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Interview~ Serbia’s new rock band ‘The Big Deal’ debuts their first album “The First Bite”!!

The Big Deal is Srdjan Brankovic – guitars and Marko Milojevic – drums, are members of the most successful Serbian progressive metal band, Alogia., Also featuring two outstanding vocalists, Ana Nikolic and Nevena Brankovic (who is also a highly skilled keyboard/piano player), and Alessandro Del Vecchio  ((Hardline, Revolution Saints) )- bass offers up a catchy, driving sound that will appeal to both melodic rock and hard rock fans. @TheBandBigDeal  · Band.

First Bite is an absolute tour de force showcasing the outstanding talents of the individual members over the course of 11 tracks of infectious, hooky, memorable songs.  

Srdjan talks about how the band got together and the album and covered other bands songs while pandemics shutdown.

Throughout his career, Srdjan has played on many festivals and tours, recorded and collaborated on countless studio and live albums, and opened for some well-known bands such as Whitesnake, Ian Paice, Apocalyptica, Savatage, and more. He was also a member of Michael Matijevic’s  (Seelheart) live band in Bulgaria.

On his “Expedition Delta” and “Alogia” albums, he collaborated with names such as Tim ‘Ripper’ Owens, Mark Boals, Erik Norlander, Gary Wehrkamp, Fabio Lione, and Hansi Kursch, among others.

IMM: This is really good album. First who decided on the band name?

Srdjan: We shared a lot of suggestions for the name. We started the band and have a lot of songs, we have demos and covers and the guys from Frontiers heard them and like them. Yet we still didn’t have a name. It’s funny but true so after we connected with Frontiers it was just a demo name for the band and we should just change the name of the band but I don’t have an idea maybe you have some ideas? So all of us gave suggestions from members of the band and from the label and so in the end we made the choice for The Big Deal and suggested from the label.  When we saw the name we liked because it’s very universal. Everywhere you go you can read it like at Italy, USA , Serbia, or Sweden. Oh The Big Deal! Oh! And people think we been around for like 20 years and just a couple of years. So that is the story of the name and I like the name very much.

Especially now after some time I think it is a great choice and fantastic suggestion.

IMM: I see the bands you worked with like Whitesnake, Ian Pace and Savatage

Srdjan: We (Alogia) played with those bands about 20 years ago and with Savatage at Belgrade, Serbia. So for me it was a fantastic experience and a young guy and huge fan of heavy metal and still am. So the experience to play and open for Savatage and see them live and I remember it very well. With Ian Pace was at Austria a couple of years ago and played with Miljenko Matijevic (‘Mike’, vocals) of Steelheart at Bulgaria and that was very interesting.  And that was before the Big Deal with my other band Alogia. So I have been around over 20 years so  I am not a new guy on the scene.

When The Big Deal was started and when I met with Frontiers that this is a new start and makes me so happy. And honestly I always dreamed to be a part of Frontiers and have been a favorite label of mine. For example I have been a fan of some singers who are doing some amazing recordings and just disappeared and I was like wow why they disappeared?  And is fantastic that they can record again and they appeared on Frontiers recording fantastic music and projects and I was dreaming to hear again as a fan. So Frontiers have kept the fire of rock music and did a lot to make the music survive.

So I have a huge respect for that label. So when I got the chance to record music for them it was dream come true and where I feel this is where I belong.  So when the band started to record let’s put our best into this album. And as a music fan this album I would like to hear and to have in my collection.  It has a very traditional sound at the same time with modern production and sound. We had huge help from the label and from Alessandro.

Left to right: Srdjan Brankovic, Nevena Brankovic, Ana Nikolic, Marko Milojevic

IMM: What was the decision with your wife to start another band?

Srdjan: It started when the virus started. Nobody was working and the music stopped and the gigs stopped. My other band just released a new album and was an empty space, so me and Nevena my wife went to do some creative things and we started record some covers for fun and Marco our drummer, started working on covers as a trio and covered  the first version ofNightwish’s “Amaranth” at that time.  While working on covers and posted on our Facebook pages and got fantastic responses. It came spontaneously and my wife and I started working on our original music and found out it works very fine and inspiring because she is a music teacher and her roots are in classical music and jazz. She graduated at an academy at Belgrade as a pianist. So it is good combination and we were composing during Corona because nothing was happening and we made a lot of demos and after sometime we thought if it would be interesting if we add another female singer just the singer because Neveana was singing and playing the keyboards at the same time so Ana I have known for many years. She has been recording in my studio and doing covers, doing background vocals for my demos for other guys and some other bands. It’s a new band but not for me knowing Ana for many years and with Marco the drummer so it was natural to start composing together doing some demos and other songs. And the guys from the label heard and saw and liked. During recording I also played the bass on the demos so we decided that Alessandro would be playing on the album. While recording the songs we decided it is nice if he became the member of the band. So that is how we became a band of 5 members. I am really blessed to Alessandro in the line-up to be part of the Frontiers family.

IMM: There will be videos from this album?

Srdjan: Yes, there are three videos on YouTube. The first posted in February and for the opening song “Never Say Never”, and “Sensational” posted in early March and also did one for “Top Heaven” released during April and on the same day release of the 13-May we releasing the video for “Bad Times, Good Times” and the last official video from the album.

I have planned for us to play live and some festivals scheduled and some live recordings and the plan to have some live videos to show this is a real band and not a project.

IMM: Great! Are the shows going to be where you live and plans to perform at other countries?

Srdjan:  We will be playing at Bulgaria at three different festivals. Starting May 28, June 11, September 3 and which are close to our country and I like that country. I call Bulgaria a European Brazil because the people really love heavy metal and rock. They have fantastic festivals and I’ve been playing there many times in the past.  Also I got calls from Bulgaria to play there and we be happy to play anywhere as United States, other parts of Europe.

IMM: Thanks for your time and kick the doors down with this album and congrats to you and the members and to sign with Frontiers.

Srdjan: Thank for  for your time and to take time to listen to our songs.

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