals were always very inspired by Norwegian black metal bands from the 90s.

Which other bands have inspired and influenced Númenor’s sound and for you as individuals?

There are few bands that are obvious like Covenant or Arcturus. Then there is Iron Maiden and Luca Turilli or Rhapsody (of Fire). In some songs there are some moments from Candlemass, as well, or even one could track in solos Kind Diamond. So, I guess everything from 80s and 90s music and the bands that we have grown up on is somewhere there. Btw, I complete hate when journalists compare us with Wintersun or Ensiferum or even worse Finntroll, when somebody wrote this I already just sense that there's going to be a bad review. Most of these so-called scribers even have not heard about Covenant or Arcturus…and yet they are writing reviews and giving rating or comments listening to mostly newer bands. I mean this is indeed bad from journalist point of view.

The collaboration with Hansi Kursch on “Make the Stand (At the Gates of Erebor)” is genius. How did this union come about?

Hansi (Kursch) and I are close friends for a long time, more than 10 years. Two years before we have started to work on Blind Guardian's book and biography and from that time, we have become ever closer and closer. I have been at Twilight Halls Studio as well. So, the collaboration between us is quite normal, very fluent. It’s not just a guest vocal: it’s more like one song that we have done together. I guess the next step is that I will do the vocals for Blind Guardian, ha ha!

Do you think Númenor will collaborate with Blind Guardian in a future project?

I do not have any particular idea about that, but I am very close with the guys from Blind Guardian so perhaps there will be something more in the future to come, who can tell, it depends on various factors: ideas, time, etc. Of course, now we are working on Blind Guardian's book and biography and that's priority in this moment. This has turned out to be really a massive project.

Which other artists and bands would you personally like to work with?

I have to admit that most of them are dead, and I do not think that all will fit into Númenor’s style. I mean I like Peter Steele or Midnight from Crimson Glory. Anyway, maybe some artist who are not so into metal like Aurora from Norway, that could be quite interesting. On the other hand, some black metal musicians could work quite well. I was always fond of the Swedish band called Morgana Lefay and their vocalist.

Anyway, in this moment I am making the songs alongside with Thomas Vikström from Therion and Christian Erikkson who is ex-Twilight Force singer.

So, the concept behind Númenor’s thematic across all four albums is very much pulled from fantasy authors, such as Michael Moorcock, H.P. Lovecraft and J.R.R Tolkein. “Draconian Age” is specifically Lord of the Rings focused; you must all surely be fans of LOTR, especially since “Númenor” is also a fictional place in J.R.R. Tolkein’s writings, too! Who are your favourite characters and how have they inspired you?

I was always fond of Gandalf since my childhood, since whenever he was in company I didn't need to afraid. I have so many favourite characters. I like Dwarves and their approach, but I also do like in the same, but, yet different way, elves who are immortal. I could compare myself with both since I could spent like 10 years without any wish to move, like Elves did. Also, I like how Dwarves are passionate and battle-like. Of course, I also adore high-born man of Númenor and their high-culture. I also love the stories about Eternal Champion and Elric of Melnibone. This is something quite different from Tolkien's world, but still, I adore Moorcock and his ideas and visions. They are so vivid and other-worldly.

If you could liken Númenor, and what it represents in music, to any of the characters in LOTR, who would it be and why?

I do not know really since there are different tracks with different stories. I mean “The Hour of the King” tells a story about King Theoden, then Dragon of Erebor or Over the Mountains Cold are about Dwarves, etc. I like the name Númenor, but I always like the idea that the name of the band could be Draconist, then we will be not so strongly linked with Tolkien themes. But then again in Serbia some 15 years ago there was a band Draconic so it would be a mess.

Are there any other fantasy themes that you would like to explore in your music?

I was just lately inspired by an epic movie called The King (with Timothée Chalamet, he is such a great actor.), with a great, yet cold-like, atmosphere. I am already aware that I will base one song on the forthcoming record on this movie. Perhaps I could/would explore some topics from the King Arthur period as well. That has been on my mind for a long time.

For me, “Hall of the Mountain King” is absolutely fabulous, what an amazing cover to have produced! Was there anything that especially inspired you to produce such a contemporary, unique version of such an immensely renowned composition?

Yes, I agree with you totally here, when we were making this song, we simply wanted to do our own version of this song, in our own style. I was already quite aware that some people wouldn't understand what we would like to tell but, anyway, they're not into the band or they do not understand our style, if you get what I mean. “Hall of the Mountain King” is one of my favourites from a new record, both musical and lyrical-wise. This is true trademark of Númenor!

Númenor has been making memorable and fantastically grandiose blackened power metal for over 12 years; do you guys feel that you have matured and grown in your sound?

I don't know be to be honest, I like the debut album Colossal Darkness, and I like also later albums. I don't think that we have ever developed. We just delivered different songs. I mean, we could always return to some older style, but we have already tried something brand new with the first two songs that we've composed from the next record. Especially, I mean there on a song with Thomas Vikström (Therion, ex-Candlemass). But the most important moments in our history were when our keyboard player left after first album band and when our drummer joined the band on third opus. This has quite an effect on our style, music and dynamics.

What do you feel the future holds for the band? Is there any new material on the horizon and if so, what can listeners of Númenor expect?

As I've already said, we are working now with two new musicians with Thomas Vikström and Christian Eriksson (ex-Twilight Force). Thomas Vikström will appear on doom-like epic track called “Tanelorn” and, with Christian Eriksson, we are re-making our most popular song “Dragon of Erebor”. Both songs are in the finishing process. In meantime, we are also working on re-issue of our long-time sold our record Colossal Darkness and I've been just in the studio where I've recorded two cover-songs: one from Iron Maiden (Flash of the Blade) and one from Rainbow (Stargazer). In Stargazer we have trading of vocals but for Iron Maiden I have done only black metal voices. Both songs will be bonus tracks on Colossal Darkness re-issue. CD will come during Jun though Elevate/Plastic Head. I mean, this album has become a sort of a cult during last 8 years…

Obviously, the last 12 months has really hindered live music, gigs, festivals and the such like… by the grace of Gandalf the Grey, hopefully we can start enjoying these again soon! Do you have any plans for live events at all?

I have to be honest here, not at all, since we have never played live, and it has become more and more demanding to perform live since we are older now. I really do not have any idea what will happen in the future in this field. Mark my words, it’s easier to make one more CD than to prepare everything for live shows. And it will be become more and more difficult. I have heard many stories from different musicians that they suffered a lot on their long tours and that they returned without any income.

If you could be teleported anywhere in this world – or another - where would Númenor’s ultimate festival/performance dream be?

Yes, that would be Summer Breeze, since I like this festival very much. And we have a house near by so we could refresh. But this is a good question: I would like to tele-ported somewhere far away from this world, so I guess some another astral plain would be a cool place where magic plays a bigger role. I have a lot of talking about this with Hansi (Kursch) lately. There's no magic in this world, we both have agreed, and I truly believe that there are other much vivid and interesting astral plains and dimensions.

And finally, since this is becoming my signature “Leanne question” to ask in interview, indulge me and tell me who your fantasy celebrity metal tea party guests would be! You need to choose someone to cook, someone to chat with, someone to entertain you and someone to party with…

Well, probably as usual I will talk with Hansi Kursch, that's quite natural since we could spend like hours and hours talking about various fantasy and none-fantasy topics. He is a very nice and polite person. Probably I will choose Peter Steele for the entertain moment (I like his black humour. I could spend hours and hours watching his interviews! And a party with Aurora would be very cool since she is unpredictable, ha ha! In meantime, I don't know who could, cook…perhaps also Aurora…with her sisters…it would be fun anyway, ha ha!

It really has been a pleasure, guys, thank you so much for speaking with Metal Temple, we’re very excited to continue following Númenor’s epic metal journey!

I would like to thank you for your interest, great review, awesome support and nice questions and interview!

 



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Edited 11 May 2021
 

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