HEART OF STORM‘s
DEREK SHERINIAN (DREAM THEATER)
GREGG BISSONETTE (RINGO STARR, ELECTRIC LIGHT ORCHESTRA), DOUG ALDRICH (WHITESNAKE, DIO) AND TONY FRANKLIN (THE FIRM, JIMMY PAGE, PAUL RODGERS)
DISCUSS HOW THE SONIC AND VISUAL FUSION OF A ROCK CONCERT AND RUSSIAN BALLET CAME ABOUT, ITS EVOLUTION AND WHAT TO EXPECT FROM THEIR U.S. DEBUT IN LOS ANGELES
THIS FRIDAY, JULY 24 AND SATURDAY, JULY 25
AT 8PM IN THE ORPHEUM THEATRE
Photo from HEART OF STORM rehearsal in Los Angeles.
HEART OF STORM–the internationally acclaimed one-of-a-kind live rock concert and Russian ballet experience–will make its premiere in Los Angeles on Friday, July 24 and Saturday, July 25 at the Orpheum Theatre, 8pm (842 S. Broadway Los Angeles, CA 90014).
In celebration of its U.S. debut, HEART OF STORM is offering fans the chance to view these shows with complimentary tickets, only on July 24 and July 25.
In this in-depth interview below, HEART OF STORM’s Derek Sherinian [keyboardist]and Gregg Bissonette [drummer], Doug Aldrich [lead guitar] and Tony Franklin [The Firm, Jimmy Page, Paul Rodgers] discuss how the show was born, its evolution from premiering in Europe last year in Mayto kicking off its U.S. debut this Friday and Saturday in Los Angeles and what fans can expect when they come to see this one-of-a-kind rock concert and ballet experience. View the sizzle reel for HEART OF STORM here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xqWoMKefKOM.
HEART OF STORM is played live and loud by an all-star band including renowned keyboardist Derek Sherinian (Dream Theater), drummer Gregg Bissonette (Ringo Starr, Electric Light Orchestra), lead guitar Doug Aldrich(Whitesnake, Dio, Revolution Saints), bassist Tony Franklin (The Firm, Jimmy Page, Paul Rodgers) and rhythm guitarist Brent Woods(Warrant, Sebastian Bach) and alto saxophonist Brandon Fields(Tower Of Power, George Benson). The music that was created needed a strong visual, so the group teamed with the young and talented Russian-Korean choreographer Stas Tsoy.The music, performance, and visuals come together to tell this unforgettable tale of a young Major named Storm as he travels to the depths of the labyrinth of Life, Death and Love.
This hybrid rock concert fused with stunning, young Russian ballet talent–spanning the Bolshoi Theatre, Swan Lake and the Nutcracker–inherits the tradition of classical ballet, while charting new territory into live, emotional theater. HEART OF STORM is an explosive and theatrical rock ballet extravaganza.
Get an in-depth look into HEART OF STORM here:
HEART OF STORM – Q&A WITH DEREK SHERINIAN (Dream Theater) GREGG BISSONETTE (Ringo Starr, Electric Light Orchestra), DOUG ALDRICH (Whitesnake, Dio) and TONY FRANKLIN (The Firm, Jimmy Page, Paul Rodgers):
Q: When did this whole idea for HEART OF STORM evolve from? What sparked it for you?
Derek Sherinian: The creator Alex Semenov approached me in late 2013 to produce and play on a rock instrumental record. Alex decided to have choreographed ballet performing live along with a rock band, he found Stas Tsoy a talented Russian-Korean choreographer and this sounded like an exciting, unique opportunity to me.
Q: What was your vision for this artistically? What message do you guys want to get across? What should people walk away with?
Doug Aldrich: Artistically, I thought this was a cool fusion of arts and I wanted an opportunity to push myself in some new directions after Whitesnake. This was really something interesting and obviously with a great bunch of friends that also happen to be at the top level as musicians. I hope to have people walk away feeling happy to see and hear something fresh that is a new idea.
Derek Sherinian: Heart Of Storm is Alex Semenov’s vision. My job is to help him see his vision through on the musical end.
Tony Franklin: Heart Of Storm is part rock show, part Russian ballet–with a killer band, featuring top name rock musicians–and world class Russian ballet. ‘Storm’ is the main character, and the storyline follows his tumultuous journey of love, anger, jealousy and death. But this is not just a dance show with accompanying rock music. Both the band and ballet are interwoven into a unique, powerful and emotional performance. I’ve never seen anything like it.
Q: How did the idea of fusing the music with ballet come about? How did you create the songs to fit with the ballet choreography?
Derek Sherinian: The music was written first, and then the dancing was choreographed afterwards.
Doug Aldrich: Music has always been in ballet I guess, but this is a fresh approach that the composer felt would be more intense and fit well with the choreography. It could possibly reach a new audience that might otherwise skip ballet. I myself have never been to a ballet, but now I’m interested. The Red Rock Ballet is made up of very talented young dancers from Russia.
Q: What is the story of HEART OF STORM? Tell us about the production and look of the show.
Tony Franklin: The Orpheum Theater is the perfect setting. In the Broadway Theater District of Los Angeles, it has a long history dating back to the 1920’s. The list of artists who’ve performed here is remarkable, including Judy Garland, the Marx Brothers, Ella Fitzgerald, Duke Ellington, Little Richard, Stevie Wonder–the list goes on. American Idol and America’s Got Talent are also filmed here. The Orpheum stage has been transformed to accommodate the unique Heart Of Storm production. The lights, the setting, the sound and performances are all fine-tuned to express the broad array of emotions of the storyline. I’m really excited to be part of Heart Of Storm.
Doug Aldrich: I was so immersed in learning the material that I didn’t really know much about the story at first. But once we started to run the show together, it all made sense… The look seems to be heavy….very edgy, but with classic Ballet feel in spots. In other places it probably pushes the limit a bit.
Q: Can you elaborate on the band’s chemistry? What’s the dynamic like?
Derek Sherinian: Everyone in this band is not only incredible musicians, but incredible people as well. Tony Franklin and Gregg Bissonette are hands down the nicest rhythm section in rock! I am truly blessed to be working with such a great team of people across the board.
Doug Aldrich: Derek is our fearless leader and has put together a very diverse bunch of people to perform the music. I know Derek had been working on this for some time. Then I happened to be in Moscow for a day and I got a phone call from Brent Woods saying that he and Derek were out at a party in town and asked if I wanted to join. Haha. I was asleep and jetlagged so I didn’t go, but a few months later Derek started to think about this production and called me to play. I have to say, it’s been a huge amount of work for me to get up to speed, but we had so much fun that time has flown by. We are all very different people so it feels unlike any project I’ve been in. Gregg and Brent secretly coordinated wardrobe the entire time showing up with the same shit and shoes or whatever… Tony is truly one of the nicest people you could ever meet. His playing is just astounding… so giant. Like all the guys I reckon. Brandon has just blown me away…with horns and flutes!!! He has been very patient with us as he has not had to deal with a band this loud. But he seriously shreds if that can be deemed a compliment from me. Derek is that bad boy dude with chops that will back it up. Derek and Brent are serious gearheads which of course I can relate to. Derek has more gear than just about anyone I know…. I get it. There is always more room for something new. Brent plays so awesome. I’m really glad to work with him. He is playing solos as well, but also doing acoustic work which is very important with a ballet. Gregg is joking around all the time… always, but he just an insanely talented player. He like all these guys has played with the best of the best cause they are that good.
Gregg Bissonette: The band chemistry is awesome. I’ve been a fan of all of these musicians for many years and have played with everyone before except Brent Woods, but now he’s my new best friend :). The first day I showed up for rehearsal, I was wearing a red Foo Fighters shirt and black jeans and Brent was wearing a red shirt and black jeans. Everyone commented on it, so each morning we decided to mess with the others by calling ahead of time and wearing the same colors. It took them a while to figure it out and they thought we were on the same wave length, but they quickly caught on :).We all really take the music seriously, as a drummer in the band you have two man jobs: the tempo, and controlling the dynamics… bringing it way down and way up when you need to. Brandon is one of the world’s greatest sax players and I’ve played with him at the Baked Potato Jazz club in L.A., on his solo albums, and we were in the house band for the Latin Grammys a few years ago. I was in a band with Derek called Jughead which my brother Matt Bissonette (Elton John’s bassist) and Ty Tabor (Kings X) were also in. Derek and I also played in Italy with Yngwie Malmsteen and Deep Purple, that’s where I played with Doug Aldrich as well. Tony Franklin and I have played a ton together over the years and have been great pals for 20 years. We played years ago on a movie called Endless Summer 2. It was a surf movie. We’ve done a million albums together and toured all over the world. Derek is the glue that brought us all together. He is a great guy, a fantastic musician, and a wonderful producer and band leader. The music we are playing with Heart of Storm is written so well that it lends itself to having a lot of dynamics, (playing at different musical volume levels). It’s very passionate music and when everyone sees the dancers and storyline, they will love it and see that it’s all brilliantly connected.
HEART OF STORM
FRIDAY, JULY 24 and SATURDAY, JULY 25
842 S. BROADWAY
LOS ANGELES, CA 90014
Doors: 6:30 PM, Show begins: 8:00 PM
About Red Rock Ballet Inc.:
Red Rock Ballet Inc. was incorporated by a group of international investors with a passion for rock music as well as contemporary ballet.
About Jay Nolan Community Services (JNCS):
HEART OF STORM is made possible with the support of Jay Nolan Community Services (JNCS). JNCS is a Los Angeles-based non-profit organization that assists children and adults with Autism and other developmental disabilities. The mission of Jay Nolan Community Services, Inc. (JNCS) is to enable individuals with autism spectrum disorder and other Developmental Disabilities to live fulfilling lives as members of the community by providing support services customized to their individual needs. Since 1975, JNCS has served over 9,750 people with autism spectrum disorder and other developmental disabilities in the community. With over 550 full and part time staff, JNCS ensures each individual is given the opportunity to utilize consultation services, enhanced support, supported employment, supported and independent living options, as well as family support services. While all HEART OF STORM tickets are complimentary via emailing:firstname.lastname@example.org, fans that attend the will be given the chance to make a tax deductible donation for $100.00 to JNCS which allows for entry to the official HEART OF STORM after-party featuring a meet and greet with all musicians and ballet dancers, appetizers and drinks will be served. Reserve your tickets today for this unique opportunity in support of Jay Nolan Community Services. JNCS is offering exclusive Heart Of Storm sponsorship opportunity ranging from $250-$500. Contact Lisa Fisher at LFisher@JayNolan.org or by calling (818) 361-6400 ext. 129.