Revolution Saints Ė Light In
By Dave Schwartz
Gathering from all corners of the classic
rock world, Revolution Saints - Deen Castronovo (ex-Journey, Bad
English), Doug Aldrich (The Dead Daisies, ex-Whitesnake, DIO),
Jack Blades (Night Ranger, Damn Yankees) - has just released their
second record, ďLight in the Dark.Ē
Revolution Saints are an interesting mix
of talents. Blades and Aldrich were more known to me.
Blades has enjoyed great success with both Night Ranger and Damn
Yankeeís charting many hits. Aldrich is a guitar slinger who
spent several years in Dioís band and was in Whitesnake for more
than a decade, where he co-wrote over 30 songs with David
The surprise came when I heard
Castronovoís incredibly soulful voice. Why hasnít this guy
found his way to the front of the stage rather than lurking behind
the drum kit? I had a chance to ask all those questions when
Doug Aldrich called DaBelly from Los Angeles to talk about ďLight
In The DarkĒ and all that is the world of Revolution Saints.
Aldrich: How are you doing today
DB: Iím doing great Doug.
Thanks for calling in, letís get this interview going.
Congratulations! Your new record is ďLight in the Dark.Ē
Please tell me about the new album.
Aldrich: We had a really good time
putting this record together. We carved out some time where
we could all meet up. That was in April. We wanted t
get together and write on this record because, as I think you
know, the last record was written for Deen as a solo record.
We just kind of made it into a band project. So we had a
bunch of ideas together in various stages of completion.
Then we got together in April and started going through each song.
We started reworking the riffs, the parts and the melodies and
then just basically recorded it right then together. It was
cool to be playing off each other. I think over all it has a
little bit more of a band vibe than the first record.
DB: I agree, this album does sound a
little more cohesive but I think both albums are great in their
own right. It was interesting to hear this record and
discover the growth from the first album. Iím sure that has
a lot to do with writing together. Iím sure it was a
challenge to put together given the busy schedules of everyone in
Aldrich: Yeah, there was some
struggle. There were a lot of reason why it was a little
difficult, but part of it was that Deen had a schedule, I have a
schedule and so it was hard to find mutual time, but April worked
for everyone. A lot of people have asked how this album came
about. Itís kind of well-known that Deen had gone through a
really rough personal time a couple of years ago. He
basically hit rock bottom and has since completely taken care of
all his personal problems to where he was in great shape to do
this record. Thereís a theme through many of the lyrics.
I mean ďLight in the Dark, thatís where that one came from.
When youíre working on substance abuse and personal problems you
really need to stay focused on the goal. In Deenís case it
was to stay sober, stay clean and heís done that for over two
years. Heís super happy and in the same relationship he was
in with his fiancťe. Itís good because weíve all go the old
Deen back, the guy we all love. So that was going on.
We all hung in there with him because thatís what friends do.
If someone makes a mistake you give him another chance. Deen
took that chance with family members and friends and has made
amends. The record company or somebody suggested that we
start talking about a second record. Thatís how this all
started. We started talking about when we could do it and if
we were to do it could we support it a little bit. And
thatís something that we wanted to do too.
DB: Often from the heart of those
tragic events comes a moment of inspiration. You start to
see things a little differently. Thereís an opportunity for
clarity and itís really cool from those dark moments can come
something that is shining and positive. I really do admire
Aldrich: Cool man, well thank you.
We had a good time making it and we felt like we had some really
cool ideas. It all worked out. Could it have been more
difficult? Definitely, but I have to tell you that playing
together makes all the difference. The last record, I
recorded guitars on top of drums and bass. We recorded in
different places. We did some stuff together in the studio Ė
the vocal stuff and what not, but a majority of the other stuff
was done separately. This time the meat of the tracks was
all done together Ė bass, guitar and drums. The vibe was
great because we were playing together like a band should.
DB: I know this record was recorded
primarily in Italy but I believe you all spent a few moments in
your own studio as well. This record is already well
traveled isnít it.
Aldrich: Yeah. Well, I mean
for me I mostly did guitar solos and stuff. Actually I did 3
or 4 of the guitar solos in Italy and then I had to leave and
spend some time with the family before I started kicking off some
dates with The Dead Daisies. And during that time I realized
just how busy we were going to be and I didnít have a lot of time.
We didnít really have days off with Daisies. We were always
doing social media and stuff. Or we would do acoustic gigs
and so there really wasnít ever a bunch of free time. So
eventually the record company called me and said we need those
tracks. I needed to finish up the remaining solos.
There were only 4 or 5 left but I needed to do it. I
remember before I played the Download Festival I did a couple of
tracks. After we played, everyone else stayed at the
festival to watch Aerosmith play but I came back to the hotel and
did some recording. I recorded some tracks on the Bullet
Train. I worked many nights on the bus while we were rolling
somewhere. I worked wherever I could find time, even on a
flight, I couldnít play but at least I could listen and make notes
about what I wanted to do. So finally it got done.
DB: You worked with Alessandro Del
Aldrich: Yes. He produced the
record. He co-wrote with us and heís super talented.
He produced the last record too. Heís great to work with.
He makes it really easy.
DB: What kind of producer is he?
Is he someone that really gets in there up to his elbows working
on the record or is he more of just a facilitator trying to allow
you guys to be creative?
Aldrich: He would kind of stand back
and let us do our thing. He couldíve done either or but
weíve all done this a lot and we kind of knew what we were going
for. So it was more about keeping us focus and aware of
deadlines and things like that.
DB: I know that Revolution Saints
was formed in an unusual way Ė born from the vision of Frontiers'
President, Serafino Perugino, did the three of you know each other
prior to the first record?
Aldrich: Yeah, I met Jack while on
tour with Whitesnake. Night Ranger supported us on a couple
of dates. Thatís where I met Jack and it was fun to meet him
because heís such an amazing player. And as far as Deen, we
were friends for a long time. In the early 2000s Journey
supported Whitesnake on a bunch of European dates and then there
was a tour in the UK where we supported Journey. Deen and I
always hit it off. Heís just such a great dude. I
didnít notice that he was going through a little bit of stuff,
even when he was going through the worst of it. I didnít
notice because I wasnít around him enough. He and I have
been friends and he asked me to play on the record. Thatís
how it kind of came about where Jack and I both agreed to play on
his record and when he told the label they said why donít we make
this a band thing.
DB: I was unfamiliar with Deenís
voice prior to hearing the first record. I am impressed and
surprised he hasnít been pushed out front more often.
Aldrich: Heís got an amazingly
soulful voice as you can tell. Itís so weird; I was just
talking about this. Anybody would want to have that voice.
Why wasnít he a singer before this? Heís fresh and heís new
and heís got a lot of flavors like Steve Perry obviously, singing
a lot of that stuff. He shined on the first record and he
shined on this record and this record is a lot more his lyrics and
stuff. Heís very into and excited about this record.
Heís hoping it does well so we can actually get out and do some
touring off of it.
DB: Thatís actually my next
question. I was going to ask about touring. I know
that you didnít have much of a chance on the first record and, of
course, you are three very busy musicians with obligations to
Aldrich: Iím not so busy. When
I work with the Dead Daisies Iíll usually commit for 6 months.
And then the other 6 months Iím mostly free to do what I need to
do. Itís family time for the most part. But I would
definitely love to go out. Jack is obviously really busy
because those guyís tour all the time. Deen and I would
really love to do it with Jack but weíve also talked about if Jack
was not available and we had some offers that, with Jackís
blessing, we could possibly look at doing some things.
People want to hear Deen sing these songs and a lot of the fans
would prefer to see Revolution Saints with Jack, so thatís what
weíre going to try to do. But itís also a situation where
Jack is really locked down heavy with Night Ranger. And he
should be, itís his baby. So you canít really ask him to
take off when thereís an opportunity for his to have 100 people
working. It would be difficult to ask him to take that time
off. So, weíll see what happens. Hopefully we can work
it around Jackís schedule.
Thank you to Doug Aldrich for spending a
moment with DaBelly. Find out more about Revolution Saints
at the links below and pickup ďLight In The DarkĒ!
The Dark" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZWMgLaRppi8