Now Hear This: Mike Orlando

July 24, 2013


WE FIRST MET ADRENALINE MOB guitarist Mike Orlando when he was one of the ten finalists in Guitar Player’s 2008 Guitar Superstar competition. He was frightening. Orlando’s speed, technique, and frenetic stage presence left many of the judges wowed but speechless. There was simply nothing to say—Orlando had put it all out there in his playing. Adrenaline Mob—featuring Dream Theater drummer Mike Portnoy—recently released an EP of covers entitled Coverta [Caroline].

I hear your recording chops are almost as fast as your solos.

We don’t mess around. Two days of drums, two days of guitars, a couple of days of vocals, and then a mix day. We were done in two weeks, mastered it, and moved on.

The Doors were typically about casting spells, but Adrenaline Mob’s version of “Break on Through (to the Other Side)” is total aggression.

We go at it, yeah [laughs]. The drum and bass part was a really cool idea of Mike’s, but the minute the band comes in full force—boom!—you know it’s the Doors, and you know it’s Adrenaline Mob.

You’re an extremely fast player, but you restrained yourself from recasting some classic solos in your style, opting instead to stick close to the original parts. Why?

You can’t mess with greatness. We picked iconic songs, and you run the risk of getting trampled on if you do things a different way. Also, I’m a big fan of these bands—Van Halen, Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Heart, Dio— and this was all about honoring their songs, not blowing some crazy stuff.

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