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Interview with MARK BOALS

October 2000

It was Yngwie Malmsteen that Mark Boals shoot to fame with, but it's been long since the singer moved on, and there was life before Yngwie. Above that, with Mark's first solo album, the new vistas are opening for him. So why not discuss it?

- Have you ever heard that Malmsteen's "Trilogy" released in 1988 in USSR by state label Melodia made such a furore among rock fans and everyone at the time knew your voice not knowing your name?

I had not heard about it until recently, when my keyboard playing friend from Ukraine, Vitalij Kuprij told me about it. What a rush! I wish I would have known sooner!

- Who primarily influenced you as a singer?

There were so many singers I adored over the years that I couldn't possibly name them all, or just one or two, because I took a little advice from them all. My main influence now is Luciano Pavarotti.

- How did you get to work with SAVOY BROWN?

I met with Kim Simmonds in Cleveland, of all places, and I guess he really gave me my first break. I had to audition, playing and singing the BECK, BOGERT, AND APPICE version of "Superstition" because his previous singer/bassist was Tim Bogert. I was very nervous, but I did amazingly well and he hired me on the spot!

- What style you feel the most comfortable to sing - hard rock as with Yngwie or blues as with SAVOY BROWN?

Well, actually there's not that much difference to the way I did it, I really sang the blues like a hard rock singer would, and sometimes, when the song is right, I sing hard rock like a blues singer!

- Was your work with Ted Nudgent a mad experience? Are there any stories?

Yeah, he is a crazy wild man! When I went to his house to stay while we got ready for the tour, he gave everyone guns and said, if you want something to eat, you're going to have to go out and shoot it! So we did! He lived out in the middle of Michigan, and there were no stores nearby, or any Mcdonald's, so, we ate rabbit, squirrel and pheasant meat for dinner, but not until after many hours of shooting and missing! Working on stage with him was great fun though!

- How did you get the gig with RISING FORCE?

They were looking for a singer, and they heard a tape I was working on. So they had me come down to the rehearsal hall, and I sang all his [Malmsteen's] songs and freaked them all out.
Two weeks later I was singing with Yngwie on stage at "Day On The Green" in front of 65,000 people!

- Why did you leave the band prior to the "Trilogy" release?

The sad reason was that I got in a fight with Yngwie and he fired me.

- Jeff Scott Soto sang with Yngwie before you, Joe Lynn Turner - after and three of you worked on Malmsteen's "Inspiration". What do you think of Jeff and Joe?

They are great singers and very cool guys!

- Who decided on who was to sing a certain song on "Inspiration"?

It was pretty much up to Yngwie, but Jeff went first, and then Joe, then me, and we all had a great time!

- You and Malmsteen also covered "Keep Yourself Alive" on QUEEN's tribute. Was it hard to approach the song sung by such vocal giant as Freddie Mercury?

Freddie Mercury! What a genius singer! It was an honor to sing one of his songs.

- I read on tours you sing opera fragments as a solo spot. Are you a fan of Classics? Who's your favorite composer?

Yes, I have been doing the opera arias all this year and last year too. I love classical music, and I love opera because I can really use my voice as an instrument. It is really the ultimate form of singing in a technical sense. My favorite opera composer is Puccini, but my favorite of all was Bach.

- Whose idea it was to cover ABBA's "Gimme! Gimme! Gimme!" on Malmsteen's "Anthology"? How it was for you - to sing well-known pop song?

That was supposed to be for a tribute album of Swedish artists by other Swedish artists. How it ended up on Yngwie's album, I don't know!
I was very surprised. It was good fun to do a pop song and make it metal.

- Some words on your solo album, please.

My new solo album is what everyone has been waiting for me to do for so long, at least that's what I am being told!
It's called "Ring Of Fire", and it will be available worldwide this winter. I got together with some of the best players in the world (other than the ones I always work with) and wrote some killer songs with great melodies and guitar and keyboard solo-battles, in a heavy neo-classic style with a lot of surprises! If you don't know, the players are Vitalij Kuprij - keyboards, Tony MacAlpine - guitars, Virgil Donati - drums, and myself - vocals and bass. Try it, you'll like it!!!

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