Video Feature & Web-Exclusive Interview

Musician:  Doug Aldrich
Video:  Take You Down


Revolution Saints is Deen Castronovo (ex-Journey, Bad English), Doug Aldrich (The Dead Daisies, ex-Whitesnake, Dio) and Jack Blades (Night Ranger, Damn Yankees). They release their second album Light in the Dark on October 13, 2017.

Light in the Dark builds off the classic melodic rock style of the debut, but fans should prepare for an even more inspired set and a few pleasant surprises.

Revolution Saints-3 - Photo credit Johnny PixelFrontiers Music Srl has created some special packaging and the album will be available on CD, CD/DVD Deluxe Edition (which includes live bonus tracks on the CD and on the DVD, footage from the band’s first-ever live performance captured at Frontiers Rock Festival in Milan this past April, a “Making Of” mini-documentary, and music videos for “Light In The Dark” and “I Wouldn’t Change A Thing”), Vinyl, and as a special Limited Edition Box Set (which includes the Deluxe Edition CD/DVD, 180g Vinyl, large t-shirt, poster, lithograph and sticker).

We talked with Doug Aldrich about his creative process, working with other musicians who each bring their unique creative history, and how Revolution Saints utilized the experience from the first album to help them with their new album Light in the Dark.

with M Music & Musicians magazine publisher, Merlin David

How did the album Light in the Dark evolve?
We started discussing the idea of doing a follow up album at the end of 2016. Deen and I made a plan for basic recording in April 2017. We sent song ideas back and forth in February and March 2017. Jack came back on board and we carved out three weeks in late April to record at Alessandro Del Vecchio’s studio in Milan, Italy. He put it together the first time and we felt good about going back. He’s great producer, singer, keyboardist, songwriter and mixing engineer.

What’s one of the challenges of combining ex-members of Journey, Whitesnake and Night Ranger—all in one band?
Mostly it’s a scheduling issue. (Laughs) We all had things going on at the time the first album was recorded, so we couldn’t do much together. Now it’s a little easier and we hope to do some concerts to promote the band.

Photo credit Johnny Pixel

Photo credit Johnny Pixel

Tell us about your creative process.
We started sending ideas back and forth, but when we arrived together in Milan—that’s when the songs took shape. We stripped the song idea down to the basics—to hit them fresh before recording. This was totally different than the process of the debut record.

Was there a song that you are glad made it on this new album?
“Freedom”—because it’s a departure for us. It was started by Deen, who came with the main riff. He sent me an mp3 where he played a cool riff. I worked on the riff. Then we finished the arrangement in Italy. It was the last song written, and it shows a different flavor of the band.

Who inspired you to write songs?
Everyone inspires me. (Laughs) Jimmy Page writing masterpieces like “Kashmir” and “Stairway to Heaven.” Pete Townshend “I Can See for Miles,” The Allman Brothers Band, Gregg’s “Whipping Post.” I love hard rock, blues, metal, pop, jazz, classical. For rock, I love everything from Chuck Berry to Joe Bonamassa—too many to list. (Laughs)

What songwriting tip would you like to offer?
I hear riffs and melodies in my head—all the time. (Laughs) I always need to record the ideas—no matter where I am. If I have a guitar, that helps. But sometimes I sing the guitar idea into my answering machine. (Laughs) A song can come and go in an instant, so you need to capture the original idea. Now it’s easy with smartphones, and you can have hundreds of ideas five seconds long to sift through later. I try to imagine where the vocals will start, and make up a basic melody. Once I have a start and a hook chorus, I’ll leave it alone and come back fresh to finish it. Sometimes a song is stuck in my head and it just writes itself in five minutes. (Laughs) There is no rule. Just try anything. Recording really helps.

What instrument can you not live without?
My BlackEye Goldtop Les Paul—it’s the most important thing.

Which Top 5 Musicians inspired you to become a Musician?
Jimmy Page, Jeff Beck, Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Ritchie Blackmore.

Photo credit Johnny Pixel

Photo credit Johnny Pixel

Top 5 favorite albums of all time?
Physical Graffiti (1975) – Led Zeppelin
Blow by Blow (1975) – Jeff Beck
Are You Experienced (1967) – Jimi Hendrix Experience
Toys in the Attic (1975) – Aerosmith
Second Helping (1974) – Lynyrd Skynyrd

What PRO/Performing Rights Organization are you with?
ASCAP. They collect performance royalties all over the world—and I’m thankful.

Tell us one memorable thing about playing with Ronnie James Dio.
He was fierce and fearless on stage. I learned a lot—sharing a stage with him. He had offered me a job in 1989 or 1990. I was in a band, and didn’t feel like I could just leave. Later, he reached out to me. I am so thankful. He really put me on the map with Killing the Dragon [2002]. We’d rehearse 10 hours a day for three weeks. It takes 5 or 10 gigs before it starts to gel. He would always say, “When I turn to you, I want you to own the stage.” A lot of people clam up when the red light at the recording studio goes on. Ronnie was the opposite. That’s when he would shine.

What did you learn from your time recording all those albums with Whitesnake?
I’m extremely proud of the music that David Coverdale and I created. We bonded a lot in the years that we worked together. The best part was writing a song for David and knowing he would like it—that feeling of “Wait ’til David hears this!” Then afterwards, to hear him sing on it—was extraordinary.

A “pinch me” moment—when you found yourself saying, “Wow, this is really happening to me!”
I’ve had so many, and it’s all because of Ronnie. He introduced me to so many people, and I got to be friends with them. But I’ll have to say that playing “Smoke on the Water” with Deep Purple—live in 2002, in Gelsenkirchen, Germany—was a highlight. Steve Morse invited me to play with him and the band. We just traded solos for a minute with Ian Paice playing the high hats, and then we started the riff together. Awesome. That’s the first song I learned to play when I was 11.

Revolution Saints-4 - album coverDo you remember the first time you heard one of your songs on the radio?
I was at home in L.A. with the band Lion. We were sitting around the house, listening to KNAC in our apartment, and it came on the radio. We had nothing at that time, but it felt pretty amazing to hear our song.

Best advice someone has given you.
Get an attorney to look over anything that someone wants you to sign.

Best advice you’d give upcoming musicians.
Remember to have fun and be yourself. Be confident and work hard, play hard.

What’s next?
I’m hoping to play some shows with Revolution Saints—the band is melodic, and I like this new album. I’m also cutting a Dead Daisies record this month with producer Marti Frederiksen—we’re a straight-ahead rock ’n’ roll band. And I’m also wrapping up preproduction on my Burning Rain band’s fourth record—we hope to record that next year.

Where can your new fans get more info and stay updated?

Doug Aldrich on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter

Photo credit Johnny Pixel

Photo credit Johnny Pixel

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