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has a new album out, the self-titled Band.  However, hand anyone the CD with the title blacked out, and chances are they would never guess who the artist is.  was one of the hardest rocking bands of the 80’s, but Olivieri’s new work bears no resemblance to those long-gone days.  An amalgam of country, blues, roots music and rock; there’s lots of acoustic and pedal steel guitar, as well as harmonica and slide guitar work on the album.  Intrigued?  Confused?  Curious?  Read on.

Olivieri says that this is something he’s wanted to do for a long time.  “When I left , I wanted to pursue exactly what I’m doing.  Those are my roots–Allman Brothers, Doobie Brothers, Eagles, even John Denver.  When I was growing up, I was the youngest of seven, so I had this in-house library of music I was able to listen to.  Later on, when I saw what Lenny Kravitz was doing, and the Black Crowes, I thought ‘Yeah, I kind of want to go in that direction.’  But it took a while to develop that.  The solo record I put out a couple of years ago, Goodbye Rain, got a little closer to finding myself, but that record was all over the map, direction-wise.  When it came to do this record, all the songs came quick…60-75 days.  I was putting this band together, and they just had this sound, with the harmonica, the pedal steel…it all just blended right away with the songs I had written.”

Olivieri’s current band has seven members, which is large as bands go.  He says that he would like to tour with the full band, but that may not be practical.  “A lot of the gigs I might just go out there with an acoustic guitar.  You know how expensive it could be to bring seven guys on the road. Ideally, I’d like to bring the full band, but even if it’s just me with my guitar and keyboard touring, I’m going to get out there.”  When Oliveiri does go out on the road, the reaction from people will be interesting.  As might be expected, “The hard-core metalheads don’t get it.  Most of my fan base is 40 and over, and over half of them are women, so I think those fans have grown up musically.  I think you’ll find that they’re into country and jazz now.  Metal, I find, is almost unidimensional to me.  I’m not putting it down–I still do shows– but I like music that can come down to a hush, as well as getting big.”

“I didn’t really have a goal to write a certain kind of record.  Those are just real honest songs that came from a place in my life where I wasn’t censoring anything, and I didn’t have anyone telling me ‘you can’t do this, you can’t do that.’  It is what it is.  And, I let the band interpret the material.  I wrote all the songs, but the guys had total freedom to to write their own parts.  And, aside from a couple of vocal overdubs and solos, we recorded the record live.  A lot of what you hear is the magic that was captured.  So, if I do have a direction, that’s where I’m coming from–there really isn’t a direction.”

Those SCREAMER readers who live in Southern California are in for a special treat.  Mark your calendars for Sunday, February 12 at 6:00 pm.  The Band will be having a record release party, and you’re invited!  The band will be performing the album in its entirety, and, best of all, the price of admission is absolutely nothing–a free show.  How often do you get that opportunity?  The venue is the Gaslamp Restaurant and Bar, 6251 E. Pacific Coast Highway in Long Beach. See you there.

For More information on M.O.B. Michael Olivieri Band Click Here.

4 thoughts on “Leatherwolf Frontman Michael Olivieri Charts New, Different Course

  1. I met Michael when he was 17 and was so impressed with His as well as His Bandmates talent that I stareted Managing them and Booking them in bigger and better Venues (For money back then, not Pay to Play). Anyway I am very happy and impressed with how Michael has grown as an artist and the direction his music has taken. He was also able to get a very Talented seasoned musicians together to do the material.
    If you want to see an incredible live show with good song content and amazing musicians The M.O.B. is a must see. You will not be disappointed and will be very glad you attended. Michael is an artist to keep an eye on I believe because he has just begun to scratch the surface of his well of song writing abilities. Although I really enjoy this latest release I am already looking forward to the next, because each one keeps getting better.
    Thanks for listening to my Humble Opinion,
    Jay Roe

  2. I think I met Mike when he was 8 or something like that. We went to elementary school and High School together. He was the class clown in elementary school and is still one of the funniest guys I know. But aside from that, he is an in incredibly talented and versatile musician/singer/songwriter. I have seen Leatherwolf and M.O.B. and definitely a fan of Mike’s newest genre (s) of music. I was listening to the new CD tonight and could hear influences he discussed in this interview, but I also heard (and it may be my imagination) but a bit of ELO and Queen influences as well? Great lyrics and great musicians! I had the opportunity to see them perform and they were amazing. I Will never forget the gal who hula hooped to their music for at least 30 mins straight. This band is complete talent and not only that, they are all good guys. I see great things ahead for these guys! Go see them folks! Great music and fun!

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