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Gioeli-Castronovo: Setting The World On Fire with Johnny Gioeli

Gioeli-Castronovo to Set The World On Fire!

Gioeli-Castronovo: Setting The World On Fire with Johnny Gioeli

The meeting of the rock and roll minds and massive talents of Johnny Gioeli and Deen Castronovo has been a long time in the making.  They were both founding members of the vastly underrated Hardline, starting the band in 1992 along with Neal Schon of JourneyCastronovo would soon join Schon on the Journey adventure of a lifetime, while Gioeli would team up with the legendary Axel Rudi Pell as well as unleashed further Hardline endeavors.

A chance encounter would bring the former Hardline co-conspirators together 25 years later – and the project Gioeli-Castronovo would be unveiled upon the world at large.  Their debut recording is entitled Set The World On Fire, available July 13th via Frontiers Music Srl. Highwire Daze Online recently caught up with the one and only Johnny Gioeli to discuss the upcoming Set The World On Fire album, the overall Gioeli-Castronovo project, his upcoming solo album and resulting charitable endeavors, and a whole lot more!  Read on…

First of all, how did this new partnership with Deen Castronovo come about? You were in Hardline with him 25 years ago…
Oh my God, you had to remind me of my age, Ken. That’s cool. So Deen was the drummer of Hardline way back in 1992 when we released Double Eclipse. And then, after the grunge scene kind of put a damper on things, we all went our separate ways. Deen, of course, did the Journey gig with Neal (Schon – also in the original Hardline). Then Deen had some life troubles – and it wasn’t until I was doing an interview with a journalist who said some off-color stuff – and I didn’t take well to it. I was going to end the interview – and I said, “You know what? I know who Deen is and we’re not going to talk about Deen. Because Deen is a great human. Deen will come out of the other side of this clean and great. And I know his heart, and he’s like a brother. And we’re like a brotherhood. So this interview is over.

And Deen heard that – and he and his son got in contact with me. His son Kyle was about 2 years old when we did Double Eclipse and now he’s a grown man. They both thanked me and he said “Thank you for supporting me.” And I said, “Deen, I never stopped loving you bro. I know what’s in your heart. We all have our problems in our lives. We all have our peaks and valleys. I would never judge you. I know who you are. I know you didn’t want to do those things. I know you didn’t want to be that way. Look, you came out on top. You came out on top!” So it was a great reunion right there verbally.

And a week later, Deen calls and says, “Dude! You wanna do a record together?” I was like, “You mean like a duet thing?” “Yeah, let’s just like sing together.” “Fricking done! Let’s do it!” So there wasn’t any big strategy to sit down and plan “let’s do this.” It was two guys, reuniting, who know how to sing – I think fairly well – and got together – and knocked out a cool AOR record Set The World On Fire. That’s it bro. I wish I had something really fancy schmancy to tell you about it Ken – but that’s the way it happened.

That was a pretty fancy schmancy story in itself. (Johnny laughs). Set The World On Fire. Is there any overall story or concept behind that title?
It’s our reuniting for sure. The title is just sort of our “Here we are” title. We survived! We’re back!” Like the song Through – we’ve gone through the tunnel – we saw the light – and sometimes the light was a train coming at us – sometimes it was just light for us to escape. But we made it through – so the title concept is just one of those “here we are! We want to perform for you. We want to sing for you. We don’t literally want to set the world on fire – that would not be a nice thing to do.” (Laughs) So that’s all that really is.

The one and only Johnny Gioeli

Select any two songs from Set The World On Fire and what inspired the lyrics.
I’ll tell you a little bit about the back story of the lyrical content and the writing. We decided on this record to use the creativity and talents of other songwriters. We didn’t write these songs ourselves, but of course we set the tone for the songs – we melodically changed what we wanted to change. We had to make them ours – but we worked closely with the writers for them to understand what we wanted to be with this record. As an artist – before it even gets to the public, you have to live it – it has to be you. But we wanted to use outside songwriters because it’s cool man – it’s really interesting to have someone else’s perspective to what your voice would sound like on their song. And to explain to them your life, what you’ve been Through – of co