Last Updated on 28.03.12 Written by John Guarnieri
What do you get when you mix equal parts Symphony X, Sonic Stomp, Dream Theatre, and Disturbed? Well, if you guessed a kick-ass, hard-hitting, 'musical mafia', then you are correct. Adrenaline Mob, comprised of Russell Allen, Mike Orlando, Mike Portnoy, and John Moyer, just released their first album, Omerta, which landed top 5 on the Billboard rock charts. With hits in the making like "Undaunted", "The Mob Rules", and "Hit The Wall", this mob of hungry, rock & roll beasts will be beating down the airways with their tencious, rockin' metal attitude. It was a pleasure to speak with their leader and axe-wielding madman, Mike Orlando. Mr. Orlando is great friends with our National Spokesperson, AJ Pero (Twisted Sister), so this was something we were looking forward to. We discussed everything from the new album, how everyone in the band came together as one cohesive unit, the creation of their logo, and of course Mike talked about his respect for members of law enforcement.
Their first album, Omerta, had a lot of pressure on it to deliver, because any band that is comprised of great personalities and musicians are held to a higher standard, as the fans of their previous bands know what they can bring to the stage. Last Fall, the Mob released a 5 song EP that was just a small sample of the metal magic they were creating, and it can be easily said that Omerta is a head of the class. When asked how the band started out, Mike said that "this whole thing started years ago, when a previous band I was in, Adrenaline Fuel Junkie disbanded. I have so many songs written down in a book, which Mike Portnoy calls the 'graveyard of licks and songs.' I approached my good friend Russell [Allen] in regards to see if he would be interested in doing some solo stuff with me. When he heard the guitar part and sang the lyrics, he loved everything about it. When Portnoy jumped onboard, we went from a level 1 to 20 just like that. We recently added John Moyer, from Disturbed, to round out the group. We just love playing together; there was never a moment when we butted heads with ideas. I reworked some parts for everyone to be on same page, but that was all. We are unified in Adrenaline Mob, and will only strive for success, which is a lot easier with the support we have from our amazing kick-ass fans."
With Omerta, the band, according to Mike, has some aggressive touring in the works for the next year: "Late last year, we hit the road for some headlining dates, and were extremely fortunate to be asked by the Godsmack guys to go on the road with them for their late Summer tour, which was a blast. I love that band! So, for this album, we will do some stateside shows in May, then for a couple of months this Summer, we will be hitting some of the biggest festivals in the world, Sweden Rock, Gods Of Metal, and the Graspop Metal Meeting. From there we will hit the road again in the States. Its going to be exciting for our fans."
In one of the funniest parts of the interview, I asked Mike how the band settled on their logo, as its one of the most memorable band logos I have seen in a while. Mike explained that: "the whole logo idea came from Portnoy. Since we started jamming and playing, Mike has refered to us as a 'musical mafia', so that whole idea stuck around. We encompassed our love for the movie The Godfather with our music. Even our live show has different sorts of mafia imagery, like Russell sauntering out to the stage in a fedora, or the tommy-gun gestures we do on stage."
In one of the coolest covers in a while, the Mob covered Duran Duran's 'Come Undone' on Omerta, which features the powerful vocals of Halestorm's Lizzy Hale. "I have always loved this song from Duran Duran. There was something about the haunting vibe to the song, and when we covered it, it reaffirmed my claim that you can turn a great pop song into a great metal song. Disturbed did a similar thing to Phil Collins' Land Of Confusion. We had to thank Portnoy for bringing Lizzy onboard with the song, as she really nailed this for us. I would love to hit the road with Halestorm. Lizzy has the best female metal voice in music today. It just blows me away with her power and range."
Like many of our proud, artist supporters, Mike has nothing but respect and love for law enforcement. "I have many people in my family who are police officers, so it is something that is close to heart. Everyday, police put themselves in situations to help people they might not even know, which is incredible. I know that my close friend, AJ (Pero) is your National Spokesperson, and he already knows that I will do whatever I can to help Fallen Blue, and raise awareness for your cause. "
Be sure to catch Mike, and the rest of his Adrenaline Mob cohorts on the road this spring, and if your lucky, at the biggest festivals in Europe, Sweden Rock and Gods Of Metal!
For more information: http://adrenalinemob.com/