Frank Marino & Mahogany Rush - Blowing Away Crowds With Eye Of The Storm Page 3
By Martin Popoff
What innovative technical stuff can we hear on the album?
"Well, production-wise, I experimented with something I always wanted to do that a lot of engineers and band members never really understood. This time I've done it. Basically, a lot of drum parts that were written on the tracks don't have ride cymbals or ride high-hats. They just have the beats. And people never understood what I wanted to do with that, but when you actually hear it in the tracks, you wouldn't even have noticed it, had I not told you. But now that I've told you, you listen and go 'oh, my God, that's true the drummer's not using his right hand'. And what it does is that it creates a space in the music that gives a lot more room to the actual music and a lot less of a timing feel. That's from a production point of view. I also went back to using extremely simple equipment. I miked my guitar with one mike at two feet, and one cabinet and one amp. And I miked the drums in a nice sounding room but with very few mikes. I used a little more of the ambiance rather than reverberation and there aren't a lot of these echoes. When I say psychedelia, I do not mean Pink Floyd style, which is basically technological, but I mean more of a '60s psychedelia: what was psychedelia then is what this record is. But probably the most different thing I've done on it is I've gone very deeply into the use of backwards guitars, whereas I used to doing it once in a blue moon, you know, or put one or two lines in. Now with a lot of tracks, the entire solos are structured in reverse. And I've sort of gotten into the trick of playing second solos that are not in reverse and linking them to the solos that are in reverse. You can never tell. They just hook up so well. You can't tell when the guitar is backwards and when it's forward. They flip from one to the other, because they crisscross at the same note, you know? So you'll hear that in a lot of places and you'll be hard-pressed to understand where they crisscross. And in able to do that, I basically had to learn the tunes in reverse."
Although don't get the wrong impression. Eye Of The Storm has a lot of memorable, high relief songs as well as a lot of hard-hitting guitar work, likely as axe-drenched as any of the man's material, maybe by some measures as heavy. Rounding out this version of Mahogany Rush is Peter Dowse on bass, Dave Goode on drums and Mick Layne on rhythm guitar, in total, the band comprising four gents whose chops are drop-dead incredible. See them live for three hours of intense guitar mania, iced with Marino's rich and under-rated vocal work. Mahogany Rush are indeed back, even if Frank, as is increasingly part of his personality as devoted family man, wants to play things this time by his own rules and at his own sweet pace.