Published On: Sun, Mar 17th, 2013

Interview with Millennium

Millennium_3IMM:  You guys started out in 1988 and made it big. How hard it was for rock musicians back then and how has been the journey?

Vehrnon: It was not that tough for us… We knew that no one would understand us so we had little expectations… When we went out to play our gigs we were playing to people who had not even heard of metal let alone the thrash metal we were playing at that time… So we would treat each gig as if it were our first and last… We made up our own rules and took each show as it came… Yes many times people would be staring at us all goggeldy eyes as if we were nuts… But we would just carry on, you see we had nothing to lose…

 

IMM:  The band released a single ‘Peace Just in Heaven’ and won the ‘Skull Krusher of the week’ award on India MTV’s Headbangers Ball show. How big was it for the band and how did it feel back then?

Vehrnon: It was huge, that night we all went to the club we shot the video at… They were quite tickled by the whole thing and had put up a big screen for the occasion… We all sat there and waited and waited… We were the last song of the show… But we did not know that so as the two hour show wore on we got more and more tense, what if they pulled a fast one on us and were sitting and laughing in Hong Kong… But then right at the end Danny McGill came on and said something about how history was about to be made… You see we were only the second indian band after induscreed to be on mtv and we were the fist Asian band ever on headbangers ball! We actually got quite good rotation of the video and that brought us to another level… Anyway, the song was played and the club went bananas, it was utter mayhem, random people were hugging me and saying how proud they were of us for holding the bangalore flag flying high… It was all pretty fucking cool…

 

IMM:  You guys have open for legends like Deep Purple, No Doubt and Megadeth. How was the experience?

Vehrnon: Well when you grow up to purple and then get a huge influence in megadeth and for that matter slayer, it was quite something… This is india and we are used to playing 10,000 crowds so that was nothing new but the atmosphere was great at those shows…  You know what? The strangest gig was the one for no doubt… That was a gig that had more girls than boys at the show and that was new to us… Chicks don’t get metal in india mostly… Well we did our show as best we could and did not change a thing from what we would have done for one of our more usual crowds… The show was great, was one of the best in fact, the entire crowd had a good time head banging… Gwen Stephany told me she loved us, maybe that was her sister who said that, can’t remember but she was cute as a button…

 

IMM:  Millennium has the recognition of being the first successful Metal band in India and a band that is hailed as legends in the Rock and Metal scene. But how did Millennium start out and what are the factors that influenced and inspired you guys?

Vehrnon: Well, i don’t know about the whole legend thing, we just cranked our tunes and strutted our stuff and some people seemed to like it… I think we are looked up to because we quit for so long, people talk and stories surround us… My favourite story that i heard was me joining Iron Maiden after Bruce quit… That was a good one, and people believed it! But it’s a cult thing, and jokes aside its not all made up… My lyrics mean something to people, our groove got crowds rocking, our energy made our gigs special… I like the almost reverence people treat us with, it’s cool and its a responsibility, I can’t just do some shit, too many people involved… Not just the band but our crowd ( I don’t call them fans ) our followers who know what we are trying to do and what we actually did… You see, I get people coming up to me these days and calling me sir, that shows respect and respect shows character… But I also get people coming up to me and saying that they came for a gig of ours in Mysore or Shilong and how it changed their lives… That’s deep shit man, it makes it all worthwhile… You see that was the whole reason and the genesis Rio and I started with… We knew what iron maiden was saying about issues like God and life and fear… We wanted to spread the same message with our own seance of purpose… And I think all said and done we did just that… And that is what the legend is all about…

 

IMM:  You guys released a limited edition EP ‘Born to Reign’ which was a big hit and also were your subsequent albums. Give us a little insight on the making of this projects.

Vehrnon: Ah man, BTR was great, it’s was not our first time in the studio but our first recording for sale… Other times we went in to the studio we were there to do a demo or a tv special or an interview… Millennium the album was and always will be a spiritual experience for me because of the material we were writing… The songs were written as messages to our crowd, not preaching but suggesting that issues faced today will be laughed at many years later and God is watching so when you pray just say thanks for everything and leave it at that… Spirituality has always been central to our song writing but especially on that first full length record… Clay kelton, a most under rated producer made much of that album with imagination and cleverness that I wish a lot of other bands would have… Metal Army was Clay’s idea!  OCTL had us work with a producer from Finland called Peter… We changed track and wrote songs about the death penalty, smoking weed, child victims of war etc… It’s a good record but the first one was better… My brother Ramon ( a huge producer himself ) who I was not talking too for 15 years heard both records a couple of years ago for the first time, said the first one had balls that the second one lacked… That’s the thing, we spent more time and money on OCTL but it did not have a punch… The quality was better but not the spirit of the album… Just goes to prove if you have something to say that will come out in the music no matter what recording quality you have… In the future we will record almost live and spend a max of a week on the studio… The producer can fiddle around with it for a month if he likes but I am only gonna sing for a week then get out of there…

Millennium_1

IMM:  You guys took a long hiatus and came back all guns blazing in 2008. How have the come back been and how has the music scene in India changed since then?

Vehrnon: I like the word hiatus, I am gonna use it today at some point and feel good about it… It’s the small things that make me happy these days… Seeing a child playing with a dog, a beautiful girl walking down the street, i still get excited by airports  and bridges etc… What was the question? Oh, yeah 2008… I was doing a lecture in MICA and got a call that we should do the megadeth gig… I said why not as I had some free time and the members of the band at that time were all in bangalore… So we did it and a few other shows too around that time but it could not last… I was stuck in delhi and the others were dotted around the world so we took another break… Also I realised that we were not going anywhere, we were not doing anything new for over 15 years and that means we had nothing to say… Whoa, we had something t say I was just not saying it… The scene has not changed that much, well, metal is now the new pop and there are so many great bands now…

 

IMM:  You have played at lots of venues over the years. Which has been the favourite and any long lasting memory you guys want to share of being on the road of music.

Vehrnon: I think I always loved singing Only Be One the most… It’s just barely within my vocal range now but I can put all my energy in to it… It’s a great crowd song and i add stuff to the song live that’s not ere in the recording like I say ” go ahead and die mother fucker ” in the bit where there used to be an alternative plucking guitar interval… Venue? Hmm… Each show as like a child, I treated each and every one of them like they were the only show I would ever have to do so its tough to say this one was better and this one sucked… But hold a gun to my head, it was The I-Rocks we headlined for many years at Rang Bhavan that carried some special memories… The girls, the drugs and booze, the hotel parties, the early morning flights, the killing headaches, oh, did I say the girls?

 

IMM:  How has the support been from the fans in the country through out the bands journey?

Vehrnon: It’s been great… We have done what I have always wanted to do and that is get a new base of young crowd every few years or so… We kept the our age crowd but now also have people from 18 to 50 freaking out at our shows… I think it’s some what easier now to perform you own material… Back in the day this was real tough but we did it and then how… And the crowd gave us respect that we had our own thing to say our own music to play…

 

IMM:  Any new projects coming up in the near future? Millennium_2

Vehrnon: Yes, but can’t say that now 🙂

 

IMM:  Any favourite band or artist from the current lineup in the Indian Music Scene?

Vehrnon: Lots, I love Pentagram and Parikrama for different reasons… The former have always broken down musical barriers and taken rock to another level… The later have stuck to their guns and made a lot of money in the process… Then there are the Bangalore bands Kryptos and Dying Embrace who totally kick it… Indus Creed are not my thing at all but we are all friends and I love their attitude and creativity…

 

IMM:  What do you guys think is the basic necessity for an Indian band to survive in the Independent Music Scene?

Vehrnon: Belief, Brains and Balls…

 

IMM:  What is the band’s tour schedule for the year 2013?

Vehrnon: Aahaha, we got a few exciting gigs lined up and should be on the road quite a bit…

 

IMM:  This is your space leave a message for the fans.

Vehrnon: It’s all there in the music and that acts like a filter… You people, you know who you are, who get it, who rock at the gigs, who are kind to animals, who stick up for the little guy, who fights for women’s safety… You guys know the message already and I salute you all, the metal army…

 

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