Mark Boals: Busier than ever...

Not content with just being a solo artist, Mark Boals also has his band Ring Of Fire. Between the two, there have been 3 albums this year and it looks like it's only going to get busier for the former Yngwie Malmsteen vocalist.

So, it's been a while since we talked last, but you have been very busy!
You have now established two band names - Mark Boals the solo artist and Ring Of Fire. What's the primary difference between the two?
OK! With Mark Boals, I obviously get to do what I want, write what I want, work with new people, and in general, have a great time with the freedom of a being a solo artist, making up for years of artistic suppression!!! Haha!
But seriously, I wanted to be able to do music that was more based around the melody, with a heavy sound that is a little progressive, and totally different from the neo-classic sound of Ring Of Fire.
So many people have been asking me to do it for so long, and I wanted to do it for myself, so there it is!
With Ring Of Fire, I have the ultimate Neo-classic metal band, with the best musicians in the world, and they also happen to be good friends!!!!
I really feel blessed at this point in my life!

The new album is Edge Of The World - what was your aim going into the writing and recording of this album?
It may sound strange, but I really had no ideas except the general sound that I wanted.
I kept that mindset and let the music and lyrics flow out of me naturally, with the knowledge and desire to make music truly from my heart. It all came together fairly quick and easy, which is how I like it!

How does it differ from your last solo album?
With the album "Ring Of Fire", I was really going for a straight neo-classic album, because there was so much flak from the people who refused to let me be anything but a singer in Malmsteen. Don't get me wrong, I fully appreciate the times spent in the shadow of the Original Viking Guitar Shredder, but I wanted people to see that the rumours of my not being able to create that kind of music were not true.
I also happen to enjoy that style of music as well, and after being denied the opportunity to write with Malmsteen so many times, I took the chance to write an album with one of his finest contemporaries, Tony Macalpine, who by chance had also been denied many things in his career. It was so much fun making that album that I wanted to make it a real band, which was successful, I am happy to say!!
As I said before, "Edge" was made with a different mindset, albeit a natural one for me, and for all the players involved! I also have several guitarists on this one, including a new guy named Chris Brooks who is a phenomenal player/writer with tremendous potential.

I personally think it's your best record to date - I really enjoyed the style of the songwriting.

Vocal wise, it sounds like you tried harder with the screams and high notes! Did this come easily, or require a little vocal training before hand?
I guess it might seem that way because I used more range on this album by using more midrange vocals, which tends to accentuate the high notes once they arrive!
Really, with Malmsteen I was singing higher notes all the time, but then there was no reference of lower melodies, so one doesn't realize how high the notes were, unless you try to sing along!!!!
Many people have told me they are happy that they can finally sing my songs in the shower!!!!!!

You produced the album yourself again - do you find yourself learning more each time in the studio?
Of course every experience is a new lesson, but really, there is always so much more to learn. Making albums is really a fine art that keeps progressing all the time.

What production tricks are in effect on this album?
Tricks? Not really. It is simply mixed as it was recorded, by Erik Norlander.
I gave him the raw tracks, and he simply tweaked the sounds slightly and got a balance, and that's it!!!

And straight behind this album is a new Ring Of Fire! How did these albums come to be scheduled so close together?
I wish I knew!!!
It was a bit nerve wracking!!!

How would you describe the musical and lyrical approach on the new Ring Of Fire?
We tried to modernize our approach to neo-classic styling, and I wrote in a more poetic and direct style of lyrics, instead of the standard fare of Dungeons And Dragons that has been done so well already by myself and others.

Any live dates for either project lined up?
Yes! There will be a world tour in early 2003 to promote both albums!

Any chance of making it over to Europe for any live shows?
It's being put together now, as one of our first priorities, especially since my solo album is being received so well there.

How has the response and sales been for the live Ring Of Fire CD and DVD release?
In Japan it has been great! It hasn't been released in other territories yet, but we are working on a major deal for the rest of the world right this moment for an early 2003 release. It is a great representation of the band.

What's next up for you Mark? Solo and Ring Of Fire are done - anything new, or more hard work on these two projects?
I'll be busy with the tour for a good while but afterwards, there will be a new release late in the year.

Heard from Yngwie recently?!!
Not recently!!!! He is busy and so am I!

What are you currently listening to music wise?
I like System Of A Down and Linkin Park! (along with my jazz and classical favorites!)

Favourite albums of 2002?
I like my own of course, and the ones mentioned above, and also the new Rush album is cool!

Anything you would like to add?
Many thanks to my friends around the world for so much great support!

Thanks for taking the time out to answer these questions!
Thanks for inviting me, and best of luck to you, with your new expanded website!!!

c. 2002