Interview Joey Severance - Tornado, May 2011

Tornado will not be known yet by a lot of our readers, could you please introduce the band to our readers?

Joey Severance: Hello. The members of our band are:

Michiel “Big Maaaan “ Rutten – Guitar

Daddy B – Guitar

Johnny Wow – Bass

Starvin Marvin – Drums

Superstar Joey Severance – Vocals

And the reason some of us are using pet names is because some of the members are also in other bands and we like to keep things separated as much as we can

Why the name Tornado, if you Google it, you get a lot of information, but it’s not easy to find information about the band Tornado?

Joey: Originally our band was called Nemesis Divina but due to the amount of feedback we were getting people were under the impression that we were a “black metal” band and as you can see, I, Black Dynamite am the only thing “black” metal about our band so when it came time to find a new name we went with something that was simple yet effective which I think ties in with our music and in regards to there not being much information on our band online, personally, I prefer it this way. Rock n Roll is fantasy based and in this day and age where bands are putting EVERYTHING they do out there, no room is left to the imagination and the line between band and fans is being blurred. When I was growing up lying on the bed with an album in my hand looking at the lyrics, pictures, liner notes and such, at the same time, in my head I was imagining what it must have been like in the studio or at the photo session and in my head, it was cool for me because I was using my imagination. These days, you see and hear about EVERYTHING a band is doing and for me, that takes away a big piece from pie that is music. As much as I love Ozzy and Motley Crue or Slayer, I don’t want to know every detail about their personal life or what they are doing on the studio or watch how they make their records. So in this regard, I am trying to keep that sort of thing to a bare minimum!

An American Dutchman with some Dutch and Finnish members, will this work out in the future and can all get along?

Yes, for sure this can work out and it will work out as long as the other guys want to be a part of this and yes, we are thick as thieves in terms of getting along. Michiel I have known for many years and usually you don’t see one of us without seeing the other and our Finnish crew are like brothers themselves so yeah, collectively we all have one mission. Get on stage, destroy everything and every one.

Can you tell us something about the song writing on your new record ‘Amsterdamn, Hellsinki’, is it a group effort or not?

The writing process for this album was pretty much done by big Maaan and myself. At the time, it was just he and I in terms of “band” members but I’ve always known that the day I was going to put together a full band who the other guy’s I were going to call to duty

Who came with the nice word play of the title with damn and hell?

I (SJS) came up with the album title and artwork concept. To me it represents 2 things. Where we come from and my imaginary world

The style you play reminds of the eighties American thrash bands like Laaz Rockit, Death Angel, Exodus etc. Are these bands indeed influences?

Without a doubt all of those bands and more are an influence. Gary Holt is my daddy and Rob Cavestany is one of my favourite guitarist

You don’t have the typical aggressive thrash-style of singing, more melodic. Do you agree with me when I say your vocals sound like a mix of Marc Oseguada, Mike Muir and James Rivera?

Interesting you should say this because on one of the songs, I specifically sang one verse as a tribute to my man Mike Muir and if you can figure out which song it is and then match the vocal phrasing to the Suicidal song I took my cue from, it fits almost exact. Personally, I seem to think that my vocals are a cross between Ozzy and Roger Miret (Agnostic Front) but I am a huge fan of Marc and James. I wore both their bands albums out in my time!!

On the photo you look very well groomed, are you an idle person?

Well, in regards to our image. It’s very important for me that a band LOOKS like a band something else I seem to see that’s missing in today’s scene. When you go to a show, it’s hard to tell which guys are the band members and which guys are the fans and for me, one of the coolest parts of going to a show is seeing the actual SHOW and some of that means getting dressed up and playing the part

I wrote that the music of Tornado is a kind of swinging like-2-tits grooving thrash is that what the band stands for?

Yes, first and foremost our band is fun because as people, we are fun but our “message” (for lack of a better term) for the most part is serious but within that seriousness we also want people to have a good time and when I write I try to incorporate things that you normally wouldn’t find in thrash while still keeping it thrashing.

With members from different bands and countries it will not be easy to play live, are there plans and how will you arrange this?

With us being in 2 different countries it will be difficult for us to play live locally in The Netherlands and/or Finland. On the flip side of that, both countries are so small that even if we were all together in either place, I doubt that we would play live much because of the size of our countries. Right now, we are hoping that some band will be brave enough to say ok Tornado, let’s go out and have some fun.

What other job(s) do you have to get some food on the table?

My “day job” as one would call it is being a Tour Manager for other metal bands. Over the year I’ve taken a lot of bands out on tour and met a lot of cool people as well as a lot of dickheads but I personally have worked pretty much at all levels of this industry from record label to radio station. I tried to cover all the bases this way I could assure that our band will not get screwed like a new band that doesn’t know how this industry works, could.

Will there be a second album, or is this just a project?

As long as people like what they see and hear and most importantly BUY our record, then yes there will be many more records and N.O. this is absolutely NOT a “project” of any kind. This is a fully operational, ready to kick ass BAND. However, it is important to realize that we are a young band on a small label and to reach the level of success that we are aiming for, it takes time, patience and money and 2 out of the 3 we have. So in that regard I would hope that if people really like our band that they show it in the form of buying the record so the label can justify giving us money to record another one because despite all the technology and the such, REAL RECORDS are made in a RECORDING STUDIO and not in someone’s bedroom on a computer…..and that stuff cost money.

The lyrics are sometimes full of humour, thrash-music combined with glam rock lyrics. Is this how you live your life, don’t take it all to serious?

The thing is, there can’t always be all doom and gloom. That would make a person crazy in an already crazy world so sometimes we like to have a little fun but even with that said, the fun lyric’s, I take them seriously.

Why should our readers buy your record, what is it that you add to the music business?

Well, I think your readers should buy our record because it is fresh and exciting and our record, compared to a lot of what is out there contains actual SONGS and by that I mean, after you have finished hearing a track of ours, you still remember it. Something which I seem to think newer bands don’t have the ability to achieve. We add a fresh new face to the scene and because our sound is what you might call “out-dated” we are still able to keep that old school spirit while transforming it into something for the next generation and beyond.

How are the first reactions from the press on the record?

The early reactions to the album are very positive. I must say that because I am so close to this album and songs, it’s a bit difficult for me to hear these songs the way other people do but in the end, this is what we are after. I think TORNADO has a little bit of something for everyone that listens to metal and even something for those who do not.

Anything else you want to share with our readers?

On behalf of our whole crew, I would like to say first THANKS to your publication for giving our little band the time of day and to your readers I would also like to say that I hope they give us a chance and like what they hear. Learn the verses to “Hate Worldwide” so that by the time we hit the stage somewhere, they can take over the gang vocals from the guys.

Thanks for answering the questions and I hope to see you play live somewhere in the Netherlands soon!

Tornado - Amsterdam Hellsinki

Label: Listenable Records




Joey Severance (Vocals)
Michiel Rutten (Guitars)
Daddy B. (Guitars)
Johnny Wow (Bass)
Starvin Marvin (Drums)

Amsterdamn Hellsinki (2011)

Interviewed by Reinier de Vries