RIOT - America's Original Power Generators Page 4
By Martin Popoff

I hit Mike up for a few words on his vocal heroes throughout the years. "As far as hard rock goes, Paul Rodgers and David Coverdale are definitely up there. They are pretty much everything I wanted to be as far as rock singing goes. I was really more influenced by blues singers like Otis Clay, Sam and Dave, r+b soul singers, Otis Redding. I've definitely seen a change in my style over the last years. On Nightbreaker, I made a conscious effort to sing kind of high because they were just coming out of the Tony Moore phase and the guy used to sing into the stratosphere. We were trying to go for that, but I was never, and never have been... although I've done a little bit on this record, but I was never into really high singing. I think a guy should sound like a guy, you know (laughs). It's cool to have a high range, to be able to hit high notes, but you've still got to do with some grit and some power. So I've tried to stay away from doing the really screechy stuff, and I try to be, and I've tried to be, really conscious about the character I come across with when I'm singing."

Finally, Mike gives us a glimpse into the lyrical themes on Through The Storm. "Well, if you're familiar with any of the other records I've done, I always have to have some of my political opinions in there somewhere. Basically it's, we should overthrow the government (laughs). No, I would say I'm a libertarian more than anything. I used to consider myself an anarchist in all senses but I would think libertarian says it best; I can't help talking about freedom and the importance of freedom, and how people must treasure freedom and how people need to value freedom, respect it, defend it. That always comes across in my songs."