Currently on tour with Drowning Pool and Full Devil Jacket, Russell Allen sat down and gave National Rock Review a few minutes to share the funk.
NRR: On behalf of National Rock Review and myself, thank you for giving us a few minutes of your time.
Russell Allen: My pleasure.
NRR: Let me get a general background, you are what within the Adrenaline Mob?
Russell Allen: I am the front man, lead singer, songwriter, producerâ€¦ whatever.
NRR: Cool deal. Give me a background on the name of the group, Adrenaline Mob, what does it mean, where did it come from, was it something that you guys threw darts at the wall and that is what you ended up with, or is there a meaning behind it?
Russell Allen: Well, you know, in the beginning of the band, when it was me and Mike Orlando and I asked Porter to join and the three of us were talking about naming the band and this idea for â€œMobâ€ came up, like, you know. Mike was like, â€œWeâ€™re all from the [same] area, we should have a Rock â€˜n Roll mafia thing, and I was like, â€œOK, that sounds good,â€ and so we all started throwing names out there, you know.
I was like â€œThe Bone Mobâ€ and I kept seeing this vision of these skeleton guys in suits, you know, which ended up becoming the art work. I came up with this character that became like the sort of mascot of the band and now it has evolved into sort of this bone mob kind of thing. I said [another name] would be a cool name for the band, as well as Dearly Departed, and that ended up becoming the album title. Mike Orlandoâ€™s original name for this project that he had started years ago […] was called Adrenaline Fueled Junkies, and it was always a hard-driving sort of thing, racing sort of theme, he always liked drag racing, so Adrenaline Fueled Junkies was the name of this band in the beginning and so he and I married it with Mob and so, you know, he sent me an email, because that is how [he] and I do everything, hard to get him on the phone, he doesnâ€™t want to talk to anybody.
And so I saw that in an email and I said, â€œHey, that has a ring to it! I like that. I like Adrenaline Mob,â€ and he goes â€œWell, I got these five other names. Why donâ€™t you try these?â€ and I wrote him back and said, â€œDude! You had me at Adrenaline Mob.â€ And he goes, â€œOK. If you think that is what is cooler, go with that.â€ And Orlando liked it, so that is how that whole thing went down, you know? So yeah, when I read that, I said, â€œThat sounds cool like that.â€ And that is how we got started on it. We all pitched in a list of names and Mike took from all those names and kind of came up with another list of combined names and that was one of the combinations and it just stuck out in my mind and I saw it and I said, â€œI like this.â€
NRR: Nice. Now, I might be wrong, but you have an album getting read to drop here shortly or dropped already. Is that correct?
Russell Allen: It is correct.
NRR: Ok. What is the name of the album?
Russell Allen: Dearly Departed, out Feb 10, 2015.
NRR: Is it an EP or an LP?
Russell Allen: Technically, it is an LP, but for some reason they are calling it an EP because it has four covers on it and a collection of unreleased stuff along with some acoustic versions and re-recordings of some of the earlier songs, so it is nine songs. It is like a full record. I think they are calling it an EP. I donâ€™t know. Iâ€™ll leave the technical terms up to the record people.
NRR: Is there any kind of story line with the album or is it just a collection of the covers and the songs that you guys have written, put together, produced, all that good stuff?
Russell Allen: Itâ€™s just a collection of stuff. Itâ€™s a collection of songs that we wanted to get out there from the original works that we felt were just never really heard and pushed the way the band wanted them to be. You know, even in this day and age, we are labeled as struggling to find an identity. It was just unfortunate for us to have to go through so many trials and tribulations with all the record label stuff. Not knocking anybody, but sometimes itâ€™s just best to listen to the artist, you know, and do what they want. In the end, we let them push the songs that we didnâ€™t really want them to push because they felt they could sell the band, but we just knew that those were not the right tracks. You know, we just wanted to have the chance to give this band a shot at being heard, and by putting out the songs that we stand by, us doing that would be something that would attract people to the band and open up that Pandoraâ€™s Box, if you will, to discover everything else.
There was a motivation, but thing is for us, of course, that we had gotten into an accident last year that, luckily, no one was hurt, but it ended our tour, at least put a huge wrench in the gears and then we were able to get out and finish. We all kind of took a little hiatus after that and decided â€œWell, should we continue with this?â€ or â€œWell, we have so many obstacles to overcome.â€ But we decided that this was worth doing, and so that was the original motivation toward [a new album] and then once we got to work on it we decided, you know, if we are going to do this then we are just going to do it our way. Weâ€™re going to put out just what we want, do it the way we want to do it, so that is kind of what this is. Itâ€™s just a make no apologies kind of thing, and we are just going to trudge forward and show everybody that this isnâ€™t some sort of some wannabe super group thing, it is a real band.
The Devil Went Down To Georgia (Album Track)
NRR: For anyone who hasnâ€™t heard any of your music up to this point, give me a general description of your sound.
Russell Allen: The sound of the band is a driving, hard-hitting, heavy metal rock group with melodic choruses, playful guitar solos. Itâ€™s a mix of old school and sort of new school sounding stuff. That is how I would best describe it.
NRR: Who would you say are some of the influences the Adrenaline Mob may have drawn their sound from?
Russell Allen: Well, itâ€™s evolved within the sort amount of time that we have been together, but definitely from the classic stuff Van Halen, Shinedown, and the more recent there is even a vibe of Gobsmack here and there, but we really are leaning more towards, the Foo Fighters are a band that we have a ton of respect for, you know, sort of capture that high energy sort of a vibe. That is what, obviously, the name Adrenaline Mob wouldnâ€™t be much of a descriptive band name if the band wasnâ€™t full of adrenaline, you know.
NRR: I know you’re currently touring with Drowning Pool and Full Devil Jacket right now. But festival season is right around the corner, which festival would Adrenaline Mob most want to be a part of if the current tour was/is over and you had the chance?
Russell Allen: Any of them. I got to be honest with you, Iâ€™ve never had the luxury of playing in an American festival other than the Gigantor, which I did back in 2005. Iâ€™ve been in festivals all over the world, bigger ones than we have here in America, but this is another motivation for me to work Adrenaline Mob because I never got to do that here at home. I would love to Carolina Rebellion or any of them. Uproar would probably be the best fit for the band. It echoes out. There would be honor to be part of any of them, Mayhem or Uproar, and being on those bills would be a dream come true for me and Adrenaline Mob. I would love to get up to any of those big festivals here in America and just give it to them.
NRR: How long have you guys been together as a band?
Russell Allen: About three years now, I think. 2011 was the first release, so three years.
NRR: In that three year time, what is the number one Spinal Tap moment that comes to mind that you would be willing to share with National Rock Review and a couple hundred thousand of your closest fans?
Russell Allen: Well, I got to be honest with you, man, itâ€™s been more the tragedy than anything else. Itâ€™s like a good mafia movie. There are always the slow parts where they are trying to stab the guy in the trunk and he is not dead yet. The majority of the mafia films are pretty gritty and brutal and unapologetic and that has kind of been [our story], but we have had those funny moments, not to say that we havenâ€™t. Some of them are pretty out there. We were traveling down in Florida on the Avenge tour and we got stuck in a Hurricane, but we drove through it like a bunch of crazy people and our driver, of course, wasnâ€™t partying, but we partied our butts off and drove through a tsunami, basically, to get to our next gig in Hollywood, FL, and laughing the whole way as we are pretty much facing death, so it was just pretty surreal. And then, of course, irony strikes later in the tour when we almost did die in a car accident that ended the run, so it is just crazy stuff like that kind of makes me chuckle and also shed a tear all at the same time.
NRR: Wowâ€¦ Thatâ€™s got to be the most bittersweet answer Iâ€™ve heard on that question yet.
Russell Allen: Itâ€™s been a bittersweet existence, dude. There have been some really great highs and there have been some really low lows, all inside of a three year span, so weâ€™ve definitely had a lot of stuff happen to us, for better or for worse, but weâ€™re still standing and weâ€™re still making it happen. I give the guys a lot of credit for wanting to hang in there and make this happen.
NRR: If you had the choice and a new fan hears you for the first time, would you rather them see you live on stage or would you rather they hear you from the latest album. What would be your preference to get the full effect of what the Adrenaline Mob is like?
Russell Allen: Well, I think that is a no brainer. It probably is going to be live. I donâ€™t know of a single band, at least in this style of music, a hard-hitting rock act, that doesnâ€™t want you to see them live. Thatâ€™s really where itâ€™s sold, you know, is right there in your face, but Iâ€™m proud of the record. If that was the case that that is when you heard it, so be it. The records speak for themselves, but live itâ€™s pull no punches and itâ€™s right there. Itâ€™s right in your face. I would rather it be live, but the records I stand behind.
NRR: Is there any venue in the United States that you would love to play that you havenâ€™t yet?
Russell Allen: In America, with this band, I would love to play, I think itâ€™s called Bedrock. Itâ€™s in Utah, I believe. Maybe Colorado?
NRR: Right. Somewhere around in there. Youâ€™re the second band that has mentioned wanting to play there, so I might have to make a road trip one of these days.
Russell Allen: Yeah. Itâ€™s a naturally formed amphitheater and the sound actually bounces off the rock walls in the place perfectly. A rock band in a rock arena sounds to me like the most wonderful thing ever.
NRR: What are the best ways to get a hold of the album when now that it is out?
Russell Allen: I would say iTunes would probably be the best digital way to get it. If you want a physical [copy], Best Buy is going to carry it. I do know I still see our kiosk there. But I would say digital right now would probably be the best way to get a hold of it and if you really want to buy the physical you could get it at the major chains, or now that we are out on that road you can buy it from us and Iâ€™ll even sign it for you.
NRR: When you guys are writing the songs, is there a process, is there one person who will do the majority of the song bring the other guys in the other guys will kind of add here or there, or does each person have their own area and then you guys get together a little bit later, mesh it together and it eventually comes out in a new Adrenaline Mob song? How does the whole process work?
Russell Allen: The song writing you mean? How it takes shape? Basically, me and Mike Orlando will co-write everything together. A lot of times he will come over with two or three parts, thatâ€™s like the riff, chorus, at least in the musical form, someway shape or form, and we just take it from there. Other times maybe Iâ€™ll have something like that. On this record I only had like two or three ideas I thought were going to be good for the record and only one of them turned into a song, that was from a chorus and something I had written. I played it for him on the acoustic and so he goes â€œI can do something with that.â€ Most of the time, on this last record anyway, Mike had a good body of work that he had put together, brought it over to my place, and we just started putting the pieces together, whatever is missing and will fill it right there. Heâ€™ll come up with something or we will come up with something, Iâ€™ll say something. If we need lyrics, we just do it right there. Me and him have pretty much written every song youâ€™ve ever heard from us in a day.
The meat and potatoes, lyrics, melody, chords, then going that way and adding a couple of things. Mike spends a lot of time getting his riffs going first and foremost before he presents them to me, but that doesnâ€™t take long, probably takes him a night or two, sometimes â€œHey, I worked this last night, man. What do you think?â€ Heâ€™ll bring it over the next morning and by the end of that day at my place itâ€™s done. We do have a magic there that we are just getting to developing. We have a good way to work and we work well together, bouncing ideas off each other. Itâ€™s not one person looking at one personâ€™s back while heâ€™s writing rifts. We have a more of a singer/songwriter sort of bond and thatâ€™s how we do it. We strip it all down and show everybody that. Those are the way they were originally done, just acoustic guitar and vocal, me and him and me singing and thatâ€™s how the songs were written.
Some of the upcoming tour stops where you can see the Adrenaline Mob live are below. If you see the made skeletons, er men, up close and personal, let us now if you had a personal requested granted by Russell on his daughter’s wedding day. Oh, and what you thought of the show too.
Mar 20, 2015 The Chance – w/Drowning Pool ~ Poughkeepsie, NY
Mar 21, 2015 Starland Ballroom – w/Drowning Pool ~ Sayreville, NJ
Mar 22, 2015 Muncheez – w/Drowning Pool ~ Beckley, WV
Website | Facebook | Twitter
The Chance Theater
Website | Facebook | Twitter
Website | Facebook | Twitter
Website | Facebook | Twitter