One of the most distinctive voices in rock is getting ready to release his second solo album. This one you might want to grab.
The band Slaughter has sold more than five million records worldwide. The group has numerous top hits on the Billboard charts such as, “Fly To The Angels”, “Up All Night”, “Spend My Life”, and “Mad About You.” They also won the 1991 American Music Award for “Favorite New Artist.”
And as much as Dana Strum, Jeff Blando, and Zoltan Chaney play in the band with Mark Slaughter, Mark has found a bit of time for his soon to be released second solo album, Halfway There. The record is scheduled to hit markets in May under the EMP Record Label banner. And from early accounts, should please fans of his solo and band travels.
We got a chance to talk to Mark about the new offering, his experiences in the music world, and a neat fact about the car he’s leaning against in the photo above. So, sit back and relax as you read this still very cheerful and energetic artist as he laughs and answers the toughest questions we could think of.
Afterwards, hit up our Facebook or Twitter feeds and let us know what you thought of the interview or your hopes for the new CD. We’d love to hear from you.
iGnite Music Mag: Thanks for taking some time out of your busy schedule to answer some questions for iGnite Music Mag, Mark. What’s been going on with you so far into the early part of 2017?
Mark Slaughter: Finishing up the new solo CD Halfway There, playing shows with Slaughter as well as working with Roxy and Maxine Petrucci on VIP aftershow mixing Madam X tracks. Busy busy, (laughing).
iGnite Music Mag: In full disclosure, my first concert when I was 16 is memorable for not only who I went with but who I saw. It just so happens to have been a solo Dokken, you and the guys, and headlined by Poison. So, before we get to your solo stuff, any good news on perhaps the band playing together in the near future?
Mark Slaughter: Slaughter still plays about 30 to 40 shows every year we never stop. It just happens to be more in casinos, festivals, and fairs. In fact the rest of my band, SLAUGHTER, Dana Strum, Jeff Blando, and Zoltan Chaney play about the same amount of dates with Vince Neil’s solo band.
iGnite Music Mag: Oh, very cool. Your second solo album, Halfway There, will drop in May on EMP’s record label. You fill a lot more of the roles on this record then you would on a group Slaughter album. Is this the classic definition of a labor of love or the curse of being a solo artist?
Mark Slaughter: Artists create art! Being a writer, producer, engineer,and performer is very demanding but hey… it’s what I do and I LOVE it! The only curse that I have are the orchestras/ songs that keep waking me up in the middle of the night, (laughing).
iGnite Music Mag: I was reading recently about Tom Keifer’s problems with his vocal chords after seeing him do a great live set dealing with the flu no less. Do you find it as easy to hit your range as you did starting out, or do you have a good regimen to keep your voice sounding great that helps with the stresses of singing?
: I still sing the songs with the same fighting attitude that I did decades ago. It’s what I do! There are all kinds of ways to keep your voice in great condition. The best thing for all vocalists to do is rest and stay hydrated but voice doctors tell ya not to talk between performances… yeah right tell a singer to shut up! (Laughing).
Tom has done a great job at what he does!
iGnite Music Mag: You’ve been around the musical block a few times since leather pants and Aquanet were the keys to rock and roll fashion. You’ve even had to be a bit more aware of your surroundings after 9/11 for security reasons. But for you as the artist, what’s been the biggest thing to change from when a guest vocal on someone else’s record propelled you into genuine stardom until now?
Mark Slaughter: Those who do … do! Those who don’t… bitch! I’m truly blessed to not be a bitcher! (Big laughs), I’m thankful for every part of this dream that has come true for me. A lifetime of songs and playing for audiences around the world. Traveling is a lot more challenging than it used to be no doubt. No worries!
iGnite Music Mag: I’ve noticed a lot of artists/bands from the 80s and 90s have a lot of love still around the world, especially Japan. Would that be the case for you as well?
Mark Slaughter: I believe that good songs will always find a way into someones heart. Music is the soundtrack to our lives and the more we live the better the soundtrack!
iGnite Music Mag: What influence(s) would you be able hear in your style of play, on the solo side of things, regardless of the genre that might have hatched it/them?
Mark Slaughter: The Beatles, Black Sabbath, Boston, Van Halen, ect with a little funk now and then.
iGnite Music Mag: I’ve been lucky enough to cover an arena tour of 80s bands that still shows a huge amount of fan love for the music many of them grew up listening to. Would Halfway There by able to stand that kind of pressure from older as well as newer Mark Slaughter fans?
Mark Slaughter: I think this record can stand up, and is an extension of early Slaughter material with more liberties taken. A lot of band just put out their shitty demos as records. This is NOT a demo! There is a lot of sweat and love put into it.
iGnite Music Mag: Where did the ideas for the songs come from for the solo album and was there an active effort not to make them seem like another band you sing for or did you embrace the connection with Slaughter the band on this effort?
Mark Slaughter: I never run away where I came from. Slaughter was a self produced, as well as self written band. So, it is only a natural progression to continue making music.
iGnite Music Mag: Are you still music fans outside of being on stage, and if so, is there a newer band you’d be excited to catch live or play with, and if so who and/or why?
Mark Slaughter: love the band Big Wreck as well as The Winery Dogs. I’m always looking for new great music.
iGnite Music Mag: I’ve talked with Richie, so great tastes in those two bands. My favorite question to ask is one that has given the National Rock Review fans some very cool stories from previous interviews. Not necessarily with the band, but if you had to recount your seminal Spinal Tap experience, what would it be if the statue of limitations is up on the details of said story, (laughing)?
Mark Slaughter: Being left at a truck stop and hitching a ride with a fan in a Trans Am as if we were breaking a new ground speed record to catch up to the tour bus. Or being led to the stage only to find ourselves in the boiler room of the venue… Thanks security!
iGnite Music Mag: Awesome stuff! How has the relationship with EMP gone and was it a good choice for you in hindsight?
Mark Slaughter: I’ve known David for several decades. He’s a great person and fantastic musician. I recently just met Thom and he gets the music! So far it totally kicks ass!
iGnite Music Mag: Last but not least, for my inner teenage Slaughter fan, can we credit you for being one of the first to smash two songs together like you did for Fly To The Angels and AC/DC’s Highway To Hell? And do you remember how that live gem came to be?
Mark Slaughter: Smashing songs together has been done since Mozart I am and always will be trying to shake things up!
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