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Music News from the Lion's Den

Toni Aleman: Shred God.
Toni Aleman: Shred God.
ROCKwell UnScene MUSIC Magazine Melissa and Wes Anderson

If you are a true heavy metal music fan, you have heard of Mandy Lion. You also may have heard of a little show called That Metal Show. Well fans, the gods have heard you and That Metal Show will be having Mandy Lion and his band perform for them. It all goes down August 23rd at Romona Main Stage in Romona, California.

Mandy Lion on Stage melting faces.
ROCKwell UnScene MUSIC Magazine Melissa and Wes Anderson

Mandy Lion, himself, is a music legend. At age 11, when he was in the old world (Europe), he began his music journey. By 13, he was a seasoned lead vocalist with a rock star lineup. “ The first time I walked onto a stage was the first time I didn't feel out of place. I am sure you have heard many artists say that they have a stage persona and then there is the real person... With me it is actually the other way around. There is no place I am more relaxed and more real than on a stage. So the first time I came home, so to speak, was when I played live. Haven't wanted to leave home since then”. He decided to jump the pond and land in LA. Since his arrival, he has been busy rocking stages and melting faces. “Having the pleasure to perform for the fans is something I am forever grateful for. To me there is no difference in enjoyment based on the size of the gig per say. Bigger stages have more thunder to throw around but a smaller place allows you to get more intimate with the fans. So I hope that I will always have the ability to do some of both. I just adore playing live and connecting with my R-n-R family. Nothing better than that.”

Now he can add to his already stellar resume, That Metal Show. His line-up includes: Toni Aleman - Guitar, Dan McNay (Montrose) - Bass and Lez Warner (The Cult) - Drums. With this all-star band That Metal Show won’t know what hit them. “That metal show is a great thing for our entire genre. It’s a great service to the fans and I am honored to perform on/for it. It’s funny because most of the time I see it, there’s someone I have either worked with or am working with in some kind of a way currently on the show... I am like the Kevin Bacon of metal. That Metal Show is a great thing for our entire genre. After the last performance at the Ramona Mainstage, fans have been asking for us to come back so often that the promoter wasn't allowed to forget about us. So when That Metal Show decided to go through that area, our name came up when asked who they should have for that particular episode. The promoter called me and asked if I was interested. Of course I said yes. I love the people there. We had a great time together the last time and I am sure this time we will turn up the volume and fun factor another few notches.”

“Playing with my current line-up is a blast. Being that I have been very spoiled with great musicians in my band since the age of 17, sometimes it can be quite difficult to find players on par with people like Jimmy Bain, Jake E. Lee, Vinny Appice, Mikkey Dee and so on... But I can honestly say that this band right here is every bit as strong as any line-up I have had in the past. I am proud and honored to take the stage with these gentlemen. You know... I have always felt that I know I have a fantastic band when I forget I have one... I know that sounds strange but it is true. When you have a great band you don't have to listen to them... You just feel them. They are so solid and on point that all I have to do is concentrate on the audience there. A line-up you that have to make sure you keep an ear and eye on so you come in at the right times and so on... Not the case here. My brothers in crime are true gun slingers...”

Many of you know the veterans Dan McNay (Montrose) and Lez Warner (The Cult), but the youngster that is taking the stage by fire is Toni Aleman. I would like to introduce to you all the one and only - Toni Aleman.

“I have been playing guitar from the age of 13. Its been almost 10 years now. Its been a very serious and very fun talent I picked up through very hard work and lots of dedication. I actually started music playing the Alto Sax in school. I hated it. I always wanted to be a drummer like Joey Jordison and then one day, I had to have been 11, I heard Randy Rhoads for the first time playing Crazy Train and the solo blew my mind. I had to play that. I had to know how this man/god was able to make those noises and then from there it was all over. I got a guitar a few years later and never put it down.” From the mouth of a future icon of music and a master shedder now - Toni Aleman.

Sometimes it is fate and sometimes just luck, but I wanted to know how Tony got hooked up with a legend like Mandy Lion. “I live in Lancaster, CA which is a ways away from Hollywierd but nothing too crazy. Its a quiet city and you can imagine how hard it is to meet other musicians. I happened to have met one of Mandy's guitar players who was one of my mentors growing up as a kid. I was a fan. As time went on and I wanted to become something in L.A, I remember asking this guitarist (Rick Plester) if I could be his guitar tech and help out during shows to learn what it was like to be in a band. That is how I managed to squeeze my devious little self into the picture with Mandy. I was just so happy to be around rock stars and great musicians. Eventually, I became friends with everyone in the band and they all knew I could play. When time came for a new guitarist to come in, I would receive a phone call at 2 in the morning saying I had less than 24 hours to learn all this fun WWIII music and head out to an audition. I didn’t sleep that night because I was learning the whole set of Mandy Lion songs and the following night I think I killed it. I got the gig and have been THE guy since. The interesting thing is that at the time I was only 18. I just graduated high school and had JUST been accepted into music school. So being quite green in the music world, I was quite frightened of Mandy. It was later that I found out how much of a sweetheart he is and just how much of a brother he had been all along. He is one of my best friends and we have gone through all kinds of ups, downs, lefts and right the f^^k up again.” It was not only lucky for Toni to meet up with Mandy but for the fans. Because this band puts on a face melting experience. I can not put it any better than
Toni himself, “We are on, we are coming like fire and that I can guarantee! Its on like Donkey Kong and WE WILL tear sh*t up.”

If you’re not able to make it to That Metal Show you still have a chance to see this band on stage. Mandy and the crew will be playing the Rocklahoma event. It is part of the Worlds Loudest Month tour and it all happens May 23rd, 24th, and 25th. I am fortunate enough to be touring with this band and we are stopping in Vegas at Vamps May 16th, the Rocklahoma Pre-Party on May 22nd, playing Rocklahoma May 24th, and hitting Jim’s Saloon in Arlington, TX on May 25th. More shows are being added so check the tour dates and see you on the road with Mandy Lion and crew!