Manilla Road Special (40): Dejana Betsa Garčević (Claymorean)

You may remember that we started our Manilla Road Special in January 2021 with Vladimir Garčević, founder and guitarist of Serbian epic heavy metal band Claymorean. It is a great honour for us that now, in our 40th interview, his wife, Dejana Betsa Garčević, the great vocalist of Claymorean, comes to talk to us about her love for Mark Shelton and his music.

Taken from Alive in Vultureburg.

André: When did you first come across Manilla Road in your life?

Dejana: When I met my then friend, Vladimir Garčević, who is now my husband… He started playing all his favorite bands, among them was Manilla Road…. At first, I couldn’t comprehend all the noise going on there… Later I found out he picked a wrong song to start with introducing them to me [laughs].

Would you classify Manilla Road as an important source of inspiration for your music?

Absolutely, playing some of the songs while being in quarantine was a trigger to start working on Eulogy for the Gods… And it’s not only the last album, we are almost known for inserting the Manilla bits everywhere we can.

Can you point out a special moment that you experienced with Manilla Road?

It was that very first time when I heard the song “Mystificaton“. It was one of those moments you remember forever, how the air smelled, what the weather was like…. I was going through our room, and that melancholic guitar melody made me halt… Like an instant enchantment. I started crying. And every time that song comes on, I cry, still can’t explain why, probably because it’s pure perfection. The next one of those moments was when we heard of Shark’s passing…. We were sad for days. We still are.

What makes Manilla Road special in your opinion?

Shark’s guitar playing, his songwriting, the voice, that tone of his guitar, the overall production of Manilla Road’s albums, and, of course, his lyrics.

What are your three favourite Manilla Road albums?

  • Crystal Logic
  • Mystificaton
  • The Deluge

What’s the most underrated Manilla Road album in your opinion?

All Manilla Road albums are underrated.

What are your five favourite Manilla Road tracks?

  • “Mystificaton“
  • “The Veils of Negative Existence“
  • “Into the Courts of Chaos“
  • “Helicon“
  • “The Ninth Wave“

What’s the most underrated Manilla Road track in your opinion?

Again, I must say “Mystificaton“.

Which Manilla Road track moves you the most emotionally?

Every song that is slower and gives Mark’s voice the time it needs to enchant the listener is quite moving.

What’s your favourite solo/lead played by Mark Shelton?

That fabulous riff in “Flaming Metal Systems“ before the “Lighting strikes“ verse… I could play it on repeat!

How would you define the term epic metal?

Manilla Road, Virgin Steele, Manowar (early years).

Are there any young bands inspired by Manilla Road that you appreciate?

Many bands that we all love, I think. Visigoth, Crystal Viper, Ironsword, Tower

What do you generally think of Manilla Road’s legacy and the current epic metal scene?

I think there is so much more Manilla Road’s music could do. People need to give new bands a chance, like Mark did. We had the utmost honor of finding out Mr. Rick Fisher digs our music, or Mr. Neudi, or Mr. Patrick. Old excuses like “THEY DID NOTHING NEW, I HEARD THIS SO MANY TIMES BEFORE“ just mean that people don’t care, that they are only listening what puts them in a comfort zone. Every band brings something new, just give them a chance. Because if our METAL GODS leave us eventually, will we be left with nothing and will these other new bands finally give up trying to be heard or recognised? I don’t think so.

Claymorean on Bandcamp.

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