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Hardline - Human Nature

"Hardline..... Isn't that the band from the early 90's with Neal Schon?"

I hear you out there.

This is the very same band, with the very same singer. The rest of the band lineup has changed, but to say it's any weaker would be a complete fib. In fact, this may be the strongest that Hardline has been since its inception.

Following the feel of the band's debut, Double Eclipse, Human Nature delivers a set of songs that has loads of movement and emotion. We find the band getting rough and tumble with songs like "Nobody's Fool," bluesy with "Trapped In Muddy Waters," and slow and passionate with "Take You Home." But, the common thread throughout all of these songs is the attention given to their melodic rock roots. No matter what angle they're coming from the melody remains supreme. Keyboardist Alessandro Del Vecchio is a key songwriter here, the keyboard player, and the producer. He is obviously responsible for a huge part of their sound. The band is rounded out by guitarist Josh Ramos (The Storm), bassist Anna Portalupi (Tarja), drummer Francesco Jovino (Primal Fear), and original singer Johnny Gioeli.

Singer Johnny Gioeli is one of the best rock singers out there, and he hasn't lost a step since '92. From the opening line of the leadoff track ("Where Do We Go From Here") he melds strength, range and emotion into each and every note. Imagine Jon Bon Jovi with testicles. The phrasing may be similar to Bon Jovi's in spots, but Gioeli's instrument is like a weapon of mass destruction. I hate to point you to the ballad on the album for reference, but Gioeli's performance on "Take You Home" is absolutely crushing. It's brute strength and emotion poured into a tender piano ballad; a combination that only a few can pull off, and he does it as good as anyone out there.

If you're hesitating on this one because of the lineup changes, do yourself a favor and go forward without fear. The band is just as strong as it was in '92, and the songwriting just might be superior to the debut. And, c'mon, it's on the Frontiers Records label, it's gotta be good.


Love, Honesty, and Human Nature: The Johnny Gioeli Interview
The Hardline frontman and Axel Rudi Pell singer talks with Dr. Music about the latest Hardline record, his upcoming solo effort, and what he might say to a Bon Jovi job offer.

Singer Johnny Gioeli's name may not hit you like Steven Tyler or Axl Rose, but his experience in the music industry over the past 25 years would rival almost any name you could muster up.

Having found more than moderate success in the U.S. as the lead singer of Hardline, a band which featured Journey veterans Neal Schon and Deen Castronovo on its debut album Double Eclipse, its Gioeli's work outside of the U.S. that has him playing to crowds that can reach six digits. His work with Axel Rudi Pell is the stuff of legend in many countries around the world, and his continued work with Hardline is highly anticipated as well.

In the following conversation with Johnny, we discuss everything from his beginnings in Broadway plays as a child to the latest Hardline release, Human Nature. Listening to the honesty and sincerity that pours from his lips, I'm sure you'll feel the same positive energy that I felt on September 29, 2016 when I spoke with him. You won't find too many guys more cordial and honest than Johnny Gioeli, so listen close as he fields some tough questions that I threw at him.


0-4:51            Johnny discusses Hardline and what's going on with his
                     solo album, as well his experience playing to over
                     90,000 people at Wacken.

4:52-7:32       Johnny talks about the longevity of his involvement in
                     Axel Rudi Pell, Crush 40, and Hardline.

7:33-9:19       How has the band dynamic changed from Hardline's
                     original lineup to the current lineup?

9:20-12:11      For someone that only knows the first Hardline album,
                     what do you think the most noticeable difference will be
                     for them upon hearing Human Nature?

12:12-13:15    Did you have any specific goal in mind when making this
                     new Hardline record?

13:16-18:02    How did you record this album? Were you all in a room,
                     or did you send tracks back-and-forth?

18:03-20:06    What song should I play first for someone who's never
                     heard Hardline? Is there one song that defines the
                     Hardline sound?

20:07-22:35    Because you started out as a drummer, do you find
                     yourself more critical of the drum parts more than any
                     other parts?

22:36-24:07    Did you bring any influence from your Crush 40 work into
                     the new Hardline music?

24:08-25:28    I hear Jon Bon Jovi inflections in your voice. If Jon
                     stepped away from Bon Jovi and they called you for the
                     job, would you take it?

25:29-26:47    Is there any particular singer that you're inspired by?

26:48-29:13    Do you have any formal vocal training?

29:14-30:51    What are your thoughts on Spotify?

30:52-34:20    Are you going to tour?

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