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Articles Home » Music Talk » Interview With Halford Guitarist "Metal Mike" Chlasciak By Thomas Amoriello Jr.
Interview With Halford Guitarist "Metal Mike" Chlasciak By Thomas Amoriello Jr.

Metal Mike For Life

Interview With Halford Guitarist "Metal Mike" Chlasciak

By Thomas Amoriello Jr.

Boston Rock Radio

Pic: Al Hafner

 

Mike Chlasciak is a textbook definition of what a metal guitarist is and then some.  Possessing the skills, attitude, and resume that many strive to accomplish from the first moments they plunk out “Smoke on the Water,” Metal Mike is also a "brand" that wears many hats as camp director, guitar magazine columnist, recording and touring musician for artists such as Rob Halford and formerly Sebastian Bach in addition to his own projects such as PainmuseuM.  Boston Rock Radio would like to thank Mister Chlasciak for this exclusive interview.  

 

 

You have worked with some talented vocalists such as Rob Halford, Sebastian Bach, Mike Vescera, and Carlos Zema.  Who are a few others that you would like to realistically work with that you feel would be a magical collaboration?

I sometimes think of that. Even on Sebastian Bach’s Angel Down album, Axl Rose sang, I was in Testament with Chuck Billy in 2004, I performed live on stage one time with Geoff Tate and Bruce Dickinson. Lots of amazing people. I think doing something cool with Doro Pesch would be a lot of fun or Noora from Battle Beast, as she is one of the coolest vocalists today in metal.

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What do you remember about working with producer Roy Z during the recording of the Halford debut?

I really got along well with Roy while we were working on the Resurrection album. We spent a lot of time together in the studio. Roy helped me a lot. He got my timing better, taught me things about getting certain sounds. I remember him being very creative and generally a very fun person to be around. I remember those days fondly.

 

You are a Berklee College of Music graduate.  Did you study jazz guitar there and any other fond memories of your time in Boston?

You are right, while at Berklee from 1990-1994, I did study some jazz, for sure. At one time, I was able to write out and analyze hard core bebop jazz progressions, tell you what scales went over what – crazy stuff like that. I took a little bit of everything: composition, music production. Thing was, I always knew I wanted to play Metal, so I still practiced it all of the time. I did all my work well at Berklee, but I always knew what I wanted to do after I graduated. So, I would get my work done in the day and go practice metal at night in practice rooms. I would put on Heavy Metal cafeteria shows while at Berklee. I had a good time at Berklee. I just remember it rained half the time I was in college, lol. But, I met many friends who were great. It was my first time really away from home with lots of learning as you can imagine. It allowed me to be dependent on myself, which is very important if you are a touring musician.

 

You had a monthly column in Guitar World for some time, many thriving musicians would like to follow a similar road. Please discuss the discipline of meeting a monthly deadline and keeping the ideas fresh for readers.

When I was asked initially to do the column, I thought that I was gonna be done after 3 months. I was thinking that there is no way I would know enough stuff to show. But, looking back we did something crazy like 48 columns or more. Pretty insane. To prepare, I just thought of what I would show to someone in a lesson and I would chisel out concrete ideas for that. I would get a lesson skeleton penciled out and then I would work out the ideas. I always came up with something, thankfully. The columns found a good audience because I never talked down to the student. The feeling is that I was there to help out, show some stuff and people reacted to that a lot. I had a good time going into New York City and recording the lessons. We might do some more stuff together one day, why not.

 

Metal for Life! 80's Style Metal Guitar Riffs with Metal Mike!

 

You have a thrivin g home guitar studio in northern New Jersey, what have you been teaching the kiddos this year via Zoom?   Any word on camp?

I do most of my guitar instruction via Skype, but I will begin shortly to do guitar seminars using ZOOM, because I want to reach several people at the same time. As Far as the camp, my annual Metal Heroes Summer Camp was postponed to 2021 due to Covid, but I am doing a limited capacity version of my Ultimate Metal Guitar Retreat. It takes place in November in the Catskill Mountains of Up-State, New York. It’s very nice there in the Fall.

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Who are a few of the newer bands regardless of genre that you have been enjoying?

I have been checking out a lot of bands from Scandinavia lately: Battle Beast, Reckless Love and Crazy Lixx.

 

PainmuseuM-Speak The Name

 

Have you caught any cool music documentaries or biopics on Netflix as of late?

Not so much on Netflix. Actually, I do, wait. I remember watching Lady Gaga’s documentary Five Foot Two, I think? I thought it was very good. The best musical thing I have seen lately was the Queen movie. I had no expectations, but I thought it was fantastic. I met several young musicians who told me that the movie was very inspiring for them. I thought that was great.

 

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As you can tell there have been many "all-star" collaborations online during Covid-19.   Can we expect one soon that includes Metal Mike?

I would be up for something, for sure. Quite honestly I just have not yet been asked to do one, but then again, I can just call some friends and do one from me. It is good. Musicians need to stay creative. Of course, these ZOOM jams are not the same as live shows, they can’t even compare, but it’s nice to do something every once in a while for the people who support you and for your own enjoyment as well. Musicians have the responsibility to provide art to the world, it’s our job.

 

Metal Mike Official Website

Metal Heroes Academy

Metal Mike On Facebook

 

Boston Rock Radio Journalist Thomas Amoriello Jr. is a heavy metal guitarist, children's picture book author, educator and recording artist who resides in Lambertville, New Jersey, USA. You can learn more about Tom at https://thomasamoriello.com

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