An Interview with
Lead Vocalist of Hardline
Interviewed by Glenn Milligan
Glenn: What initially made you decide to call the band, 'Hardline'?
Johnny: We had a really tough time coming up with the name...we saw in the newspaper that our President "Hardline-ed" something...and we thought cool...let's go for it. Next to that article was a picture of a Double Eclipse...It all seemed to work together or we had to much to drink I think...
Glenn: Are there plans to re-issue the album in the UK - which is only available over here as a import for around £20?
Glenn: Is it up to MCA or do you have a say in the matter?
Johnny:MCA owns the master
Glenn: Were many of the songs written for 'Double Eclipse' before the band came together?
Johnny: Yup, quite a few...
Glenn: Who was 'Cherie' in the song, 'Hot Cherie' - what's the story behind the song?
Johnny: I can't tell or I will be facing divorce...kidding. This song was a re-make brought to us by Dana Strum (Slaughter) I have been covering that tune since the late 80's and always wanted it on a record.
Glenn: Who was 'she' in 'Rhythm of a red car - how did that song come about?
Johnny: Joey and I used to inline skate at the beach...and one day some chicks woooooed at us and I said "hey Joey those chicks are throwing us rhythm"! and Joey said "where"? and I said "from that red car"...the rest is history.
Glenn: How does it make you feel when you still hear 'Hot Cherie' and 'Rhythm of a red car' in rock clubs and pubs or even on the radio around the world? What goes through your mind?
Johnny: It's still an amazing feeling...you instantly relive the past...good and bad I might add.
Glenn: In your opinion, did having a member of Journey in the band make a differrence to your popularity even though the songs stand up on there own anyway?
Johnny: Certainly a good marketing tool but I can't really say if it helped or not because we didn't try it the other way.
Glenn: What are your favourite memories of the dubut album days and why?
Johnny: Recording at A&M...this was heaven.
Glenn: What are your favourite band road stories?
Johnny: Dowsing Todd Jensen with water after he primped himself for hours...
Glenn: Which artists did you most enjoy supporting and why?
Johnny: Van Halen...need I explain further?
Glenn: What have been the most memoriable gigs and why? Which parts of the world have you liked playing at most?
Johnny: I love playing open air festivals...the vibe is killer
Glenn: Why has there been such a long time between 'Double Eclipse' and 'II' - was it the change in musical styles or was it other reasons? Was it your intention to stop working as a band or was it due to financial business constraints out of your haands?
Johnny: Definitely all business...when the deal was gone, the money was gone and he band was gone...what a shame.
Glenn: What was the task like finding a replacement for Neal Schon - how long did it take and how did you advertise?
Johnny: Easy. Josh sounds so much like Neal it's amazing.
Glenn: Who else notable came to audition?
Johnny: There was no audition, I hand picked the players.
Glenn: What was it like working alongside new band members - was it weird at first or did fall into place straight away?
Johnny: Fell right into place...ahhhhh.
Glenn: Why did you simply call the comeback album 'II' - was it more than it being the second album? What other titles did you come up with and why were they rejected?
Johnny: It was so long in the attempt to make a second record that it seemed appropriate AND it's really a new band.
Glenn: Why is it such a simple cover on 'II'? What other covers were considered?
Johnny: There were some outrageous covers...BUT, I wanted it to resemble the first record for identification's sake.
Glenn: What were your favourite moments recording the album in the studio?
Johnny: I think the most exciting moment was dropping a $7,000.00 acoustic.
Glenn: How was the Gods gig and do you plan to return to the UK for a tour?
Johnny: The Gods was great for us. It was amazing to see that so many people are still out there wanting to see the band. We would love to come back over and do a full tour.
Glenn: Can you ever see a tour taking place between yourselves and Journey because of the connection?
Johnny: No, that would be impossible.
Glenn: What would you say are your favourite songs on 'II' and why?
Johnny: Weight for sure...It was written with true passion for what I was feeling at the time...STRESS!
Glenn: What happened to bass player, Todd Jenson - as he seems to have disappeared from the music scene altogether?
Johnny: Don't know. He didn`t keep in touch after the initial band drifted apart.
Glenn: Were any recordings made during the days of 'Brunette' - and if so what style are they like and will they ever see the light of day?
Johnny: Brunette who? :-) We made lots of demos and I believe there is a bootleg going around with lots of them on there. Musically the band was similar to Hardline but maybe a bit more party rock in style.
Thanks to Johnny Gioeli and Mark Ashton @ Now Then for setting up the Interview