Asylum Suite Interview

Formed back in 1984, in Pasadena, CA. They made a name for themselves in the showcase clubs on the Sunset Strip, which in turn caught the attention of Van Halen's bass player - Michael Anthony. Co-producing a demo tape for the group, Michael Anthony's involvement has sparked even greater interest in the band. Lead singer Michael Thomas Fiore spoke with us about Asylum Suite.

Q. Realistically speaking, what can Michael Anthony do for Asylum Suite?
A. Mike has helped us with his advice. Being in the business as long as he has, he's been able to help us by saying this is the right thing to do, maybe this is the wrong thing to do, and by coming up onstage and playing with us. We've never really asked him for anything else. I think he would do anything for us, but, Asylum Suite has to prove to ourselves that we can do it.

Q. After reviewing a show of yours, "Music Connection" magazine of Los Angeles, wrote "In a market swamped with bands, Asylum Suite merely needs an angle." Is this reviewer saying Asylum Suite needs a gimmick?
A. I didn't really take it as a gimmick as much as a foot in the door. A step in a way to be seen more. A way to get into the public eye. I don't think we're too much of a gimmick type band. I think we're a straight ahead rock band.

Q. Asylum suite has taken a public stand against drugs. You know how bands are always building themselves up to be party people; could your stance hurt your career?
A. It could go against you, but I think once people see Asylum Suite; we are a party-type band. We party with natural things. We don't have to get high on a substance. Maybe people reading that will think it's kind of a downer on us a little bit that are into a Guns 'n Roses band where everybody is partying, but I don't think it's gonna hurt us too much.

Q. We keep hearing that if a band can't get signed in eight months in Los Angeles, then it's over.
A. We haven't been in the Hollywood scene for 6 years. We really started pumping in Hollywood in 1988. It depends. I guess you have to be in the right place at the right time and the right people have to see you.

Q. Before you hit the Sunset Strip, where was Asylum Suite performing?
A. We were performing at parties, dances, stuff like that, in the Riverside area.

Q. When you finally landed a gig at a Hollywood showcase club; did you think you'd made it? What went through your mind?
A. Our first gig was at the Roxy. It was kind of like hoping we would pack it and have a good show. We're pretty smart. We pretty much know what has to be done to make it. It was real exciting for us. It was like getting a little bit closer to where everything’s happening.

Q. -What is the one mistake you've seen other groups make, that you're trying to avoid?
A. Trying to be too much like another group. Trying to cop an attitude of another band. That would be what a lot of bands in L.A. do. They try to cop what's happening now. That's what we try not to do. It's really hard to be completely original, but I think if you put all of your own into it, you can make some originality out of it.


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