The living legend, Michael Angelo Batio is a standout amongst the most eminent and spearheading lead guitarists on the planet. He is mostly acknowledged for his V-Shaped Dual-Wielding and otherworldly Quad-Wielding unique and bizarre guitar playing using both hands simultaneously. He was accredited as the ‘Number 1 Shredder of All Time’, ‘One of the Top 50 Fastest Guitarists of All Time’, and was listed amongst ‘Top 100 Greatest Metal Guitarists’ of All Time by the ‘Guitar World Magazine’.
With his unique playing styles, pulsating on-stage performance, matchless attitude, and unprecedented techniques, he conceived an immaculate arrangement of performance standard and turned into icon-to-follow for the present day guitarists in the world.
Michael, also known as ‘Mike Batio’ or ‘MAB’ was born in 1956 in Chicago, Illinois where he drove his initial youth amidst piano, guitar and music composition. He started playing piano at only 5 and he was 10 when he first experienced playing the guitar. His prodigious talent allowed him to play faster than his guitar instructor with only two years of learning. He let the music industry know about his talent and extraordinary potential by winning the ‘All-State Jazz Solo Award’ only at 14.
He graduated from Northeastern Illinois University in Music Theory and Composition. After graduation, he composed music for several big name chains like KFC, Pizza Hut, Burger King, McDonalds, United Airlines and so forth.
Career (Part 1) – Holland
Michael started his profession as a musician with a heavy metal band – ‘Holland’, a Tommy Holland setup in 1984. They released ‘Little Monsters’, their first album in 1985 that received somewhat of a mixed response from the audience. However, the band was part up not long compiling the material from their album sessions, which was later titled ‘Wake Up the Neighborhood’ and released in 1999 under Michael’s own record label M.A.C.E. Music.
Career (Part 2) – The Michael Angelo Band
Michael started his own band ‘The Michael Angelo band’ in 1986 with Michael Cordet in lead vocal, Paul Cammarata in drums, and Allen Hearn as the bass guitarist. They composed some singles together but did not release any albums.
Career (Part 3) – Nitro
After the split up of the band Holland, Michael assisted the superstar metal singer Jim Gillette on his solo ‘Proud to be Loud’ in 1987. After that event, together with Jim Gillette, Michael founded ‘Nitro’ with Bobby Rock on drums and T.J. Racer as the bassist. They released their first album ‘O.F.R’ in 1989. One of the notable music videos of this album was ‘Freight Train’ in which Michael first showed his prowess with his legendary Quad Guitar.
It was in 1992 when Nitro released their second and final album ‘Nitro II: H.W.B.W.S.’ with new members Johnny Thunder and Ralph Carter replacing Bobby Rock and T.J. Racer. Nitro was disbanded soon after their final release.
Career (Part 4) – Solo
Mike founded his personal record label ‘M.A.C.E. Music’ in 1993. Under this label, he released his first album ‘No Boundaries’ in 1995. He developed a website for it in 1996 and the label became the first of its kind with a website. ‘Holiday Strings’ was his first cover album on classical Christmas Music.
Throughout the following couple of years, he released several full-length studio albums (Planet Gemini, Tradition, Lucid Intervals and Moments of Clarity and so on) with instrumental video (Jam With Angelo) and DVDs (Speed Kills, Speed Lives, Speed Kills 2, Speed Kills 3, 25 Jazz Progressions and MAB Jam Session).
His most anticipated album ‘Hands Without Shadows’ came out in 2005 with featuring star musicians, such as Mark Tremonti, Rudy Sarzo, and Bill Peck. Michael came up with his first multimedia show ‘Hands Without Shadows – A Tribute to Rock Guitar’ in 2011. He toured more than 55 countries with his show from 2012 to 2014 around the world.
Michael is a gifted musician who also writes songs, columns and works as a producer. He has opened up a new horizon with his virtuoso lead guitar solo playing style with his exceptional guitar playing. He invented and designed the ground-breaking ‘Dual Guitar’ and ‘Quad Guitar’. His signature stage move was called ‘MAB Over-Under’. He is a magician who can undoubtedly mesmerize the audience with his hands and guitar strings.