Spotlight on … Jani Stefanović (Miseration).

*When did you really get involved into music in general and into metal specific? Who was responsible for your interest in (metal) music?
I clearly remember hearing The Final Countdown in -86, I was 7 years old. I liked the song but I didn´t understand anything about music but that was the very first vivid impact I remember. Followed by WASP and also remember Alice Cooper “Thrash” album. But my real interest for music as in wanting to learn how to play something started 1990 when I was 10 years old, a classmate introduced me to Iron Maiden, Helloween, Yngwie Malmsteen. I became obsessed with Iron Maiden. 1991 I heard Pantera “Cowboys From Hell” and from then on, I was totally hooked, I wanted to become a drummer just like Vinnie Paul (laugh). Without lying I think I played that album on repeat every single day for God knows how long. I listened to something in between maybe once but then back again to listen to Pantera several times in a row. -92 came Dream theater with Images & Words which again opened a whole new of jaw dropping where Mike Portnoy was the one that caught my eye. Now I definitely wanted to become a drummer and that was the first instrument I began to learn at around 12-13 years old.

*Which artists or bands did influence you the most?
Like I already mentioned Pantera and Dream Theater were maybe the ones I really fell in love with. But by the time I started to compose music was around the time I was 15-16 and by that time I had a lot of others, Symphony X was one, Testament. Children Of Bodom. But I have always had several bands in different sub genres, so it depends on what style we´re talking about (laugh). When I want melodic, I´d say my influences came from bands like Yngwie Malmsteen, Symphony X. then again with more aggressive music my biggest inspirations have been Meshuggah, At The Gates, Testament. But that has grown and changed over the years. An ongoing process.

*Which instrument do you play and how and when did you learn to play? Did you have lessons in school or private lessons? If so, was that because your parents expected that from you? Or did you learn to play the instruments by yourself? Do you still follow some lessons?
I started to learn Drums at the age of 12-13, self-taught. Started around when I was 10 by just learning and understanding what the drummers were doing. so, I played air drums starting at 10 (laugh). But seriously by understanding what was the snare, kick and, Hi-hats etc. So, it wasn´t like just random air drumming but trying to mimic all they did. What did the right hand hit and when and so forth? So, when I actually sat down with a kit at 12 years old, I already knew my way around a bit. I played along with a lot of Megadeth Countdown and Youthanasia albums since DT was still too difficult for me. I picked up the electric guitar around the same age. I practiced both simultaneously. Self-taught on both. So no, I have had no lessons. I only became interested in theory a few years later.

*Do you listen to or are you interested in other styles of music beside rock / metal? If so, what is the kind of music you prefer to listen to?
Yes, I listen to a lot of film scores when I work with digital painting or graphic design. Really good to set the mood. But other than that, I actually don´t listen to music that often on my spare time. I can enjoy whatever on the radio in the car but mostly when I´m in the mood to listen to something good then it most often ends up being some sort of metal.

*Is music a full-time job for you now or do you have a job beside music? If so, what kind of job are you doing? If you would be really successful with music, would you quit your other job?
Music is not my full-time thing. That was my main goal for many, many, years. That was my main goal since I was 18 years old, but that changed drastically when my first daughter was born. When I was at a position that ok, I´m not supporting us fully and only on music, I have a kid now, so I just had to shift focus and make that my nr 1 priority. Creating music will not stop, can’t imagine a life without music but I´m not seeking fame and fortune anymore from the music I make. I work as a graphic designer, I freelance making album covers for bands, mixing smaller bands, making visual and lyric videos for bands. Then also more corporate things as in making webpages for businesses, Ui design etc. If an opportunity would present itself, I would at least be interested hearing it out.

*If you could start a completely new band (something like an all-star band) with other musicians on other instruments, which artists would you pick for which instrument and why? Would you still go for a (melodic) death metal band?
Hmm, interesting question. I would do some sort of aggressive groove metal band. My nr one pick would be Thomas Haake on drums or Matt Garstka. I would take Nolly Getgood on bass. Per Nilsson on Guitar. Sam Carter from Architects on Vocals

*If you had been banned to an uninhabited island and you may pick 5 albums to listen to, which albums would you choose and why?
I have no idea (laugh). Vola – ‘Witness’, Meshuggah – ‘DEI’, Symphony X – ‘Wings Of Tragedy’, Dream Theater – ‘Awake’, Architects – ‘For Those That Wish To Exist’. I don´t know (laugh), I would be so bored in an instance with these as well. Would probably stop listening to music.

*Every new album of a band or an artist is the best one, so they say. So here is a chance to promote your album. Why should a music lover buy your album? What are the standout tracks for you on this new album and why?
We´re certainly not re-inventing the wheel here. But it felt really good doing this album and we are super satisfied with it. I´d say if you have liked previous MISERATION albums you won´t be disappointed. ‘The Seal Of The Eight-Pointed Star’, ‘Reign Of Fate’, ‘Desecrate, Dominate, Eradicate’ are probably my favorites.

See “CD-Review” for a review (written in Dutch) for the new Miseration album ‘Black Miracles And Dark Wonders’ (Massacre Records) –

*Is there a chance that you will promote these songs through live concerts? If so, would you prefer small clubs or big festivals? And is there a chance we can see MISERATION in Belgium?
At the moment, no. But we´ll see what the future might hold for us.