“Storm Surge” is about the anxiety we all feel in these uncertain times. With the global pandemic, the fight against racism and the continuing struggle for social justice, climate change, political upheaval, economic turmoil, and a future of uncertainty, there is a storm that’s raging inside of us right now.
….”as stated by Joe Deninzon”
A little over a year ago, my son Max was playing a short piano piece by 19th-century composer Friedrich Burgmüller, called “The Storm.” The piece was stuck in my head because I would hear him practicing it every day. I started to imagine it as a rock power ballad and began to sketch out a slowed-down version with the basic chord changes and structure.
I was imagining a cello replacing the ostinato part played by the left hand on the piano, so I asked my friend Ruti Celli, who I met on Cruise to the Edge last year when we played with Dave Kerzner and In Continuum, to contribute her beautiful part.
Our drummer, Jason Gianni, had a sketch he never finished that he thought would be a perfect fit in the middle of the song. I layered a huge string orchestra on top of that section and recruited the great guitarist/producer Fernando Perdomo to lay down a soaring guitar solo.
Next, I was hearing a flute during the breakdown section that followed. We have never had a flute, or any woodwinds for that matter, on one of our recordings! I asked the genius multi-instrumentalist Rachel Flowers to play the flute and lay down a piano track for the song. Rachel has been blind since age 3 and plays piano, flute, bass, guitar, drums, stick, sings, and records and mixes her own albums! I’ve met and worked with a lot of gifted people in my career, but don’t think I have ever met a person with this level of talent! Check out the documentary about her, Hearing is Believing, on Amazon Prime.
Finally, I’ve been into the idea of using outside singers in Stratospheerius. Up until his time, I have always been the lead vocalist. The new album we are slowly putting together will feature many special guests. We’ve been longtime fans of the 80’s Canadian band SAGA best known for hits like “Wind Him Up” and “On The Loose.” When we played at the ProgStock Festival afterparty back in 2018, Saga’s lead singer Michael Sadlercaught our set after his performance at the festival, and was raving about the band! We were incredibly humbled to receive such words of encouragement from such an iconic artist.
We felt Michael’s voice would be perfect for this song! He ended up contributing a jaw-dropping vocal performance, enhancing the melody, and adding Queenesque harmonies. As a side note, he and his wife Gwen turned out to be some of the nicest and most gracious people I have ever worked with.
Joe Deninzon – lead vocals/electric violin
Jason Gianni- drums
Michelangelo Quirinale – guitar
Paul Ranieri – bass
Special Performances on Storm Surge Video and Single
Michael Sadler – Vocals
Rachel Flowers – Keys and Flute
Yulia Ziskel – Violin
RutiCelli – Cello
Fernando Perdomo – Guitar
Tracked by Rave Tesar (Renaissance)
Mixed and mastered by Rich Mouser (Spocks Beard, Dream Theater)