"Rock Star Interview: Mitch Malloy"
By: Hardknockz.com

Hardknockz.com (2000)

Mitch Malloy is a man of amazing talent. He also has an amazing story to tell. For a brief moment in rock history, he stood to become what many have sought. The lead vocalist of the band Van Halen. HARDKNOCKZ brings you, the reader, a insightful look into the Van Halen legacy. Join us as we discuss his music, his future and what could have been VH3.

HardKnockz: Introduce your bad self to the readers of this fine journalistic site?

Mitch Malloy: Hello...My name is Mitch Malloy.

HardKnockz: Lets talk about your music. Whats the vibe on SHINE, your new cd and don't be humble.

MM: The vibe is pretty up, it's like, "I feel good and I think I am going to put it into words and music." But I am going to also bang my head while I'm doing it.
It's on the Beatles side of things. There is a lot of that Cheap Trick/Beatle influence on some of these songs. There is a little/lot of Eddie influence in some of the guitar riffs too.

HardKnockz: You appeared on the Tonight show.., did ya get to bang anyone famous after that?

MM:You are completely fixated on sex, I think you need to meditate and do Yoga. It will put the energy in a higher place so it doesn't all run down your leg. HEYYOOOOO!!!!

HardKnockz: Did you ever tell Sir Arthur Payson to stop that silly SIR shit and just go by Art?

MM: I am still laughing. No, I never said that. If you knew Arthur you would understand. He is a very funny, cool guy. He makes fun of himself before you can. No need to tell him something like that. He already knows.

HardKnockz: One thing about being a musician is that you no longer have to masturbate as much.., how often does the ol' testicul-arosa get taken out for a test drive?

MM: LOL! You need help. Why would anyone really care about such a thing?

HardKnockz: In order to pile drive the mound known as Jennifer Lopez would you change your name to Puffy Malloy?

MM: LOL! I wouldn't have to.

HardKnockz: Have you ever thought about filming yourself stuffing Pamela Anderson and then beating her ass just to get some free publicity?

MM: LOL. Auh...........!

HardKnockz: Why did you cut your hair?

MM: I was hot.

HardKnockz: Speaking of hair.., lets take the rocker rug test. We give names, you tell us if they sport chia hair?

MM: KEVIN DUBROW: I think so.
ROB HALFORD: Hmm.., Don't know.
DON DOKKEN: Don't know.
MICK MARS: Looks like it.

HardKnockz: Have you ever heard of the band Bernard Edwards Project Homicide?

MM: Only a few moments ago on your site. (hardknockz note: no one has, they fucking suck!)

HardKnockz: Your vibe on Napster?

MM: In my current situation, I want all my old stuff to be up on it, but I will be pissed if the new stuff ends up there. I guess I will have to get over it though. If I was a huge artist I would HATE it. But as things are for me at the moment, it might be helping me. I do think that it is stealing though. I mean completely 100% stealing. And I can't believe they are still up and running.

hardknockz opinion: Napster might be thieves, but we love em!

HardKnockz: You were briefly the main man in Van Halen. In detail.., how did this occur?

MM: I was called by Edward and we talked and they flew me out, and on the 3rd day he told me I was in the band, and after about a week I went home cause they were going to NYC for the MTV Awards. They went on MTV with Dave and I was shocked and I called Mike and told him that I thought it was a mistake, cause now me or anyone else would never be accepted as the singer in Van Halen. And then I wrote a letter to Ray Danniels thanking them for the opportunity, but I was going to have to pass on the gig. And a week later, Ed called and said they were taking Gary, and I said, great. Ed was fantastic to me. Al was fantastic to me as well, and so was Mike, and Valerie, and Wolfie. It was an amazing experience. It just wasn't meant to be, at that time anyway. Ed had said then, and more recently that he thought it could have worked. I am very flattered by it. Would I try it again? Of course.

HardKnockz: How did they even come to know of you?

MM: My road manager back when I was on RCA/BMG was one Steve Hoffman, Steve went to work for Ray Danniels about 6 years ago. He was the one to turned me onto Ray. Then about a week after that, Desmond Child was in L.A. writing with Ed for the Roth greatest hits thing. And Ray was out there too and they asked Desmond if he knew who I was, and Des told them that I was the perfect choice to be in the band, that I could sing anything, and that I was a total star, and that they would be lucky to get me. (he told me that is what he said) (Des also tried to hook me up with Steve Via, but I wasn't into it at the time. It was the record he made with the singer. (SEX, LOVE & RELIGION) Then they all watched my "Anything At All" video, which I had sent to Steve Hoffman a week earlier per his request, and that night as Des was leaving the Van Halen Compound, he called me on the phone telling me I was the new singer in Van Halen. And that he told them that also. I was laughing telling him that this had been going on for months because Steve Hoffman had been calling me and telling me the same thing. So then I get a call from Steve Hoffman saying the guys have seen the video and want to talk to me. I tell him that if Ed wants to talk to me, Ed should call me. Then Ray Daniels calls and is sooooo nice to me. He tells me no matter what happens with V.H. he wants to manage me. I tell him that is fantastic, but I already have a manager. And that we would have to work something out there. That I would not just leave him without some compensation or participation in some way. (I have since left him now that our deal was up, and am on my own) Anyway, then Ed calls and I am gone when he calls and he leaves me 3 messages. I get home at 1:00 A.M. that night with 3 messages from the great Mr. Van Halen, and he is goofing off on my machine throwing his voice and acting like a kid and I am like Holly Shit, Eddie Van Halen is on my answering machine being wacky. Not once, but 3 times. It was very sureal indeed. So the next day I called him back and we talked and they flew me out the next week. First class, and I didn't ask for that. I mean, they could not have been nicer to me.

HardKnockz: You quit the most sought after position in rock? Are you now or were you on any drugs that would have impaired your judgement?

MM: LOL, I don't do drugs. I am not in this for the money, and unfortunately, I can prove it. :>) And it wasn't like they were begging me to do it. They were very excited about me in the beginning, but let's just say that the letter and Ray had a lot to do with Gary being in the band. Gary is easily one of the nicest and most gracious people I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. For instance, Gary would never say these things I am saying. LOL. I just feel like talking about it now. I hope Ed doesn't mind me talking about it. It wasn't like I left them, it was more like, this isn't going to work.

HardKnockz: Were you aware what was about to transpire at the MTV Awards?

MM: Ed told me that he and Al were going to present on MTV. Nobody said anything about Roth. And that is why when they came out with him, my jaw dropped and I just sat there thinking. I am screwed. There is no way now that this can work with me or anyone else as the singer. I got on the phone the next day and started asking questions. I was upset at the time, but I got over it fast. I waited about a week and then I wrote the letter. Then I got a call from management saying, hey what is wrong, everything here is fine. The guys love you. Don't be upset. And I said I didn't think it was fine and that they should have told me they were presenting with Dave, and then they said they did tell me. Yeh right, whatever.? Don't get me wrong. It wasn't Ed saying he told me something that he didn't tell me. It was his management telling me they told me something that they didn't tell me. And at that point I REALLY didn't think everything was fine. And so I wrote the letter. So you wonder why they did it? The presenting with Dave? I will just tell you guys that MTV has more power than you think, and leave it at that.

HardKnockz: Was money discussed?

MM: Ed joked about money to me, but it was never discussed profesionally. He jokingly said, well, we talked about it and we have decided that since your such a nice guy we are not going to pay you, cause money turns people into jerks and we wouldn't want that to happen to you. He laughed, I said, real funny Ed, rolling my eyes. He also said we will just put you on an allowance, kidding again. I never brought it up at all. He was just goofing around though, which he likes to do a lot. He's a big kid, just like me, and just like I think everyone should be. It's good to be able to act like you are 12 no matter what age you are. I think that's what Rock-n-roll if for, so we can jump around and act like we're 12 for the rest of our lives. Nobody's better at that then Ed. He acted like I would be cut in though. I never got any other impression from him and I didn't really care either way about the money and he knew it. He liked that, I think. It's not a concern of mine. I only think about it when I have to. Like when I get bills in the mail. I NEVER think about money otherwise. But Ed was treating me like I was part of the family, and even said so. There was a moment when he said, We are going to take care of you now, you are part of the family now. Then he told me about his new Publishing deal with Warner Chappell, and told me the numbers, which he asked me to never repeat, so I won't. It was a very good deal for them.

HardKnockz: Alex has taken the neck brace look to new heights.Will you soon be sporting the ALEX line of signature neck braces?

MM: But he rocks! Neck brace or no neck brace.

HardKnockz: Do you still have contact with EDDIE and the band?

MM: It's been awhile now. I saw them on tour and they treated me like I was in the band. They could not have been any nicer to me. recently, I had sent Ed a few songs from the new record and he flipped over them and said he wanted to help, and he did. I am not the type to bother people and I have a GREAT deal of respect and admiration for the man. I figure when he wants to talk to me, he will call, and if he never does, then, I guess he doesn't want to talk to me. :>) I hope he does though. It's great having him as a friend. He is such a cool guy, I mean just as a guy. The "Eddie famous" thing goes away, right away, and then he is just this guy who is like your big brother. He acts goofy, and is very very funny, and really is just so normal. And very smart and worldly. I don't think most people have any idea how cool he is. He gave me advice and was looking out for me and told me he loved me all the time. I guess I am lucky to know him like I do. It's one of the best things that has happened in my life, knowing him.

HardKnockz: What was the vibe at camp Halen when you were there? Was Cherone even involved at this point?

MM: They were talking about him cause they had promised Ray they would audition him. They told me they wanted me, like I said. but after the MTV thing/letter, Gary showed up with a book of poems and Ed was very fired up about that as I recall. He just wanted lyrics to put to his music and Gary had them. I was happy for him when he called. He was excited about Gary.

HardKnockz: Your vibe on all 3 versions of Halen and how do you think your HALEN would have stacked up?

MM: Well, I wanted to write some hits with Ed, but that wasn't happening for some reason. I still think it could, but at that time it wasn't. Since then though he has played me ideas over the phone that I thought were exciting and sounded like classic Ed. And I told him so. Some of the new stuff I felt I could kick butt on. I am the kind of writer that writes melodies and hooks and big choruses and lyrics. But Ed can do it all. He can write very heavy stuff and pull it off, and write very light stuff and make it rock and have huge hits. He is fantastic. Duh. I loved the first 2 records and I thought some of the Sammy stuff was very good too. They grew up a little with Sammy and I think that is what Ed wanted to keep doing. Like any artist, he wants to grow and develop and get better in time.

HardKnockz: Come on now.., if Val wasnt married to Eddie.., would ya?

MM: Ed is my friend and so is Val, even though I haven't seen her in years. Have a little respect. Is she an amazing woman? Absolutely! And a very warm nice person with an amazing kid, which says it all to me. Wolfie is one of the sweetest kids I have ever met. Big reflection on his parents.

HardKnockz: Did you get a chance to meet any of Alex's ex wives?

MM: LOL. Nope. I was at the Van Halen compound the whole time.

HardKnockz: Our sources say that Eddie would rather have his fingers sliced off with a pepperoni cutter and shoved up his ass with a musket loader than have brought Roth back in the band.., your assessment?

MM: LOL. He was VERY against it. He gave it a shot though, with the greatest hits thing, and it was very hard for him. I was there right after that.

HardKnockz: Why exactly did you turn down the Halen job?

MM: It didn't feel right at the time. And it seemed like they might have to go with Dave, so I just wrote the letter so I could get on with my life. Can you imagine what was going on in my head at the time? It was a very difficult time for me and after I wrote the letter I had some peace.

HardKnockz: Any regrets as far as that decision?

MM: I am not the kind of person who regrets things. That is a waste of energy. Things are the way that they are.

HardKnockz: Your odds on the chances of Halen succesfully reuniting with Roth?

MM: Who knows, I just hope Ed is having a good time.

HardKnockz: Why did the Cherone HALEN get such a beating?

MM: It doesn't matter what I think really. Fact is that it was a hard time for Ed. I felt bad for him. I know that seems ridiculous, but I did. Here I was, a guy with no record deal, and no money, and NOT in Van Halen, and I felt bad for Eddie. I guess cause I saw him struggling with it and I truly love the guy and it was hard to see him pissed and frustrated. I think after the MTV thing with Dave, that the fans were not going to accept ANYTHING but Dave. They might have even had a hard time making it happen with Sammy after that. At least for the first record after the MTV thing.

HardKnockz: Are you happy to have been spared that career destroying criticism?

MM: I don't think that Gary's career is destroyed at all. He is even more famous now then he was before, and all he has to do is write some great songs and he will be able to do whatever he wants musically. Gary is a pretty enlightened guy as far as I can tell. I wouldn't think he would view himself as being destroyed in any way. And as long as he doesn't think his career is destroyed, it's not destroyed. He has talent, he will be fine.

HardKnockz: What would have your version of Halen sounded like?

MM: I sounded a little like Sammy singing his songs, but smoother. I didn't think I sounded too good singing the Dave stuff. He is a Baritone, I am a first tenor. Big difference. But I think the new stuff would have been very cool, had we written some great songs that worked with my voice. I have a tape of us and it sounds pretty good.

HardKnockz: Let's get back to your career.

MM: I just finished this new CD SHINE. I made a record completely and totally without any regard for the "current" musical climate. It's live drums, live bass, and live guitars with some Hammond organ thrown in. It's as Ed said, "rock music!" It's tons of guitars. It was a lot of fun to make. It's Greg Morrow on drums, (huge session player), Mike Brignardello (Giant) on bass. There is John Jorgensen (Elton John, Hellicasters) on guitar. I am playing most of the guitars though. I have a new band, Victor Broden on bass guitar and Jamie Rogan on drums, They both play their asses off and sing harmonies too. Live, it's a very tight powerful 3 piece power pop rock thang. Victor also played Bass on half the record. Great guy's, and very talented. This is the best band I have ever had, and we just finished 3 weeks on the road, and it was the best time I have ever had on the road. I didn't want to come home, and I have never not wanted to come home from the road. We will go out again soon. The record is independent. I would like to sign it to a label, we will see. It's selling at the moment, and even getting some radio play.

HardKnockz: Talk about your music. Lets turn a few readers on to you.

MM: If you like old Cheap Trick with some Van Halen riffs thrown in and you like a little Freddie Murcury, and you like pop, maybe you should check it out. This is not for the Korn/Kid Rock/Limp Bisquit fans. This is pop rock. Very melodic with choruses that will stay with you. But very aggressively played and sung. It's Marshall's, Marshall's, and more Marshall's. Vintage, of course. Same amp as Angus uses. I am a total tech head geek when it comes to gear. I have my own studio, and recorded and produced most of the record there and did it mostly myself. I had a helping hand from Victor Broden, our bass player. He co produced with me as well as Ben Fowler, (Bad Co, Meat Loaf, Billy Squire, Skinnard) co-produced and recorded the basic tracks on half the record. At the moment you can get the CD at www.mitchmalloy.com and www.melodicrock.com.

HardKnockz: Tell us about your cd's. Brag on em' a bit.

MM: I did 2 records for RCA. The first one is the one everyone seems to dig the most. It had 2 top 20 singles on it. Anything at all was the first one and it went to 25 on the rock and pop charts. RCA at the time couldn't get it on MTV though and that was the time when Nirvana just came out and everything changed. I was right in the change. That is why it didn't go platinum. The record sold 100,000. You can get it on ebay. It's just called Mitch Malloy.

HardKnockz: Anything else?

MM: I would just like to say to you people who are so upset with Van Halen. Just go listen to your V.H. records that you love and leave Ed alone. He will come back when he comes back, and when he has something to say he will say it. And we will be here to listen. Ed will not buckle to pressure from the fans and he shouldn't have to. What he has already given us is unprecedented. We have no right to be so demanding. When he is ready, he will be back, and not before then. Give him a break, he's only the best Rock-n-roll guitar player/writer in the history of the world. Let's not forget that. He deserves some respect. HARDKNOCKZ says AMEN! Now buy my record please, so I can feed my dogs.

Interview 2000 HardKnockz.com