Millennium was formed in Billingham, County Durham, England, in 1982 by Mark Duffy (vocals) and Pete McArdle (guitar). After they recruited Steve Mennell (drums), Dave Price (bass) and Dave Merrington (guitar), Millennium recorded their first demo in July 1982 at Guardian Studios.
The demo contained two songs “Magic Mirror” and “I’m on Fire”. Later that year they went on to record a second demo again at Guardian studios the band recorded three songs “Steal your Heart”, “Rock was meant for me” and “Nightmare” (which later became “The Devil Rides Out”). In 1983 Guardian records released a compilation album “Pure Overkill” featuring “Millennium”, “Spartan Warrior”, “Tokyo Rose”, “Risk” and “Incubus”. The album contained three Millennium demo tracks “Magic Mirror”, “Steal Your Heart” and “Rock was meant for me”.
In July 1983 Millennium started recording their debut album again at Guardian Studios. Debut album “Millennium” was released in 1984. Dave Merrington decided to leave the band. Millennium soon recruited local guitarist Mike Muskett a former member of the band Skitzofrenik.
The band recorded a number of demos between 1985-1988. In June 1988 the bend split up. Vocalist Mark Duffy joined Toranaga. In 2014 No Remorse Records rereleased Millennium’s debut album followed by a second album released in 2016 titled “Caught in a Warzone” this album was made up from recordings the band made throughout 1985.
In October 2017, Millennium released third full length album “Awakening”. So, we have an opportunity to have a nice conversation with Mark Duffy, Millennium founder.
Hello! Great to have you in our magazine! How are you?
Hi we are good, thanks for giving us this interview.
Tell us about Millennium… You are veterans of metal. How does it feel in 2018, when you look back?
It feels like a long time ago (which it is). When we recorded our first album we never thought we would be back with the band again after all this time. It is great to be still making music with Millennium and recording new songs.
“Awakening” was released last year, and sounds great and fresh, but still old school. How did you achieve that?
We wanted to keep some of the NWOBHM sound but also add some other elements, some straight metal and power metal and also to show that we can keep it fresh and not to have every song sounding the same or the same speed, but to make it a bit diverse.
This is your third full-length album in 36 years. Some will say it is a slow process, but?
Yes it has taken a long time to do another album after 36 years. We did not have much luck during the 80s to do another album after our first album and the music scene was changing but now there is renewed interest in NWOBHM and 80′s music and a younger audience that has embraced it, so we have young and older fans who want to listen to NWOBHM bands. We could have recorded another album with Guardian Records but we turned it down after disagreements with the label. It has also given us a chance to re-record some of the old songs that we feature as bonus tracks on future albums.
Mark was joined Toranaga, after a hiatus of Millennium, how was in that band? And also working with Peaceville and Chrysalis Records?
Mark joined Toranaga after Millennium. It was great to be part of the scene at the time with Toranaga. Peaceville gave Toranaga the chance to be heard and we had great reviews and interest for the Bastard Ballads album. Peaceville had a good reputation for underground metal bands and Toranaga started to get interest from other labels. We could have signed to Music for Nations or Noise Records who wanted to sign Toranaga but we signed to Chyrsalis Records which I think was a mistake because they did not know how to promote metal bands and they had problems within the company that we found out about later. I think we should have signed to Noise Records or Music for Nations who had a better understanding of metal bands.
One original member, new albums… Great to have you back. How does it feel playing old school heavy metal in 2018?
It is great to be back with Millennium. I did not think it would happen but because of the interest in NWOBHM bands it has given us the chance to come back even stronger than before so I am greatful to all the fans who like 80s metal and Millennium. It is great to play this style of music because so many people are going back and listening to 80’s bands.
New music is coming every day, new styles are rising and fall, but original heavy metal is still here and standing. What do you think about that?
It is great to have different styles of music within heavy metal. It keeps the interest in heavy metal alive, not everyone has the same taste in music or musical styles, but if you have young heavy metal fans who were not born when these styles were happening, it is new and exciting to them and they want to hear more or start bands in these styles. I think most people who like heavy metal realize when it all started or where bands were influenced and that was from the 70’s and 80’s which was the birth of heavy metal and younger fans are going back to that classic time.
Can we exspect some gigs around this year, some festivals?
We have some gigs coming up and a few festivals. We play Headbangers open air festival in Germany in July and Mearfest, and a Day of Rock festival in England in November. We are playing a gig with NWOBHM band Avenger in Newcastle in November. We are looking to do more gigs so if there are any promoters in Croatia who are interested please get in touch! It would be awesome to play in Croatia!
Any plans for new album?
We have signed a record deal with Pure Steel Records and we are writing a new album. We have 7 songs written so far. The next album might be released later this year or early next year.
Thank you so much for this words… Hope to see you soon live and strong! Any message for readers of Metal Jacket Magazine all around?
Our message to Metal Jacket readers is keep supporting metal bands as it makes it all worthwhile to have your support. Keep on Metal!