Haiduk, the death metal solo project of Luka Milojica arose from the graves in 2010 with the release of the 8 song demo Plagueswept. In 2012 Haiduk unleashed the captivating full-length Spellbook to great response from those who reviewed it. While the album has received scant attention in comparison to other 2012 releases, it really shouldn’t be missed. If you are into death metal even slightly, you owe it to yourself to check the album out, preferably on CD as it comes with some of the best packaging that I have seen in some time.
Curt: Congrats on the new album and the positive reviews you have gotten from sites like Brave Words. Are you surprised by the positive feedback?
Luka: Thank you. I write for myself with not much regard for anyone else liking it or not. A lot of time and work went into this album and I’m personally very happy with the result, so as if a lot of critics and listeners feel the same way it’s encouraging.
Curt: To my understanding Haiduk is a one-man band and that you have no plans to get more members. Why is this?
Luka: I work best alone, in a solitary environment where I can focus without any distractions. That’s just the way it’s been since I first started. I know exactly where I wanna take this project and never saw any point in collaborating with others.
Curt: I was really surprised by how well the album is packaged with beautiful art and fascinating text, something that is lost on most releases in this MP3 age. How important is the overall packaging on an album to you? Do you feel that a person can even “get” the music by just listening to an MP3 download?
Luka: Sure, you can get the music, but maybe not the full effect of the whole album and the theme. To me it was important, especially for this album because of the Spellbook concept, to create a booklet that resembles a real spellbook filled with texts dealing with magic, and then embed the lyrics into those texts.
Curt: How do you feel about illegal downloading in general? Are you pro or con and why?
Luka: It’s a blessing and a curse. It allows more people to discover your music, but among those who like it, some will support you and buy the album after downloading it for free, others won’t. My view is that if you really enjoy a record that you obtained for free, the honorable thing to do is to support the artist and actually buy it. Otherwise you may not get any more releases from them in the future.
Curt: How would you describe Haiduk musically to someone who has never heard your band before?
Luka: Fast, dark, evil….
Curt: Have you had any offers from labels to release the album? Would you accept if you did or do you plan to stay independent?
Luka: No. I plan to stay independent.
Curt: Obviously the album is about magic and the occult. What are your own personal views on this?
Luka: I grew up reading fantasy books which deal with magic in a completely fictional sense and fictional world, and that’s what influenced this album. I tried to relate to the ambitious, reclusive wizards who were always furthering their dark arts, and this kind of inspired me to try to further my desire for creating dark music. But aside from using symbolism to convey a message, believing in real, “occult” magic is as stupid as believing in god, spirits or fortune-tellers.
Curt: How did you get started playing extreme music in the first place and what bands influenced you?
Luka: I was originally inspired by Mustaine, Jon Schaffer, Galder, Kuusisto…. Any guitarist capable of writing good songs and shredding rhythms. In terms of deciding to go ahead as a solo-project, I think it was originally guys like Burzum and Vintersorg who showed that it could be done.
Curt: Anything else you want to say?
Luka: Thank you.