A voice comin’ from a cavern, an Hercules body with big hands and a clear-cut Italian gangster face that could scare the shit out of you
You could think that the guy is a killer and he actually is!! But a rockabilly killer!!Mario could have easily been a character in a Scorcese movie but that kind guy is a very accomplished musician who can play almost any instrument and rock your pants off!!!
His two albums 'Shake It Don't Break It' and 'Rhythm Junction' are an effective blend of killin’ rockabilly and jivin’ rock’n’roll almost worked out by the guy himself.
“Jumpin’ from six to six” couldn’t resist asking that jivin’ rockabilly “slaughterer” some questions

by Dave "Long Tall" Phisel

Who are you? How long have you been doing music ?
Firstly, I'm Mario Bradley, I've been listening to rockabilly/rock and roll from about the age of 11 and have been playing since the age of 16, when I taught myself guitar and later on, double bass

Did you grow up in a musical family ?
My dad had some rock and roll albums and I think this is what got me hooked on the sound. The first track I ever heard on one of the albums was 'Rock Around The Clock' I have quite a big family - 3 brothers and a sister, but I'm the only musical one. I found out in later years that my late father used to play in a skiffle band when he was young. Having said that, all my brothers are into the music but none of them actually play anything.

Do you remember a record that had a special impact on you ?
I think the first record that really made my mind up must have been one my dad gave me. It was actually a compilation album and I think it was called something like '25 Rock & Roll Greats' It had tracks on from Bill Haley, Chuck Berry, Charlie Rich, Elvis and various others.

Let's talk about your influences?
Later on I was influenced by different styles of 40s and 50s artists like Joe Clay, Johnny Carroll, Pat Cupp, Elvis, Hardrock Gunther, Slim Harpo, Big Joe Turner, Bill Haley, John Lee Hooker.

Have you met some of your personal heros like Hardrock Gunther, Joe Clay and others
Sadly I haven't met Hardrock Gunther or Joe Clay but I met Johnny Carroll, Mac Curtis and others.

How would you describe your style? Rockabilly?
I wouldn't say I was just a rockabilly artist. Although my roots are hardcore rockabilly, I also love blues, jump blues, rhythm and blues, jive, swing, neo-rockabilly, psychobilly and hopefully I try to incorporate all that into my sound

When did you first come on stage ?
The first gig I played was with a band called 'The Marvels' I was playing double bass for them. I think it was at 'Horn of Plenty' in St. Albans, Herts. All I can say about it was that it was a good experience considering I was drunk at the time.

Do you have any particular memories of a gigs you played ?
The most memorable gig I ever played was at the Powerhouse in Birmingham. I was with The Blue Ridge Mountain Boys playing double bass. It was an alldayer, there were some great artists on the bill, the crowd was fantastic and for me, it was a great experience. I did have some great fun gigging with The Bootleggers though. We were probably one of the first at that time to be doing harmonica/jump blues numbers and this always got the crowd going.

And as a spectator?
The most memorable gigs I ever went to were Johnny Carroll in the early 80s, Buzz and the Flyers, Stray Cats, Meteors.

What do you think of the today's american and european rockabilly scene? Who are your favorite today's bands?
I think there are some great bands out there at the moment and I'm always appreciative of new sounds, new talent. To tell you the truth, I've always got respect for anyone who gets up and plays to an audience. My favourite bands of today are Jack Rabbit Slim, Hot Boogie Chillun, Blueflames. I also admire people like Number Nine and Paul Ansell, Darrel Higham, Extraordinaires, Big Boy Bloater, Jack Baymoore, The Go-getters, Ricky Brawn and many others. I always listen out for new bands on the scene and am always interested in something different.

About your first album, was it your first experience in the studio. Did you release anything before that ?
No, I have been in the studio before. I released a song on Fury Records when I was with The Bootleggers. It was called 'Chicken Jake' and it was one I wrote myself. I've since seen it pop up now and then on various compilations but originally it was on a album called 'Taken By Force'..

Why did you choose to play almost all the instruments in your CD's?
Both 'Shake It Don't Break It' and 'Rhythm Junction' were recorded in my own studio and I play most of the instruments myself for different reasons 1. I enjoy it. I've always loved messing around with different sounds, etc. and see what I can come up with. 2. I'm in control. It's not like going into a studio where you're often ruled by time etc. Also I've always had a fascination with the engineering side of things ie. laying track on track, that sort of thing, but in that department I'm learning all the time.

Are your albums selling good ?
As far as I'm aware, my albums are selling good and I've been really pleased with the response I've had, considering I've not been out playing. I've relied alot on DJs, radio shows, internet and people like yourself, so yes, it's been really good

When can we expect a new release?
There is a new album coming out soon which I might bring out independently. In between writing and recording the albums I was working on some other stuff which has yet not reached the public. So it will be 'The Unreleased Recordings' and will be out some time in the very near future.

Do you plan working with other musicians like Darrel Higham, Mike Sanchez, Paul Ansell...
I actually had Darrell Higham over in my studio a few weeks ago, just before he went on his tour with Lee Rocker. When he gets back we plan to get down to his studio and do some stuff together.

Would you be interested working with some american labels?
I'd love to work with some American labels. In fact it'd be a dream, with it being the root of our music.

When will you be on stage doin' your own stuff? Have you been asked for by Hemsby, Rockabilly rave, Screamin', VLV or Green Bay crews?
Yes, I have had requests from a few big venues from all over. All I can say is that at the moment I'm working on a new album and some new songs which I'd like to perform live. The problem I have is that because my style varies so much, ie. rockabilly, jive etc. it's hard to get the musicians to cater for this. Paul Saunders from Jack Rabbit Slim is gonna be doing drums with me. The thing is I don’t like to sing and play an instrument at the same time when I'm on stage. It restricts me for movement as I like to jump around and go mad. I'm a bit of a perfectionist when it comes to playing live so I want to make sure I get things right and have everything in place, but I'll keep you posted so watch this space!!

Personally, I think you got a physical shape and look-alike for movies. Would you be interested by shooting some movies?
Well, as for the movies, thank you very much for the compliment. Now that you mention it, I'd love to do a movie, maybe playing the part of an Italian gangster!! Coincidentally, as well as the studio, I have a small film setup with cameras etc. and I'm gonna be working with Phil Terry of Hepsville Films to shoot some more videos for my songs. That's coming up real soon.

A last word?
It would have to be the day I don't enjoy the music is the day my heart stops'