Mark Duffy


There is no time to waste, no time to just sit there and relax. There is no better time than keep up the good work, continue creating, writing and unleashing Metal. As mentioned, for the British Metal old schoolers, Millennium, time appears to be precious, and why not use it to capitalize their efforts if it is possible? Therefore, they marched forward, signed with a label, and released their new album, "A New World". Steinmetal had a chance to talk with longtime vocalist, Mark Duffy, about the new album, the band's approach towards NWOBHM, the Metal scene around them and more…
October 2, 2019
Millennium's Mark Duffy: " It was really a set goal to sign to a label. After releasing our last album by ourselves we found out it's not as easy as it seems. There's a lot of work to do much more than we realized" interview
Greetings Mark, I am very pleased to have you for this interview for Metal Temple online Magazine. What have you been up to lately sir?

Hello to you and your readers, we've been busy rehearsing for some upcoming shows and we are continuing to write songs for another album!

Without a dull moment, Millennium continues going fast forward, possibly in order to come up with an offering, 35 years since the band's self-titled debut. Since you have been there at the time, and with the release of your brand new, and third, album, "A New World", do you think that you guys could have done more when it comes to studio releases before the band's disband or it just didn't feel right?

We did try to release another album after our debut release and we recorded a lot of demos in the hope of getting a record deal but unfortunately it didn't happen. But after all these years some of those demos made it onto the re-release of our debut album as bonus tracks released on No Remorse records in 2014 and also as a full album release of 12 demo songs with an album title "Caught in a Warzone" again released on No Remorse records in 2016. So it was great to finally see those songs released!

"A  New World"  got attached with a signing with Pure Steel Records, after your comeback album, "Awakening", was independently released. First, how does it feel to be signed again?

It's great to have a record deal and have the backing of a label, it means that the band can concentrate on the music while the label takes care of the album release.

Were there thoughts to remain an independent band prior to the signing or it was a set goal to sign?

It was really a set goal to sign to a label. After releasing our last album by ourselves we found out it's not as easy as it seems. There's a lot of work to do much more than we realized and it's a distraction for the band and time consuming when we just want to write, record and play our music live. Now we can let someone else do all that side of it!

In overall, "A New World" continues the efforts made in "Awakening", yet with a better sound. In your viewpoint, what musically changed in "A New World" that makes it a standout in comparison to the previous album? I'd say that it sounds like a stronger version of NWOBHM, a level up in the fierceness, similar to your Thrash Metal venture in Toranaga, yet still maintaining the British Metal feel of the early days.

I'm glad you think it's a better album and hopefully our fans and others will think the same. As a band you always try to better your last album but everyone has an opinion so even if we thought it is a better album others might not! We really like our last album "Awakening" and over time as a band you can pick out things that you might change on the next album. Maybe the sound of something that could be better next time. So we were more aware of what we wanted the album to sound like and made a few changes. Overall, I think there's a difference in clarity to our last album the drums in particular come through stronger and clearer which helps to drive the songs and give the songs a more powerful edge.

Going general for a moment there. Though Millennium was at a stop for over two decades, and just made a comeback a few years ago, it did enter a totally different Metal scene. A kind of Metal scene that is driven by the modern edged music, contemporary technical means, emphasizing skills at times over the actual song. Do you think that a band such as Millennium could maintain itself and gather more followers in such a Metal scene?

I think there's room for lots of genres of heavy metal music, things tend to come and go and come round again. To younger fans who weren't born when the NWOBHM scene was going, it's something different and there's younger bands starting out who are influenced by the NWOBHM scene after hearing the bands of that time. Our fan base is growing so we intend to stick around for now!

With that said, what still motivates you to head forward and continue writing music in the fashion of the early days of the British Metal scene?

I suppose it's the sound we started off with as musicians and the bands we were in at the time. We are comfortable writing in the NWOBHM style. What motivates us is the enjoyment of being in a band and playing songs we have written and people out there actually liking what we do and buying our records and seeing us play at a show. It's a great feeling when someone appreciates what you do!

Let's head back to "A New World". What can you tell about the lyrical concept within the album? Is there a leading theme that sends a strong message? What events, or occurrences, or even nowadays' reality, inspired you to write the lyrics for the album? It seems in general that we are heading towards oblivion

The album lyric content is rather gloomy and has an apocalyptic theme. It covers subjects such as war and destruction, the assassination of anyone who is a threat to the elites of this world, loss of faith and religion, robotics replacing humans in the work place and the need for humans becoming obsolete.

How would you describe the songwriting on "A New World"?  Did anything change from your early studio sessions on the previous albums or perhaps your approach towards song arrangements?

The songwriting was done in the same way as our last album. We usually start with some guitar riff ideas then I write some lyrics to the music and sometimes arrange the songs to suit the length and structure of the lyrics. The songs are demoed on our own recording equipment while in the early years we would demo songs at a recording studio. After we make demo recordings we then take it to rehearsal and work on the songs making any chances necessary.

Would you also say that the songwriting is under the charge of a single musician or rather the band is a joint venture, a kind of democracy?

Myself and Will Philpot have written all the songs on the last two albums though anyone in the band can write or contribute to the songwriting.

Which of the album's songs made an impact on you? A song, or songs, that made you sit down and think about various things that have been troubling you or perhaps made you soul-searching, looking for answers.

The song "A New World" is the track that makes me search for answers. Answers to the questions is there life outside of our world, is there life on other planets, have we been visited by other life forms, are there messages in crop circles and were they made by other life forms?

Who engineered the sound of "A New World"?  It is a modernized approach, including being polished, for sure, yet it is hard to argue with how in depth it sounds, and of course heavy. Is this how you envisioned the band's sound?

We recorded the drums at a local studio (TSM studios). We had heard other recordings from there and knew we would get a good drum sound. We recorded everything else on our own recording studio and then send it all for mixing at Hop Pole Studios in Manchester England. Adam Steel at Hop Pole Studios mixed and engineered the album with us advising him on the sound we were looking for!

Recently, after the completion of the record, you recruited the highly skilled Black Rose guitarist, Kenny Nicholson, which he certainly made a name for himself in the underground UK Metal scene. What is your appreciation of his skills?

We put an ad out looking for a new guitarist. Kenny was one of a number of people who auditioned and he stood out from all the rest. We knew his history and he got the position of our new guitarist!

In terms of supporting "A New World", what are the band's plans? Have you already planned a release show in the UK? Are there additional plans for the rest of 2019 and 2020?

We have a show the day after the album release. It's a festival so we might use that as our album release show! We have a few shows to do before the end of the year and we have been talking to venues in Belgium and Germany so it looks very likely we will be doing shows in those countries and others in 2020!

Looking forward in time, and I know that there is nothing guaranteed, where do you see Millennium heading? What is your five years plan onwards?

We haven't really got a five year plan, we hope to still be around doing albums and playing shows hopefully playing in more countries, more festivals and more venues!

Since its 35th anniversary of the band's debut, are there plans to re-issue it? Perhaps through Pure Steel Records in a special version?

The debut album was re-released on No Remorse Records on CD in 2014 with added bonus tracks. So there probably won't be another reissue but I would like to see a re-issue on Vinyl!

Mark, I wish to thank you for the interview. I am pleased with the end result of "A New World", and I like the direction the band is headed to. All the best

Thanks again for the interview. Keep on Metal!


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