Manilla Road Special (41): Marko Novaković (Claymorean)

After a little break, it’s time again to continue our Manilla Road Special. Today we are happy to present you an interview with Marko Novaković, the drummer of our Serbian friends Claymorean. Have fun reading!

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

Marko: I think it was 2017 or 2018. I was browsing albums on YouTube and at some point I came across, His Majesty, Crystal Logic! The album cover was familiar to me from before, I saw it a few times and it was very interesting to me, but for some reason I never checked it out earlier. That was the moment I started my Manilla Road career. Over time I became a bigger and bigger fan.

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

Probably yes, Manilla Road is such an inspiration for me, especially their melodies, they are so epic and vivid, those tunes can take me to a totally different dimension where I have wings of steel! The amount of fantasy and emotions they can transfer through your soul is unbelievable! I’m also a guitar player (not that good, to be honest, [laughs]) and ideas that run through my mind are very inspired by the epicness of this band.

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

The most special moment linked to Manilla Road was when my bandmates (Claymorean) and I decided to perform one of the best songs ever, “Flaming Metal Systems” from Crystal Logic, live and play it in Vultureburg at Epic Heavy Metal Night with Claymorean & Oathbringer (you can see the whole live video on NWOTHM Full Albums YouTube channel). “Flaming Metal Systems” was the last song played that night and the energy from our audience was incredible. I was very surprised how many Manilla Road fans there were. Unforgettable!

What makes Manilla Road special in your opinion?

The amount of love and expression they bring to their music is extraordinary. They are also so distinctive. It takes a second to recognise them and the production of all the albums is simply perfect! They are true heavy metal warriors!

What are your three favourite Manilla Road albums?

Yes, we all know that this a very hard question for every true Manilla Road fan. I think that band doesn’t have any bad album, love them all, but if I must pick only three, right now that will be: Open the Gates, Crystal Logic, Mystification.

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

I must mention two: Out of the Abyss and Spiral Castle.

What are your five favourite Manilla Road tracks?

Also a hard one.. At the moment: “Into the Courts of Chaos“, “Dragon Star“, “Crystal Logic“, “Metal“, “The Deluge“. This list changes from day to day [laughs].

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

“Born upon the Soul“!

Which Manilla Road track moves you the most emotionally?

Here before the gates of heaven
Ancient warrior-gods are marching on
Here arise the sons of vengeance
Born upon the breast of every dawn

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

Tough one… “Shadow“? (Spiral Castle) RIP, Mark “The Shark” Shelton.

How would you define the term epic metal?

That’s something you must feel. Epic metal can take you back to the distant past and motivate you to fight against the injustice of today’s world. It makes you a real warrior! Manilla Road is the definition of epic!

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

There is a band from Serbia that I heard about, they is called something like Clay…Claymore? Oh yes, Claymorean! You can check them out, maybe you might like it [laughs]. Just kidding (although there’s a bit of truth to the joke…). A band that comes to my mind right now is Pharaoh, probably not that young anymore, but I don’t know many bands that sound like Manilla…They are so special!

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

Manilla Road has built something iconic, indescribable, it’s a band that runs through your veins and their story is truly phenomenal. They have left a huge mark on heavy metal music and have greatly influenced the emergence of “epic metal“. The current epic metal scene has come to life from my experience, bands that still know what is real are showing up and making good stuff with a lot of steel in it, so I hope it gets better and better as the years go by!

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