YBOR CITY — Depending on whom you ask, Archangel may or may not have intended to become a band. Guitarist George Horhay always wanted to start a band, while drummer Tom Klinesmith was just looking for someone to play with.
“I just wanted to jam,” Klinesmith said.
Eventually bassist John Boyd joined the mix. They still needed a lead singer and recruited Mike Brady to be the group’s front man.
“I knew Mike for two years. I knew him as Iron Maiden Mike,” Boyd said. “When Mike came over to try out, we didn’t have a PA system and there was no way to hear him over our guitar amps. Then, he hits his falsetto and we could hear him clearly over our guitar amps. (Horhay) and I looked at each other and said, ‘Yep, that’s the one.’”
Keyboardist Steve Jurbala joined at the same time as Brady and lead guitarist Mario Morano rounded out the group. The band has been performing since October and has been making waves in the local music scene.
“Tampa has been known as a metal mecca,” Boyd said. “We are at the forefront of bringing back what made Tampa famous.”
As Brady’s nickname Iron Maiden Mike might suggest, the band is influenced by bands like Iron Maiden. They point out they also have elements of punk, death metal, power metal and thrash.
“We have a sound that is our own,” Jurbala said.
With six members in the band there are challenges that Archangel faces. Everyone works day jobs that include retail, construction, massage therapy and mental health. Normally there is only one day a week that the band is able to get together as a whole and practice. There are also some places they can’t play because of their size.
“There are some venues we just can’t play because we have six guys and a massive drum set and a keyboard. There are some stages we don’t fit on,” Morano said.
One issue Archangel doesn’t have is songwriting. Even with six members they said the songwriting process is pretty quick and they don’t have problems with one person trying to showcase himself over the band.
“I feel strongly that everyone cares more about the song versus trying to showcase themselves,” Brady said.
The band recently wrapped up a stretch of shows that included a Fourth of July show that they headlined and a benefit show for Psycho Realms, a radio show that airs Mondays on 88.5 FM. Archangel’s next planned show will be on Sept. 27 at the State Theater in St. Pete and on Oct. 15 at The Orpheum in Ybor.
They currently have a three-song demo available on their Facebook page and hope to have a full album out by the end of the year.