|My partnership Patrick from Iron Wolf zine had done an interview with a very great Power Metal band from USA that stroke the scene back in the 80's with "Battle At Helm's Deep" album which offered quality and tight twine guitar lines melted with the typical American Heavy Metal vocals. Reading on an interview conducted in '04 with Michael Sabatini (drum)for the release of "Soul Taker" out in January 2004.|
|Hello Mike, what
mighty Metal albums do you play these days ?
Well, I usually listen to the classic Metal stuff, like Priest, Maiden, Scorpions, Accept, Anvil, Riot as well as others. I really don't listen to or buy a lot of recent so-called nu-Metal bands. that's not my cup of tea so to speak.
Do you remember your first step in
Metal ? Which Metal albums do you consider as timeless masterpieces ?
The band was created in ’83 with
you on drums, John Joseph on bass, Bob Mitchell on vocals, Pat Marinelli
and Dominic Spina on guitars. How did you meet the other members ? Also,
the first name of the band was WARLOC. Did you remove the K because of
the German band ?
Later, Dominic Spina was replaced by
Jim Mooney. What were the reason for his departure ?
|And the band changed its
name to ATTACKER. Did you feel this name is more representative of the music
of the band ?
We got the name actually from Lou Ciarlo, when he was still in Hades, since we had the song "(Call On) The Attacker". He suggested it and we took the name and him from Hades. I don't think we thought about if it was representative of the music, we just liked the name.
In ’84, you released a three song demo which got favourable
press and the attention of Metal Blade. Do you remember how many copies
of this tape were distributed / sold ? Were you astonished by the response
Then the track “(Call On) The Attacker” was on
Metal Massacre 5 compilation LP. Did you see this apparition on Metal
Massacre 5 as a first achievement for ATTACKER ? Also considering that
the bands which got the best responses on Metal Massacre signed with Metal
Blade or Combat…
Why bassist John Joseph was replaced by Jimmy Schulman ?
last long in the band… And new bassist Lou Ciarlo re-recorded the
bass tracks for the first LP. How did you find Lou Ciarlo ?
I also met Lou in college. I started hanging out with him and going to Hades rehearsals. We later began doing shows with Hades. Lou and his family are still today some of my closest friends.
Is it true that the bassist incident
resulting in additional costs for the recording annoyed Metal Blade ?
There was a cover
incident too, the original album cover is really fantastic ! But history
told a tragic accident destroyed it at Metal Blade office. Thence the
consequence was a cheesy cover for the first LP…
It seems ATTACKER
didn’t tour for this LP, excepted for local gigs. So there was an
obvious lack of support from Metal Blade…
How did the band
feel when Bob Mitchell left ? Did you at first think that it was the end
of the band ? Or had you already in the mind that the idea of a split
was out of question and ATTACKER had to continue with a new vocalist ?
|How did you meet John Leone
? (who was a talented singer with a great and powerful voice) ?
I had seen John sing in a cover band in the early 80's and he impressed me. Lou got in touch with him thru a friend of his and he came down for an audition and did a great job, so we took him aboard the attacker team.
After John Leone was in the band, you
recorded a three song demo. Did it get the same response as the ’84
you explain why Jim Mooney left after the demo and was replaced by Tom
The song “Emanon” appeared
on the “L’Amour Rocks” compilation lp in ‘87 and
the band signed with Mercenary. ATTACKER had to suffer from featuring
on demo / compilation LP instead of getting a real deal. Did you regret
not to find a suitable label with promo / tour support ?
“The Second Coming” LP
was released in ’88. It was not Thrash, but it was more Speed Metal
(“Lords Of Thunder”), straighter (“The Madness”),
more intense (“Emanon”) but still melodic (“Revelations
Of Evil”). I would have liked to ask how the response was for the
second LP, but I wonder if it is the right question, considering the very
poor distribution and promotion of Mercenary…
|The original album
cover planned was great too, but then again it was another one which was
used, a military cover that turned bad in my opinion…
Yeah, that cover was confusing. it was meant to be a statement of the world super powers at the time, the U.S. and Russia. One gun was American and one Russian. "Lords Of Thunde"r was basically about that.
There wasn't a real tour to support
the album. But have you good memories from the gigs you played with the
Because of the lack of promotion and
good distribution, ATTACKER was over in ’89. With Lou Ciarlo, you
formed Jersey Dogs, a Thrash Metal band which released the “Don’t
Worry, Get Angry” Ep on Wild Rags and the “Thrash Ranch”
LP on Grudge. Well, these two labels were as poorly distributed in Europe
as Mercenary… I never found these two vinyls, so can you tell the
story of Jersey Dogs ?
What have you done after Jersey Dogs
was over ?
Sadly, Jim Mooney passed away in 2000.
The Metal world also lost J.D. Kimball, Paul Baloff, Chuck Shuldiner and
other talented musicians these last years…What good memories do
you keep of Jim ?
I guess you were satisfied with the
CD re-releases of “Battle At Helm’s Deep” and “The
Second Coming” on Sentinel Steel in ’99 because they are really
The current news are ATTACKER is back
with you on drums, Bob Mitchell on vocals, Felix Torres on bass, Pat Marinelli
and Mike Benetatos on guitars… And you signed a deal with German
label Iron Glory… And third album “Soul Taker” is recorded
and will be out in January 2004… How does this new album sound ?
And how do you feel to be back with ATTACKER ?
I wish you all the best for the future
! Thank you for answering. If you have last words…
Franang zine 17/12//06