Mark Slaughter says that he wants to take the high road and not engage in a war of words with Vinnie Vincent after his former bandmate called him a “no-talent individual” who reduced his music “to the level of worse than a local bar band.”
Slaughter joined VINNIE VINCENT INVASION as the replacement for former JOURNEY frontman Robert Fleischman, who provided vocals on VVI‘s 1986 self-titled debut album. After Fleischman exited the band, a video was produced for the song “Boyz Are Gonna Rock” with Slaughter lipsyncing over Fleischman‘s vocal track. With Slaughter on board, the band released its second album, “All Systems Go”, in 1988.
During a January 2018 appearance at the Atlanta Kiss Expo, Vincent never mentioned Mark Slaughter by name but made it clear that he did not look back fondly on his collaboration with the current SLAUGHTER frontman.
“What happened was I tried to keep Rob in the band, because I said, ‘There is no fucking way — no way, no way — this other guy, who can’t sing, who’s reduced my music to the level of worse than a local bar band is gonna be in my creation. There’s no way,'” Vincent recalled. “Once this no-talent individual came into the picture, everything went ‘Boom!’ It was just like dropping a lead weight,” he added. “And I saw that happen and I thought, ‘This is a sin.’ Everything that could have been was instantly over. So we recorded the ‘Boyz Are Gonna Rock’ video with a faker; it was like fake news — trying to make you believe something that… this is not what this is. So one thing led to another, to another, got worse and worse. I did the second record, and I had all these great songs that I said should sound like the first record, only this is the second record. It follows the same everything — the same sound, the same passion, the same intensity, the same power, and it was not there.”
During a question-answer session at the 2018 Indianapolis KISS Fan Expo, which was held May 12-13 at the Wyndham Indianapolis West Hotel in Indianapolis, Indiana, Slaughter was asked to respond about Vinnie‘s comments. He said (see video below): “Look, there’s a difference — it’s called the high road. I’m still making music. The high road is here. Go make music. You wanna do it? Go make music. He’s made great music. But the thing is since we left in ’88, there has been no new music. He can say anything he wants negative about me, but here’s where it’s at. I love where I came from, I love who I’ve toured with, and I love the fans that we’ve met, whether it’s VVI or SLAUGHTER. We are thankful. And that’s it.”
In a 2013 interview with Legendary Rock Interviews, Slaughter said that he enjoyed his time in VINNIE VINCENT INVASION. “I think that Vinnie is absolutely brilliant and I think that as much as he would slam me in the press, I would have to say that he is a genius in so many ways,” he said. “At the same time, I think the second-guessing became his downfall because he is always thinking, ‘It’s gotta be better, it’s gotta be better.’ The thing is, art is never finished, it’s abandoned and you have to have the right place to abandon it in order to continue doing it. When he’s in that place, he becomes so engulfed in it that he just doesn’t stop.”
Mark also had his own theory as to why he fell out of favor with Vinnie in the years that followed VINNIE VINCENT INVASION‘s split. “I think Vinnie had a vision of where he wanted the INVASION to be and it wasn’t with the lead singer having so much… Let’s put it this way; I don’t think I was his supposed choice, so to speak; I think it was something that worked at the time,” he said. “When we finished ‘All Systems Go’, he was absolutely in love with the project, and then after the band went sour, he resents the day, and I went back to being the wrong choice, so to speak.”
Despite everything that’s been said, Mark insisted that he still looked back on those years and had “great love for them” and had no ill feelings toward Vinnie. “I just think we’re just two different people,” Mark said. “I think he’s a great talent. I think he should still be making records. I think instead of talking about the record we made in 1987, I think he should just make a new record and be that person just making new music. I think he needs to take whatever he’s working on and finish it because if you don’t finish it, if you don’t abandon that art and you just keep laboring on it, what happens is it becomes a hybrid of what it once was. Vinnie has plenty of music in him.”