Jan 1 2023
Episode 42: Rob Rock of Impellitteri
Rob Rock (born June 29, 1959) is an American heavy metal singer who is best known as the longtime frontman of Impellitteri, a position he has held from 1987 to 1988, 1992 to 2000, and from 2008 to the present day. Rock has also released four studio albums as a solo artist, and performed with a number of other notable artists, including M.A.R.S., Joshua, Angelica, Axel Rudi Pell and Warrior to name a few. Rob Rock's early music career consisted of stints with several local cover bands as a drummer and vocalist including Tangram, The Robert Allen Band and Vice which also included future band mate, Chris Impellitteri. They released a demo and were together until 1985. In 1986, he joined musicians Tony MacAlpine (guitar), Tommy Aldridge (drums), and Rudy Sarzo (bass guitar) in a project called M.A.R.S. The group released a lone album entitled Project: Driver in 1986, which received much critical praise, but the next year each member went their separate ways. Rock then reunited with friend Chris Impellitteri and recorded the self-titled debut EP (1987) of the latter's band Impellitteri. However, he was also committed to another band named Joshua, so he could not continue with the band at the time. Rock recorded the Intense Defense album with Joshua, which was characterized by the editor of HM Magazine as being "probably the best melodic metal album in the universe." He also worked on other projects (Dennis Cameron's Angelica & Driver) which gave him knowledge of international musicians that would serve him well later. After leaving Joshua in 1988, Rock formed M.A.R.S. offshoot Driver with two other former Joshua members, bassist Emil Lech-Brando and keyboardist Greg Shultz, former Jag Panzer drummer Reynold 'Butch' Carlson, and guitarist Roy Z; Z, Carlson and Lech-Brando had previously played together in Gypsy Moreno. Driver would release a 5-song cassette-only EP in 1990 but broke up the following year when Rock got a call from Chris Impellitteri and decided to once again join his band. Rock would stay on as lead singer until 2000 during which time Impellitteri released five successful albums. In 2000, Rock decided to pursue his own solo career and parted ways with Impellitteri amicably. That same year, he released his first solo album called Rage of Creation. The album received critical praise and Rock has gone on, releasing three more albums (Eyes of Eternity, Holy Hell, Garden of Chaos). Rock's first solo disc 'Rage of Creation' was recorded at Joe Floyd's Silver Cloud studio. As a result of that collaboration, Floyd asked Rock if he would provide vocals for a revamped lineup of the legendary US metal band Warrior. They released 'The Code of Life' in 2001. It is arguably some of the heaviest music Rock has ever performed and received critical acclaim in Europe and Asia. Eventually, Rock would reform Driver with Roy Z and Reynold Carlson and release the Sons of Thunder album in 2008, which consisted of re-recordings of their 1990 EP along with other unreleased songs written at the time. A second Driver album, Countdown, was released in 2012. In May 2008 it was announced that Rock reunited once more with Impellitteri. Their new album, Wicked Maiden, was released in April 2009 and since then they have gone onto release two more studio albums along with the newly released “Wake The Beast-The Impellitteri Anthology”, which is a 3 CD set of the bands favorite tracks from throughout their career. The band will hopefully see a new studio release in 2023 and Rock has some other projects in the works as well so until those all see the light of day please have a listen to the brand new podcast interview with the legendary Rob Rock!