Hardline at Rockharz Open Air 2019 in Germany
|Origin||Los Angeles, United States|
|Years active||1991–1992, 1999–2009, 2011–present|
|Associated acts||Anthem, Axel Rudi Pell, Journey, Jun Senoue, Crush 40|
Hardline is an American hard rock band. Originally formed in 1991 by brothers Johnny Gioeli and Joey Gioeli, the band consisted of five members, Johnny Gioeli, Joey Gioeli, Neal Schon, Todd Jensen and Deen Castronovo. The band's most recent album is Life, which was released in 2019. Joey Gioeli has not appeared on a Hardline album since 2002's II after retiring from music to focus on family business. Johnny Gioeli remains the only original member of the band.
Hardline is a band created by brothers Johnny Gioeli and Joey Gioeli, who had previously played in the bands Killerhit and Brunette (which at one point was the top-drawing band in Hollywood, setting the all-time attendance record at Gazzarri's), later played in the band Gravity, and have since returned to Hardline. The band originally also included guitarist Neal Schon of Journey and Bad English, bassist Todd Jensen (ex-Sequel), and drummer Deen Castronovo. The group's sound was a mainstream commercialized mixture of glam metal and AOR. Two of the group's first songs were played in the movie "Rapid Fire" which starred Brandon Lee, the son of martial arts expert, Bruce Lee, at the actor's request.
After Hardline lost its record deal, Neal Schon departed to begin several projects before finally rejoining Journey. Former Jag Panzer and Shrapnel Records legend Joey Tafolla was approached to join but was unable to participate at the time due to his work schedule, consisting primarily of building his southern California merchandising company. Todd Jensen and Deen Castronovo left to join Ozzy Osbourne's backing band, though Jensen was replaced by Geezer Butler. Eventually, Deen Castronovo also joined Journey.
Drummer Bobby Rock played on Hardline's second album, II. He had previously played several times with the Gioeli brothers in the band Brunette, replacing their regular drummer. They met via Rock's former Vinnie Vincent Invasion bandmate Dana Strum, who produced one of Brunette's demos, on which Rock played some drum tracks. Rock suggested his friend, LA session bassist Christopher Maloney, who had previously worked with Dweezil Zappa, to handle the bass duties on II. Due to Maloney's focus on promoting his solo album Control as well as working with other artists, he was unable to join the band for "The Gods Festival" in Bradford, England in June 2002. Producer Bob Burch played bass at the festival in his stead.
Angel keyboardist Michael T. Ross, a friend to Tafolla, joined the band for II and the live DVD. Former The Storm guitarist Josh Ramos was signed up to play lead guitar for Hardline at "The Gods Festival," and, when Tafolla was unable to finish recording lead guitar for II, was brought in and, in two long, pressure-packed days, laid down all the leads for the album.
Hardline's third studio album, Leaving the End Open, was released on April 17, 2009 in Europe and on May 19 in the United States, after much delay. It was originally slated for release in Spring 2006. The album could be described co-project between Gioeli and Ramos, the latter having contributed significantly to the lyrics and concept of the project. On December 22, 2011, Johnny Gioeli confirmed, via the Frontiers Records official site, that he and Italian keyboard player and producer Alessandro Del Vecchio of Edge of Forever and Eden's Curse would release Hardline's fourth studio album in mid-2012. Entitled Danger Zone, the new album's art features an eclipse to commemorate the twentieth anniversary of the debut album Double Eclipse and was released on May 18, 2012 by Frontiers Records. Del Vecchio commented that he had written the lyrics and music for the album with Gioeli's vocals in mind, and sent demos to Frontiers president Serafino Perugino, who then sent the demos to Gioeli, who immediately became interested in reforming Hardline once again. Music video shooting for the track "Fever Dreams" began on April 15, and the final video was released on May 18. Via Frontiers Records's official electronic press kit for Danger Zone, Johnny Gioeli and Alessandro Del Vecchio announced that "by the time you watch this, we will already be working on the next [album]."
Hardline appeared live, for the first time since "The Gods Festival," at the Sweden Rock Festival on June 7, 2013. Axel Rudi Pell drummer Mike Terrana and returning Hardline guitarist Josh Ramos joined the band in place of Thorsten Koehne and Francesco Jovino to play ten songs from all four Hardline albums, notably performing songs from Leaving the End Open and Danger Zone live for the first time. Additionally, Hardline played in person at the tenth anniversary of the Melodic Rock Festival "Firefest" in Nottingham on October 19, 2013 as the headlining band. Drummer Mark Cross stood in for Mike Terrana for the performance, and bass player Nikola Mazzucconi stood in for Anna Portalupi.
On October 14, 2016 Hardline released their fifth album called Human Nature with returning guitarist Josh Ramos, first time performing on a Hardline album since 2009's Leaving the End Open but had been continuously touring with the group since 2013. Human Nature was received quite positively by fans and critics, with offering homages to their 1992 debut album Double Eclipse with a fresh new sound. They performed only 2 shows in 2016, but toured extensively for the new record throughout Europe during 2017. A Japanese edition of Human Nature was also released which includes a special orchestral arrangement of Take You Home. During 2017 their Human Nature tour was changed to the Double Eclipse 25th Anniversary Tour which was also that year, however newer songs from Human Nature were also still performed. These tours were very successful.
On May 6 2018 it was announced that long time guitarist since 2002, Josh Ramos would leave Hardline, due to conflicts and disagreements with the other band members over production reasons and arguments over creative differences. Ramos was quickly replaced with GIOELI - CASTRONOVO guitarist Mario Percudani who is now a permanent member. On August 14 2018, Johnny Gioeli confirmed during a new update video for his Pledgemusic campaign for his upcoming solo album that Hardline were working on their 6th album titled Life, which was eventually released April 26, 2019. It is the first album to feature their new guitarist.
- Johnny Gioeli – lead vocals, acoustic guitar (1991–1992, 1999–present)
- Alessandro Del Vecchio – keyboards, backing vocals (2011–present)
- Mario Percudani – guitars (2018–present)
- Anna Portalupi – bass (2011–present)
- Marco Di Salvia – drums (2018–present)
- Joey Gioeli (1991–1992, 1999–2003)
- Neal Schon (1991–1992)
- Joey Tafolla (2000–2002)
- Josh Ramos (2002–2009, 2012–2018)
- JJ Links (2003–2004)
- Thorsten Koehne (2011–2012)
- Todd Jensen (1991–1992)
- Christopher Maloney (2001–2002)
- Bob Burch (2002, live only)
- Rudy Sarzo (2004)
- Jamie Brown (2005–2009)
- Michael T. Ross (2001–2009)
- Deen Castronovo (1991–1992)
- Bobby Rock (2001–2002)
- Atma Anur (2004–2009)
- Francesco Jovino (2011–2012, 2014–2018)
- Mike Terrana (2012–2013)
- Matthias Montgomery (2015–2016)
|Leaving the End Open
|Lead Vocals||Johnny Gioeli|
|Lead & rhythm guitar||Neal Schon||Josh Ramos||Thorsten Koehne||Josh Ramos||Mario Percudani|
|Rhythm guitar||Joey Gioeli||no-one|
|Bass||Todd Jensen||Christopher T. Maloney||Jamie Brown||Anna Portalupi|
|Keyboards||Neal Schon||Michael T. Ross||Alessandro Del Vecchio|
|Drums||Deen Castronovo||Bobby Rock||Atma Anur||Francesco Jovino||Marco Di Salvia|
- Double Eclipse (1992)
- II (2002)
- Live at the Gods Festival 2002 (2003)
- Leaving the End Open (2009)
- Danger Zone (2012)
- Human Nature (2016)
- Life (2019)