There comes a time in every person’s life where a decision is made that forges the rest of their path. Some refer to it as fate or destiny. Right or wrong, it can set into motion events that will possibly define you for eternity. One artist made the decision to step away from a chance to front one of the most iconic rock bands of all time, but arguably went on to bigger and better things. His life changing decision seems to have put him exactly right where he needed to be.
Mitch Malloy set out at an early age being enveloped in music. He knew he was destined for something bigger than his North Dakota upbringing. Now I must point out that this vision of the future for Malloy was not a cockiness or a delusion of grandeur. This vision was a drive to get something out; an internal passion, so to speak. From his first solo performance at 6 y.o., to a leap of faith heading to the vicious New York music scene, to starting his own home based recording studio before it was a common thing, he has always been pushing himself. Hell, his determination landed him a recording contract with RCA/BMG Records, a couple hit singles, an appearance on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, and a call up to the major leagues so to speak, by being slotted as the replacement for singer Sammy Hagar in the infamous band VAN HALEN. Yes you read that right…Mitch was hand-picked by Eddie Van Halen to be the next singer for his namesake band! But the next events in Malloy’s life were even more surreal…Malloy turned the offer down! Insane, you might think. The opportunity of a lifetime was being dropped in the lap of a feverishly motivated young artist. Was he crazy or something?! Who would pass on that? Someone who knew it wasn’t the right time yet, is who…
Flash forward 20 years… Mitch Malloy has become a successful producer/songwriter with his full service Nashville based production studio, Malloy Master Tracks. Working with artists such as Taylor Swift, Boys Like Girls, Kenny Loggins, Chad Kroeger, Lady Antebellum, Craig Morgan, Victoria Shaw, Gary Burr, Billy Falcon and various companies like Outdoor Channel, Field & Stream, and Sony Music NY; Malloy surely made a name for himself once more. He didn’t fade off into the shadowy history of music from his choice in 1996. He channeled that creative energy that always fueled his fire as a kid to push his passion everyday as his life progressed, expanded, and evolved into a far more complex thing that even he realized. With his wife, daughter, and a flourishing production studio, Malloy still has that voice deep down in his soul telling him to do more.
With multiple albums and collaborations over the last two decades, something was still missing. The once EVH courted vocalist felt something was still absent. Yes, he was putting out the occasional album and working with some of the most talented people on the planet, but Malloy still couldn’t satisfy that fire. The singer, songwriter, musician was still being slightly silenced by playing someone else’s tunes and utilizing others to somehow express his inner voice. Was this the time for Malloy to finally jump and make that gut wrenching choice? Looking back at those 20 years, was it finally time for this artist to be Making Noise? Well the answer to that question is an epiphanic YES! The time has come for Malloy to take that leap of faith once again and get it all out.
On August 26th this year (Ironically Mitch Malloy’s birthday), a new album was released by this artist. Making Noise is a new chapter in a life that has led up to this moment. A moment that Malloy wouldn’t be at if he hadn’t stepped away from a possible opportunity of a lifetime. This album though, is what was finally meant to be made. It was produced, written, performed, and envisioned by a man that needed to have it be all him for once. Malloy seems to be finally embracing the Rockstar within himself, just like those early days as a kid daydreaming about the future under that big North Dakota sky.
I had the chance to talk with Mitch Malloy about his path through music, the experience with Van Halen, his new album, this fall’s European tour, and his life that needed to happen for him to be here now. Take a listen to our conversation, look to your childhood sky, and remember… maybe it’s finally time for you to be Making Noise!