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Tony Mitchell

Tony Mitchell Graphic

Tony Mitchell best known as vocalist with Kiss Of The Gypsy and as a solo artist expands on his singing career and what the future holds with regard to new music and live gigs.

Who were your influences in the early days and have you always wanted to be a singer?

When I was 14 years old I was a drummer playing pubs and clubs with bands but also played guitar. I wrote my own songs and that helped in recruiting other band members. But no one wanted to sing so I was kind of forced into being the singer at 15 years old! The band was called “Subway”, and within a year we saved enough dinner money to have an E.P pressed, so “In my Town” was released.

As our house was always full of music, there was a wide variety of genres ranging from Rock n Roll, Country to Rock. Even though I was a huge Clash/Sex Pistols/Jam fan, I got my hands on a compilation album called “American Heartbeat” and that changed my whole world forever as I discovered bands like Boston, Journey, REO Speedwagon and Styx etc.

Have you ever auditioned for the vocal spot in any notable bands?

I have never really auditioned for any bands but when I decided to quit Kiss of the Gypsy I received a tape from my publishing company Warner Chappell with 6 songs on it. It was from some representative from Iron Maiden asking if I would like to audition for the lead vocal slot when Bruce departed. I had to decline as I was a huge fan of Maiden and couldn’t see the band without Dickinson.

You have appeared on a number of albums. Do you have a favourite and why?

I really enjoyed making the album with Neil Ogden, Nigel Bailey, Paul Hume & Jamie Crees as “Dirty White Boyz”, that was a great vibe and a special bunch of guys. The other albums that I loved making were less known, “Boneyard Zombies”, “Syd Zilla” and “Puppetmaster” with “Dunk Rock”.

Do you still get the same buzz out of singing live as you did in the past?

I have always loved playing live but my last tour was with “Danny Vaughn” and “John Corabi” in 2019 and of course then came the pandemic.

In one way it stopped me in my tracks but in another way, it allowed me to write and record 5 more albums, and write a book.

Some vocalists are on strict dietary regimes or gargle with special liquids. How have you kept your voice in tip top shape all these years

I have never classed myself as a top singer. I just play to my strengths and throw everything at it. I will always give 150% in all that I do. Over all these years I have tried all sorts of things to help the voice, especially on tour. Partying hard, smoky venues, alcohol and late nights were my regimes for many years but not so much now 😉

Are there any musicians that you have not worked with, but would like to in the future?

There are so many incredible bands and artists, past and present, that I haven’t worked with that I have so much admiration for. I am always up for working with bands and singers in any capacity if the chemistry is right.

Is there any unreleased recorded material from your days in Kiss Of The Gypsy or anyone you’ve been involved with that could be released?

I wrote a lot of songs and recorded many demos for Kiss of the Gypsy before I left. They were gathering dust on various cassette tapes in a briefcase until I discovered them a few years ago. I took some of those ideas that I wrote back in 1992 and developed a couple of them for the 2022 anniversary album “Unfinished Business” as “Mitchell’s Kiss of the Gypsy”.

As it was the 30th anniversary of the debut album, it was only fitting that I created this for the fans. Thanks to the great musicians such as Neil Ogden, Nigel Clutterbuck, Paul Hume & Darrel Treece-Birch, this was so much fun to make and marked the occasion as I wanted it to.

I see you are about to release another solo album. I must admit I enjoyed your previous efforts. Is being a solo artist the way you wish to go, or would you be open to joining a band?

Being solo was not something that I really set out to do. I had released several unofficial solo albums from the mid-90s until 2016, then after the release of “Down & Dirty” as “Dirty White Boyz”, I got straight on to writing “Beggars Gold”. After the success of that album I just wanted to better each release and before you know it I’m on the 4th solo album!

Now, with a healthy back catalogue of songs from KOTG, DWBz to solo, to perform them with a band would be very exciting.

With the live circuit opening up again, is there a possibility that we could see you performing some live shows in the UK? Maybe with Kiss Of The Gypsy on the back of the ‘Thirty’ album?

I would love to perform with the guys that played on the “Unfinished Business” album but would like it as part of the whole catalogue of songs from the past to present. If some festivals came up I would definitely be interested for 2024.

You appear to do some production work and writing for film/tv soundtracks, is this something you enjoy?

In 2004 I formed my own music and video production company “XGYPSY Music & Video”. I concentrated on writing for and filming TV, Media, bands and artists. I really enjoyed it and continue to do so, although I don’t do as much filming now.

Do you have anything in the pipeline at the moment that you would like to share?

After releasing 7 albums in 7 years, I have decided to spend the rest of 2023 with my family after I have finished promoting the “Radio Heartbeat” album.

2024 may be a different story and who knows? One thing is for sure, I won’t be too far from the music.


Interview by Stuart Dryden


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