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......::::SAVIOR FROM ANGER (USA)::::......
Realized at: 23rd, January 2017
 
 
 
 

I have always been a big fan of Bob Mitchell who is famous for being the original singer of Attacker. I also love all his later projects and was really surprised when I heard that he joined the Italian metal band SAVIOUR FROM ANGER. He only sang on their latest album “Temple Of Judgment” though until today. I already did a Sleepy Hollow interview with him in the past, but took my chance to ask him about all his bands until now which include the likes of Attacker, Sleepy Hollow, Vyndykator, Alchemy-X and Sceptor. How it happened that he joined Saviour From Anger and that this band turned from an Italian to an American band, you can check here:  

Hi! Please tell us about the foundation, the development and the releases of SAVIOUR FROM ANGER first!  

Bob Mitchell: Yes! Well, first thank you for having me here. It is truly appreciated! So to start, I will now present here a brief history of our band. When the band was founded by Mark (Ryal founding member/guitarist) back in - I believe it was 2006 - it was strictly a band that established itself in Campania, Italy, which is right outside of Naples. Through the years, as it is well documented, the band has experienced various line-up changes within his region until one day he reached out to me here in America and, of course, being a fan already, I accepted the offer. That was in July of 2014. This union would not have been possible 20 years ago, but due to the advent of technology our union is a reality and a very productive one. So now we move forward to this present day and Mark has settled on getting American musicians altogether which we have found success with as these musicians are respectful of the history of the band, they are truly enthusiastic and proud to be a part of it. So, moving forward, the line-up is Mark and me along with Brian (Brain) Callin on bass guitar/vocals and Josh Shank on drums. SAVIOUR FROM ANGER rehearse four times every other week and we will probably bump it down to three days when Mark comes to America this summer and  it gets closer for us to go on tour. In between tour dates, we will be recording our follow up for "Temple Of Judgment" which of course is our current record. We currently have ten songs written for the next album some of which we might perform live to see how the material lends itself to a live audience. So quite simply, we are coping just great with all things being considered. If you want something bad enough it will work and there will be rewards along with it. With regards to the bands release history, which includes an EP, a split, three full-lengths and three singles, SAVIOR FROM ANGER have a total of eight releases to its credit. 

Have the other members played in other bands before?  

Bob: Yes, individually we form quite a history with an impressive body of work, in my estimation. In the past, Mark was in Nameless Crime, Landguard and In Aevum Agere. I was in Attacker, Sleepy Hollow, Alchemy X and Mind Assassin. Our bass player Brian was and still is a member of Vatican. Josh has played in various cover bands for the last several years, so this is his first foray into an all original band. Collectively we work extremely well together and the live show is coming along great as is the new album. 

The band name is taken from a Vicious Rumors song. The second album “Age Of Decadence” reminds me heavily on Hades. Which other bands are your main influences?  

Bob: Just to name a few of them, the main influences for this band would have to be groups like Savatage, Vicious Rumors, Metal Church, Judas Priest, Riot (mostly the “Thundersteel” era). Again, there are so many great artists that influence us that we would need to do another interview just to cover this subject. 

On the old Attacker albums your singing reminded me on David Wayne (Metal Church, R.I.P.!). On Sleepy Hollow´s “Skull 13” album you sound a little bit like Udo Dirkschneider. In Saviour From Anger you again sing totally different. So which singers are your favourites when it comes to inspiration?  

Bob: This is a question that always resurfaces and I am always happy to answer it because it seems that there are fans who are now discovering me and that is great! But, for anyone who has followed my career, I will tell you, it was Dean Martin who influenced the most to want to be a singer. He is my greatest influence for sure. As for my rock idols, they are Bon Scott and Ian Gillan. As for the bands that convinced to get into this profession, it would be The Beatles, Dave Clark Five, the Hollies and KISS. As time went on, it was bands like Sweet, Angel, Nazareth, UFO and Accept that got me into Metal. Later I was turned on to Manowar, Saxon, Riot, Anvil and Exciter and so on. There is such a wide variety of artists that have influenced me, even to this day. So much so that, just as well, it would take another interview just to cover that alone, haha! However, if I may, here is an overview of some of the other artists that have made an impact on my life: Al Martino, Jerry Vale, Tom Jones, Engelbert Humperdink, Bobby Darin, Bobby Rydel, Vic Damone, Perry Como, Andy Williams, Frankie Lane, Jay Black, Jack Jones, Johnny Maestro, Neil Diamond, Ronnie James Dio, Frank DiMino, Jon Oliva, Mark Tornillo, Udo Dirkschneider, David Wayne, John Gallagher, Marc Storace. All of whom I have just mentioned have and still influence me as an artist, entertainer and human being.  

What are your lyrics about? What do they deal with?  

Bob: I could not answer that ever because, truthfully, I really don't patternize what I am going to write about. It's like asking what is "Sgt. Pepper" all about. I write accordingly with the mood the music conveys and whatever comes out, simply comes out. Sometimes I will read back what I have written and perhaps a theme will come of it, but its certainly not ever planned. I fancy myself as an entertainer first. 

Let´s talk about you too, okay? In 2008, you left Attacker. Why? What went wrong?  

Bob: Wow, that was almost 10 years ago and I have done so much since then. Outside of music I work as a nurse and I am a father of four children and I have been happily married to my wife Michelle. Actually nothing went wrong. At the time it was time for a change in my life and that is really what it boils down to. It was not easy to make that decision, but deep down it had to be done and I didn't want to hold them back because they are such a great band and it's great to know that so many fans regard "Battle at Helm´s Deep" as a classic. All that I have, all that I am today is because of the initial success I had with that band. So I performed my last show with them in April of 2008 at the Keep it True festival and I regard it as one of my favorite performances ever. Looking back, it was a great decision because I have found success I could never have imagined with being a family man and all of the music I have created since then. In turn, my former band is enjoying great success as well since they have released two more great albums with their new singer. So it looks like everyone wins here. Sorry, but no dirt here and that is the way I like it and I am sure they do as well. On a closing note on this subject matter, "Battle At Helm´s Deep" is an album I will always be proud of. My level of recognition is because of that album. Bela Lugosi will always be remembered best as Dracula, so I suppose I carry that same level of recognition as well. I have been asked to perform that album with backing musicians, but I think it is best to leave it alone for now. I have so much to look forward to with my current band and my personal life that there is no need to look back. I stay relevant because I move forward and I am still creating with incredibly talented musicians and outstanding people. I give a wink and a nod to "Battle At Helm´s Deep" and perhaps someday I just might take the offer to perform it in tribute, not for myself, but for the fans that have decided to make it a part of their lives. But as I move on its SAVIOR FROM ANGER and nothing else. 

Are you still in contact with your ex-bands? And do you know their new releases?  

Bob: No, I do not stay in touch with any of them. I am aware of the releases and their respective activities, but I really am consumed with family life and my band to be fully concerned of what others are doing. But just to reiderate: I am truly happy for all of them. 

In between you had some side projects. You sang on one album by Vyndykator (“Heaven Sent From Hell”, 2002), Alchemy-X (“11:59:59”, 2003) and a Sceptor 7” EP(“Introducing…Sceptor”, 2010). Were they real bands or just side projects? And why did they all end up after only one release?  

Bob: Yes, they were real bands, haha! And I had the pleasure of creating some great music with those bands. Both Vyndykator and Alchemy X would have continued, but I left both groups to rejoin Attacker in 2003. I don't regret that decision because I was able to release two strong albums and I saw the world, but looking back, I really loved both those bands and it´s sad to see that they did not continue after I left. As special as Vyndykator was I must say that I hold Alchemy X even closer to my heart. Alchemy X is a band I joined in 2001. That was a great band to say the least. I have many great memories of the act. It is because of them, I evolved. I became a better singer and learned new techniques I still use today because I was allowed to be more versitile than I have been in any other band at that time. With them I was on the album called "11:59:59" which was released in 2003 (Unisound Records) and it is one of my personal favorite albums. The album is an effort that I am very proud of because I was finally able to utilize my non-metal influences along with my metal influences. In other words I was able to cross over two styles and produce a vocal performance that I am certainly proud of with regards to the "11:59:59" album.

Alchemy X allowed me the opportunity to finally show the world what I'm capable of doing as a singer and as an artist. I can simply now call myself a "singer" as a opposed to just being known as a Power Metal vocalist. Don't get me wrong! I love power metal with a passion, but I always felt as though because of my true influences, I could give my audience more and I was able to do that with Alchemy X.

Sceptor was offered to me and I had a great time recording their first single. After the release, they made the decision to get a German vocalist, so that they can perform more shows. However, shortly after it was announced that I was no longer in the band, they released a full-length and broke up not to long afterwards. Again, it's too bad because they as well as the other bands mentioned here, were excellent and it´s interesting to see where each of them might have gone if I had stayed.

 

In 2015, you released an EP entitled “The Pay Off” with a band called Mind Assassin. Will there be a full length album soon? Are there any plans for it? Or was it just a one-and-only thing, like in Vyndykator, Alchemy-X and Sceptor?  

Bob: Mind Assassin is my band. It is the only band besides Vyndykator that I started from the ground up. Mind Assassin actually began as a studio project with a very close, personal friend of mine Ken "DZ" Randisi and it eventually evolved into a live act. I had founded the band soon after my departure from Attacker in 2008. After a while I felt as though the band was formed on the rebound, and so I decided to take some time away from it only to return in 2011 when work resumed once again. Based on that we truly felt, it was time to finish what we started and by that time we completed the line up with bassist Glen Reed and my friend Joe Hasselvander (Raven/Hounds of Hasselvander). Around October of 2014, we finished work on our debut EP “The Payoff” which was released through Alone Records on CD in July of 2015 and then it was released September 2015 on double 7” vinyl. Then in 2016, we performed live shows in support of the release in between May and up until October of 2016 some of which were support shows with Trouble and Helstar. After the tour, I dissolved the band and it is now finished. In all honesty, the essence of the bands originality was gone with the death of "DZ' in 2014 and the departure of Joe soon after that. There will be no follow up for Mind Assassin. Besides, I am much too involved with Savior From Anger to ever want to do anything else.  

How did you get in contact with SAVIOUR FROM ANGER at all? And did you know the band before?  

Bob: Well, I believe the readers would like to read about what Mark might have to say about this.  

Mark: Hello to you, my friend! Well, I have been a fan of Bob for a long time, but before I ask him, I was searching for other guys to be the singer for the band. Many of them said ´no´. Bob and me have been friends for long times on Facebook, so after failing to get a singer, I finally asked him and he right away said ´yes´. He made me laugh because he thought it was for guest vocalist and then I insisted that no I wanted him to be permanent member. So all work out very great. He has done more for SAVIOR FROM ANGER than anyone I could ever have in this band including myself. “Temple Of Judgment” was completely written and tailored for him. I had given it to him along with the music, the vocal lines that was really ideas I had for him and he willing accepted what was written for him to sing and he did a masterful job in re-creating what my vision was for “Temple Of Judgment”. He and I collaborated on the lyrics as well. On the next album, he will write some vocal lines and I will write them as well the lyrics will be mostly Bob's work and I will lend out some ideas too.

Bob: Mark and I are on the same wave length with regards to writing lyrics, vocal melodies and choruses. We traded ideas, concepts and lyrical vision together. He handled all of the music and arranging. This band certainly has a winning formula and it will continue for quite some time. I have had some great songwriting partners, but Mark tops them all. 

On the latest album “Temple Of Judgment” the German guy Michael Kusch played drums. How did that happen?  

Mark: I was not very happy with the drum performance, so after a while of trying to see how we can fix this, I asked Michael to please re-do the drums and I am happy with the results of the overall performance plus he was responsible for the mixing and mastering of “Temple Of Judgment”. He has so many commitments and obligations that he simply could not accept the offer of joining us full-time.  

Was he a real member of the band at all? Or did he just record sessions drums for your album? I mean, I know that he´s the husband of Sue Kusch who works for Pure Steel, so… ;) 

Mark: As I told you, the offer was made, but he is a friend and could not commit which I fully understand as he is very much in demand of his times. But he is one of the family for SAVIOUR FROM ANGER. His wife Sue is very special to us. She is like an amazing sister to me and Bob. 

How did you rehearse? I mean, Mark is from Italy, Michael from Germany and you are from the USA. How did that work? Did you just send files to each other? Or did you meet before for rehearsals before you entered the studio?  

Mark: Actually, we did not rehearse. The album was pieced together here in Italy with the musicians I had and as you see they were properly credited on the album. The finished music sent to Bob, so that he could do his vocals. Then when Bob was finished, all was sent back to me when I did some more backing vocal and extra guitar works from there Michael Kusch took over the project we come with a great, finished product. Also, I have yet to meet Bob in person. I will be meeting him with his family and my new bands mates for the first time this coming summer when the band tours the USA. 

I think it´s really strange that SAVIOUR FROM ANGER as an Italian band moved to the USA completely. Do you think you are still an Italian band actually? 

Bob: The heart of the matter is that Mark is SAVIOR FROM ANGER with the roots of the band firmly in Italy, so the answer would be ´yes´. Our heritage is Italian, but our country is America. It was Mark's idea to have American musicians in the band, so that it authenticates what he has held to be true as this act being an Italian band with influences that are rooted in the American style thus producing a band that, in its own way, is the most unique. 

Mark: I am not certain really, but I can say that for my whole life I have loved American style heavy metal, so I wanted to be unique in that because I am European, I wanted to be different from the other bands, especially here in my home country of Italy, so I adopted the American style and now I have a great American singer and excellent American musicians that love what they are doing! 

After moving to another country and so many line-up changes, why are SAVIOUR FROM ANGER still the same band in your opinion?  

Mark: It is the same band because of the music that has been made. Passion has no origin of country or background. As long as the passion is there, as long as there is a matter of want, SAVIOUR FROM ANGER will always be the band you will listen to and see live! 

You have a German label, Pure Steel Records. So will we finally have the chance to see you live in Germany again?  

Bob: Yes, we are coming to Europe in 2018. There are plans right now for a 15 dates tour. Our label is working with local agencies to make this happen. By then we should have our new album released. 

What are your future plans with SAVIOUR FROM ANGER?  

Mark: Well, we are touring America this summer, then we plan on finishing up our new album, then it´s off to tour in Europe in 2018 as Bob just said. After that, only God can direct us. 

Bob: The band is very busy and, yes, we have tour dates confirmed for the USA in 2017 and a European tour is in the works for 2018. As of this writing, although we are campaigning our current release "Temple Of Judgment" we are in the studio rehearsing our live show as well as working on the next Savior From Anger album with yet another one to follow as it will be an album of re-works of the bands earliest material. The band now has a permanent, solid line-up which not only will be featured in our live presentations, but on the next and eventual follow-up album releases as well.  

Okay, Bob and Mark! The last words are yours!  

Bob:  Thanks for the opportunity of allowing us the time and space to be part of this great Magazine!! Metal On!! 

Mark: Thank you, my friend and to all the metal fans that have bought and have enjoyed “Temple Of Judgment”. See you on the road!! 

https://www.facebook.com/SaviorFromAnger  

Author: Daniel Müller

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