Home Star of the Month Star of the Month (Michael Angelo Batio)

Star of the Month (Michael Angelo Batio)

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Our "Star of The Month" for June/July 2007, Michael Angelo Batio is an American instrumental rock/heavy metal guitarist and columnist from Chicago, Illinois. He attended Northeastern Illinois University and received a bachelor's degree in music theory and composition. When it comes to shredding, he is totally unbelievable. We call him "The Shredding Demon". He rips and you wont be able to see his fingers. We interviewed this extraordinary shredder and here is what MAB has to say.

Michael Angelo Batio
Michael Angelo Batio

IS: What do you think about the market of instrumental album these days?

MAB: I think the market for this kind of music is both very good for some and not so good for others. The Artists that are genuine, are the “real deal”, the Artist’s that go out and consistently tour, the Artist’s that promote, do well.

IS: Don't you think the trend has changed a lot since 80s and early 90s when media used to cover Metal artists but now it seems to be fading away; what is the reason behind it?

MAB: Yes. The trends in music always change. I think the coverage is still there, but like everything else, it is very different from the way it used to be. We have so many more ways of getting exposure today than we did even 5 years ago. I have been signed to 2 major labels and know how the music industry works. I have based my entire career on being different. I play the way I want to play, both live and in the studio, release the kinds of products I want to release and have done so under my own successful label since 1993. Today, you do not need radio airplay (Dream Theater) or a hit song with an MTV video (Steve Morse, Deep Purple) to be highly successful.

IS: You are blazing on stage and you shred almost non-stop; how you avoid injuries? while other shredders can't!

MAB: I have never had a hand injury from playing the guitar. Ever. I work out religiously and have done so I started recording demo’s for the second “Nitro” record. I believe that a healthy mind, body and spirit can go a long way to keeping one’s skill level extremely high for one’s entire life.  

IS: NITRO did well, how was that experience? any good old memory you would like to share from NITRO days?

MAB: Being in the band “Nitro” with Jim Gillette was a fantastic experience. We are still great friends and talk all of the time. We had 2 sayings that we lived by then and I live by now. 1. “No back up plan”. 2. “You can’t soar with the Eagles if you hang out with Turkeys”! We were a product of the times and the times were great!

IS: What is the secret behind your killer tone?

MAB: Thank you. Again, I do things differently. I have virtually the exact opposite EQ settings as players like Dimebag or Zack Wylde. I love their sound but that is not my sound. I use Dean Guitars exclusively and my signature MAB Over Drive pedal from T-Rex. Both contribute greatly to my tone. I feel that I have found a unique voice in my guitar playing both in the studio and in my live performances.   That is not an easy task considering there are millions of guitar players out there right now.

Michael Angelo Batio
Michael Angelo Batio "The Shredding Daemon"

IS: How much the scene has changed since your first album, what is the current state of metal music?

MAB: Everything has changed! The current state of Metal Music is great. Again, the bands that are the “real deal” and promote through touring, merchandising, the internet. etc… are the one’s IMHO that go on to be successful.

IS: Apart from music, what do you do in spare time?

MAB: Because of my intense touring and traveling schedule, when I am off the road I like to stay at home, work out, practice and watch DVDs. I can watch a movie that I think is great over and over.

IS: For someone starting out playing guitar, should they have a role model to follow? What do you think?

MAB: I don’t know about a role model but I would suggest that they should do 2 things. 1. Find a good guitar teacher and take weekly lessons. 2. Get as many instructional DVDs as they possibly can. 

IS: Any special tip you want to give to young guitarist who want to shred like you?

MAB: Outside of practice, practice, practice, I would say to listen to a lot of different kinds of music, have a basic knowledge of the Piano and play comfortably. 

IS: Any special message you would like to give to your fans through Infernal Scream?

MAB: I would just like to say “thank you” for your continued support and I hope to see you at a show soon! www.angelo.com

Interview by Ali Raza Farooqui

Michael Angelo Batio's MP3s

I do for you
Call to arms
Freight Train
Prog Revisited
Time Traveler