‘I knew there was something special’: Deen Castronovo on joining Journey as Steve Perry exited

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Deen Castronovo says that Neal Schon warned him, before he took the drumming job in 1998, that Journey had split with long-time frontman Steve Perry. A exuberant Castronovo replied: “I don’t care who it’s with. I wanna play.”

His first appearance with Journey would be on the track “Remember Me” from the Armageddon soundtrack, which also saw the debut of new frontman Steve Augeri. He’d last for two albums and the 2002 EP Red, before being replaced briefly by Jeff Scott Soto.

[ONE TRACK MIND: John Waite goes in depth on Bad English’s monster hit single “When I See You Smile,” which featured Deen Castronovo, as well as solo songs like “Missing You” and “Mr. Wonderful.”]

It wasn’t until 2007, almost a decade later, that Journey found Arnel Pineda, its current lead singer. “Thank God for him,” Castronovo tells Paul Cashmere in this Noise11 video. “He helped resurrect us to another level.”

The drummer says he could tell, even during the early sessions for 2008’s Revelation, things had taken a turn for the better. “I remember when we were recording that: I knew there was something special about that record,” Castronovo says of Pineda. “He’s just an incredible vocalist, and a wonderful human being. Perfect for us, the chemistry was great.”

Castronovo earlier played with Schon in Bad English, a turn-of-the-1990s supergroup that also featured John Waite. The pair were also part of Paul Rodger’s Muddy Waters-themed 1993 tour, opening for Steve Miller, before Castronovo took over in Journey from his childhood hero Steve Smith.

“Paul Rodgers, a god of vocals,” Castronovo says. “He and John Waite, and of course Arnel, are the best singers I have ever worked with in my life. Just amazing, sick singers.”

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