Amongst the rock and metal circuits, writhing below the surface of household names, there lies a group of musicians and songwriters respected and honored by their peers, yet those of us outside the inner circle never quite manage to witness their talents. Charlie Sabin, founder of Attention Deficit Society, finds his home traipsing alongside legends, distinguished and esteemed, while flying under the radar of the mainstream listener. He’s handled the mic with guys like Ace Frehley (Kiss, Frehley’s Comet) Richie Scarlet (Frehley’s Comet, Sebastian Bach), and Nick Bowcott (Grim Reaper, Barfly) chopping the axe stage left, and performed duets with Joe Lynn turner. He’s the singer’s singer. The songwriter’s writer. He is rock ‘n’ roll, dirty, gritty, and powerful, an artist for art’s sake.
Sabin’s journey to his current project began some twenty years ago with the seminal Progressive Metal band Toxik. As lead vocalist Sabin and Toxik created the highly influential album Think This on the RoadRunner label, precursor to the Technical and Math Metal movements. It is widely regarded by the metal elite as a classic album. But never one to be pigeon holed by genre or musical conventions, while others from the metal world allowed themselves to be trapped by classification, Sabin began to explore, “I have been writing all types of songs from metal to country and everything in between. I am able to be completely honest in my approach to songwriting now, putting aside fear, being myself instead of the flavor of the month.”
After Toxik, Sabin handled vocals with RCA recording artist Barfly, then onto Versailles records with Strength, building a reputation as a guy who could handle all styles of vocal, from hard and heavy to soft and soulful. But it wasn’t until 2008, while working with producer Tarik Solangi in hisMt.Vernonstudio that Mr. Sabin felt his real strength as a songwriter begin to take shape. “My songwriting has really stepped up with this band, in the past, quite often, I’d be asked to write lyrics for someone else’s music. I have always found that method to be very limiting with regards to melody and over all song structure.” So with the beginnings of Attention Deficit Society, Sabin’s vision and voice came to the forefront, and this is definitely his band, his ideas, matured and mastered. According to Sabin, “I really feel my songwriting is the best it has ever been with ADS. The ADS stuff is very honest and heartfelt and to me that says it all.”
So for a guy who has penned tunes with revered writers like Jack Ponti (Alice Cooper, Bon Jovi, India Arie), Jamie Kyle (Heart, Faith Hill, Tricia Yearwood) and Vic Pepe (Alice Cooper), what is it that motivates him to take songs to the next emotive level? “Too much of today’s music is soulless. I want a song to effect me emotionally and take me somewhere in my mind, whether it makes me want to punch someone in the face, make love, or just cry, it has to effect me in someway.” And having been a working musician, surviving the ups and downs of the rock scene through the years, lyrically he chooses to bare his inner thoughts, “These songs are as close to me as you will ever get, I really wear my heart on my sleeve on some of these tracks. My favorite songs have always been the ones that you knew the artist was showing their true soul. To me there is something about the relationship you build with a song that is truly honest.”
Currently, Sabin is shopping the band’s upcoming album Songs From The Manor to labels and radio stations worldwide. Along with Mike May providing percussion and bassist Jeff Scott, Attention Deficit Society know they’re not willing to just settle with any label. According to the vocalist, “There’s been interest in this record from all parts of the globe, but we’re not interested in working with just anybody. We’ve poured the money into this thing, it fits into the modern rock radio market, so we’re looking to release it on a label willing to give it the support it deserves.” And what makes the ADS material so viable is it’s ability to appeal to many cross sections of rock music. “ADS tracks run the entire spectrum from heavy to radio friendly. We have some tracks that are being played on radio next to metalcore bands and others that are fitting in well next to The Foo Fighters. Whatever, It’s all good to me! I think we really have the ability to ‘crossover’, if you will, into many markets, and not get pigeonholed in one specific type of sound.”
And the response from critics and fans has been overwhelmingly positive. Brian Gagne from Cyberstorm Radio remarked upon placing the band in full rotation, “ Utilizing the raw emotion of punk, with overtones of the 90’s, and a hint of the brutal new metal of today, Attention Deficit Society has cleverly combined the aforementioned genres into a masterpiece debut that is sure to be a highly desired addition to any rockers library. ” And recently, the nationally broadcast Fox News program, The Red Eye with Greg Gutfeld has added ADS riffage to some of its intro/outro’s, “A lot of people tell me it sounds great, but I have yet to hear it.” So, whichever label chooses to give the new disc the backing it deserves already has a proven product in its pocket.
Still searching for a lead guitarist to fill out the band as they plan for what promises to be a very busy future, guest musicians have filled in along the way, including Mike Suppa who in addition to his current project 5 Revolt, has worked with Mike Starr, Jerry Cantrell, Ace Frehley, just to name a few and added his own magic to the Attention Deficit Society track Wouldn’t Want To Be You. Of Sabin Mike says, “He has a knack for writing songs which people can relate to and songs that have hooks. In the studio, as a musician and producer, Charlie is really easy to work with. He’s determined and knows exactly what he’s looking for. I was really excited that he let me work on Wouldn’t Wanna Be You. I loved that track from the first few seconds of hearing it. Charlie is a talented, respected, seasoned music veteran. His voice has so many dynamic ranges. I’m really excited for him and ADS. Every track is killer.” With the respect of their peers fully entrenched, it’s only a matter of time before rock fans catch on. A sampler of tunes from the upcoming album Songs From The Manor can be found at the usual outlets (Itunes, Amazon, Reverbnation).
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Youtube Video of Charlie Sabin performing an unplugged version of Wouldn’t Want To Be You