JANUARY 31st 2015

Adrenaline Mob came out of nowhere in 2012 with their debut album Omerta. Adrenaline Mob’s founding members consist of singer Russell Allen, known for his work in Symphony X , drummer Mike Portnoy formerly of Dream Theater and guitarist Mike Orlando who was then relatively unknown in North America. Orlando had established himself as a successful solo artist abroad. Omerta featured tracks like; “Undaunted,” “Indifferent,” “Feelin’ Me,” and their cover of Duran Duran’s “Come Undone” Omerta which received critical acclaim by rock press worldwide. The band later added bassist John Moyer best known for his work in Nu-Metal act Disturbed.

In 2013 Adrenaline Mob released Coverta an EP of hard rock and metal covers which included; a ripping version of Van Halen’s “Romeo Delight,” a blistering rendition of Black Sabbath’s “Mob Rules” and a jaw dropping version of Badlands’ “Highwire” amongst others. Adrenaline Mob released their sophomore album titled Men of Honor on February 18th, 2014 via their new label Century Media. Adrenaline Mob added drummer A.J. Pero who is best known for his work with Twisted Sister to the fold after Mike Portnoy’s departure in 2013. In February 10th of 2015 they are set to issue yet another EP titled Dearly Departed. In addition the band has added bassist Erik Leonhardt [formerly of Tantric] who takes over for the ‘departed’ John Moyer. Metal Titans caught up with guitarist Mike Orlando who was gearing up to head to Southern California for NAMM where he took part in the Randy Rhoads Remembered show on January 23rd, 2015.

MetalTitans: I spoke with you back in 2013 and you spoke about the idea of possibly doing EP’s in between releases, looks like you’re true to your word.

Mike Orlando: Yeah, that how it turned out I guess. I have to say that this has a little bit of a more of a twist than Coverata. I threw some song ideas at Russell [Allen] and he threw some back at me. I mentioned “Snortin’ Whisky” and he loved the idea! It was really easy to select songs; I’m a huge Black Sabbath fan they’re the soundtrack of my life. It was simple I wanted to do songs that I don’t hear anymore. Ozzy doesn’t do certain songs anymore; “KIlling Yourself to Live,” “Sabbath Bloody, Bloody Sabbath” has some really high singing in there. Russell has those powerful pipes! We had a ball doing it. We also did some Queen with “Tie Your Mother Down.” Freddie Mercury had one of the best voices in rock. We also did “The Devil Went Down to Georgia” which was a song that my girlfriend suggested. I’m doing the dueling violins! That was a phenomenal I had an absolute ball transcribing that onto guitar.

MetalTitans: “The Devil Went Down to Georgia” really did come out of left field. I would have never thought of Adrenaline Mob covering that.

Mike Orlando: Exactly. We love to step out of the box. You know we did that on Coverta when we recorded “Barracuda” no one would have ever guessed we would have covered that. We like to throw a wrench into things and just have a ball with it. With “The Devil Went Down to Georgia” A.J. [Pero] and I had a blast doing that. It is an absolute ass kicker! I think he knocked it out of the park with these covers. I’ve known A.J. forever--it was like old times. It was really a fun recording session and I hope you can hear that in these recordings.

MetalTitans: A.J. [Pero] has stepped out of his comfort zone with Adrenaline Mob he’s been able to show that he can do some heavy hitting and not limited to the stuff he’s done with Twisted Sister.

Mike Orlando: He really has. A.J. is a phenomenal drummer. Listen we went from one great drummer with Mike Portnoy to another with A.J. I have been blessed to work such phenomenal musicians in this band. A.J. stepped in and the transition was really seamless. One might think they are different drummers because of what they’ve done in the past---but they’re really not. A.J. brings in a lot of technical expertise--maybe someone can’t pick up on it because of what he’s in Twisted Sister.

MetalTitans: Dearly Departed features some acoustic material on it. How did you decide on what made the cut?

Mike Orlando: We knew exactly what was going to be recorded acoustically. It was simple; we wanted to break it down to the beautiful ballads. Some of the songs that are near and dear to my heart are about things that I’ve gone through in my life are songs like; “Angel Sky,” “Crystal Clear” and “On the Line.” All of the songs I mentioned all had acoustic elements to them but here we’ve stripped them down to their bare core. I think they really shine in their stripped down form. I love playing acoustic guitar.

MetalTitans: Mike when you think about it Adrenaline Mob shouldn’t be around. You’ve had members come and go from the first incarnation, Portnoy left then Moyer left. Most bands would have imploded by this point yet you and Russell press forward. That’s commitment.

Mike Orlando: That’s how it is. Adrenaline Mob all started with Russell and I and that’s just how it is. We’re the core of the band--we’re the writing team. We’ve written everything that’s why the sound remains intact. We’ve had amazing players play in this band and we still do. I love John [Moyer], he was in my studio today, great guy I love him to death. Russ and I keep moving forward, we want to get out and continue to play live. We will continue to do that deep into 2015. The line-up we have now is probably the best yet and I couldn’t be happier.