The Storm (American band)
|Origin||San Francisco, California|
|Past members||Gregg Rolie|
The Storm was an American supergroup rock band, formed in the Bay Area of San Francisco during the early 1990s. The band released their first single, a power ballad, "I've Got a Lot to Learn About Love," for which they are perhaps most widely known. The song peaked at #6 on the Mainstream Rock Tracks chart and at #26 on the Billboard Hot 100.
The band featured three of Journey's former members (two of whom were founding members) – Gregg Rolie (original lead vocalist and keyboardist of Journey) on keyboards and lead & backing vocals, Ross Valory on bass and background vocals, and Steve Smith on drums. Kevin Chalfant, who had a #12 rock chart hit in 1982 as lead vocalist with AOR band 707, was the lead vocalist, and Josh Ramos (who cited Journey founder and guitarist Neal Schon as a major influence) was the lead guitarist. Ramos had previously replaced Journey guitarist Neal Schon in Hardline. Consequently, The Storm sounds very much like Journey to fans and critics alike.
Chalfant and Valory had just released an album together on another side-project band called The Vu and were ready for another venture; however, Rolie was the most instrumental in bringing the band together and sending them into a climb of success. He had collaborated on material with Kevin Chalfant and sent the track "Show Me the Way" to producer Beau Hill, who with Jimmy Iovine had just begun Interscope Records as a hard rock/AOR label for Atlantic Records president Doug Morris. Interscope became seriously interested in the project and signed the band, now known as The Storm, in 1990.
1991–1992: The Storm and Smith's departure
The Storm's debut album, self-titled and released in 1991 by Interscope, was produced by Beau Hill. It rose to #133 on the Billboard album chart, scoring two Mainstream Rock radio hits with the #6 “I’ve Got a Lot to Learn About Love” (which also reached #26 on the Billboard Hot 100) and the #22 “Show Me the Way”.
Steve Smith left the band in late 1991 and was replaced by Ron Wikso, who left Cher's band to become a full member of The Storm in early 1992.
In March 1992, the band embarked upon a US tour supporting Bryan Adams in arenas all over the country. They followed that up with a tour supporting Peter Frampton and did additional dates with Eddie Money, Tom Cochrane and others, in addition to several headlining dates.
1992–1993: Dissolution and aftermath
Their follow-up album, Eye of the Storm, was recorded for Interscope Records in 1993 but never released by Interscope. The previous year, the label—founded by Iovine (a producer, who began his career as a sound engineer for John Lennon and Bruce Springsteen) and Hill (noted for his success producing hard rock bands Ratt and Winger) as a rock label—had struck a deal to distribute releases by Death Row Records. Hits by Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg convinced the label to shift its focus from Mainstream Rock to Gangsta Rap. Eye of the Storm was eventually issued through the major UK independent label Music for Nations in Europe, Avex Trax (Bareknuckle) in Japan and Miramar Records in the U.S. The album also appears on the iTunes Music Store with the release date of 1995.
Despite the eventual release of Eye of the Storm, the individual band members had moved on to other things. Gregg Rolie (keyboards) played with Abraxas Pool (featuring most of the original Santana members – himself, Chepito Areas, Michael Carabello, and Michael Shrieve – as well as Neal Schon and Alphonso Johnson); Ross Valory (bass) went on to a reformed Journey; Ron Wikso (drums) went on to play with David Lee Roth, Foreigner and Richie Sambora; and Kevin Chalfant (vocals) and Josh Ramos (guitar) formed another band called Two Fires, who released three albums, and later pursued solo careers, Chalfant making lead vocal stints in The Alan Parsons Project and the Kansas City AOR-based band Shooting Star.
Beginning in late 1999, Gregg Rolie and Ron Wikso co-produced a solo CD for Gregg called Roots – released in 2001 on 33rd Street Records in the US and Sanctuary Records in Europe – and have since been touring together as part of the Gregg Rolie Band, which also features Michael Carabello, Adrian Areas, Kurt Griffey, Alphonso Johnson and Wally Minko. Ron Wikso occasionally rehearses with REO Speedwagon guitarist Dave Amato, and Styx bassist Ricky Phillips.
- Kevin Chalfant – lead vocals, acoustic guitars (1990–1993, 1995–1996)
- Josh Ramos – lead, rhythm and acoustic guitars (1990–1993, 1995–1996)
- Gregg Rolie – keyboards, backing and lead vocals (1990–1993, 1995–1996)
- Ross Valory – bass guitar, backing vocals (1990–1993, 1995–1996)
- Ron Wikso – drums (1992–1993, 1995–1996)
- Steve Smith – drums (1990–1991)
|1996||Eye of The Storm||N/A||Music For Nations|