Interview with Fates Warning Touring Guitarist and Solo Artist Michael Abdow By Thomas Amoriello Jr.
Posted by NinaBRR on March 26 2020 08:37:04

Warning Signal

Interview with Fates Warning Touring Guitarist and Solo Artist Michael Abdow

By Thomas Amoriello Jr.

Boston Rock Radio


Massachusetts native, Mike Abdow is best known for his association with progressive metal pioneers Fates Warning.  Being their touring guitarist, he has appeared on vocalist Ray Alder's solo recordings in addition to releasing four solo recordings of his own.  Mike also earned an Associate's Degree in Music from Holyoke Community College where he studied guitar with jazz guitarist Bob Ferrier, who also taught the late Oli Herbert of All That Remains.  This was a bond and something that Mike and Oli often shared in their conversations.   Mike is a respected teacher in his own right and would be a great fit for the aspiring student to help take a leap to the next level.  Boston Rock Radio would like to thank Mike Abdow for this exclusive interview.


Please tell Boston Rock Radio readers about your new recording Heart Signal 

Heart Signal is my fourth full-length solo record. My music is composition based and guitar featured. Each track is accompanied by a mantra philosophy, detailed in the liner notes, that the listener can carry with them throughout each song. This deeper engagement is very exciting to me.
  The record took me about 2 years to complete. During this time, I took some months away to do Ray Alder’s What The Water Wants.  Heart Signal is much more candid than my previous records. I think the compositional depth is much greater and the playing is more honest and off the cuff. I deliberately did not write solos ahead of time and instead tried to play in the moment.

Michael Abdow - Heart Signal (Official Track)

Tony Franklin the fretless bass monster is a special guest.  Please tell us about that?

Tony has been my favorite bass player for as long as I can remember. His voice on the instrument is like no other. When I found that he was available for session playing, it was a no brainer that I’d ask him to do this record. He took the parts I wrote and did his special thing with them. Everything he sent me was perfect the first time; the performance, the musicality, the interpretation. I’m so lucky to have done this with him.

As a touring guitarist with Fates Warning having appeared on their Live Over Europe Recording as well as a guitar solo on 2016's Theories of Flight. How did you come into the fold with the long standing progressive metal band?

I started playing with Fates Warning in 2013. It was a relatively short notice recommendation from our mutual friend and photographer Jeremy Saffer. I auditioned and was ecstatic (and super nervous) when Jim Matheos offered me the spot to play guitar on tour. I’ve been there ever since. The nuance in my musical background makes playing this music with these guys a very special thing that I do not take for granted.


FATES WARNING - The Light And Shade Of Things (Live 2018 / OFFICIAL VIDEO)


Do you currently teach guitar lessons either in person or via Zoom/Skype?

I do teach lessons and enjoy it very much. Right now, considering the circumstances in the world, I teach online only (Skype, Zoom, etc.). I’m always open to working with new students and can be contacted via Facebook or through my website at


Michael Abdow - The Alexandria That Is Leaving (OFFICIAL VIDEO)

Beyond the current pandemic situation, are there future plans to tour with Fates Warning and if so where will you be heading?

Fates Warning will almost certainly be touring in support of our new album. In light of the current pandemic, it is still too early to know approximately when. It was originally planned to be a 2020 release. If history is any indication, we’ll most likely tour Europe and hopefully the United States.


Shredguy Records was "instrumental" earlier in your career.  Would you like to give a shout out to the label and talk about the many releases that you appeared as a guest soloist from their roster?

Yes, Shredguy Records is special to me. Michael McDowell is a friend and long time supporter of what I do. We released my first two albums Native Alien (2010) and Life Symbolic (2013). I also appeared on albums from my friends and then label mates Chris Bickley, Tom Kopyto, and the late Adrian English (love you brother).

If an aspiring guitarist was interested in starting to compose their own guitar instrumentals, what type of advice would you lend?

I would tell them to be original, be unique. Don’t play it safe, because then you will only be creating something agreeable and that is not art. Also, I would suggest that because they are writing instrumentals, be sure to create that moment that makes them feels something. That’s what it’s all about!









Boston Rock Radio Music 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