Drive She Said


Drive She Said - Mark Mangold (2003)

Mark Mangold: American Tears to Drive She Said to The Sign and a new Freaky project.

Mark Mangold runs through the new Drive She Said album, his love of working with the people he does and the new Magic Freak Society project.

Ok Mark, thanks for taking the time out to be interrogated. There is much more to the man than just a keyboard player - how would you describe yourself?
Mmm, I don't think I would actually. That's a hard one. Just another one of the 6 billion Universes living and breathing on this planet, and I must say I'm sure enjoying it.

You are a songwriter by trade - could there possibly be a tougher trade to make a living from on the face of the earth?
Soldier......But yes anything in the "arts" is subjective and hard and it often comes down to pleasing an "executive" before it even gets out there to the world. That has seriously stifled the making of music unfortunately.

I know a lot of my readers are interested in the industry side of things and behind the scenes. In relation to your songs being adopted by same very high profile names such as Cher and Michael Bolton, can you tell us just how the process works - how do you shop songs around, how are they picked up and what are the benefits to you to have these songs featured on an album and also when they reach such heights that you have been able to with a couple of hit songs?
I'm not sure after all these years, that there is a process that necessarily works. Otherwise I'd be doing it every day.
It's about perseverance and a bit of being in the right place at the right time.
It is almost a miracle when all the stars align and you have a "hit". There is so much that needs to happen. But I think of it one step at a time, write a great song and try to make a great record. The rest will come in time, hopefully.
Of course on the other end, eg. get a publisher or someone to shop the stuff, send it out. Try to get it with awesome people only and ride their coat tails....ha ha.

When you write, do you know or can you feel that any given song is a natural candidate for a hit single? Or is it really just a good song and good luck that things work out?
Of course when you are writing something awesome you think, wow this is a Then of course you need the other things to happen before that happens. There is a lot of spiritually involved and there's something spiritual that makes the right things happen at the right time.

You are not only a songwriter, but a writer full stop. Tell us about the book you have written?
Yes, I felt compelled to sit down a few years ago and write some thoughts down. You can check it out at It's called The New Faith...

I don't want to prematurely age you here - but you have been around for some time! What would you put your lengthy career down to? Talent obviously is one thing!
I'm out of my frickin' mind. An insane optimist. I ignore, or try to, negativity. My motto is "we can do it" and if anyone tells me different I tell them to f--k off. I try to release my fears when they occur. And, thank god, no one is hassling me about my age. I'm in a band now called The Magic Freak Society, which is a great band (all guys in their 20's) that has some real relevance, musically, to what is happening now. It's kind of retro, psychedelic (meaning fuzz and wa) and grindy Hammond organ, with modern production and almost an alternative approach, very current in my opinion. F--k age, it's b--s--t. (fork age it's basement).

How do you approach writing for the different musical genre's you are involved in. You have covered blues, new age, pop, rock, retro and do they differ for you?
Well I love it all really. It is a different feeling and emotion, almost a different mood really. But we all have our moods so, being a musician, it seems very natural to me. The common thing for me must be that it is all truthful, from the heart and convey emotion, even if it's sleazy delta slide guitar, or meditational piano improvisations.

We are obviously plugging the new Drive She Said record here - how was the first ever DSS album conceived?
Wow, that's been a while. Well I met Al and we just worked together on it, wrote songs, scrapped a few and defined our sound. Fortunately when we were ready we met John Luongo, our manager, who put it all together for us. One of those wonderful moments when the perseverance worked out.

And now album number 5 - how has the band - or the partnership between you and Al matured?
It's simply lovely. We barely need to talk anymore. We know what we want to do so well, and Al is an amazing musician and can basically do ANYTHING. It's one of the blessings in my life, and I kind of create the stuff with that in helps define what is being created. We joke that one day we'll be on our respective front porches talking about the new CD that Maestro Serafino just asked for. It will be called Octigeniarian and of course we'll have to have diapers and oxygen tanks on stage, for the tour...if we can afford to tour.

That may happen! But for this album, where did this set of songs come from? Were they all purpose written, or were some pulled out of the archives or dusted off?
They are actually all new, except for the chorus of "What's it Gonna Take", which has been floating around for years. They were written very quickly actually, in about two weeks, once we got the OK to do the record. It's the recording that takes time, we can conceive of this stuff pretty quickly once the "flood gates" are allowed to be opened and we know the songs will have a home. Anyone out there want another D,SS record....send $2.99 and a self addressed and we'll write one and get it out to you in a year or so.

Where do you see this album sitting amongst the DSS musical catalogue?
It is my favorite, actually. It is over the top, I think, both melodically and production wise, less "safe" than some of the early stuff. We really just did what we wanted and packed it with little surprises, vocal extravaganza's. We had a lot of fun with it.

You are basically confined to a European and sometimes Japanese release for DSS. But I know fans from the US import them via online retailers etc, so do you have a sense of frustration that you can't reach more fans via tradition CD store methods?
Yes....wouldn't it be nice.

You have your website Indigo Records - which has a strong online presence - has that been a success for you personally and professionally? is just a place that people who love this music can check out to get any of these CD's, a place to go where it's available. It's not a serious business venture. I doubt that we've sold over 100 CD's all told over the life of the site.
What good uses have you found that the Internet has?
It's fun searching stuff and saves the leg work. E.g. buying a CD, or whatever. It brings the world closer to us all I think.

You make yourself easily reachable, which I think is cool...has that brought any advantages/disadvantages for you?
Not really. I didn't do it consciously really, I'm just out there like everyone else.

Tell us about the latest project Magic Freak Society. Thanks for the musical preview - good to see that it is as completely un-trendy as all good music is these days!
Well you can check out The Magic Freak Society at We are actually playing in the NY area quite a bit. It actually is pretty relevant to what is happening out there these days, though the funkiness and Hammond organ add a fresh (or retro) twist. It's a lot of fun and going great and a few songs are being received as possible "singles". We really hope to get a "real" deal, and hopefully I will be able to report that at some point soon. Wouldn't that be frickin' awesome. We actually do two songs off the Valhalla CD (a CD I recorded when I was about 19). It's very jammy and psychedelic...great band, great singers and players.

I love the quote on your site in relation to the sales of this album – “excuse the higher price, but we record this ourselves and are broke” - haha....too funny. Any label interest thus far? (Can I run soundbytes for ya now?)
We are in shop mode, people are coming down to see it and the response has been great. We shall see....eye of the tiger, as they say.

Has your playing changed much over the years?
Mmm, sometimes I wonder. I guess I've gotten better, though I was fairly scathing at 19. I think "life" has matured the playing, and I do have a few more licks. The Channels record (spontaneous "meditation" or improv's) has shown me that, I can almost play what I think, which is the ultimate goal, while trying not to limit your thinking to what is in your musical "vocabulary". It comes from inside really...or some sort of transcendental "place" that musicians sometimes talk about. You become a vessel for whatever melodies are floating around out there. Well, it's for real...

How about the updating of keyboard technology? Do you have a favourite era for gadgetry, or does it just keep getting better/worse?
Now is awesome. We have access to everything. What a great time to be a keyboard player. Especially doing some Valhalla songs (at that time there were no synths and we were waiting for a monophonic (one note at a time) synth to be invented, and had to carry around a 450 pound Hammond organ. Wow. now I have the Hammond in my I-book at gigs and I swear it sounds better than the "real" thing. My Leslie speaker is a nice piece of furniture now. And with computers, well we couldn't possibly do another D,SS record without them. Impossible on these budgets...

You and the boys from The Sign are obviously getting ready for album number 2 - have you a game plan for recording album number 2?
Well we are in songwriting mode, hopefully it will get done sometime soon.

Seeing you guys at The Gods 2000, there was a fabulous chemistry. What kind of inspiration is it to work with other great musicians such as Randy and Terry?
It's so much fun, as each of us brings something distinct to the sound, but we know each other so well now we can roll play and Terry can sing Zeppy stuff like Randy, and Randy can play the bluesy stuff like Randy eg. sometimes Terry and I write and we say "what would Randy do here" and then six months later Randy gets a writing credit because we can't remember he didn't write it. It makes for an adventurous sound.

Where to from here? What next for DSS?
Working hard on the Magic Freaks, three more songs trying to get recorded, and getting a deal. That would be wonderful and even in an indirect way, allow us to do a melodic metal every few years, because that is surely a labor of love, and basically no money is ever made for it is quite a sacrifice really.
And we do it because we truly love our "fans" or I should say the people who also love this music, and we love being able to be creative, and be able to have people listen to what we are doing, because I think we do do it well, I really do...even if we are somewhat dinosaurs...but dry your eyes we are OK and making it thru like the rest of us. But seriously, it is a privilege to be able to get this stuff out there, and I hope it is received well.

What about our scene that we work in - how do you see it building and expanding successfully?
Oops, probably not, unless the music is expanded, and then it's no longer the "scene". When something becomes a "genre" (eg. like country music), it limits it.

Any advice for new artists out there looking to break into this scene and the music business in general? Should they quit now?!!
I would just say do the best you can. Know going in that it's got serious limitations, but if you love it, go for it.

Thanks Mark!


DRIVE SHE SAID Sign To Escape For 'Real Life' Reissue

Friday, March 23, 2018
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Escape Music are pleased to announce the release of Drive, She Said “Real Life” album Completely Remixed and Mastered!!
Release Date: 23 March 2018
Track list: 1 Real Life  5:12 / 2 Stronger   5:33 / 3 We Live For Love  4:36 / 4 Whats it Gonna Take  4:22 / 5 Silverwhite   3:39 / 6 Overdrive    4:09 / 7 Find Your Place 5:10 / 8 All Your Heart   4:42 / 9 Hold Me    5:36 / 10 When WIll It Be Love 4:48 / 11 How Can I Be Sure 5:37 / 12 Always and Forever (Godz) / 4:43 / 13 Believe 4:45
Drive, She Said is:
Al Fritsch- Vocals, Guitars, Bass
Mark Mangold- Keys and Background Vocals
Jonathan Mover- Drums
Produced by Mark Mangold and Al Fritsch
Re-Mixed in 2017 by Brian Anthony and Mark Mangold
Recordings engineered by Mark Mangold and Al Fritsch at Mariel's Kitchen Studios, N.Y. and Jack's House Studios, N.J.
Drums Recorded at Skyline Studios engineered by Jonathan Mover and Alex Olson.
Vocal Extravaganza Arrangements by Al
Artwork by Nello Del Omo
Cover Concept by Drive, She Said
DRIVE, SHE SAID is a melodic metal duo that has recorded 6 records.  Having started out on CBS in the U.S., made up of Mark Mangold and Al Fritsch, D,SS is known for their stellar vocals, anthemic songs and scathing musicianship
Mangold, a renowned keyboardist, and his creative partner in Drive, She said, the amazing singer/multi-instrumentist Al Fritsch, met in 1988 and started writing and paving the way for their acclaimed first album Drive, She Said on Columbia records. The band toured extensively, playing with such bands as FM, UFO and others, and performing at numerous Festivals.
In 2003 Mark and Al joined with drummer Jonathan Mover to create the album "Real Life".
According to Mangold "When we started it was important to carve out an original sound, and hopefully also have a "hit.  We have always wanted to make our music totally over the top!  One of the favorite records we ever did is "Real Life" but the original release never sounded the way we wanted it to.  It has the walls of vocals, and musicianship, and hopefully anthemic, and sometimes progressive, songs we enjoyed doing and I am ecstatic that we were now able to remix and release it the way it was meant to be.   I am also happy that Al's legacy is preserved as to listen to this record is to be surrounded by Al Fritch's voice, playing and energy.”

DRIVE SHE SAID - Pedal To The Metal (Review)

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Friday, April 15, 2016
I really wasn’t expecting much to be honest. I’m not sure why – maybe I had left over memories of the band’s last album from way back in 2003 or perhaps the horrid comeback album from Balance a few years back.
But I’m pleased to say that for the most part, my expectations have been exceeded.
Aside from band stalwarts Mark Mangold (keyboards, backing vocals) and Al Fritsch (vocals, backing vocals, guitar, bass), there are about 700 additional guest musicians appearing here, such as Ken Sandin bass; Pontus Engborg drums; Peter Yttergren drums; Kenny Aronoff drums; and Kurt Gellersted and Ricky Wheels guitars.
There are also no less than 8 backing vocalists including the talents of Goran Edman, Randy Jackson, Tomas Vikstrom, Peppy Castro and Ted Poley!
Anyway, what’s important is the music on offer and here we have a collection of very (totally and utterly) 80s sounding classic AOR tracks, complete with all the necessary pomp and excessive production fans of Drive, She Said might expect.
The totally 80s melodic hard rock of Touch opens the album and I know you will all think the same thing with that opening riff. Very familiar indeed!
I always find it funny when a melodic/AOR band talks about putting the ‘Pedal to the Metal’, but that’s exactly what happens with the title track here. No, it ain’t metal, but it certainly rocks pretty hard for these guys.
In R Blood is an immediate attention getting tune – a great pomp rocker with some blinding keyboards and over the top vocals and chorus. Nice guitar solo too.
Said It All is a great sentimental ballad in that classic 80s AOR style.
The production quality is pretty varied around the record and Writing on The Wall perhaps suffers the most, but what a glorious 70s pomp rocker this is. Full dramatic Styx organ in play and swirling keyboards all over the place. My favourite track alongside In R Blood.
Rainbows and Hurricanes is another varied song with pace changes and moody vocals, plus a dramatic heavier chorus. Another cool song.
Fiona comes back for the first time since the band’s sophomore record for the huge ballad In Your Arms. A tasty 80s light-AOR moment.
So far so good. But I’m not sure what happened next. This is one of those true What. The. Fuck. moments one sometimes encounters as a reviewer.
Track 10: I’m The Nyte and to a lesser extent, track 11: Lost In You are just fucking horrible. I mean bad. I mean catastrophically bad to the point you just wonder how anyone could let two such atrociously bad songs make the same album as the rest of the material.
Or maybe there has been a mastering error and two programmed-techno-dance-pop songs from a Bavarian DJ found their way on here by mistake?
Guys – not sure what you were thinking (or smoking) – but this is not DSS and I can’t imagine one single fan anywhere thinking these are two good songs.
The album closes with an acoustic ballad that really isn’t that exciting and doesn’t make up for the audio assault of the previous 2 songs. So for me this album is 9 tracks only and finishes with that fine ballad duet with Fiona.

A pretty good effort here – as long as you hit the stop button at the conclusion of track 9. The production quality doesn’t come close to most other titles in the marketplace and does vary from track to track, but there’s enough pomp and melody in the songs to forgive that.
I can’t forgive those two late album tracks though, thank God they did not have those further up in the order. How they got past quality control I don’t know.
But overall, pretty good job guys.

DRIVE SHE SAID Put the 'Pedal To The Metal' April 15

Friday, April 15, 2016
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Frontiers Music Srl is excited to present the return of DRIVE, SHE SAID with the release of their highly anticipated new album 'Pedal to the Metal' on April 15th, 2016!
Mark Mangold's (one half of the driving force of Drive, She Said) creative rock flame was ignited once again after a performance with the Firefest version of Touch in Nottingham, UK in 2014. That creative desire and destiny intersected when he got an email from his old friend Serafino from Frontiers. Mangold, a renowned keyboardist, and his creative partner in Drive, She said, the amazing singer/multi-instrumentist Al Fritsch, then started talking with the Frontiers label about releasing new music. This was even more special of an event than a regular signing as Drive, She Said was the first proper artist that was signed to the label back when it started.
Mangold and Fritsch got together and they penned a few sensational classic Melodic Rock / AOR numbers, chock full of marvelous and unforgettable vocal harmonies, as well as looking in the archives for two songs that they hadn't recorded before.
Mangold says: 'We tried to write this record as if we were again in the 80's/90's, with the benefit of time and modern recording techniques. In those days you needed to write a "hit" to get signed and carve out an original sound. This record was a challenge because we did not want to clone ourselves, or the many bands that have now have mastered this genre, or be generic. And yet we wanted to keep the record in that same world as the first D,SS record. And of course, we wanted to make it totally over the top! Ultimately it's about the songs and having fun, and last but never least to try to give the fans, or should I say the esteemed melodic "cult", something to... consider.'
'Pedal to the Metal" is the final result: an absolute gem of a Melodic Rock album, guaranteed to please all fans of the genre. Check out an album trailer here:
DRIVE, SHE SAID is set to appear live at the Frontiers Rock Festival in Trezzo (Milano), Italy on April 23rd, 2016. Those attending are in for a treat!

'Pedal to the Metal' tracklisting includes:

1. Touch
2. Pedal To The Metal
3. In 'R Blood
4. Said It All
5. Writing On The Wall
6. Rainbows And Hurricanes
7. Love Will Win In The End
8. Rain Of Fire
9. In Your Arms
10. I'm The Nyte
11. Lost In You
12. All I Wanna Do
- Lead Vocals: Al Fritsch
- Guitars: Al Fritsch with additional guitars by Tommy Denander, Daniel Palmqvist, Jon Bivona, Ray De Tone, Ricky Wheels
- Keyboards: Mark Mangold, Al Fritsch
Bass: Ken Sandin, Al Fritsch, Paul St. James, Alessandro Del Vecchio
- Drums: Peter Yttergren, Pontus Engborg, Francesco Jovino, Kenny Aronoff
- Background Vocals: Goran Edman, Chandler Mogel, Ted Poley, Al Fritsch, Mark Mangold, Kevin Osborne, Randy Jackson, Thomas Vikstrom, Peppy Castro
- Vocal Duet on 'In Your Arms': Al and Fiona


Friday, March 27, 2015
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AOR Heaven proudly presents the re-issues of the much sought after first two Drive, She Said albums 'Drive, She Said' and 'Drivin' Wheel'. Both are as usual re-mastered by Chris Lyne and with liner notes by Dave Reynolds, strictly limited to 500 units ea. and with additional bonus tracks (see track listings below).
Drive, She Said: 01.If This Is Love 02.Hard Way Home 03.Don't You Know 04.But For You 05.Love Has No Pride 06.Maybe It's Love 07.Hold On (Hands Around Your Heart) 08.If I Told You 09.I Close My Eyes 10.As She Touches Me (Why Can't I Believe) 11.Crossed My Heart * 12.It Must Be Love * / * = bonus track

Drivin' Wheel: 01.Think Of Love 02.Drivin' Wheel 03.Hard To Hold 04.When You Love Someone 05.Can't Get Enough 06.Veil Of Tears 07.It's Gonna Take A Miracle 08.It Just Keeps Comin' 09.Just For The Moment 10.Do You Believe 11.Never Say Never *12.You Never Know With Magic * 13.Hold My Heart * / * = bonus track
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