BPMD – Featuring Bobby Blitz, Mike Portnoy, Mark Menghi and Phil Demmel – to Release New Album, American Made

[Photo Credit: Scott Diussa]]

Watch Music Video for Cover of Aerosmith’s “Toys In The Attic” HERE

American Made to be Released on June 12, 2020 via Napalm RecordsPre-Order HERE

“Absolutely f*cking brilliant! God bless the real music krankers of America! Godspeed!”-Ted Nugent

”Turbocharged version of D.O.A. by BPMD. These guys are rocking!”– Michael Anthony (Chickenfoot, Ex-Van Halen)

“Super charged versions of some all time great (but not overplayed!) classic rock songs done by a killer band. I loved the originals of many of these tracks, and these versions bring a whole new edge and energy that make it fun to rock them once again.”– Eddie Trunk, iconic rock radio and TV personality

The time has come! Shortly following the recent announcement of their signing with Napalm Records, 

BPMD – the new juggernaut featuring heavy metal icons Bobby Blitz (Overkill) on vocals, drummer Mike Portnoy (The Winery Dogs, Sons of Apollo), bassist Mark Menghi (Metal Allegiance) and guitarist Phil Demmel (Vio-lence, ex-Machine Head) – are thrilled to announce new details regarding their debut album.
BPMD will release their upcoming full-length, American Made, on June 12, 2020 via Napalm Records. The 10-track homage to some of rock music’s greatest treasures is turbocharged by the experience and enthusiasm of its four creators, and its first single, “Toys In The Attic” – an Aerosmith classic just begging for a heavy reimagining – is only the first boisterous sliver of proof. 

The “Toys In The Attic” video was directed by Victor Borachuk / JupiterReturn, with art direction and motion design by Natália Tanus and Leonardo Gill. Watch the brand new video for the track below!

Frontman Bobby Blitz says about “Toys In The Attic”:“I remember waaaaaaaaaaay back when Overkill formed, we were cutting our teeth on covers as I was finding my way around the mic. The Aerosmith covers were right in my wheelhouse, so when Mike [Portnoy] picked ‘Toys’ to cover, I was like… ‘Hell Yea’!”

Guitarist Phil Demmel adds about recording the track:“It was tricky because Aerosmith have two guitarists, Joe Perry and Brad Whitford, playing different things. So, as one guitar player, I had to pick a medium place between the two that sounded good. I thrashed it up a little by adding a lot of down picking and some gallops and triplets.”

Watch the brand new video and listen to BPMD’s “Toys In The Attic” HERE

Pre-Order American Made HERE 

It’s evident within the initial seconds of BPMD’s American Made, as the legendary Bobby Blitz chants the introductory lyrics to Ted Nugent’s “Wang Dang Sweet Poontang” in his signature skyscraper-high howl, that he and his equally iconic bandmates are here to have a damn good time. Featuring 10 unforgettable rock classics reimagined as heavy bangers, American Made is a party on wax. Tracks such as the raucous “Toys in the Attic” (Aerosmith) and rager-ready “Beer Drinkers & Hell Raisers” (ZZ Top) prove that BPMD not only manages to capture the essence of each original track on the album, but skillfully transforms each classic into an unforgettable metallic anthem for a new age.

The seasoned quartet flex their musical muscles on renowned classics such as “Saturday Night Special” (Lynyrd Skynyrd), “We’re an American Band” (Grand Funk Railroad) and “Walk Away” (James Gang), and introduce a whole new heavy generation to deeper cuts like blues standard “Evil” (Cactus/Willie Dixon) and “Never In My Life” (Mountain). Channeling nostalgia while maintaining a fresh attitude, American Made is a summer soundtrack for all ages.

Bassist Mark Menghi remarks on BPMD’s origins:“Last summer, right after the Fourth of July, I was sitting in my backyard. I was listening to a bunch of ‘70s stuff and Lynyrd Skynyrd‘s ‘Saturday Night Special’ came on. I said, ‘Man, I would love to play that song,’ and my eight-year-old son turned to me and said, ‘You should do a record of all these songs, Dad.’ And I was like, ‘Hmmm? Yeah, why not!?!’”

After connecting over their mutual love for the classics and forming their current line-up, the members of BPMD traveled to drummer Mike Portnoy’s home studio in Pennsylvania and set up shop. Since the whole concept of the band was born the night Menghi was listening to “Saturday Night Special”, BPMD were determined to record the song for the album. Beyond that, each musician picked two ‘70s rock tracks and everyone had to learn them!

Menghi chose “Beer Drinkers & Hell Raisers” in addition to “Saturday Night Special”. Blitz’s choices were a little more obscure – “Never in My Life” replete with cowbell and a blazing repeated blues lick, and Cactus’ version of “Evil”, a fiercely Zeppelin-like take on an old Willie Dixon song.  For his tracks, Demmel picked “D.O.A.” and had a blast channeling his inner Eddie Van Halen, and took a deep dive with “Tattoo Vampire”. Recalling the days when Ted Nugent was more of a bad boy than a gunslinger, Portnoy picked “Wang Dang Sweet Poontang”, in addition to “Toys In the Attic”.

Menghi, who also co-produced American Made, adds:“We didn’t go into it trying to make everything metal, we just wanted to play the way we play and this is what you get… we’ve all been influenced by a wide variety of bands including Black Sabbath, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden and Metallica. So, of course, we’re going to attack the songs a little harder than guys that didn’t grow up on heavy music.” 

Blitz adds:“We made sure we did high-quality versions of these songs and gave them all a little twist. I think there’s a place for that in the music world today. There’s something really great about nostalgia, especially if it’s reimagined.”

American Made was mixed and mastered by Mark Lewis, also known for his work with Metal Allegiance (featuring Mark Menghi), as well as artists such as DevilDriverTrivium, and many others.

American Made Tracklist:

1. Wang Dang Sweet Poontang

2. Toys in the Attic

3. Evil

4. Beer Drinkers & Hell Raisers

5. Saturday Night Special

6. Tattoo Vampire

7. D.O.A.

8. Walk Away

9. Never in My Life

10. We’re an American Band

American Made will be available in the following formats:

– 1-CD Jewel Case

– 1-LP Gatefold Black

– 1-LP Gatefold Red/White/Blue Splatter (NPR Mailorder exclusive)

– American Made T-Shirt + Jewel Case Bundle (NPR Mailorder exclusive)

– American Made T-Shirt + Vinyl Black Bundle (NPR Mailorder exclusive / North America ONLY)

– American Made T-Shirt + Vinyl Red/White/Blue Splatter Bundle (NPR Mailorder exclusive / North America ONLY)- Digital Album

Interview with Adrenaline Mob’s Mike Portnoy

Mike Portnoy is best known as one of the founding members and drummer of the progressive rock group Dream Theater. Portnoy’s latest project Adrenaline Mob which features members of Disturbed and Symphony X is set to release their first full length album on March 13th. Media Mikes had a chance recently to talk with Mike about the group and the upcoming album.

Adam Lawton: How did you first get asked to be a part of Adrenaline Mob?
Mike Portnoy: I have known Russell Allen for many years. Our bands had toured together a couple times and we became very good friends. I have always admired his voice and I think his is one of the best in the business. He is someone that I have always wanted to work with. When my time with Avenged Sevenfold came to a close in 2010 Russell called me up to ask if I would be interested in checking out some material he had been working on with a guy by the name of Mike Orlando. At first I was sort of anticipating material along the lines of Symphony X and Dream Theater. Honestly I wasn’t interested in doing material like that as I wanted to go into some new musical places. I was pleasantly surprised when I hit play and heard the song “Undaunted”. It was exactly what I was looking for and I was instantly on board. It was the right band at the right time.

AL: Can you describe what the writing sessions were like?
MP: The writing happened before my involvement. Mike Orlando has this graveyard of songs and riffs that he has been just waiting for the right band to use them with. He had been working with Russell Allen probably a year or two before my involvement with the project. By the time they asked me to be involved I would say around 80% of the music had been written. I did some shaping and arranging but for the most part everything was there.

AL: How do you think you’re playing on this album differs from that on the Dream Theater and Avenged Sevenfold albums?
MP: I think this stuff is more in line with what I did with Avenged Sevenfold. This was the next natural step in the evolution of that kind of drumming in my life. With Avenged I was out on the Uproar Tour surrounded by bands like Disturbed, Hellyeah and Stone Sour. All these bands are very song oriented and they have a bounce to their grooves. I was very excited playing that kind of music. It’s fun and doesn’t require you to over think anything or play really technical parts. There is nothing wrong with doing that kind of playing but I was looking for a breather. This music definitely is the next step after my drumming on the “Nightmare” album. Having that bounce was the real priority to on “Omerta”. I still wanted it to have my personality and character which I think it does but, have it be restrained somewhat.

AL: Is there a track off the album you are really looking forward to playing live?
MP: At this point we have played everything live already. Every one of these songs comes alive on stage. They are all really energy driven. Songs like “Undaunted” and Psychosane” have a lot drive while the song “All on the Line” serves as a nice breather and a showcase for Russell’s melodic side. When we were playing with Godsmack that song got a great response every night. All the songs serve different purposes depending on what you are looking for.

AL: Where did the idea come from to cover a Duran Duran song?
MP: Mike Orlando and Russell presented that to me at the same time they were showing me all the other material. I had thought it was an original because I never heard the Duran Duran version before. I guess that said something for how well it adapted to the rest of the material. I don’t know which guy actually came up with the idea but it surely works with the rest of the material. Lzzy Hale’s vocals on that track are a whole other attraction. It’s amazing hearing her and Russell trading off together.

AL: What do you think will make this album stand out from others in the rock/metal genre?
MP: I think the thing with Adrenalin Mob is we are taking the song writing structure of bands like Disturbed and Godsmack while keeping with the shred factor. Mike Orlando is an incredible player along the lines of Zakk Wylde and Dimebag Darrell. Add my prog background in and you get something very different. Honestly we aren’t trying to break any new ground with the style of this group. We want to write some great tunes with great riffs and melodies. We are not trying to reinvent the wheel. We just wanted to make an album with great songs that are enjoyable to listen to.