ＦＢで RIOT が「Very cool Interview with Mark」として紹介しているインタビューの内容です。出展はクラシックハードロック／ヘヴィーメタルを紹介している POWERLINE というサイト（？）です。
I thought Thundersteel was a remarkable comeback album when it came out in 1988. The same can be said for this new album, Immortal Soul, too …no?
Mark Reale: Immortal Soul is basically the follow up to Thundersteel (1998) and Privilege of Power (1990) 20 years later. The sound of the Thundersteel
lineup is so identifiable and the songs on the new CD have the same
feel and sound but with more of a modern power metal twist. This
lineup’s writing and performing skills have the same kind of magic we
had back when we recorded the Thundersteel album. I couldn’t
have asked for more, this CD is definitely a great comeback for us and
everyone gave it there all and brought their “A” game on Immortal Soul. I’m very proud of the way it came out. The guys did an amazing job and Bruno Ravel did a great mix and production job.
Since Thundersteel the band has moved into more of a
power metal style. How did this evolution occur? Was it at first due to
Tony Moore’s style of singing?
Reale: The Thundersteel lineup had a certain
kind of formula for writing songs and a sound that people loved. Don
(Van Stavern) was responsible for a lot of the changes of the sound of
Riot during that period because of his background in heavy metal. He
wrote most of the songs on Thundersteel and you will hear some of his recognizable style on Immortal Soul.
Everybody participated in the writing on this CD. Mike did a lot of
excellent writing and lead playing and Bobby of course did his usual
awesome drumming and Tony outdid himself lyrically and vocally on this
effort. I pretty much took a producer standpoint for a lot of this. I am
very proud of these guys and could definitely not have done it without
How did Tony Moore come back to the band? Why did he leave in the first place?
Reale: When the Thundersteel line up broke up
over 20 some odd years ago, Don left first due to managerial conflicts,
shortly followed by Tony. We kept the lineup going with the remaining
members. During that period Don continued on in various projects,
touring and recording, whereas Tony kind of left the scene and was doing
stuff on a more grounded level. So I think after 20 years of that, and a
home life, and then getting thrown back into the fire it was a little
overwhelming at that time for him. We all didn’t know how this was going
to turn out. But it ended up going from reunion shows to an
overwhelming outcry for permanence. He had to step back and re-evaluate
his stance during this period. I think he just needed time for this to
sink in and that there was such a demand for the group. He had to
arrange his personal life’s schedule to give it some priority that it
was requiring. He also was seeing the people commenting on him singing,
everyone wanted a new CD with him on it. After his short departure we
had a band pow wow and we decided to give it a shot again. Tony’s vocals
are a big part of this sound and we were exciting to have him back. You
will hear on Immortal Soul how lucky we are to have him back.
The vocals sound better than 20 years ago! It’s amazing. Hell, the whole
band blows me away. Hopefully we can keep this unit together for years
to come, God willing.
How is Moore after his emergency surgery? How will it affect his vocal range?
Reale: Tony had emergency oral surgery about three
weeks ago and is still recuperating but is in good spirits and doing
well so we should be back up and running within a couple months. We were
really bummed that we had to cancel (shows) but (it was) something we
had to do for Tony. He had an infection in his jaw bone that required a
bone graft which complicated the use of the mouth and as you know he
needs to be 100% to sing this new stuff. His doctor said he will be fine
and able to sing normal again, which is amazing because his vocals
still sound great after all these years. I can’t apologize enough to the
fans, we were as disappointed as they were. Actually we are looking
into re-booking a European tour at the top of next year so it’s just
kind of just postponed.
Besides Tony Moore, which Riot vocalist did you feel most comfortable with? Was there one who did Riot’s music the most justice?
Reale: I think the vocalists have a lot to do with the
way I’m writing at the time. Guy had a unique mid-range voice and it was
great on the first three records and of course the music changed up a
bit when Rhett and his gravelly bluesy styled vocals joined because of
the difference of singing style. Mike DiMeo’s voice had a more bluesy
Coverdale feel and fit the gothic “rainbowish” type tunes best and
Tony’s voice leads us to write this way, very melodic and aggressive.
Tony has one of the best voices and range out in rock today. But other
then Tony I would probably say Guy because he was there in the beginning
and helped create the Riot legacy and appeared on such iconic records
like Rock City, Narita and, of course, Fire Down Under — which is still one of Riot’s most popular offering to this date.
Audio Fidelity released a high-quality vinyl release of Fire Down Under? It
makes a great album that much better. Do you still look back at that
album with amazement? That is possibly one of the best heavy albums of
Reale: Fire Down Under — because it basically
put us on the map — was so influential on a lot of musicians, and
“Swords and Tequila” was such a big song which is still played on radio
and we continue to play it live. We actually didn’t know that Fire Down Under would become so iconic and influential at the time. We just gathered some great ideas and put them together like we did with Rock City and Narita.
We added a new rhythm section in Kip Lemming and Sandy Slavin and the
record ended up coming out heavy for that time period standards. The
production of that record was very good for that time as well. It was
one of those magical moments were everything was clicking musically. The
songs, the sound it definitely put us on the map, just as the Thundersteel response was later on in our career.
I think Riot was one of the handful of bands that were the USA’s answer to the NWOBHM at that time period.
Is there any Riot album that you feel came up short?
Reale: Writing-wise… not really. Production-wise …
maybe a couple. When I leave the studio I feel very satisfied after the
whole composing, rehearsing and recording process. I don’t think any
particular record fell short. Maybe some didn’t sell as well as others
but we put the same passion and hard work into every Riot record no
matter what lineup it is. Sometimes having to follow up to Riot
masterpieces like Fire Down Under and Thundersteel you
gotta be on point and strike back with some songs as good or better or
people might not receive it as well. Were doing something right to be
able to be recording and touring still for over three decades. As long
as the people want to hear new Riot music we will be happy to deliver as
long as we are able.
How much do you feel the New Wave of British Heavy Metal movement helped the band … a New York band?
Reale: A lot of bands were up-and-coming at the time. I
think Riot was one of the handful of bands that were the USA’s answer
to the NWOBHM at that time period. We basically helped create the US
version. I think we helped pave the way and acceptance for this type of
music. There are lots of bands big time or local still playing Riot
songs especially “Swords and Tequila” and “Thundersteel.” Obviously
bands like Metallica, Megadeth and HammerFall have shown representation
throughout the years and we are truly grateful and honored, especially
when you name your band Thundersteel. We were a little before the wave
hit but it definitely helped theThundersteel era since it was our
heaviest record at that point.
The Donington show (1982) is legendary? Do you think that was one of Riot’s best gigs?
Reale: It was definitely an honor to be asked to be a
part of history, being one of the very first metal festivals! Along with
hard rockin’ bands like Rainbow, Scorpions, Priest, April Wine and
thousands strong, we were paving the way for bigger things to come in
the metal community. We found that Europe really embraced the band and
our sound and also keep in mind we were the only American band on this
bill. The soundtrack is legendary as well and our song “Road Racin’”
appearing on it was an honor. The festival is still going strong under a
different name now. I thought it would be a great idea to do it again
with the same bands.
What is former Riot guitarist Rick Ventura up to these days?
Reale: I actually haven’t spoken with him in awhile. He
still lives in NY and plays guitar in projects, I believe. I have
talked with a few of the past members and at one point we kicked around
the idea of a reunion of the Fire Down Under lineup, but with
the death of the great Guy Speranza it wouldn’t be possible and seem
right. He had such a unique and identifiable voice.
How true are the past rumors about the emergence Quiet Riot
(in 1983) confusing the consumers and therefore complicating the future
Reale: That really had nothing to do with it. We were
more heavy hitters and they were more radio-oriented. A few managerial
decisions early on held us back from being the band we could have been.
We could have been more visible and in the ranks of the top metal bands
of our generation, if we had the chance to work with the companies that
were interested at the time. Being able to compose and perform all these
years is simply awesome and a lot of bands can’t say that. I’m very
fortunate and have little regrets. Riot has always had that stigma about
not breaking out, hopefully with this CD and our great new management
we will finally make a bigger break.
The title Immortal Soul is kind of a testament to the Riot legacy; we never die no matter what the circumstances are.
Sometimes a title of an album is window dressing, but the title Immortal Soul is almost a testament to the soul of the band itself. A lot has changed since, say, Thundersteel
was released. But Riot has endured through so many changes in the music
industry, many trends, many lineups, and has overcome tragedies (i.e.,
the deaths of important members Guy Speranza and Rhett Forrester). What
is the secret to the band’s endurance?
Reale: The title Immortal Soul is kind of a
testament to the Riot legacy; we never die no matter what the
circumstances are. This band has bounced back from internal problems
with management, member changes, labels and also, like you mentioned,
the passing of band members … you name it, but Riot and its music lives
on. We are kind of immortal souls. That’s why Tony thought that would be
a great title for the CD and the Les Paul coming back from the dead on
the CD cover. We felt like that kind of summed it up. We have been
around for so long and as long as we are able to keep coming back with
great music that people enjoy we’ll be here for years to come
“Wings Are For Angels” was released earlier this year as part
of a Japanese tsunami relief album. How did that come about and what
has been the feedback on that. Did the album successfully make money for
the relief effort?
Reale: After negotiating the Japanese record deal with Marquee/
Avalon they approached us with the offer. We have a great love affair
with the Japanese people and their country and have represented their
culture on a few records, not to mention our mascot (The sumo fighter
with a seal head) The Mighty Tior or as many people refer to him as
Johnny! So it was a no brainer and no hesitation on our decision to help
and give back to these amazing and caring people. It’s been well
received and I’m sure the people are very grateful to all the bands that
How will drummer Bobby Jarzombek’s other projects schedule around Riot? Will Riot be his key concentration?
Reale: Bobby definitely juggles a few great bands. He
tries to make time for each group although with Riot he is a full
fledged member and not just a hired gun. He plays with Halford,
Sebastian Bach, Fates Warning and recently the Arch/ Matheos Project so
he keeps himself really busy musically. We try to tailor obligations
around everyone’s busy schedule. Usually we have enough advanced notice
to make arrangements for band commitments. He’s definitely got a full
plate, but we respect him and are grateful that he is a part of this
line up because he is very instrumental in this Riot power metal sound.
Riot thrives onstage … What will the tour to support this album be like?
Reale: The cool thing about Riot is that we have never
relied on a giant stage production or gimmicks. We’ve always been about
the music and performance. Joe Perry said it best when he stated, “Let
the music do the talking.” You will see five awesome musicians doing
what they love which is playing from the heart and that are passionate
about the live delivery. I can tell you it will be loud and fast with
lotsa Marshalls. These guys are top-notch players and am very confident
every time I hit the stage with them. You will leave satisfied. We will
play a few songs from each album, even some very early stuff that we
haven’t played in awhile.
What new song do you feel will win fans over as a classic live?
Reale: Obviously the opening track “Riot.” Its kind of
an anthem and the chorus is a good sing along. It gives the fans a
chance to shout Riot which is a cool thing (laughs). “Wings Are For
Angels” is a good burner live and we have already played it on the
reunion tour because it was the first song we wrote after reuniting.
“Still Your Man –”Johnny’s Back” part 2! – will go over well. We will
play the most popular songs that fans want to hear live as well. We keep
an ear out to see what songs are getting played, charted and requested.
＊ 新譜 Immortal Soul がTHundersteel と The Privilege of Power と同じ「マジック」によって作られた作品であること。
＊ ベーシストであるDon Van Stavern が曲づくりの上で重要な役割を果たしていること。それは名作 THUNDERSTEEL でも同様だった。
＊ Tony Moore の口腔に関する病気のこと。治療により元通り歌えるようになるだろうとのこと。
＊ やっぱり、ライブのオープニングとして、今後「ＲＩＯＴ」（曲名）がアンセムとして演奏されるようになるのでは？とのこと。いや、しかし、Still your man もいい曲だし、Wings are for Angels も捨てがたい・・・それを言ったら、長いＲＩＯＴのキャリアの中で大切な曲が多すぎるな～。