About Michael Angelo Batio
Michael Angelo Batio born February 23, 1956), also known as Michael Angelo, Mike Batio or MAB, is an American heavy metal guitarist and columnist from Chicago, Illinois. He was the lead guitarist for the Los Angeles-based glam metal band Nitro in the late 1980s and early 1990s.
Batio's work has encompassed many genres, but he is best known for playing heavy metal and its subgenres such as neoclassical metal, and speed metal. Batio has an advanced knowledge of music theory, having a deep understanding of complex scale combinations and time signatures which assist him in his compositions. He is widely known for his technical mastery of the fretboard and his extremely fast picking and sweep picked arpeggios. He is also known for his showmanship during performances, particularly his use of the "Over-Under" technique, and for his ability to play a double-necked and quad-necked guitar, using both hands to play. Batio is also noted for his guitar instruction DVDs in the "Speed Kills" series which teach shred guitar techniques and how to "master the art of playing lightning fast".
Batio was voted the "No. 1 Fastest Guitar Shredder of All Time" by Guitar One Magazine in 2003.
Batio was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois to an Italian father and a German mother. He started playing the piano and composing music at the age of five, and first played guitar at the age of ten. By twelve he was playing in bands in youth clubs, churches, and shows, playing for 10–12 hours on the weekends. By the age of thirteen his guitar teacher told him, "I can't teach you any more. You're faster at thirteen than I was at 22." He started listening to and watching professionals and sitting down and trying to work out riffs and tunes.
He attended Northeastern Illinois University and achieved a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music Theory and Composition. After he had graduated, Batio looked to become a session guitarist in his hometown. When he asked for a job at a nearby studio, he was given a piece of music and simply asked to play it. He managed to play it adding his own improvisations and fills, making him the studio's primary call-out guitarist. As a session player, Batio recorded music for such companies as Burger King, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, KFC, United Airlines, United Way, McDonald's, Beatrice Corp. and the Chicago Wolves hockey team.
Batio began his recording career in 1984 when he joined new Chicago-based heavy metal band Holland, an eponymous project set up by ex-Steppenwolf singer Tommy Holland. With major label Atlantic Records, the band released their debut studio album in 1985 entitled Little Monsters, which saw moderate success in the United States. The band split up soon after, and a compilation of material from the Little Monsters sessions, Wake Up the Neighborhood, was released in 1999 through Batio's label M.A.C.E. Music.
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