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craig huntley
Interview: Craig Huntley
26th September 2017

revolution saints

Drummer Deen Castronovo has played in some of today's biggest and best rock bands, from Journey to Ozzy to Fear Factory to Bad English and Paul Rodgers.

On the eve of his most recent musical venture, supergroup Revolution Saints' sophomore album release, 'Light In The Dark', alongside guitarist Doug Aldrich of The Dead Daisies and Jack Blades of Night Ranger, MetalTalk were privileged to spend some time with Deen to talk about his musical journey, how he is after an eventful last two years and new music.

'Light In The Dark' is released on October 13th and is preceeded by the release of the single 'I Woudn't Change A Thing'.

Good afternoon Deen, how are you?

"I'm great thank you. It's early morning, I've got my Coca Cola and my cigarette."

How did Revolution Saints come to be?

"It was the brainchild of Serefino Perugino of Frontiers Records. He always wanted me to do a record with me singing and I was really busy with Journey at the time. He was like, 'Why don't we get Doug Aldrich...' and I was like 'Oh, I love Douglas, we have to get him, if you can get him, great!'. He suggested Jack Blades and I've listened to him since I was 17. When us three got together, it sounded great and I'm very proud of that first record."

Who came up with the name?

"It was a Jack Blades name. The label originally wanted it to be called Pleasure Dome. We were like 'Uh no, we don't like that!'"

The sound of Revolution Saints to my ears sounds like it was made for vinyl. In this day and age of compressed iMusic, was that a conscious decision?

"Oh yeah, we are all major vinyl fans. There is such a warmth to the vinyl format. I don't really understand the digital side of things. You know I'm just a drummer. I don't have to plug anything in, I just set up and I am away. To hear the record on vinyl is incredible. It sounds so rich. The new record is a thousand time better. My drums on vinyl sound like cannons."

revolution saints

Let's talk about the musicality of Revolution Saints. Was there a conscious decision to head towards a certain sound or was it a bit more organic?

"The songs were already kind of written and mapped out by Alessandro and Doug. I came in and me and Alessandro understands where I was coming from and why I had to take two years off to take care of myself. When we all came together in Italy, we would go through the lyrics and change things that didn't feel like stuff I would sing.

"Alessandro found my heart on that, my pain and frustrations, and put it into lyrics and man, it's me speaking because it was what I had been going through over the last two years."

With all of you so busy across so many bands, how do you record the music?

"Well on the first record we all recorded separately. I did my drums and vocal tracks in Portland, Oregon. Doug did his stuff in LA and Jack did his bass up in Seattle, so it was like to come together as a band was so cool. It was exciting, the fire was there and it shows on the new record. It's where the magic happens! People have noticed the smile on my face."

Let's talk about you singing and drumming. How easy/hard is that for you?

"You know for me when I was with Journey it was effortless. The drumming was almost on autopilot. I was concentrating on my breathing and doing the best I could for the song. The drumming kind of took a back seat. Not that it sucked, it was almost a muscle memory."

So your new record is out on October 13th. Was there always a plan for a second record?

"Well we wanted to tour, we were getting offers and then I had my incident for a couple of years. I kind of put music away for a few years and decided to get myself healthy. Focus on recovery and being healthy. But as soon as I felt in my heart I wanted to get back into it. Doug was straight into it but Jack was busy but found a way to get some time to do the record as well."

It's produced by Alessandro Del Vecchio. How was working with him again?

"I was telling you about the lyrics earlier and he knew where I was coming from. He had this sort of intuition. I would mention some things and he would put them down on paper. He really gave me the confidence to speak my truth. I am hoping people will dig it."

Have you got a favourite track off the record?

"'Freedom' is the one for me. It's the first track I have ever written. I sent the guitar riff to Doug and he made it cooler because you know that's what Doug does! [laughs].

"My lyrics were taken from my journals while I was at Betty Ford. I would write stuff down and I remember writing 'Freedom... freedom coming my way' and I looked back and I thought it was a cool title."

What are your plans to tour the record?

"Schedules permitting, yes we are looking to take this around the world but Jack is dedicated to Night Ranger and I fully understand that. Doug has Dead Daisies as well but for me all I'm really doing is hanging out waiting to do this. We want to play anywhere and everywhere.

"I really want to take this out on the road - the first show gave me the itch!"


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