Adrenaline Mob's Mike Orlando
By Jay Oakley
Mike, how was the trip in?
It's been good, man. The tours been going great, Drowning Pool and Full Devil Jacket have been killing it. We've been having a great time.
How long's the tour?
Just about a month but then we continue to go. We keep going with Full Devil Jacket, then we keep going by ourselves until May 1st and then we head over to South American for a while and then come back. A lot of touring and I'm glad to be doing it.
So after you get done touring with Drowning Pool do you switch to the headlining role?
Yeah I believe so but we'll figure it out. We've got the few shows with them and then the rest will be just with us.
Where did you guys play last night?
Last night was Clarkesville, Tennessee. It was great and a hell of a loud crowd.
So you've had some recent lineup changes. You had John Moyer leave and you had Eric (Leonhardt) step in. How's he fitting in?
He's great and the funny thing about Eric is I started the band with him even before Russell (Allen) was in it. It came full circle. I had started this whole Adrenaline Mob thing being called Adrenaline Fueled Junkies and it was with me and Eric. Then we dissolved that because he had to do some Tantric stuff, I needed to forge on, Russell stepped in and it became Adrenaline Mob. But it's funny how it came full circle I don't remember if it was 2009 or 2010, it was 2009 I was working with Eric, but now he's back. He's a great friend of mine, he's an amazing addition and he's just a bad ass in every way.
How did A.J. Pero come into the picture?
I've known A.J. for about twenty-something years. I've played with him and we even live on the same block in Staten Island. So I've known him forever and it was real simple we were looking to do the Men of Honor album and everything was written but we really couldn't find that right drummer who we liked. So A.J. came in and did a track. He was only supposed to do one track on the album and absolutely killed this track called "Gets You Through The Night" and I remember Russ and Moyer were like, "That's it! Right there!" so it was real easy and laid back. A.J. had always been telling us that he'd wanted to be in the band.
With Twisted Sister doing more festivals and one-offs was A.J. looking for a band to call home?
Yeah sure but what we realized withAdrenaline Mob is the home is me and Russell, that's the Adrenaline Mob. We're glad to have Eric now and we hope to have him for the entire span of what Adrenaline Mob is but at the end of the day it's me and Russ and whoever comes in and plays we are honored to play with them and if they have to go off and do other stuff or if they stay and play that's great too. I'm honored to have played with Mike Portnoy and John Moyer and all the guys, even Rich Ward who we did a tour with before the album even came out. It's been great to play with everyone in this band.
Is everything on good terms with John Moyer because you know how people talk when members leave bands and it seemed like there were some strange circumstances to him leaving.
John's still one of my closest friends actually. I work with him all the time. As a matter of fact I fly home for a week and John flies to my studio so me and John are buddies and he produces a lot of bands and he brings them to my studio so I'm actually doing a new album with John as producer at my Sonic Stomp Studios where I do all the Adrenaline Mob stuff. I'm engineering, mixing and mastering this eighteen song concept album for this band he's producing so I love John, he's my boy.
What do you have lined up for new music? Are you working on anything or are you concentrating on supporting the more recent releases?
We're out here to support Men of Honor and Dearly Departed, our new EP album, so we plan on supporting that this year and then next year we'll look to put out a new album since we've pretty much put out a record each year. It's just been working out that way. I don't plan it, I just go home and start writing and then eventually me and Russ will get together in 2016 at some point.
How far back do you go with Russell?
It's funny, I met Russ in like 2005 and we started working on something completely different. It was a totally different project, it was like some metal project we were looking to do. It spanned like three years because he was doing Symphony X and I was touring a lot with my Instrumental band Sonic Stomp so I was doing a lot of over seas gigs like touring China for a month, I'd go to Germany, I'd go to Japan for three weeks so I'd be doing this and he was busy with Symphony X.
Finally when I dissolved the lineup of Adrenaline Fueled Junkies all those songs were still there and they became 90% of the Omerta record. So we took all that music and I brought it to Russ and brought him a couple of tracks and told him that I think he'd be cool singing in a rock band. He's from prog (progressive rock/metal) but I've never heard him do this kind of stuff and he just knocked out a couple songs and boom that was it. Everybody started flipping and we had the record companies saying that we had to get a band behind us and we got Portnoy involved and he joined the band and it was great. That's how it came about.
So A.J. has recorded with you but has Eric recorded with you?
Yeah, Eric's recorded a few tracks on Dearly Departed. He plays on the song "Dearly Departed" which is on the radio, and "Tie Your Mother Down" and "Snortin' Whiskey."
Did A.J. record all of Men of Honor and Dearly Departed?
Yes, he recorded all the drum tracks for Men of Honor and Dearly Departed.
All-in-all how do you feel about this child of yours known as Adrenaline Mob? What has it brought to you?
I love it. Oh what hasn't it brought to me? We've toured the world continuous times and we continue to do this. Being in a band with my partner Russ, he's a phenomenal singer and one of the greatest singers in rock right now and we have a blast. Right now it's been phenomenal and we've only just begun so we're looking forward to a nice long career with this and wherever it takes us it takes us.
Mike, thanks so much for sitting down and talking about all things Adrenaline Mob.
Thank you and everyone go out and check out Dearly Departed and we'll be in a town near you.