Described as a modern new Metal band, Disconnected had certainly built up great momentum prior to the enforced pandemic break, but the French band will find themselves on stage at this year’s Hellfest, and they are hotly tipped to once again crack on nicely.
Disconnected played on stages with Tremonti and Judas Priest on the back of their album White Colossus before things ground to a halt, just as the world was taking notice. Vocalist Ivan Pavlakovic told MetalTalk’s Steve Ritchie that these were dark and difficult times for the band.
“Everything was going very quick for us,” Ivan says, “and bloody Covid-19 happened. But hey, it was the same for everybody, so at least we haven’t been the only ones to struggle.”
Pavlakovic describes how the band used this time also to grow. “In Disconnected, we’re definitely like a family now,” he says, “and going through this period of doubts has reinforced our bonds. Building a career as a band is all about holding on and taking punches. That’s what we did. We focused on producing the EP [The Downtime EP], producing the new album, working on our instruments and hope for better days, which are now a reality.”
The tours with Tremonti and Judas Priest gave Disconnected the confidence that, as a band, they could play in front of larger crowds.
“Touring with Tremonti was fantastic,” Ivan says. “It went great for us. We definitely found a friend in Mark and all his band and crew. We also made a great friendship with the guys in The Raven Age that were the main support. Every night was killer on stage, and we gained a lot of dedicated fans.”
Ivan says that opening for Judas Priest was another level of venue and accomplishment. “It was also the first time a French band opened for them in such a big place in Paris,” he says. “It placed us in a great spot, reputation-wise, in our country. These guys have also been such gents with us. Rob Halford came to our dressing room to say hello. Their crew made space for us on stage so we could be comfortable, well, a perfect evening.
“These experiences definitely put us in a very positive vibe, and we know that we have what it takes to do great things. We’ve witnessed how people reacted to our music and live performances. We just can’t wait to do it all again on that scale.”
White Colossus was a great album with a fantastic range of songs. For example, on Wounded Heart, there are some wonderful dynamics there, moving from a ballad to a hard-rocking and intense climax. How happy were Disconnected with the reception for the album?
“The reception of this album was great for a first album,” Ivan says. “We had awesome press in France, but also outside of our country. We mix a lot of things, and we always assume it and deliver it with 100 per cent sincerity. I think we have our own identity, and White Colossus was just the first step of this journey.”
Moving forward to We Are Disconnected, released in 2022, that is a wonderful album too, and a great statement of their development as a band.
“The main difference is that there was a band,” Ivan says. “Adrian writes all the music and arrangements for Disconnected’s music, and I create the vocal parts and lyrics. White Colossus was more like a solo project for Adrian at first, as he wrote all the music for the first album without knowing any of the rest of the current band.”
We Are Disconnected was written in 2019. “The band was solid and in its actual form,” Ivan says. “So even if Adrian is now writing all the music, he knows how I sing, what’s my sensibility melody-wise, and how the rest of the guys play their instruments. So his inspiration was also driven by all these new musicians.”
A World Of Futile Pains, the last track, is wonderfully epic in style and length, and Ivan created the vocals parts and lyrics. “I have to say that 95% of the time, my inspiration comes from the tracks that Adrian creates and sends me. This time was no exception. I felt a lot of melancholic disappointment in this track, meaning regretting what this society has become. I might sound like an old git saying this, but this world isn’t heading in the right direction. There’s so much dumbness, so much vacuity around us. I wanted to spit it out express how sad I can sometimes feel about what’s surrounding us.”
King Of The World was a great choice for a second single. The contrasting vocals are great, and this will sound great in the live set. “What goes around, comes around,” Ivan sings.
“I love this song,” he says, “One of the best to play live. This song is about keeping your head up, keep pushing, and don’t let anybody fuck around with you for too long. Fight back when it’s the right time and regain your dignity. It’s actually really inspired by our own experience in life. I suppose everybody has already met that person that will deserve a good smack someday.”
Talking of live, it’s going to be a great Summer for Disconnected, as they will grace the main stage at Hellfest. “Man, it’s gonna be crazy,” Ivan says. “This edition is gonna be Historical. Playing alongside Metallica, Guns’n’Roses, Megadeth, Alice Cooper, you name it. It’s an incredible gift for an up-and-coming band like us, so we are gonna give 200 per cent. We are ready to die on this bloody stage.”
It must seem like this pandemic is properly over. This year’s Hellfest is so wonderfully massive. It’s going to be the Metal party of Europe. “They are celebrating their 15th anniversary, and they added a second four days in a row. It’s unseen. I don’t say this because it’s in France, but Hellfest is definitely a very special festival in Europe and probably in the world. The whole region of Britany is involved in this massive event. It’s going to be mayhem for two weeks in a row for sure.”
Hellfest is a great chance to push the new album, and Disconnected have a plan of attack. “We have 30 minutes to drop as many jaws as we can on the floor,” Ivan says, “so it’s gonna be energy, energy, and more energy. We will play a vast majority of new songs. We’ve upgraded our stage etiquette. We’ve got huge digital backdrops and a great tech team. We’re ready for this! It’s a huge opportunity to make a statement and prove we deserve to be there!.
Disconnected are certainly ready. “We’ve done two technical and rehearsing residencies in two different venues in France, four days each time. We are all well equipped now with wireless stuff for everybody, our light show is ready, our sound guy has worked his ass off also, and on stage, we are on fire. We have done three small gigs the past two weekends, in front of 150 people each time, to test the new songs and set up. It went great. We just can’t wait now to play these big stages.”
And then Disconnected have Wacken and Rockfest. Wider Europe is waking up to Disconnected. “These were postponed events from 2020,” Ivan says. “After touring with Tremonti and Judas Priest, we definitely made some little noise in Europe, and we got helped by an awesome manager and German Promoter Ossy Hoppe [Deep Purple, Whitesnake, etc.], who helped us get booked on those two festivals. We are so happy to play there as we’ll have more time on stage. One hour for Rockfest and 45 minuntes for Wacken. So we’ll be even more able to showcase our new versatility.”
Any plans to cross the Channel and play in England? “We loved playing in England on the Tremonti tour,” Ivan says, “and we have fans over there too, also in Scotland. We can’t wait to be back. Just gotta wait for the right opportunity. Hopefully, it will come pretty soon! We’re working with Dragon production as our International Booking agency. These guys are great. I’m sure they’ll find a way to make us come to perform in the UK.”
AS for wider Europe, Disconnected are building waves in the USA too. “We are beginning to have a pretty nice fan base over there,” Ivan says. “We are streamed a lot in the USA. We’re also working on different scenarios and opportunities that could make us cross the Atlantic in the years to come. It’s definitely one of our goals.”
Disconnected describe themselves as Modern Metal. “In reality, we mix a lot of different stuff, modern, alternative and progressive Metal,” Ivan says. “I would like to say that we’re a versatile Metal band. We like great melodies, hooks, riffs and choruses that you can sing, mixed with my very skilled fellow musicians in the band. I think we can definitely attract a larger audience than the typical Metalhead. Nothing’s wrong with that. It’s just what we’ve witnessed during our journey. ”
You sense that, with their “versatile Metal,” Disconnected are now ready to continue to leap forward and show that the pandemic pause was just a delay to the inevitable.
“Thanks a lot for waiting four years for the release of this new album,” Ivan’s message to the fans is. “It’s there now, and we can’t wait to come and play for you everywhere you are. We are more passionate than ever, and we will see you soon.”
We can’t wait.
Hellfest 2022 will be held over two weekends in June, featuring 350 artists on six stages. For more information visit www.hellfest.fr/en/
This year there is also a virtual edition, Hellfest From Home. For more details visit fromhome.hellfest.fr