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Interview ATTACKER

ATTACKER 1985
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A talk with MIKE SABATINI

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I'm really glad the ATTACKER train is back on the tracks! Thanks for your time Mike in the first place. How are you guys these?

Hi stefan, thanks for this opportunity to  speak. It's alot of fun doing the band again, it's great that people remember us after all this time, but of course we only do it for the fun of it. The days of dreaming of being a rock star are behind most of us now. Playing is a great escape from our normal lives, so that's the real reason why we do it.

 

 

When did you start getting involved with Metal music?

I started seeing various cover bands about 1980, they used to play a lot of Judas Priest, AC/DC, Scorpions and Iron Maiden among others. From then on in, I was hooked on Metal. I began drumming about the middle of 1982, formed warloc in 1983 and the rest is history.

 

 

Those were the days, the mighty eighties Metal scene and you definitely reminds that period. You guys started back in 83 under the name WARLOCK, right? Can you tell me more about that day?

I had met a guitar player while I was in college. He was also playing with pat marinelli, who has remained in attacker with me the whole ride. I knew bob from school and brought him on board as well as a bass player who pat had known from his town. we did 99% covers and maybe 2 or 3 original at that time. It was a very exciting time because Metal was so fresh, the band scene was just getting into high gear and we were right in the middle of it all.

 

 

After a while, who make the decision to change the name into ATTACKER , actually why?

We decided to change the name after I had seen articles about the german band warlock. We wanted to avoid confusion with them. The Attacker name was actually thought up by our bassist lou ciarlo, who was still in hades at that time. He later joined us after leaving hades and was a big part of attacker from then on in.

 

 

The very first Attacker line up....the names please.

The first true Attacker line-up was: Pat Marinelli-guitar, Jim Mooney-guitar, Bob Mitchell-vocals, Lou Ciarlo-bass and myself, Mike Sabatini-drums. The very first band line-up was Pat on guitar, me on drums, Bob on vocals, Dominic Spina on guitar and John Joseph on bass.

 

 

The first full length album saw the light of day in 1985 entitled Battle At Helms Deep! Is it right there was some controversy about the cover art. An explanation please.

Yes, we had a cover done by hand, not airbrush, which we thought was excellent. Apparently something happened to the painting at the office of Metal Blade Records. We were told that the distributor had rejected it. but seeing some of the other metal blade covers, I find that hard to believe. Metal Blade had someone else do a cover with a similar theme to what we originally had. The results were terrible but the record was already out. We never got to see the new one before it's release.

 

 

I did a few months ago a Vyndykator interview with Bob Mitchell which is a real Metal magnet to me anyway! How did you hooked up with Bob?

I actually played in a band with bob while we were in school. when I started putting this band together, I gave him a call and he joined. 

 

 

Sleepy Hollow, Attacker, Vyndykator, Alchemy x. Whats the link between all these mentioned bands or no link at all?

There's no link except for Bob. those are his other bands so I can't comment on them. Attacker is my only concern.

 

 

Two years later, a new Attacker album came out named "The Second Coming"! Without Bob, but another singer were found by the name of John Leone which was an outstanding, awesome vocalist to me. Both singers Bob and John are great musicians anyway, but each of them have their own and special style of singing. Your personal vision bout that please.

Yes they are both very good vocalists in their own right. It's a shame that John Leone died. It he had not, he would have been on this new album since he would have been the most recent Attacker singer.

 

 

Actually, why left Bob the band and is it correct Jim Mooney also left Attacker?

Bob did not leave the band, we was let go by us. at the time he was missing  rehearsals and we did'nt like the direction his vocals were going in. He has said he left, but that's not true. Jim left after we had already gotten John leone. One day at a rehearsal, he got angry when john did a scream that coincided with his guitar solo and just packed up and walked out. No real explanation.

 

 

I've heard some rumours they built up a new Metal band after leaving?

Yeah, they started a band by the name of night hunter. we have done one of the songs off their demo on the new album as a tribute to jim Mooney who as you know passed away in 2000.

 

 

Extremely sad new shocks us all, Attacker split up in 1988! Can you tell me exactly what went wrong those days?

The scene was basically all Thrash Metal. Being a classic type Metal band in the late 80's was a difficult thing to do. So we decided to call it a day.

 

 

How  did you spent your time when you're not playing in a Metal band?

Besides working everyday, I enjoy watching movies in my home theater, making improvements in my apartment. just regular stuff. I still like going to see bands, especially the old classic groups. 

 

 

More than ten years later, both Attacker albums were re-released on Sentinel Steel records. How was that going on!

Bob got in contact with denis from Sentinel Steel and called me to find out if I would be interested in putting the albums out again. I spoke to all the other guys and they said sure. Originally, denis only wanted to release the second coming, but I told him that if we can't release both albums we did not wish to put any. so we did release both.

 

 

What is changed through the years Mike? Is the US Metal scene still the same are during the 80s, I guess not.

There really is no scene anymore. unless you' re a band that was very big in the 80's, you will not really draw large crowds. Maybe a couple hundred people at best. 

 

 

Do you like the Euro Power Metal scene of today or still looking backwards to the glorious eighties, a time which I'll never forget... no way!!

I  have never personally been in Europe, but from what I see in magazines and tv, the scene is much better in Europe. I miss the 80's only because of how music in the U.S.A. changes on a daily basis.

 

 

What are your personal favorite Metal bands these days?

Honestly, I really don't like the nu-metal stuff that much. I listen to it on the radio once in awhile, but I prefer to throw in a cd and hear some old stuff of my choosing.

 

 

OK Mike, that's about the story behind your back! Let's have a few words about the reunited ATTACKER! Why did you decide to bring Attacker back to the music scene? Was your first reunited concert the Powermad Fest in 2000?

We, being myself, pat and lou, decided to reunite after the death of Jim Mooney. We were not speaking with Bob at the time because he had said things about the other band members which were nothing but lies and made us very angry toward him. We have since discussed these matters and decided to continue with Bob, though we will never forget.

As for the Powermad show, that was only Bob and a totally different band. we had no involvement in that line-up. From what people I trust have told me, it's a good thing that we stopped that line-up as they were not up to the challenge of carrying the ATTACKER  name and it would have hurt our reputation in the long run.

 

 

Give me all the information about the new album please. Bob is back in the camp and thats great news anyway. Who are the other members, etc, etc,....Im a curious guy, you know.

The new album is titled "Soul Taker" and features 10 songs. 8 of which are brand new, written in the last 3 years, 1 old song from the night hunter demo and 1 that was originally a JERSEY DOGS song that was never released and deals with the loss of a friend or loved one. The band has 2 new members, Mike Benetatos on guitar, who takes over for Jim, who as I stated earlier is no longer with us.

Felix Torres on bass who replces Lou Ciarlo, who could"nt commit to the project due to his schedule. Lou did however write 3 songs on the new album. So it's a definite ATTACKER sound.

 

 

Can we expect the same style as usual? I mean something between B.A.H.M. and T.S.C. or a totally different way of playing?

I think it's a cross between the 2 albums. It's got a little bit of both in it. If we put out an album that sounded like current Metal bands, we could not call it an Attacker album. I think the fans will be pleased.

 

 

Is it still a Sentinel Steel release or did you choose for some other company, why please?

No, this one will be release on Iron Glory records out of Germany. denis from Sentinel Steel put me in contact with Andi from Iron Glory. Denis was not interested at the time due to certain matters and steered me to Andi, who has been nothing but nice to us. 

 

 

Tell me when that killer one will be released, especially in Europe.

It will be released worldwide on january 26th, 2004, so make sure you check it out!!

 

 

Talking about Europe! I hope to see ATTACKER one of the next months live on stage. Possible or not?

It's definitely possible. our only obstacle is money. If promoters want to get us to Europe, they will have cover our expenses to get there. A lot of festivals give you invitations but want bands to pay their own way over. We just can't do that.

 

 

Well, than I hope youll let us know when so we can bring back that eighties Metal feeling and have some fun. Thanx again Mike and if you have any last words to the Metal To Infinity readers, go ahead brother!

Thanks for reading this and I hope you all enjoy the new CD and thanks to stefan for helping KEEP THE SCENE ALIVE!!

ATTACKER
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New Line-Up