Exclusive interview with
February 5, 2019
| Interview by Sjouke Bakker for www.milanomosh.com & www.sod-mod.com
In March 2018 I interviewed new M.O.D.
guitarplayer Jason French. Last January I spoke with rejoined bassplayer Rob
Moschetti. But although we've met a few times in 2014, I never did a real
interview with drummer Michael Arellano who's in M.O.D. for 6 years already! So
it was finally time now to also do a proper interview with M.O.D. drummer
"That feeling that I had inside, looking at the
sea of people roaring from as far as you can see. All the hard work I’ve put in,
my dream had came true and was put right in front of me. And no one could ever
take that away. I’ll remember that for the rest of my life."
(Michael about Hellfest).
Hi Michael, how are you doing?
MICHAEL: I'm doing well. A little busy with
life but well...haha. Thank you!
Last month it was announced that former M.O.D. bassplayer (also ex-Pro-Pain and
ex-Generaton Kill) Rob Moschetti is rejoining M.O.D. after 24 years! How do you
feel that Rob is back?
MICHAEL: I feel great about it. Knowing that he
has history with the band and is an experienced player makes it comforting. By
looking at some of the old live footage on YouTube, he's definitely a rager on
stage. Very excited to be sharing the stage with him.
Did you meet already?
MICHAEL: Not in person. Only through the
wonders of Facebook, haha.
You became the drummer of M.O.D. back in 2013, right? So, you've been in M.O.D.
for about 6 years now! Do you recall how and when you were asked to play for
MICHAEL: In January of 2013, I played my first
shows with M.O.D. Haha, wow! It doesn't even seem like it's been that long. Well,
it all started when I noticed Billy at Agnostic Front, The Unseen
and Ringworm in Austin at Emo's which I wanna say was sometime in 2004.
We met that night and little did I know he was living in Austin. What really got
us talking was when M.O.D. toured with Madball, Shai Hulud and my
good friends in Bitter End out of San Antonio back in 2008. One of the
nights on tour, Billy had asked Bitter End and our friend Kyle Wallace if
they knew any drummers in the SA/Austin area? They all said that I was the guy.
For that, I'll always love those dudes and be forever grateful they mentioned my
name. Ever since then, Billy and I have been in contact. It was October of 2012
when I heard from Billy. I had just arrived to Houston to play a show with
another band I'm in called Will To Live. While I was setting up my drums,
I received a text from Billy saying “I'm looking to start M.O.D. again. Are you
in?” Without missing a beat, I replied “Yep” haha. It's an honor being in a band
with someone you followed since middle school. I'm still and will always be
thankful given the opportunity.
Where did you play your first show with M.O.D.? What do you remember about that
MICHAEL: It was Frontier Bar in Austin, TX
which is now called The Lost Well. We actually did 2 shows there back to back. I
just remembered I kept telling myself “Don’t mess up.” Haha! It was
nerve-racking but yet exciting.
Have you always wanted to be a
drummer? What age were you when you became a drummer and what was your first
MICHAEL: Growing up...my dad, who has a huge
heart for Rock n' Roll, would take me to all the big rock concerts. Not only did
I become a huge fan of Rock and Roll but I wanted to do that too. It was either
gonna be guitar or drums and the drums just clicked for me. I got real big into
basketball as well but knowing that I didn't make the middle school or high
school teams, I better just stick to the drums haha. Summer of 2000 was when I
got my first drum set so I was 14. After that, I was jamming with anyone who had
gear. My first band was with my friends Jonathan Lagunas & Ryan Kinsfather and
we called the band 'Cause of Death'. First show was March 23, 2002...I
was only 16 years old.
there one drummer (or musician) in particular that you really look up to, or who
MICHAEL: Oh man, wow! There were so many
drummers I looked up to such as Alex Van Halen, Neil Peart, Vinny Appice, Tommy
Lee, Lars Ulrich, etc. Ozzy though, was and still is my #1, had some of the best
drummers to back him up. Tommy Aldridge's solo on the Tribute record, forget
about it. But when Randy Castillo came to the band, his style & attack was like
no other to me. I definitely hold those 2 responsible for being a major
influence on my drumming.
You've been on tour with M.O.D. a couple of times… In 2013 you did some shows in
America and in 2014 M.O.D. toured Europe twice! In 2015 you played a couple of
shows in the U.S. again, around the same time the last album was recorded. What
were your favorite shows on both continents?
Damn Sjouke, you're asking some pretty good questions haha. Lets start with the
U.S. first. I wanna say my favorite show had to be in San Marcos, TX in May of
2013 at this venue which is no more called 'The Triple Crown'. It was pretty
much a hometown show for me and my brother Mike De Leon who played guitar, so it
was real cool and awesome to see all our friends, families and hometown support.
The energy in that place was unreal. But the big one though was playing one of
the main stages at Hellfest in Clisson, France...summer of 2014. It was the
biggest stage and the biggest show I've ever played in my life. That feeling
that I had inside, looking at the sea of people roaring from as far as you can
see. All the hard work I've put in, my dream had came true and was put right in
front of me. And no one could ever take that away. I'll remember that for the
rest of my life.
I still remember when we met for the first time: this was at your first ever
M.O.D. show in The Netherlands (at Iduna, Drachten), in February 2014. It was
great to meet you all there, but how was it for you personally? Your first time
in Europe I mean? Your first M.O.D. show? Your first European tour?
MICHAEL: I remember Billy talking about you
before we got there and was like “This guy's been my webmaster for the past
years and I'm finally gonna get to meet him.” Haha, which made me excited to
meet you. It was a great feeling being in Europe with M.O.D. for the first time.
Although, this was my 3rd visit to Europe. My first trip to Europe was in
October/November of 2008 when I toured with another band I'm in called Die
Young. That was amazing! Being in Europe for 2 months was an experience I'll
never forget. But the first show with M.O.D. in Europe at Iduna, Drachten was
badass to say the least. When we got word that it was sold out, I was like
“Well, we’re off to a good start.” Haha! Everyone was so nice and very welcoming,
it was one hell of a tour. We wouldn't have made it there without Laura and Luuk
of Doomstar, haha. Lots of love to those two.
Since then the guitarist and the bassist have been replaced. Jason French joined
M.O.D. back in March 2018 and now Rob Moschetti is back since January 2019. So,
there's fresh blood in M.O.D.! You must be looking forward to share the stage
with these guys, right?
MICHAEL: It's definitely going to be refreshing
having French and Rob in the band. French and I have been jammin' together for
the past 3 1/2 years now in his band Protest out of Dallas, TX as well as
a Slayer tribute band called War Ensemble. I'd like to think within that
time, he & I have gotten pretty solid and I already know when Rob chimes in,
we'll be a force not to be reckoned with. So yes, I'm really looking forward to
sharing the stage with these guys.
played drums on the latest M.O.D. album ‘Busted, Broke & American’ which was
released by Megaforce Records in 2017. It is a great record, in my opinion! Do
you agree? What's your favorite song on this album and why?
MICHAEL: Yes! I truly believe it's a great
record for fans of Metal and Hardcore Punk. I'm very proud of the work by all
the guys and myself for making the record as best as we can. My favorite song on
the album has to be ‘Billy Be Damned’! Why? Because that song is brutal and it
has everything all in one. You have thrash, the core, even a little bit of blast
and that breakdown at the end hits hard! I really do like ‘Shattered Dreams &
Broken Glass’ as well. Just the feel of it, the “woahs”, it's catchy. It really
is a great song. I like 'em all, who am I kidding? Haha.
Do you think M.O.D. will play songs from
‘Busted, Broke & American’ on upcoming shows?
MICHAEL: We talked about playing a few but yes,
there are songs on the setlist. So you all are going to have to wait and see.
What's your favorite song to play
live? And if there are more than one, just name them all, haha!
MICHAEL: I really enjoy playing ‘True Colors’.
That drive and pace, it just grooves. ‘No Glove No Love’ is a fun one to play
too. I love playing them all, haha. ‘True Colors’ though has to be my favorite.
Now that M.O.D. is complete again,
when will you start rehearsing with the new line-up? And more importantly, when
can we expect to see M.O.D. live? It's been too long!
We're shooting for Spring as far as rehearsals go. Yes, it's been way too long,
haha. I can't give too much away but we have a couple things lined up this year
so expect to hear something soon.
Anything else that you'd like to share with us?
MICHAEL: I'd like to thank everyone who's been
a part of this whole journey of mine. From my first shows with my band
Indisgust to my first U.S. tour with Will To Live from Houston, TX.
From my first European Tour with Die Young to playing main stage at
Hellfest in front of 20,000 + with M.O.D. I wouldn't be where I'm at today if it
wasn't for the Texas Hardcore scene. Love all you guys! Looking forward to
seeing you on the road. Thank you!
Thanks Michael. See you soon on tour!