Guitarist Greg Fraser is probably best known as a member of Canadian band Brighton Rock with whom he released three albums during a ten year period between 1982 and 1992. He also played for Helix for four years in the 90’s. Brighton Rock reformed in 2001 and Fraser also released a couple of albums with Fraze Gang. He now has a new band called Storm Force and they released their debut album “Age of Fear” via Escape Music on 24th January.

I arranged to chat with Greg via Skype on 16th March and we chatted for about 35 minutes about Storm Force and the new album. We also discussed Brighton Rock, Helix, Fraze Gang, Rory Gallagher, the music scene and much more. That interview can be heard on the Friday NI Rocks Show from 20th March which is now available via our MixCloud page - https://www.mixcloud.com/NIRocks/interview-with-greg-fraser-from-storm-force-and-brighton-rock-20th-march-2020/

 

 


 

 

 

Check out the band’s website at https://stormforce.ca/

The interview will be typed up and posted here later.

 

Playlist

OZZY OSBOURNE – Crazy Train

GOTTHARD – Every Time I Die

HEAVY PETTIN – Get Back to You

GASOLINE OUTLAWS – Breathe Again

BRIGHTON ROCK – We Came to Rock

Interview with Greg Fraser Part 1 (10 min)

STORM FORCE – Dirty Vegas

Interview with Greg Fraser Part 2 (6 min)

BRIGHTON ROCK – Young Wild and Free

Interview with Greg Fraser Part 3 (7 min)

STORM FORCE – Breathe

Interview with Greg Fraser Part 4 (11 min)

STORM FORCE – Age of Fear

BRIGHTON ROCK – Hangin High ‘n’ Dry

FRAZE GANG - Jackhammer

TRUCKER DIABLO – When The Waters Rise

BAD WOLVES – Sober

MAGNUS KARLSSON’S FREEFALL – Hold Your Fire

BAD TOUCH – Strut

SWANEE RIVER – Rollin

THE PRETTY RECKLESS – Going To Hell

AMARANTHE – Do Or Die

AD INFINITUM – See You In Hell

OZZY OSBOURNE – Diary of a Madman


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NI ROCKS – Hi Greg, thanks for taking some time to talk to Rock Radio NI. Your band Storm Force released their debut album “Age of Fear” at the end of January and we’ll talk more about the album in a moment. First of all though, can you tell us a little about the band itself, when it formed and who is in the band with you?

GREG – Yeah, we formed Storm Force about three years ago. I live in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada and the other three guys in the band are all from really close to me here in Niagara. That was very important for me, compared to my previous band Brighton Rock, where we were a little more spread out. That made it really difficult to get together for rehearsals and to write songs; even the little stuff like having a band meeting and stuff like that. I found that having local guys. It’s fantastic! We can get together every single week, even just for a coffee; to talk and write songs or record.

The guys in the band – we have Patrick Gagliardi, he’s our lead singer. He’s a fantastic singer – I think he is one of the best singers in Canada. We’ve got Brian Hamilton on drums and Mike Berardelli on bass. They’re really fantastic players and we’re really lucky to find guys who are so good, being so local and so close to me. I’m extremely happy about that. We got the band together three years ago with the idea of making a record, but it was a casual approach. Every week we’d chip away at it and see what happens. There were no big illusions of anything.

Then, to make a long story short, Escape heard some of our songs; we’d approached them, and they loved them and they said let’s do this record right now. We weren’t really prepared to do it right away, but luckily enough we were about nine or eight songs in, so we only had a couple more to finish off. Which was a good thing, because this could have dragged on for another year or two the way we were going. It was just so casual, just having fun, having a few beers and making some music; but once Escape got onboard everything became more real. We’re really glad to be a part of Escape Music and the end result is what you hear my friend.


NI ROCKS – Where was the album actually recorded and who did you work with in terms of production, mixing etc?

GREG – The album itself was recorded at our drummer’s house. He’s an audio engineer; that’s his full time job when he’s not making records and stuff. He does live sound for a lot of big bands and stuff like that. He has his own recording studio at his house and the beauty of that is he lives ten minutes from my house. It was really awesome that we could do that. Then we got a guy named Darius Szczepaniak – he’s from Toronto and works in a legendary recording studio in Toronto called Phase One Studios where Triumph and Rush and a lot of big Canadian bands made their most famous records. That’s his full time job – he mixes records and jingles – he’s the guy that mixed the record and really brought it to life. The combination of Brian and Darius – we can be really proud of what the end result is.


NI ROCKS – When did you actually start working on the tracks on the album and who was involved in the writing process?

GREG – I write all the music and the vocal melodies. That’s usually the first step. I’ll have a song idea and I’ll have vocal melodies – I’ll know what I want the singer to sing, but I don’t have words written down. I’ll have a chord progression and then I’ll kinda hum what I want the vocals to be. That’s the way I write a lot of songs – I’ll have vocal melodies first, before I even have a guitar riff a lot of times. I’ll just be driving along and hear these vocal melodies – the ones that stick with me a lot, that I can’t get out of my head; I’ll make sure that I record that and work from there. Then I might get a basic drum pattern, like a little basic beat on a drum machine, no drum rolls or nothing, just that. I’ll have a tempo and I’ll lay some chords on top of that and maybe a basic bass line and then I’ll lay a vocal melody on top of that. Then I’ll bring it to the guys and say here’s a song idea I’ve got – here’s the vocal melody, a basic drum pattern, a basic bass. These guys being the pros that they are, they’ll put their own stamp on it. Pat will write the words and it takes on a life of its own. That’s the way I’ve been doing it. That’s the way I used to do it with my old band Brighton Rock and it seems to be working pretty good.


NI ROCKS – I’ve noticed that the band had a few gigs mentioned on it’s social media pages. What plans does the band have in terms of touring to support the release of the album? Although those may have changed with the current coronavirus outbreak.

GREG – Well, yeah, we’re kind of in limbo. Our next show is in five weeks and even that we’re thinking is this show even going to happen. Our Prime Minister, two hours ago, just announced that people from Europe, no one is allowed into our country, unless you’re a diplomat. Americans are still allowed in, but if you’re coming from Europe, the UK, it’s not happening for now. It’s kind of a scary situation. It’s funny because the president of our company (Escape Music), Khalil – one of the songs on our record, the second song is called “Age of Fear” and he thought that was a great title for the record, because the way things are now, people are living in an age of fear. Sure enough it has become a reality. The whole world is in fear right now. It doesn’t help that a lot of people, in the press, say everything gets blown out of proportion; who knows how bad this really is! As for live shows; we’ve got a couple of offers and we’re just like, let’s just wait and see how this unfolds. We’re going to wait for two or three weeks and start weighing up some of the offers and see if they’re worth pursuing. It’s kind of wait and see! It’s probably the same where you are?

NI ROCKS – Yeah, most of the American and Canadian tours are cancelled and all the local gigs are cancelled here too now.

GREG – What a shame!

NI ROCKS – Would you like to bring the band to Europe at some stage once all this has settled down?

GREG – Oh, absolutely. That’s where I’ve always wanted to play my whole life. All my favourite bands are like UK bands. One of my guitar players is Rory Gallagher – Ireland’s own. And Thin Lizzy. I’d love to go back there. When I was in Brighton Rock we were lucky enough in 2012 and 2013 to do the Firefest Festival two years in a row. This new band, Storm Force, it would be an honour to be invited to some of those big festivals over in Europe. In Canada especially they try to do some of those big festivals but they never happen. They end up getting cancelled or they’re really poorly attended. I don’t know what it is, in the UK and Europe you guys seem to have that down really good. It seems to be successful most of the time, year after year. To answer your question once again, we’d be honoured to play there, it would be an absolute pleasure for us.


NI ROCKS - The latest video to be released was for “Dirty Vegas” and we’ll play that track now. Can you tell us a little about that song?

GREG – Sometimes, like I said, when I’m writing songs I’ll have a vocal melody but there are no words. When I’m looking at my list of songs they have no titles, just numbers. So I’ll just make up song titles, just so I know which each song is, and I’ll tell the singer here’s the title of the song, feel free to change it, I just needed something to reference. That was one of those. I don’t know where I heard it – “Dirty Vegas”. It’s about Las Vegas and I said change the name, and he said no I love the name. The song is basically about the seedy life of Vegas – how it’s all glitz and glamour, but there’s a real seedy part that’s real naughty, which is alluring to a lot of people also. Some people want to go for that. It’s just a straight-up, balls-out rocker, talking about Las Vegas. We love it, and that’s our first real video. Our first single off the record, “Because of You”, was a lyric video, but this is the first video off the record where you can see what we actually look like and it gives you a little taste of what you’re going to see when you see us live.

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Last Updated (Saturday, 23 October 2021 23:19)