Monday, August 3, 2015

August 3rd, 2015 - Welcome To The Underworld: An Interview with Demist Vocalist Dragica Maletić


Good evening friends!  A very special treat for you tonight... an interview with the vocalist and founding member of Serbian gothic/progressive/melodeath metal band Demist... the amazing Dragica Maletić!!  I recently chatted with Ms. Maletić over e-mail about her band, their new album, touring, and music in general.  Here's that interview... enjoy!

1. How did you originally get started in music?

I have been singing for as long as I can remember; when I was four years old, I started singing a song I had heard on TV, and my Mom rushed into the room, thrilled; I, however, thought that was quite normal and that everyone could do it, because it seemed so easy and natural to me. Later on, in elementary school, I was picked as the solo act for our school choir. As my taste in music changed over time, so did my technique and preferences in style. It just went on from there.

2. How did your band Demist form?  How did you all meet?
It is an interesting story; in 2008, I moved to Belgrade to start my college studies. In October, Tarja Turunen (ex-Nightwish) held a concert in Belgrade, which was a dream come true for me. I went there alone, squeezing to the second row. As the concert went on, I was so thrilled I started singing loudly, and several rows around me heard me, including a guy right in front of me. He was astonished, and pushed me to the first row. When the concert ended, he introduced himself and asked me to form a band with him, as he had been trying to make a Nightwish tribute band, but could never find the right vocalist. That was Marko, our keyboard player, and my best friend for seven years now. After that, we went through many changes in band members, while also shifting from doing covers to making our own music. We found our drummer, Mladen, through a mutual friend, and it was an instant match, we couldn’t have asked for a better drummer; we had known our bass player Ilija for quite a while as he had been very active on the scene, and we loved his work; our guitar player, Stefan and I had been in another band (which was something of a side-project for me), so I was really glad when he accepted to join us, as I knew how much he could bring to the band.
3. What can you tell us about your fellow band mates?
I could write about this question for ages, as they are all very dear to me, but also very different from one another – and that is mostly why this works as well as it does, since they all bring something new to the mix; they are all talented, opinionated and hard-working, all of which is instrumental for a band to succeed. Of course, there always must be compromise, and their passion for what they do always comes first, before the ego and pride. This is why working with them is so wonderful!
4. Both your vocals and songwriting prowess is wonderfully and profoundly powerful...reminiscent of Nightwish!  What musicians have influenced you the most… both in terms of vocals and as a songwriter?
It is no secret that Tarja Turunen is one of my greatest vocal influences and role models, if not the greatest; however, the very first was Amy Lee of Evanescence, and I still very much use the style I developed listening to her clean, sharp, powerful vocals. Simone Simons of Epica and Floor Jansen (Nightwish, ex-After Forever, ReVamp) also played a huge role in me finding my “tone” while also adopting a somewhat sweeter, softer timbre at times. Sandra Nasic from Guano Apes introduced me to a whole new side of powerful female vocals, the raw, direct and unapologetic emotion. Perhaps it is strange, but I also have been influenced by male vocals – at first, it was Chester Bennington (Linkin Park), followed by David Draiman (Disturbed), Roy Khan (ex-Kamelot) and Tommy Karevik (Kamelot, Seventh Wonder). When it comes to songwriting... I would like to think it has not been influenced at all; lyrics and subjects I write about are always very personal and meaningful to me, and I express that in the most honest way possible. My lyrics are not as thoroughly based in vivid imagination as those of some of the aforementioned bands, and are not as blunt and straightforward as those of the rest of them.
5. Do you follow other progressive metal bands?  What musicians/bands are currently on your radar?  Who do you listen to in your down time?  Who do you think we should be listening to more?
My favorite progressive metal band of all times must be Seventh Wonder, as I am yet to find a more perfect blend of inspired, thrilling music and virtuosic vocals! Other bands I listen to (in addition to those I have already mentioned) are: In Flames, Xandria (last three albums), Delain, Demons and Wizards, Tristania (with Vibeke Stene), Ayreon, Slipknot, Korn, Circus Maximus... A strange mix, perhaps. My two favorite non-metal acts are Loreen and the band Hurts, the latter of which is perfect for my down time, when I need to unwind and relax. Ayreon album The Theory of Everything absolutely blew me away, and I wish it would get more recognition.
6. With the obvious nod to progressive themes, your lyrics also convey a sense of humanism and compassion.  Is there a specific ‘message’ you are trying to convey with your music?
There are several messages I wished to convey with our first album, but the main one would probably be that a person must come to terms with his/her true self, the good and the bad things, in order to have any chance at happiness.
7. Along with some of the darker fantasy themes, what are some of the other themes listeners will find on your brilliant new album "Guilt and Pleasures"?
Those would be self-acceptance, unveiling of our darker, primal side, the hypocrisy behind our supposed good causes, unmasking of the lethargy of our age, and rebellion against shallow causes; all in all, everything that brings us pleasure of the lowest kind, the guilt that stems from it, and the forgiveness that must ensue after the lessons have been learned – hence the title “Guilt and Pleasures” – they go hand in hand, in the cycle from which we fall and from which we grow.
8. What is your favorite song from "Guilt and Pleasures" to perform live and why?
That would probably be “Pretty Eyes” – it is the “angriest”, so to say, and it represents what I believe in as a performer and describes what I stand against – especially in the genre that people falsely label as “female-fronted metal”: the objectification must stop if we are truly here to say something of substance, and the process must start with the artist’s integrity.
9. Any plans of playing America and/or South America any time in the not too distant future?
International tours are our main, ultimate goal – although, at the moment, there are no concrete plans, international success is why we do what we do, and we will dedicate the following months to planning as many shows and festival performances for next year as possible.

 10. Are there any other side projects you are working on currently?
I have dedicated all my time, creativity and resources to Demist, although I have dabbled in side-projects before; Mladen, our drummer, has another very successful band – Uzemljenje – which is gaining more and more recognition in the Serbian alternative scene, and rightfully so. Stefan, our guitar player, has a side-project he had created before he became a member of Demist, and Marko (keyboards) and Ilija (bass), like me, are both dedicated only to Demist at the moment.
11. Is there one band you would like Demist to tour with and/or open for in Serbia?
There are more than one, actually; my greatest discovery of the year has been Claymorean, power metal band with incredible vocals of Dejana Betsa Garcevic; it would be my great honor and pleasure to play with them. Forever Storm and Burning Circle are two incredibly talented bands that have already achieved great success, and opening for them would be more than thrilling.
12. What do you foresee in the future for Demist and you as a vocalist/songwriter?
I believe we will make a name for ourselves outside our country and beyond similar bands of the genre, as we are committed to creating our own, distinct sound; as for myself, I only hope to improve further and thus contribute to the overall growing success of Demist, and to experience as many new things in the process, so the topics I focus on get more diverse and relatable for broader audiences.
13. Where can fans catch your shows this summer/fall?
Our summer will pass in making new songs, as we are all eager to make new material; we are already in the process in arranging gigs in cities across Serbia in fall, and after that – we are aiming for international shows, and our fans will be informed about all of this in due time on our website and our Facebook page.
14. Brews and Tunes pairs craft beer with hard rock, progressive rock, and metal.  So Dragica Maletić comes home from a long day at the studio or from a show… what beer does she grab and what album does she spin to help decompress?
I usually drink some local beer brands, but my favorite would have to be Guinness Black Lager, and it goes incredibly well with Seventh Wonder’s Mercy Falls for a perfect unwind time. However, the best beer I have ever tasted was Double Hop Monster, which I discovered during the British Beer and Food Weekend in Belgrade last year. And how awesome is the label? (that is the beer in the picture)
15. Anything else you would like to convey about your music/career?
We take great pride in having achieved so much so early in the game; we will continue pouring our heart and soul into our music, and we hope that will resonate with the listeners in the future, as well. The next album will be the natural continuation of the development of our sound, so you can expect many new things, as we are not afraid to experiment and push our creative limits!

Learn more about Demist at  Do yourself a favor and check out their great music at!!


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