After a 35 year absence, Vandenberg are back with a brand new line-up, featuring Chilean vocalist Ronnie Romero, and a brilliant new album ‘2020’. Best known for their 1982 U.S hit single ‘Burning Heart’ along with three critically acclaimed albums, the band called it a day in 1986 when guitarist, founder, songwriter, and album sleeve designer Adrian Vandenberg joined Whitesnake during their most successful period in the late 80’s.
Adrian gave HEAVY Magazine 30 minutes of his time to explain the reason behind resurrecting the band after such a long absence. “My record company and my manager suggested I call this new band Vandenberg a couple of times in the last year or so. I thought about it but I didn’t want it to be a nostalgic kind of thing, but then I started thinking about it a little more and how great it would be if I could find an incredible singer and put together a kick ass line up, and then it would be a great idea because I could take the harder side of the early Vandenberg into the 2020’s. So as soon as Ronnie was on board, that’s when it made sense because now we can make a killer record and do killer shows”
Talking about Ronnie Romero coming on board, Adrian explained that he then wrote the songs with Ronnie’s voice in mind “I had a couple of riffs on my iPhone before I went to Madrid to talk to Ronnie to see if we could get it together, then as soon as I got back I wrote the songs with Ronnie’s voice in mind because I always think it has to be a synergy between the singer, the guitar player, and the songs. If that isn’t there, then it becomes a little empty.” And on re-recording the band’s most successful single ‘Burning Heart’, “I was really looking forward to hearing Ronnie sing it. He delves into the meaning of the song. The original Vandenberg singer couldn’t speak very good English, so he sang a ballad the same way as he would sing a rock tune. Ronnie is a more emotional singer.
Asked whether the new line-up (including Dutch compatriots bassist Randy van der Elsen and drummer Koen Herfst) will perform songs by the original Vandenberg incarnation when they can eventually play live, Adrian said “I’m still really proud of those albums! Whenever I hear one of those tracks of course I get a flashback to those times and how exciting it was for a Dutch band to get out of Holland and be taken seriously all over the world, and there’s some really good stuff there still. So yeah, we’re definitely going to play some of those tunes because I’m still proud of them. There’s a lot of songs from the first three Vandenberg albums that will fit very well into this band we have now, and Ronnie’s going to sing them amazingly, so I’m actually looking forward to it.”