Mick Cervino – Bass player for Violent Storm, Yngwie Malmsteen, Richie Blackmore
Interviewed By: Rich Catino
|1. So tell us a little about your musical career and who you have played with from the Hard Rock/Metal community?
MICK: I started playing guitar at the age of seven and studied classical guitar and music theory in Buenos Aires in Argentina where I grew up. I started playing bass at fourteen after discovering the music of Richie Blackmore, ironically years later I played with Richie from 1997-2000 doing the Blackmore’s Night thing. I started playing professionally when I was sixteen with a lot of people you probably wouldn’t know, I moved to Spain from Argentina, England, and in all these places I didn’t a lot of session work. I started playing with Yngwie Malmsteen’s band in 2001 and am playing with him until now. He is not touring at the moment so that gives me time to work on my band Violent Storm. Yngwie actually became my brother in law a couple years ago.
2. How did you get involved with playing on the G3 tour?
MICK: Well Yngwie was invited to do that and I was in his band at the time so that’s how that came about. At the time the “Live in Denver” DVD was recorded which was amazing. I mean you feel you are among the very best when you are part of that and in a way very privileged. I learned from all those people on that tour.
3. Tell us about Violent Storm. Is it a band or a project?
MICK: It is a band and I have been planning it for a long time. Many of the songs on the album were ideas I had for many years but what happens when you play behind Yngwie and Blackmore is you really don’t get much of a chance to write your own stuff. I started the first recordings a couple years ago for Violent Storm. This is our debut record and we will do our first tour of Europe in June. The album will be out in the States and the rest of the world hopefully the end of May.
4. What is the direction of the music on the record?
MICK: Well its rock n roll, I guess these days you can call it metal or hard rock. I did grow up listening to Deep Purple and Black Sabbath though however I made it a point for it not have a dated sound. I think when you listen to the album you will hear some different things, it’s a mixture of different things while still being hard rock because that’s what I like. Usually when I listen to a band I get bored after two three songs because its based on a formula. So I tried to avoid that.
5. How did you get to work with KK Downing from Judas Priest and what did his contribution bring to the music?
MICK: He played on two songs as a guest musician and also served as an executive producer. I met him by attending a couple Priest shows, him seeing me with Yngwie, playing the same festivals. You know by working in the same business playing this type of music. So we started to talk and got along real well, I played him the music for Violent Storm and he really liked it. After that he being involved to a point I asked him if he wanted to serve as executive producer and he said sure. That’s when he brought in Roy Z who collaborated on playing on a couple of songs as well the mixing of the albums.
KK brought his style of playing to the music but I must say that both KK and Yngwie, who also plays on two tracks, brought what was needed for the song. KK’s work on the production was very valuable, he rearranged some songs to make them more effective, and he also made some of the songs more to the point as well as he did d a great job.
6. What did Yngwie bring to the songs he plays on?
MICK: Well he obviously brings his neoclassical style and you can hear who played on what between him and KK. But Yngwie’s contribution was very spontaneous as always, he plays the riff on one track, but he basically understood what I was looking for and went for it.
7. The song “Storm” was written by Richie Blackmore? How did he become involved in the Violent Storm project?
MICK: Well when I worked with him from 97-2000 it’s a song I played on for his own record but at the time the music for his Blackmore’s Night is more Medieval/Renaissance and a different style of music and that’s the version of the song the way he wrote it. But back then when I played with him I could hear a more rocking version of it and is why I included it for my record.
8. Do you maybe see yourself being part of the G3 tour again?
MICK: I don’t know it may very well be at some point. Well we have Martin Mickels playing for Violent Storm and he has already been recognized as one of the best guitarists in the country by British guitar magazines. He plays for a band called Statetrooper. He’s kind of an unknown guitarist in the States but I can’t see why he wouldn’t be invited to be part of G3 at some given his talent.
9. Who is the singer for Violent Storm and what type of singing will he do?
MICK: Well after auditioning many I chose Matt Reardon, he’s not really a metal singer though he has a very unique sound and that is what I was looking for. When I got demos for singers I got so many that were your typical metal singer but I thought he was different. He has some elements of that headbanging thing, you can see its still the same band but you are not getting the same song over and over.
10. When you are working with Yngwie what are some of your favorite songs to play live?
MICK: Yeah I really like the more intense ones like “Rising Force”, I like the really challenging ones but a lot of them are to begin with.
11. Are you playing on the next Yngwie studio album? Recording any live shows for a DVD?
MICK: Well what happens is Yngwie plays bass on all his records and it saves money and time if he does it that way, that’s another reason why I did Violent Storm because it gives me a chance to play on an album. But aside from being on the G3 “Live in Denver” DVD I also played on the live version of “Dreaming” found on the “Attack” album as a bonus track. As far as a live recording for DVD I don’t know you would have to ask Yngwie that (laughs).
12. Anything you like to add?
MICK: Well keep checking in on our website www.violentstorm.net for the album’s release dates, there is also an audio sample from the record posted, we will also post tour dates as soon as they are confirmed.