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Miljenko Matijevic

595 Interview with Miljenko Matijevic of Steelheart

Artist Interview

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Miljenko "Mili" Matijevic talks about Steelheart’s path to success and how it all came literally crashing down

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Though Steelheart was considered a new band when its self-titled release came out in 1990, the nucleus of the band had been together for nearly a decade. As Red Alert, the band spent most of the ‘80s honing songwriting skills and recording demos in Connecticut while playing occasional shows in a state that didn’t offer a lot of opportunities for a hard rock band. With a plane ticket and 4-song demo cassette in hand, the band, now called Steelheart, scored a record deal almost immediately after relocating to Los Angeles and within a year of moving to the West Coast, Steelheart was topping charts with “I’ll Never Let You Go (Angel Eyes)” which showcased Milijenko Matijevic’s soaring and glass-shattering vocals. With a modest level of success, the age old question of, “What would have happened had Steelheart moved to L.A. five years earlier?” is one that Matijevic has considered but knows he’s powerless to answer. After playing 50 shows in support of 1992’s Tangled in Reins, Steelheart played a Halloween gig opening for Slaughter. Matijevic attempted to climb a lighting truss only to discover it had not been properly secured. The 1,000 pound truss fell on Matijevic breaking his nose, cheekbone and jaw and, subsequently, led to Steelheart’s breakup as Matijevic was in the hospital and rehab for a considerable amount of time. With a new lineup in tow, Matijevic has carried on the Steelheart name and released Wait (1996), Good 2B Alive (2008) and Through Worlds of Stardust (2017) while playing gigs whenever he can. The singer also provided the vocals for Mark Wahlberg’s character in the 2001 film Rock Star which featured Steelheart’s “We All Die Young”. In 2022, Matijevic released the single “Trust in Love” in multiple languages in support of global peace and hopes that the song becomes an anthem for those who need hope in their lives.

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Songs in this episode

  • Intro - I'll Never Let You Go
  • 10:27 - She's Gone
  • Outro - Can't Stop Me Lovin'

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Artist Interview