“They are destined to succeed"... That’s how the multi-awarded producer Bob Benozzo - chairperson of the technical panel for the XIX edition of Ritmi Globali Europei commented the decision to assign the victory to the Croatian band Ivan Mihaljevic & Side Effects.
They are an eclectic rock power trio from Zagreb, that has released 3 albums so far: Sandcastle in 2008, Destination Unknown in 2010 and, recently, Counterclockwise.
All 3 got lots of excellent reviews from the press. Destination Unknown was selected as the album of the month in one of biggest European guitar magazines (Guitar Techniques) and they were also included in several "top 10 albums of the year" lists.
Counterclockwise is a concept album which comments on the current state of mind and consciousness of our society and the world. It talks about many situations and feelings people might encounter through their lives. It talks about despondency, about people who disappoint you in ways you'd never expect from them, about dealing with a death of a close friend, about greed and about people dealing with severe depression, but it also shows the light at the end of the tunnel.
The album sound focuses on the band as a trio and makes you feel like the band is playing in your living room in front of you.
As with the previous 2 albums, the engineering, apart from mastering, was handled by Ivan himself who has engineered albums and singles for many other bands too.
The mastering was done by a Grammy award-winning mastering engineer Brad Blackwood (Maroon 5, ZZ Top, Black Eyed Peas, Evanescence...).
The artwork was realized by the artist Robert Butković.
The band has played many live shows including shows supporting Paul Gilbert, Richie Kotzen etc. and headlined the guitar festival Guitar Master in Zagreb. They also appeared and played on numerous TV and radio shows (Rock TV, HRT 2, HRT 1, Z1 TV, KL Eurodom, HR3 and many more…).
Ivan, who is also a music producer and a singer/actor in musical theater, is the lead guitarist in the band Hard Time as well. With them, he played Wacken Open Air in 2005, played as the opening act for Scorpions, The Cult etc. And toured Europe twice. In 2008 he played as a guest with the inventor of electric guitar – Les Paul in New York.
Ivan is also producing instructional guitar videos and he is endorsed by Ernie Ball Music Man guitars, ENGL amps, Dragoon Custom Spearkers, Doxy Amps, Intex Cables.
In July 2012 Ivan & Side Effects played the huge Italian Heineken Jamming Festival and in December they won the 1st prize of the prestigious Ritmi Globali Europei contest and released the CD single "Recoil" with the producer Bob Benozzo, awarded with 3 Grammy Awards, 9 Latin Grammys plus a number of other awards and a bunch of of gold and platinum records.
The year 2013 also started great: Ivan Mihaljevic & Side Effects won the first UnoTV Award!
How about the future? Let's hope that the best is yet to come! ;)