Side Effects are an eclectic rock power trio from Zagreb, Croatia. The band consists of Ivan Mihaljevic on guitar and vocals, Petar Stojko on bass and Alen Frljak on drums.
Prescription of their music brings progressive arrangements enhanced with a fusion of powerfully delivered intricate drum parts, fierce bass, virtuoso guitars and poetic lyrics.
Fronted and driven by Ivan Mihaljevic’s guitar-vocal-songwriting combo Side Effects have released 4 albums so far – “Sandcastle” in 2008, “Destination Unknown” in 2010, “Counterclockwise” in 2012 and “Descending Rabbit Holes” in 2018. In 2018 with a new album released they are celebrating their first decade of rocking.
It all started in the mind of (then) twenty-and-something year old musician from Zagreb, Croatia. After a few demo-tapes recorded in his Attic room, the idea was a step closer to becoming a reality. He continued to compose, kept on dreaming; and dreams are a driving force. At that time, Mihaljevic was a member of a well known and appreciated Croatian band but there was another musical universe that he wanted/needed to dig in. The inner creative impulse was strong and his passion for music led him into a more progressive sonic landscape. Ivan Mihaljevic was already a known name among guitar players so, logically, the first album was more guitar-oriented and contained more instrumental songs – “Sandcastle” was released in the summer of 2008 and fundamentally, it was his solo project, his creative journey.
Shortly after the album was released, the invitation came and it was a chance-not-to-be-missed. With the opportunity to open the show for one of his heroes, Paul Gilbert (Mr. Big, Racer X) Ivan needed a band to accompany him on stage. Drummer extraordinaire Alen Frljak and groovy bass player Majkl Jagunic joined Ivan on guitar and vocals and Side Effects were born.
Very successful second record “Destination Unknown”, released in late 2010, was selected as the album of the month in the March 2011 issue of prestigious British magazine Guitar Techniques.
Decision to leave instrumentals for other occasions has resulted with nine new songs for the 2012 concept album “Counterclockwise”, mastered by a Grammy award-winning mastering engineer Brad Blackwood (Maroon 5, ZZ Top, Black Eyed Peas, Evanescence…). With just one instrumental, all other songs feature vocal parts and they are all intertwined with deep socially aware lyrics, lamenting the global state of mind.
In 2012 the band has split with the original bass player Majkl Jagunic due to Majkl’s family and job commitments. With the new bass player Marko Karacic – Karo the band gained a new energy level which was especially manifested in live shows.
All of the previously released albums got excellent reviews and solid media coverage (worth mentioning, cover story of Indonesian “Music Live” magazine). Side Effects have also appeared and played on a number of TV and radio shows (“Sala Prove” on italian Rock TV, several shows on Croatian National Television (“Garaza”, “Dobro jutro”, “Poprock.hr”), “Maldoror Metal Box” on CMC TV, “Rock block” on radio KL Eurodom…). Besides numerous live shows in rock clubs, Side Effects have played many big stages and festivals. The first major opportunity to present themselves at was the mentioned Paul Gilbert (Mr. Big, Racer X) concert in Zagreb, Croatia. As a support act, they have also opened for Whitesnake in
Zagreb and twice for Richie Kotzen (Poison, Mr. Big). As a well know name at rock events in Zagreb, Side Effects headlined Guitar Master festival. One of the band’s favorite memories is having the honor of being a part of the huge Italian Heineken Jamming Festival headlined by Red Hot Chili Peppers, Prodigy, The Cure, Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, Evanescence, Gorillaz and others. In 2012 Side Effects won the first place in the Italian competition Ritmi Globali Europei and as a prize the band recorded a single Recoil with the producer Bob Benozzo who won several Latin Grammy Awards.
In late 2017, due to personal reasons, bassist Marko Karacic needed to take a step back. He is no longer a member of Side Effects. Most of the bass tracks on the new album were recorded by Ivan Mihaljevic. New bass player and band member is a super tight groove machine Petar Stojko. Ten years after, the inspiration is larger than ever. As a songwriter, Mihaljevic is now back to his creative roots. Carried by a thrilling feeling of elevation, Side Effects are transforming this new burst of energy into new songs.
With a new album out, Side Effects are ready to make an effect!