I get emails regularly from publicists around the globe asking us to feature one of their artists. We really try to accommodate as many of these request as we possibly can. Sometimes we get some pretty exciting stuff…THIS was one of those times!!!
A new all-star project called ADRENALINE MOB was getting ready to do their CD release show in New York City, with Mike Orlando playing guitar, Symphony X singer Russell Allen, Disturbed bass player John Moyer, and drummer Mike Portnoy! Wow! What a line-up! I couldn’t wait to give the preview copy of Omertà a listen. Even with high expectations driven by familiarity with some of the band member’s previous work, Omertà did not disappoint.
I was instantly blown away by the energy, sound and sounds. Pure, raw, straight-ahead hard rock rich with stick-in-your-head riffs and hooks. The rhythm section drives with the articulation and precision that you’d expect from Portnoy and Moyer. Allen’s vocals are powerful, controlled and soulful. Orlando’s guitar lines are brilliant.
I’d heard a few things about guitarist Mike Orlando in the past, and knew that he was a skilled player…but had to idea to what degree!
Curiosity peaked. Within an hour I was on the phone with their publicist, and learned that they’d be playing the entire album at their release party….now I HAD to get to New York so that I could do a full feature on Mike Orlando and Adrenaline Mob.
I opted to take the train to NYC. It had been over a decade since the last time I’d traveled by train, and with the advertised “onboard WIFI” I decided that I could enjoy a leisurely day of research and working. Relaxed and efficient. The ride was scenic, but the onboard wifi left much to be desired. It was extremely intermittent, at best, and made it nearly impossible to get any work done.
Once I arrived at my destination and settled in I began digging around to see what I could learn about Mike Orlando. I couldn’t believe how busy this guy has been! There’s a ton of information out there. He’s played with all kinds of heavy hitters, toured Japan and Europe for Sonic Stomp and various clinics and master classes. There are a world of videos that can be viewed of Mike doing product demos, tutorials and lessons. After previewing a few tracks off Sonic Stomp (2006) I had to buy it…and BLASTED if for an hour! Sonic Stop offered lots’o’notes for the loot…Blues-rock elements, some funk and you can hear Malmsteen, Eddie, Gilbert very melodic lyrically inspired writing on this project!
What a versatile player!!!
Sonic Stomp offers a real contrast to what Mike is doing with Adrenaline Mob. Still very Mike, but on Sonic Stomp you can really hear all of his musical influences, where Omertà is very genre-specific “Balls to the Walls” Rock!!!. Sonic Stomp II (2010) shows the growth and maturity in his playing with cleaner lines and phrasing as well as a excellent choice of tones and layers as well as including some killer guest players, Michael Romeo (Symphony X), Shane Gibson (Korn), Gary Hoey, Mike Pinella (Symphony X) and Joe Stump. Sonic Stomp II features world renowned drummer extraordinare John Macaluso (“Yngwie Malmsteen”,”TNT”, James Labrie “Dream Theater” and Tony Harnell).
Mike is a amazing player, original and creative and works hard to portray his art. During our interview I discovered that he has yet another project on the go called Tred. Another all-star line up with bass player Rudy Sarzo “Quiet Riot”, Tim “Ripper” Owens and Aj Pero “Twisted Sister”. Mike describes this project as “Tribal Extreme Metal” I truly can not wait to hear it!
Hearing Mike play is a real treat! I was grateful to have been able to meet him face-to-face so I could ask him a few questions about his unique soloing style that I described to him as “The Worble effect”. His playing is so clean and concise, and he has this thing he does where he intermittently mutes all of the strings up and down while scaling, all combined with such an original vibrato… it makes him a true gas to watch. He describes what he does as using his whole arm aggressively to attack the strings to pick “CLEAN” or it is just mush.
Before the show, he took me on a tour of his “temporary rig” for the Omertà record launch. He informed me that he would be moving to a new Rocktron switching system with his Marshall JMD-1 and his current pedal set-up. His is proudly using Charvel Guitars, Marshall Amplifiers and Cabinets. Take a look at the gear tour and interview and details below on his gear, tours, his discography and links to all that is Mike Orlando.
Adrenaline Mob played to a packed house at New York’s Hiro Ballroom for their March 12th CD launch. Standing behind his drum kit Mike Portnoy’s posture reflected the intense energy surging around the room as the band ripped into “Undaunted”. The band rocked through Omertà fuelled by the appreciative and enthusiastic audience. Orlando smiled while blazing through leads seemingly effortlessly. Wow!
Put Adrenaline Mob on your “Must-see live” list. You won’t be disappointed.
Mike Orlando’s Rig:
All strung with GHS Strings
Voodoo Labs Pedal Power
with X-Pattern Marshall 4 x 12″ Cabinets loaded with both Celestion Vintage 30’s and Lead speakers.