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Mark Slaughter

Date: 6/22/17
Venue: Dingbatz, Clifton, NJ
Report By: Rich Catino


Mark Slaughter, singer of Slaughter, is out doing some dates in support of his new solo album “Halfway There”, also playing some show with the band Slaughter. Initially scheduled as an album release show in NYC, then changed last minute (week before) to Dingbatz in NJ, Mark decided to call the show a Vince Neil after party since Neil was performing only a few miles away. Mark’s set focused on his new album, playing four from it. Both opening choices ‘Devoted’ and ‘Conspiracy’ are darker, the later moodier, than his work from the first two Slaughter albums. Although, a versed fan will be familiar with a similar direction on the album “Fear No Evil”. And ‘Reckless’ is slower and even more so ruff in vocal. So, as a solo artist Mark spreads his wings outside the box. The riff though in ‘Hey You’ and chorus more in the spirited vibe of early Slaughter.
When it came to Slaughter’s choice in a backing band, the guys played hits ‘Spend My Life’, ‘Real Love’, “Angels’, and ‘Up All Night’ faithful to the original. And, joined once again by Bobby Rock on drums (who was rocking so hard busted one of the heads), from Mark’s time in the Vinnie Vincent Invasion (“All Systems Go”). Was great to hear those two resurrect the ballad ‘That Time Of Year’, and Mark sang it pretty much the way it was recorded. From what I can tell in the same key or half step lower, and while Mark’s voice is a little more seasoned these days with a little gravel in texture, sounding strong and clean for the verses and chorus, getting the high parts. They also did a rockin version of Van Halen’s ‘Atomic Punk’.
Would definitely see Mark again solo and love to hear another VVI song or two, or a couple Slaughter cuts from the underrated “Fear No Evil” album.

Mark Slaughter Setlist:

Spend My Life
Hey You
Real Love
Mad About You
Atomic Punk
That Time of Year
Fly to the Angels
Up All Night

Pre show interview:

1. Who is playing with you in the solo band?

MARK: Jamie Jaymi is on (the pink ) bass, he’s a local guy fro Nashville, Mike Himmel on guitar is from Virginia, and Bobby Rock, who played with me in the Vinnie Vincent Invasion – is from all over, haha. Its like surrounding yourself with friends, and have a good time.

2. What kind of setlist will you play for the solo shows?

MARK: A lot of new songs – about four or five, and then of course a few of the Slaughter hits, and then a VVI tune I dug out that I haven’t played in like 28 years. While I was playing the Vinnie Vincent tune it was a lot of fun. Great song.

3. Dust off any Slaughter songs you don’t get to play with the band, or something off the overlooked “Fear No Evil” album?

MARK: You know its tough because the people always want to hear the same hits. And I agree, I really like what we did on “Fear”, and its unfortunate that album m is like an obscure one and didn’t connect with the people. Once and a while, you can do or two songs. But, I agree, there are enough fans, like yourself, who want to hear a couple tunes from “Fear No Evil” and maybe we should consider giving a couple songs a chance.

4. Is tonight’s show in Jersey like a dress rehearsal, or are you winging it?

MARK: No, we have a setlist and a plan what will be played. But yeah, you guys are the first to hear what my solo show will be like. And there are a couple tunes off to the side we can do, like a Rush song – but these are the kind of players I got.

5. How have the sales been for your new solo album “Halfway There”?

MARK: Its been doing well, considering how hard it is to sell an actual album of music these days. It hit a couple independent rock charts. It’s a totally different model these days. You use to make cds and album to tour behind, and now you sell your music as an after thoughts. Its not because of just downloads, its because people are spending money on the expensive phones and apps themselves, aside from the music, or an MP3. But, regardless, I still make music for the love of making it, l whether it sells good or not. I wanted to make a rock album, that was a complete listening experience front to back. Like a vinyl Lp. I think it has that old school vibe because of the flow.

6. When you like to listen to a Slaughter album, is there a particular one or song?

MARK: I really listen to…, each record, when we recorded that album reminds me of where I was in my life at the time. So like the first album brings me back to recording it, in stores appearances, etc. When we recorded “Fear” Dana was in an accident, and I would go listen to the album in my trunk and crank it in the middle of the desert. I had this great sound system. I remember that riff to ‘Live Like There’s No Tomorrow’. I had just moved out to Nashville when we recorded the “Revolution” album, we were trying to find out where we were going as a band, and the album had that very 70s/retro sound. But there a couple songs on it I really love. I’d do maybe one from that album solo.

7. Who will play the guitar solos live?

MARK: Mike will, but I played all of them for my solo album. Mike gets to do the Vinnie solo too. I did play Vinnie Vincent like solo for a Kiss tribute cd once, on ‘Unholy’. That was fun.

8. Recording any solo shows for DVD?

MARK: I would. But not in the immediate plans. Maybe we will record a Slaughter show for a DVD this year.

Official website: http://www.markslaughter.com

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