Mick Cervino of Violent Storm--Interview By Vinaya Saksena

You may or may not know the name Mick Cervino, but chances are some of your favorite musicians know his name. The Argentina-born bassist has already done time with former Deep Purple guitarist Ritchie Blackmore, and has since landed a gig with one of Blackmoreís most respected disciples, Yngwie Malmsteen, with whom he is currently on tour. And as if that werenít enough, Cervino is preparing to release the debut album by his own band, Violent Storm, which features contributions from Malmsteen and K.K. Downing, one half of Judas Priestís legendary guitar team. Mick Cervino recently fielded questions from Maximum Metal about his work with Malmsteen, his Violent Storm project and tips for aspiring bassists.

VS: How long have you been playing bass, and what got you interested in playing?

Cervino: Since I was 15. I started playing the guitar, but soon realized that there was a guitar player named Ritchie Blackmore who would prevent me from becoming the best. So I switched to bass and began to prepare myself to some day play with Blackmore.

VS: How did you hook up with Yngwie?

Cervino: When my time as Blackmore's bass player elapsed, I asked myself who I would enjoy playing with next the most. Yngwie Malmsteen was my first choice, so I contacted his manager, offered my services, submitted my details and demo playing Yngwie's stuff and was gladly invited to join his band.

VS: Anders Johansson told me that Yngwie likes to hire world-class musicians, even though his music might not use the full extent of their talents. Do you ever feel limited in such a playing situation?

Cervino: Yngwie's material is very challenging and I identify very well with his style of bass playing. There isn't much more I would add to his songs from a bass playing point of view. However, I do have a lot to say musically with regards to composition and arrangements that I don't have much of a chance to explore in Yngwie's band, that's why I formed Violent Storm, so that I have an opportunity to be in control of my own creativity.

"I formed Violent Storm, so that I have an opportunity to be in control of my own creativity."
VS: What are some songs we can expect in the set on this US tour? Is the set any different from sets played in other parts of the world, and why/why not?

Cervino: We normally rehearse many more songs than we actually end up performing, the set list is decided by Yngwie depending on how things go at the rehearsal studio. I suppose it is safe to assume that we'll perform many songs from the new album as well as many of the classics, but I'm sure there will also be surprises here and there, for both the audiences and the band!

VS: What are the best/ worst things about being a member of Rising Force on tour?

Cervino: The best is to feel the interaction with the fans, to watch their faces when we perform and to feel that they got their money's worth. There are no worst things to talk about.

VS: Yngwie and K.K. Downing both play on your Violent Storm album. How did those contributions come about? What was it like working with them?

Cervino: They were both happy to participate in my project and they both did a fantastic job. Their contributions were, as expected, quite amazing. Yngwie did his guitar solos at his home studio in Miami and K.K. did his in England. Working with them was easy and smooth; I am extremely privileged to have such guitar legends play on my album.

VS: Do you have any advice for aspiring young players?

Cervino: Practice! Practice! And Practice! After you've practiced enough, realize that it is still not enough and go practice some more. Learn from the musicians you like and respect, and be open-minded to other styles of music (as long as it's not freaking rap!).

VS: And finally, is there anything you would like people to know about you that they might not know?

Cervino: My Violent Storm album will be released in Europe and America in the New Year, and there will be some very interesting surprises and developments. For updates check out www.mickcervino.com and at www.violentstorm.net.

Mick CervinoVinaya Saksena11/14/2005


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