Storm Force is chock full of classic riffs and wicked vocals which result in great songs and there are eleven great ones on this release. (I will be reviewing the album in its entirety sooner than later so watch for it). I can tell you all that these cats can play!
First of all Patrick congrats are in order on the debut album from Storm Force called Age of Fear which as of right now is getting continuous spins at Thunder Bay Arena Rocks HQ’s!
Please let all my reader’s know-how Storm Force came about?
Some of this story is pre me. Greg was looking to put together a band after he had written quite a few songs that he believed were strong. He made many attempts using guys that were well known but rehearsals were tough with guys living far away and it just never got to where he wanted it. He decided to go find guys close that were great at what they do and close enough to actually get something done. He called me because he’s known me since we were kids. He had seen a lot of the bands I was in though I would great for the project. He had known Brian for a while and was asking him if he knew any drummers. Brian offered up his services. Brian was in a band called Step Echo and Greg thought he was busy. Once he knew Brian was available, he jumped at the chance. Brian is also a gifted engineer and he recorded the entire album at his studio. We were already deep in the recording when we had found Mike Berardelli to come in and lay down the bass and this guy can play. We just had our first rehearsals and he blew me away!
Was that the idea all along was to make Storm Force a recording act?
Yes. Never a doubt.
I have to add Storm of Force is a great name. Who gets the credit for that as well as the title Age of Fear which pretty much sums up today’s world.
Naming a band is tough. We went through a number of different names and we settled on a different one. Then the label said we don’t like that name. Shit! So Greg and Khalil went through a ton of names the band and he had come up with and we agreed that STORM FORCE would do nicely. For “Age of Fear”, Greg almost always puts a title as a place holder to identify it instead of like Song idea 1, Song idea 2, etc. Some of the titles I changed, but this was one that I loved right away. As a crazy optimist, I can still see the world today and the state of fear that it’s in.
How did the songwriting go? Was it all four guys or did you and Greg hammer this stuff out together?
Greg comes up with a riff and a melody, and like I said, sometimes a title. Other than Because of You, he sends it to me and I will write the lyrics. Having said that, there is always additions from Brian and Mike. A certain bass lick that lifts a section up or a drum part that really changes the sound of the song.
You ended up getting Darius Szczepaniak whose credits include Black Crowes/Big Sugar/Sum 41 to produce. How did Darius come aboard?
I believe Greg knew Darius quite well and he sent him some tracks and he said he wanted to mix it. Really lucky to get that kind of talent on our side.
To my ears Storm Force harkens back to the mid to late in the ’80s in the hard rock vein but you guys have a current sound as well as it doesn’t sound dated. I have some thoughts on what bands Storm Force could be compared to but we live in such a judgemental society that if I say you guys sound like “so and so” some people may go “never liked that band from back then” so I’ll dump this question onto your lap. What bands would you say best describe Storm Force?
There are so many! When you’re writing, you’re always a combination of your influences. For me, it’s Priest, Van Halen, Brighton Rock, Triumph, Dio, Black Sabbath to name a few. But for the most part, I think we just write and come up with songs that we dig. That’s the great thing about writing. More than getting a record out, it’s pure enjoyment every step of the way when you’re creating it. I try not to overthink the comparisons. People will hear what they want to hear. As long as they enjoy it, I’m good.
Patrick, would you so kindly talk about each track on the album as I hear a lot of positiveness in the lyrics which in this day and age is a good thing.
Because Of You-
Greg wrote the lyrics for this. I heard him say that “you” can be anyone or anything. Your girlfriend, best friend, your family, your band, your favorite sports team, whatever gets you through the shit that can get you down.
Age Of Fear-
I loved writing this one. This is the world today. There are negative things everywhere. Facebook, the news, the internet. Age of fear talks about how the things you hear may not necessarily be true. There are always people and groups with Agendas who try to manipulate the masses with less than pure thoughts. I think by saying “It’s the age of fear”, I’m saying don’t always trust your sources. We need to verify that something is true before we pass that info on and give it power.
“Breathe” is about depression and having someone who can support you through it. I’ve never had depression myself and I used to be that guy that would just think WTF, just Cheer up! Having met and had some close to me go through it, I realize that it’s not that easy. We all need somebody to hold us up once in a while and tell us to just Breathe
This is the way I feel about relationships. Sometimes it’s hot and heavy and that intensity can also burn it all down. Like a couple that is great and terrible for each other. I love those kinds of relationships. Keeps it interesting.
Ride Like Hell-
This one is pretty straight forward. Just a rocker that my biker friends would enjoy. I think it’s about the excitement and freedom that a bike gives you. Not drawing from my life experience, but I like the imagery.
Another rocker that just gets me in the mood to live! Vegas is that kind of place that is bright and shiny with a dirty underbelly that everyone should experience.
More Than You Know-
Just a story about a couple on the verge of splitting and trying to keep it together
Actually, when Greg came up with this title, he was thinking more about Marshall Law closing down a city and taking over to keep the peace. He didn’t tell me that. lol. So the story I came up with is more like a texas ranger who tracks down criminals in the old west. Always loved Cowboy movies and I imagine tracking down a wanted man and bringing him to the hangman. Would be a great video
Sometimes you get in a relationship and after a while, you just want different things. Even though the relationship is over, it will always be a great memory and story.
I always loved the grandeur of old school boxing. Mohamed Ali and Mike Tyson. Especially Don King. The over the top presentation. I’m also a fan of the Rocky movies. I think this one would be good for the next one. Call Sly!!
Weight of the World-
I think everyone feels this. Bad relationships, money problems, family issues. Sometimes you don’t realize that the pressure on someone’s shoulders. I think about my parents trying to raise 6 kids, just my dad working. Man, that must have tough. And the way the world is today with everyone wanting everything and putting themselves in positions where the stress of the world can just crush you.
Now, Patrick, you have a co-vocalist on a couple of tracks Serena Pryne who has an excellent voice where is she from? Fantastic Stuff.
She’s actually from Niagara as well. I’ve seen her perform a number of times. An amazing vocalist and a crazy good performer. Perfect for the songs
What are your plans now that Storm Force has been released to the masses?
Rule the world? no, that’s not it. We want to get out there and play. This record will be so fun to play live. We love being on stage. Hopefully some cool festivals in the summer.
I wish you a ton of success on ‘Age of Fear’ Patrick. You guys should be proud as its a great release and what a way to start a new decade! Let me know when some swag is available!
Thanks Deke! Rock on! Will do