For not the first time, DMD finds itself in Serbia. This time in Čačak, a city located in the valley of West Morava to converse with Djordje Miladinovic, a 31 year old noisemaker best known for his harsh noise outfit Raven.
Damaging our hearing since 2011, Raven has released splits with some of the biggest names in the scene including Merzbow, Agathocles and Richard Ramirez as well as appearing on a multitude of labels such as Analog Cowboy, Depressive Illusions, Grey Matter Productions, Endless Landscapes of Decay to name but a few.
With his frustrations at the world around him channeled furiously through screaming soundscapes which include topics such as anarchy, pacifism, human and animal rights, Raven's output of angry, brutal societal reflection sees no sign of decline.
I conducted a quick Q and A with Djordje through a brief exchange of emails to find out more…
Listen below to Raven's split with Richard Ramirez (Black Leather Jesus, Werewolf Jerusalem etc)
DMD: As a child, what music did you grow up listening to?
Djordje Miladinovic: Punk rock music was my first exploration into the underground scene and I keep myself to the roots with a few exceptions such as harsh noise, noise, drone, ambient and other music and non-music genres.
I always liked the aesthetics of punk, so I tried to implement them into everything I do. It's important to stay open minded when it comes to the music and I am always interested to listen to new stuff.
DMD: What instruments do you play?
DM: I have been playing guitar and bass for a very long time, but I would love to learn other musical instruments. Especially ones that give out much more strange vibes and sounds.
DMD: How did you first discover noise / experimental music?
DM: Through zines. A lot of them wrote about noise and experimental music at the beginning of the new millennia, so I managed to get some tapes from Hanatarash, Merzbow, Prurient... mostly harsh noise stuff and I was hooked on it.
DMD: Who are your current favourite noise artists?
DM: Lots of them. I really dig what most of the French, Japan and US noise artists have been doing in the past twenty years or so.
Nundata, Ecoute La Merde, Hanatarash, Vasectomy Party, Lord Gonzo, Hijokaidan, K2, Astro...just to name a few, but there's a lot of great noise projects that I listen to depending on my current mood.
DMD: What other projects do you have?
DM: Raven is my main project and for those who are not similar with the sound, it's a darker harsh noise based on anarchist, vegan and pacifist propaganda.
A Disease Called Man is a dark ambient / drone project and I am currently working on the second album. Also, I have two harsh noise projects with Srđan Eftimovski (Nundata / Fecal Vomit) called Bhagavad Dita (harsh noise with mantras) and Vegan Fox (harsh noise).
Desolation is my visual project based on avant garde artworks made of various textures, with the aim of reflecting decomposition and chaos.
This year I published the first issue of Herbivore, a fanzine about veganism and animal rights. In my spare time I design cover artworks for bands, projects and the rest of the folks who dig my art.
DMD: What is your recording set up?
DM: BOSS GT-10 guitar processor is my weapon of choice for most of my recordings and live sessions. I am also using lots of Behringer distortion and delay pedals, because I find them effective, affordable and perfect for the sound I am looking for. As for effects, I prefer delay, sub wah, wah, chorus, harmonizer and pitch shifter.
DMD: What are your 15 favourite albums?
DM: Tough question since I listen to a lot of music, but here's something I've been listening to constantly for decades:
Bad Religion - Suffer
Ripcord - Defiance Of Power
Oi Polloi - Fightback
Dropdead - S/T
Detestation - Unheard Cries
Aus Rotten - The System Works For Them
Doom - Fuck Peaceville
Poison Idea - Kings Of Punk
Dead Kennedys - Bedtime For Democracy
Wolfpack - Lycanthro Punk
Uncurbed - Ackord For Frihet
Crass - Feeding Of The 5000
Rudimentary Peni - Death Church
Discharge - Hear Nothing, See Nothing, Say Nothing
Good Riddance - For God And Country
DMD: Have you played many shows outside of Serbia?
DM: I've once played in Budapest, Hungary and twice in Slovenia at multiple venues.
There were a lot of invitations from enthusiasts from across Europe and United States, but somehow time was always a problem to set up a tour.
DMD: What made you choose the name Raven? Edgar Allan Poe?
DM: I love Edgar Allan Poe a lot. He's my all time favourite writer but there are multiple reasons why I picked Raven as my alias.
Raven symbolises anarchism, freedom, wisdom, longevity, tragedy and so many other things in a political and mythological sphere.
A few of my friends thought that was not such a bright idea since there's a lot of artists who use Raven as a name for their projects and bands, but I felt it kinda suits the things I do with my own project.
DMD: What is the music scene like in Čačak?
DM: It's kinda lame, because there was a lot of talented hard working bands and individuals in the past, but they couldn't get any attention, because the local public hates diversity and doesn't understand that underground music can be much more creative and smarter than music for the masses. It's a very sad thing, because the people in the other spheres of creative art are getting the same treatment.
DMD: How long have you been making noise?
DM: I’ve been recording noise for six years now. It's much more interesting than recording music, so I will continue to record it as long as I can. It's very important to have ideas for each release, so as long as I have ideas for new releases, I will record it and publish my work.
DMD: How long have you been vegan and what was it that made you become vegan?
DM: I've been vegan for 10 years and my decision to become vegan came after I realised how much harm meat consumption does to all living creatures, the planet and to ourselves. I always listened to music inspired by animal rights movement, so I got all the informations about it by reading the lyric sheets and bulletins that came along with those records.
DMD: What do you do when you’re not making noise?
DM: I do alot of artwork for bands and projects, so I’m into graphic design, drawing... In my spare time I play guitar, read books, zines and comic books, but mostly I listen to music all the time. Also, my big passion is Star Wars collectibles. From books to comics.
DMD: Describe some of your favourite releases from Raven and your other projects.
DM: It’s very hard to pick a favourite one, because I put a lot of effort in all of them. It seems that each of my albums connect certain periods or events so they are all important to me.
DMD: Do you have a favourite book or movie? Also who are your favourite authors and directors?
DM: I am into dystopian, sci-fi, horror, criminal literature, so I mostly read something from Lucas, Huxley, Burgess, Orwell, Lovecraft, King, Doyle, Christie, just to name a few. If I had to pick just one book that would definitely be a ''Clockwork Orange'' by Anthony Burgess, but of course there's a lot more.
As for the movies, my favourite movie directors are Alfred Hitchcock, Stanley Kubrick, Sergio Leone, but I would definitely pick Star Wars as my favourite movies.
DMD: What can you tell us about your old noise blog Deadtones?
DM: Deadtones was a blog about avantgarde music genres which I worked on for a couple of years until Wordpress deleted it without a reason. It was a very popular blog at the time and I guess I will never achieve that goal with any other blog.
DMD: Please tell us your favourite Serbian bands and noise projects
DM: Most of the bands I love are disbanded right now, but there are a couple of noise projects who are still active and I love what they do, such as Fecal Vomit (Nundata) and Third I. They've been my friends for a very long time and their projects have put out tonnes of good releases.
DMD: What does 2017 hold for you and Raven?
DM: The brand new split album with Crank Sturgeon is due to be released by Human Cross Records, the same label that will publish my brand new album entitled ''Freedom Has A Price''.
A split release with Richard Ramirez was also one of my latest releases and it's available through Forever Escaping Boredom records. I'm planning a lot of other recording and live activities for the future, but sometimes everything depends on the time and effort of other people, especially if we're speaking about live performances.
For more of DMD in Serbia click here to read an interview with Serbian HNW/ANW artist Dosis Letalis