Adrenaline Mob’s Russell Allen: ‘My Mission Is to Honor Our Fallen Brothers’
Stereo Satellite's Mike Orlando recently spoke with us about his life since the tragic crash on tour that took the lives of his Adrenaline Mob bandmate David Z. and the band's manager Janet Raines. Now, in a new interview, singer Russell Allen has also spoken about the tragic losses and his road to recovery.
The vocalist previously sang at a David Z. tribute show and has returned to the stage playing as part of Trans-Siberian Orchestra, a group that David Z. also worked with. Allen says returning to the stage after the horrific 2017 incident has been an emotional journey.
"I was very apprehensive," Allen said about playing shows with TSO. It was just a lot, it was very hard for me. Losing Dave was really hard on all of us, especially ... I was there, you know. And having to go through all that this summer was really rough. Rough on me and my family and having to come here and see ... and go through all that again, you know, but even more so. Seeing people who he was with for 17 years, you know. I had known Dave for a long time 'cause he actually, him and his brother Paulie, opened up for Symphony X years and years and years ago."
Allen continued, "My therapist and my doctors were saying, 'This is a good thing for you. You need to go and do this and confront this and go out on this tour and stuff.' 'Cause you know, just getting on the bus was a bit of an ordeal for me. I was just scared."
The singer says he had a few sleepless nights, commenting that the pyro at shows was a trigger for him. "It was all baby steps, and I got through it," explains Allen. "Everybody here is just so awesome and so lovely and nice and I realized that I was surrounded by a lot of love and stuff, but it was hard. I'm so glad that I did it."
Allen says that if anything, he feels more expressive onstage given the events of the past year. "I'm not thinking about anything. I'm just feeling my way through it. The stage has been the safest place on earth for me, man. I feel at home up there, more than I've ever been so that's really where it's at. I step out on stage and whatever things that are coming out of my mouth are right from my heart. There's no filter," says the vocalist, who adds, "I think that's what you're seeing, a man who has been through hell and back. I'm just up there loving life and showing my love for the crowd through these songs. That's the best way I can explain it."
In addition to David Z, Trans-Siberian Orchestra had another significant loss in the past year with the death of Paul O'Neill. "I just rejoice in the fact that I'm still here, we're still here, and we were given this great gift from Paul and Dave's energy that he put into the show every night. And I just wanna make sure I'm honoring those two as best as I can every night by giving everything I have," says the singer. "They wouldn't want us sad, they would want us out there kicking ass and killing it every night so, so that's what, that's what my mission is out here. My mission is to honor those, our fallen brothers, and give as much as I can every single night to you guys, to the fans."
During our chat with Orlando, he told us, "I'm still in deep recovery. I have physical therapy all the time, lots of different things. I have a lot of back and neck problems and broken bones that have healed, but there are some things that unfortunately will never heal that I just have to deal with for the rest of my life. And that's physical. The mental aspect of it is just ... I can't even put it in words. It's just a daily battle to keep those demons in my head at bay. Just dealing with everything is tough to put in words, but it's just unfortunately something I'll have to deal with for the rest of my life." But much like Allen, music has helped in the healing process. Read more of that interview here.