Jammerzine has an exclusive interview with the multi talented musician and producer Greg Armstrong. Fresh off the heels of his recent collaboration titled ‘This Is Your Life 2023’ featuring Todd Sucherman (Styx) on drums, Angus Clark (Trans-Siberian Orchestra) on guitar, Brian HBK (Hairball) on bass, Tommy Barbarella (Prince) creating the string section and Matt Kirkwold (Majesties) and more, Greg gives us a new take on the Ronnie James Dio classic from the perspective of a group of fans who love and care.
“This Is Your Life 2023”, single and video, is the brainchild of music veteran and multi-talented musician/producer, Greg Armstrong. The project consists of a supergroup of sorts, which pays homage to Ronnie James Dio and supports his charity, The Stand Up and Shout Foundation.
Armstrong saw the 2022 documentary, DIO: Dreamers Never Die, and was motivated to create this incredible project where he saw a way to help give back and motivate others to do as well. Armstrong decided to produce a brand-new take on Ronnie’s song, “This Is Your Life”. Ronnie wrote and recorded the song in 1996 as a ballad with piano and strings. It was actually somewhat of a prophetic lyric about life, as he would succumb to stomach cancer just a few years later.
Armstrong decided to re-record and produce the single with like-minded friends, in a similar vein to how Ronnie James Dio may have produced the song with a full band in the, “Last in Line” era. As the single progressed, and various rockstars added their personal element to it, Armstrong knew he had something special, and the world needed to hear it.
As Armstrong started arranging, “This is Your Life 2023” in his own studio, building the basic track on keyboards, he recruited Todd Sucherman (Styx) on drums, Angus Clark (Trans-Siberian Orchestra) on guitar, Brian HBK (Hairball) on bass, Tommy Barbarella (Prince) creating the string section and Matt Kirkwold (Majesties) on some harmony guitar solos and the final ride out. Then, came in veteran producer/engineer, Chuck Alkazian (Pop Evil, Tantric, Soundgarden) who became an important and influential part of the process, mixing and co-producing the song.
The final piece of the puzzle was finding a singer that would take it to the next level. That’s when Alkazian’s close friend, Robert Mason (Warrant) stepped into the picture, adding his own personalization to the track without taking anything away from the power and essence of Ronnie’s original vocal.
Armstrong hopes this project, “brings awareness to the Stand Up and Shout Foundation, carry on the Dio torch, pay homage to Ronnie and give back to the man and legacy who inspired so many throughout his incredibly long and actually quite diverse career”.