American heavy metal guitarist Michael Angelo Batio was recently interviewed by My Global Mind’s Robert Cavuoto and talked lots of things from why he declined to audition for Ozzy Osbourne to try out for KISS back in 1980.

As you may check out the conversation below, Michael also recalled the legendary member of KISS, Gene Simmons, and stated that they had a great relationship with Gene all the time.

Global Mind asked this:

“Have you ever been asked to join any big named bands?”

Michael Angelo Batio responded:

“Back in the day, I was asked by Ozzy’s manager to audition for the band. They told me upfront that they didn’t want me to play over or under the neck or to use my double guitar!

At the time, I was in Nitro and working a deal with Warner Brother. I was going to be on my second label band within a few years of each other. I was young, and my career was on the upswing, so I declined the audition.

Over the years, I have had several big bands offer me tours. Unless it’s a mega-band, it’s just not appealing to me because they impose restrictions on what I can and can’t do. Why do you want Michael Angelo Batio in the band if you don’t want Michael Angelo Batio?

My father once told me you don’t have to be the richest or most famous person out there as long as you are happy. I’m enjoying putting out a solo CD with Rat Pak Records. I’m happy and that’s my criteria.”

Global Mind asked again:

“Is it true that you auditioned for KISS?”

Michael Angelo Batio responded:

“Yes, this was when they just got Vinny Vincent. I was young, out of college, and on Shrapnel Records with Mike Varney. He discovered so many people – like Richie Kotzen and Paul Gilbert.

If you were a guitarist on Shrapnel Records, it was like you were in the Special Forces. Mike gave me one of the best quotes. He said I was quite possibly the best-undiscovered guitarist in the US.

He set up the audition for KISS. I went into it, scared to death. I was such a big KISS fan. Back in their very early days, my band won a contest, and we opened for them. So I knew of them before they were big.”

He continued:

“I was fanboy to the max at the audition and realized right off the bat I was not going to get the gig because of how I handled myself. It was not because I couldn’t play. I showed Gene Simmons how to play over the neck.

One of the songs I auditioned to was ‘Calling Doctor Love,’ and I didn’t know the words. It was me, Gene, Paul Stanley, and Eric Carr in SIR Studios in Hollywood. They were so nice to me even though I was a fanboy.

Later, Gene and I became friendly and even went to his house. He loved Nitro and thought I was a great guitarist. I love KISS. I learned a lot from that as not to be a fanboy on auditions or when meeting artists.

I got to talk to Eddie Van Halen one time as we were at a Jason Becker Benefit show. We spoke for 30 minutes, and that was a great experience.”

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