Revolution Saints Ė Light In The Dark
By Dave Schwartz

Revolution SaintsGathering 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 Coverdale. 

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 Dave?

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 the band.

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 this album.

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.

Revolution SaintsAldrich:  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 Vecchio?

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 other projects.

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!

"Light In The Dark" 

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