Rob Rock "The voice of Melodic Metal”

Por Claudia Saavedra

He is one of the best Metal vocalists and his impressive voice is appreciated all over the world. His extensive discography tells us about an artist who is restless and passionate about his art. His solo works are collectible jewelery. He was a vocalist in Angélica, today considered a cult band, vocalist with Driver, which is already part of the history of heavy metal and with Impellitteri, his career continues successfully, being on stages in America, Europe and Asia.

Metalbreed:  Hi Rob, welcome to Metalbreed. Thank you very much for granting us the interview. It's a great joy to be able to talk to you.

Rob Rock: You are welcome, it’s my pleasure!

M: The first thing I want to tell you is that my magazine is named after the theme Metal Breed, from your disc Garden of Chaos. I would like to thank you for it, since it reflects what many of us want to express: "Revolution that is still evolving. Standing tall the metal breed. Generations of the anvil pounding. You can not stop the Metal Breed "

Rob R: It is my song. Written by myself and Bob Rossi from my Rage of Creation band in Florida. I’m glad you find it worthy enough to use as your magazine title.

M: Garden of chaos is already 10 years since its edition, and we realize that it is a very special album. Here again is Liza (your wife), on keyboards and there is an ode to your son Alexander, plus the song Unconditional, which has a very deep lyrics. Could you tell us about these two songs?

Rob R: Wow, that hardly seems possible, ten years already? The album is high octane melodic metal but the two songs you mention are the two ballads. I’m glad they are getting some attention from you because they are both very special songs to me. The one song for my son Alex, who totally changed my outlook on life when he was born, was written from a piano piece that Liza had written and we developed the song together with Roy Z. The other is a song for my wife Liza, who I love dearly and unconditionally, and I wanted to give her a gift of a song that reflects that. The ballads came at a special time in my life, and with the emotions involved, I was able to express that within the songs.

M: Rob, you've made a huge career as a vocalist, always giving the best in every project. But on a personal level your albums as a soloist have an extra feeling for me. In addition to the compositions and lyrics, you surrounded yourself with tremendous artists in each album with colleagues such as Tobias Sammet, Mistheria, C.J.Grimmark, Andreas Olsson, Roy Z, and other great musicians. They are great artworks that reflects a lot of you. What do these records mean to you?

Rob R: My solo albums are my babies. They are really personal creations and the musicians that I have worked with have really given me their best, and I can never thank them enough for their contributions. These are friends I have worked with that have generously shared their talents on my recordings. Roy Z has been hugely instrumental in helping me achieve the highest class songwriting and production for all of my solo albums, so he deserves great credit for their success. I am very happy that the solo albums stand up to my other works that I have been involved in as well.

M: Is it possible that you will return soon with a new solo album?

Rob R: It is possible, I just don’t know how and when yet. I have hope for another solo album but I need the “stars to align” and for the right time and situations to develop.

M: For fans of Argentina it was a dream that you came to give a show here. Finally God allowed it. Please tell us how you experienced the tour in South America?

Rob R: It was incredible to be in South America and Argentina. I always looked forward to a South America tour and it finally happened. I hope to return again soon. The experience was very positive and the fans there made it all worth the time and effort it took to go there.

M: Did you have time to get to know a little of Buenos Aires? Did you try our traditional “Mate"?

Rob R: We had only a little time and took a walk through the city. The shops were very interesting. We found a great restaurant and tried the famous “meat” selections of steak. It was wonderful! Unfortunately, I did not have a chance to try “Mate”…but my wife drinks it at home.

M: How do you feel when you see the affection of the fans that have followed you through the years? 

Rob R: I feel very humbled the love is amazing and very appreciated a dream come true!

M: In 2016 you also returned to Europe (Spain-Germany) with Impellitteri. How is the metal scene there? Did you have time to know anything about the metal movement in the tours?

Rob R: We also played in Korea as well, headlining to our biggest audience that year. The metal scene seems very healthy there in Europe and Asia. I think fans don’t get to see us “live” very often so it is a special event when we do play over there.

M: All audiences are not the same, but which one has delighted you the most?

Rob R: My heart goes out to Japan. Japan has always been my favorite audience because they are so sincere and very warm. I think it is because we spent a lot of time there with Impellitteri and the reception is always wonderful.

M: The Venom album was received with great joy by all those fans who admire Impellitteri. How long did the recording of the songs take and how was the experience of recording again with Chris and developing a new record with this powerful crew?

Rob R: The recording takes a few months of time. We recorded the parts together in the studio for the basic tracks and then I did vocals here in Florida as the band finished up in L.A. Then we had to mix the album. This experience was very mature and easy to deal with. I think everyone in the band trusts each other and knows the talent that is in the band. We work well together and after all these years, it is really a team effort.

M: What is the Impellitteri album you enjoyed the most? Why?

Rob R: I don’t know how to pick one album. Screaming Symphony is very special to me, but so is Answer to the Master. Screaming Symphony for the vocal work (lead and backings) and Answer to the Master for the overall vibe. But I always love the new albums as well.

M: What do you think of what Chris Cornell did? Did you know him personally?

Rob R: I did not know him personally, but I was a big fan of his voice and music. I think I cannot know what he was thinking or feeling at that moment, but it is tragic. My heart goes out to his family.

M: Who were influential in your life to begin in the path of God?

Rob R: My Mom and Dad. My Mom was a huge spiritual influence on me as I witnessed Christ in her life, all of my life. She passed last Christmas time and she is missed every day.

M: Who were your great referents to start with music? And who do you admire these days?

Rob R: Lou Gramm of Foreigner, Dio, and Ian Gillan. These days…I love hearing the 70’s classic rock of bands like Kansas and Queen.

M: What are you passionate about besides music?

Rob R: Family and Football.

M: The dream of every artist is to live by their art. Did you accomplish it?

Rob R: I accomplished it for 35 years. It continues now but I also have to run my own company to help afford my lifestyle.

M: What jobs did you do when you could not live as a music professional?

Rob R: I own and run a landscaping company here in Florida.

M: Who are your best friends?

Rob R: You would not know them by name… but two names you would know are Roy Z and Chris Impellitteri.

M: Returning to the musical aspect, "Angelica" is already considered a cult band. Do you have contact with Dennis Cameron? Have you considered joining him to record something?

Rob R: Occasionally I speak with Dennis by email. We are friends and try to keep in touch. We haven’t really discussed recording together much. I suppose I would consider it if it were possible.

M: Speaking about Driver, it’s already part of the history of Heavy Metal. Please tell us a little about the album "Countdown” of 2012. What did it mean for you to join Roy Z and Reynold “Butch" Carlsson and sing again songs from the first period?

Rob R: It is great to have an outlet for great songs that have stood the test of time. It is even better when they see the light of day on a worldwide released album. I love those guys and the songs we write together.

M:  Who owns the lyrics of Running From The Darkness and why was it dedicated to celebrities such as Amy Winehouse, Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston?

Rob R: I do. It is a song about addiction and depression, and these famous people seem to have a lifelong battle with both…and it brings the problems and misunderstandings of these diseases to the forefront. They have also ended in tragic situations, so it makes me sad that they did not conquer their demons.

M: 2017 is going a little calm in terms of tours. Did you think this could happened?

Rob R: Last year was insane for me. So many gigs, so many different countries, and different band line-ups to play with. 2017 is calm and reflective for me, and I’m ok with it.

M: What do you have prepared for 2018? Will there be productions, tours?

Rob R: 2018 I am looking forward to working on a new Impellitteri album, and hopefully do some new Rob Rock solo songwriting as well. I hope a Japan/Europe/S.America tour will also develop for a new release from Impellitteri.

M:  What can I say Rob, Thank you so much for this interview!! I admire you and you have been a great blessing for my life, for my radio program and now you will be also for my magazine! Receive the affection of the fans of Argentina and South America. God bless you in everything you are committed to. Please give us a few words for the readers of Metalbreed.

Rob R: I want to thank all the fans and friends who listen to my music for their support and love. I really appreciate you and I am glad that we can connect together through my music. Thank you for sharing my music and story with your readers and listeners too! I hope to see you all again very soon.
As you know we just went through hurricane Irma here in Florida. Much devastation was realized all across the state. Personally, we were spared any great loss or discomfort. The stress of the storm coming and the drama on television and radio was immense. But my family made it through ok - thank God!
I am very blessed to have support from many friends and fans across the world and I thank each of you for your prayers and concern. God bless you all!

| Claudia Saavedra

Trabajo en Prensa y Difusión - Directora Gral. en Metalbreed Magazine - Dirección y conducción en Programa de Radio Raza Metalera - Psicóloga Social.
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