Journey drummer Dean Castronovo says he does not usually get to do interviews since the other members of the group usually want to do them, but Castronovo seems more than happy to have his say for a change, and does so in a recent interview with the Deseret News.
Not surprisingly, there’s much talk about the group’s new singer Arnel Pineda. Finding Pineda through the internet by viewing videos of his performances with his band in the Philippines convinced the band that he was the guy they were looking for, but at the same time, they worried a bit about how he might fit in with the rest of the band. When you fly someone you’ve never met half-way around the world for an audition, it is easy to understand those kinds of concerns.
It has all turned out just fine, reports Castronovo. Pineda “is is the most humble and nice person I have ever met,” he says.
Journey has surely had their share of changes where lead singers are concerned. After splitting with original lead singer Steve Perry, they group hired Steve Augeri, who was a good replacement for Perry, but ended up leaving the band after ten years. There was a brief stint with Jeff Scott Soto as frontman, with Castronovo sharing some of the vocal duties as well.
Castronovo also mentions his good friend and former Journey drummer, Steve Smith, and humbly reveals that he has copied Smith’s style, and often jokes with him about how he has “ripped him off.”
When Castronovo talks about his early influences, he mentions seeing KISS drummer Peter Criss and his massive drum kit. However, on at least on occasion Castronovo was in attendance when Rush was opening for KISS, and Castronovo was quite impressed with Neil Peart’s ability to actually play his entire massive kit. It’s kind of hard to imagine Rush opening for KISS, but I guess you have to start somewhere.
Speaking of Neil Peart, I recall reading not all that long ago on one of the many news updates on his site that he has great admiration for Steve Smith’s ability. That’s a compliment that must make any drummer feel pretty damn good.
Dean Castronovo sounds about as happy as anyone can possibly be with their job. “I don’t know of any other job I’d rather, or should I say, I can do. Life is good,” he says.
For more of the interview, check out the Deseret News.