ADRIAN VANDENBERG Explains How He Recruited RAINBOW Singer RONNIE ROMERO For Reactivated VANDENBERG Project
April 13, 2020
VANDENBERG's new lineup will release a studio album titled "2020" on May 29 via Mascot Records / Mascot Label Group. Joining master guitarist Adrian Vandenberg in the group's current incarnation are Chilean-born singer Ronnie Romero (Ritchie Blackmore's RAINBOW),bassist Randy Van Der Elsen (of NWOBHM heroes TANK) and drummer Koen Herfst (BOBBY KIMBALL, EPICA and DORO).
Asked by Myglobalmind how he connected with Ronnie, Adrian said: "It's an interesting story. When I read that Ritchie Blackmore was doing a few RAINBOW shows, I was wondering who the hell was going to sing because my favorite period of RAINBOW was with [Ronnie James] Dio. I checked them out on YouTube, and Ronnie [Romero] sang all the songs amazingly well. I was blown away. I spontaneously wrote him a short congratulations message through Facebook. I wished him luck and success but also told him not to let this business drive him crazy. I was recording the first MOONKINGS album, so I didn't have any other ideas or plans with him. I got a note back saying, 'Thanks,' that he was a fan of my work and one day hopefully we can meet. When I started on this new VANDENBERG band, I thought it would only work if I could find an incredible singer. I didn't want it to be one of those tired and uninspired nostalgic trips. Suddenly, I thought of Ronnie, and after five years, I wrote him so we could meet. I went to Madrid, where he lives, and we talked about a possible band situation. We made a connection and recorded a few demos. Before we knew it, we were in the studio."
On the topic of the songwriting process for VANDENBERG's new album, Adrian said: "I actually wrote songs to Ronnie's capabilities, which are limitless. I've always liked to write music that was tailored to the singer so you get the best out of them and the music. When I decided to move forward with VANDENBERG, I thought it would be great if I could find an incredible singer. I didn't want it to give the impression that we are a nostalgic thing and digging up the old band members who sounds a little tired from the earlier days. When we did connect, he told me the reason he started singing was because he heard me and David Coverdale on the 'Restless Heart' CD. Ronnie was thrilled to get together as he had been doing a lot of session work over the last five years. He preferred to be in a band like this one. It worked out perfectly for everyone."
VANDENBERGreleased three quality albums during the early to mid-'80s, namely, the self-titled 1982 debut (spawning the U.S. hit single "Burning Heart"),"Heading For A Storm" (1983) and "Alibi" (1985). They achieved commercial success and earned much acclaim. The band toured the U.S., Japan and Europe playing with the likes of OZZY OSBOURNE, KISS, RUSH, SCORPIONS, MICHAEL SCHENKER and more.
Subsequently, Adrian has had an impressive career. He was a member of WHITESNAKE for 13 years at the height of their fame, contributing the solo on their No. 1 hit "Here I Go Again". He spent many years duelling with Steve Vai on guitar and has returned for many reunions. He was part of supergroup MANIC EDEN, and more recently released a number of albums with VANDENBERG'S MOONKINGS.
"2020" was produced by Bob Marlette (BLACK SABBATH, ALICE COOPER, MARILYN MANSON, ROB ZOMBIE) and features guest appearances by bassist Rudy Sarzo (WHITESNAKE, OZZY OSBOURNE, QUIET RIOT, DIO) and drummer Brian Tichy (WHITESNAKE, OZZY OSBOURNE, FOREIGNER, BILLY IDOL).
The complete track listing includes "Shadows of the Night", "Freight Train", "Hell And High Water", "Let It Rain", "Ride Like The Wind", "Shout", "Shitstorm", "Light Up The Sky", "Burning Heart - 2020" and "Skyfall". The album will be available as a limited CD box set, on LP, and via digital alongside all streaming services.
While nine of the songs here were freshly written by Vandenberg himself, there's one track that will be familiar to all fans. This is a new rendering of "Burning Heart", perhaps the band's most famous anthem.