An Interview with Greg Fraser of Brighton Rock & Storm Force

All images courtesy of Michael Brandvold Marketing & Management

By Andrew Daly

As the lead guitarist of Canadian glam rock outfit Brighton Rock, Greg Fraser supercharged the scene with tasteful licks and melodic songwriting.

Arriving amid a crowded hair metal scene, Brighton Rock released three critically acclaimed but sadly underrated records – Young, Wild, and Free (1986), Take a Deep Breath (1988), and Love Machine (1991), before being swallowed up the alternative stylings of the ’90s rock scene.

But in 2001, Brighton Rock reconvened, forging onward until the death of vocalist Gerry McGhee in 2020. In the wake of McGhee’s death, Greg Fraser’s fire to create music still burned, so he formed Storm Force to continue his journey to the top of the rock and metal summit.

Success came quickly for Storm Force by way of their debut record, Age of Fear (2020), but the COVID-19 pandemic slowed subsequent progress on both the touting and studio fronts. Still, Fraser and company are ever-creative and working toward Storm Force’s yet-to-be-titled follow-up, which is rumored to be stout.

Winding down after a busy year, Greg Fraser logged on with VWMusic to run through the re-recording of Alanis Morrissette’s “Uninvited,” the origins of Storm Force, progress on the band’s second record, and what’s next for the band as they move into 2023.

Starting off, take me through the reworked version of “Uninvited.” What are the origins?

Out of the blue, one day, our singer Patrick [Gagliardi] heard it on the radio and started singing along. When it was over, he went to his keyboard, played and sang it for fun, and then recorded it on his phone and sent it to me. I was blown away at his vocals and told him as such, never in a million years thinking we would cover it.

Then on another day during a rehearsal, Pat mentioned, “We should do a cover song just to keep our name out there between records.” So, I said, “How about Uninvited?” The guys were kind of reluctant, saying, “Alanis? Really? That’s not really in our wheelhouse. To which I said, “Ah, what the hell. If it doesn’t work, we won’t release it.” And as we were recording it, it kind of took on a life of its own. When it was finished, everyone was excited, so we decided to release it after all. It’s a complete fluke that we covered it.

The music of Storm Force is a far cry from Alanis Morrissette. What was the approach?

Our approach was to make it our own instead of just copying it note for note. I’m not a big fan of bands copying exactly like the original because usually the original is so embedded in your brain the new version is never as exciting to me. So, we basically stripped it down to a carcass and rebuilt it with new fresh parts, and totally went for it with ideas. My old friend, the legendary keyboardist Ray Coburn helped out big time on the keys, and everyone stepped up & delivered 100% to this song, and I hope it shows. We are very proud of it. 

What can you tell me about Storm Force’s next record?

At this point, this song will be a one-off single with no plans of it being on the next record. As for the actual album, it is finally starting to come together quite nicely. The last couple of years have been quite tough for everyone, including us, and it was hard trying to get momentum going writing-wise. But now we seem to be back in the swing of things, and the creative juices are overflowing. The next record will be, in my opinion, a step up from the first one, especially musicianship-wise. We’ve settled in as a band, and with the addition of new drummer Roger Banks, our playing is on a higher and better level from the first record. And our singer Pat is better than ever.

All images courtesy of Michael Brandvold Marketing & Management

What sort of progression from Age of Fear will fans be treated to?

It’s a natural progression, but everything has been taken up a notch overall. We are not changing our sound at all, but we might be taken a few chances on some songs just to keep things fresh instead of becoming repetitive & predictable. We like to keep things exciting, and we think the next record will show that.

Going back, how did Storm Force first come together?

As a songwriter, I found that my songs were starting to build up. I had no outlet to get them out there, and I wanted to hear a real band playing them instead of just me playing everything on demos. It needed life. Back in around 2018, I reached out to some musician friends that I thought could really deliver, including our singer Patrick to see if they might be interested in recording some of my songs with me and everyone was on board.

At the time, our former drummer, Brian Hamilton, had a great studio where we could record the songs to see how they would come out. The results were fantastic, and I asked the guys, including our bassist, Mike [Beradelli], if they were interested in keeping going, and everyone agreed we were on to something. We chipped away at it for around a year and a half, and by then, we had a record’s worth of songs. So, we decided to shop it to record companies, and Escape out of the U.K. signed us. The rest, as they say, is history. 

After Brighton Rock ended, did you consider leaving music? Did you expect Storm Force to take off as it has?

It has never crossed my mind ever to leave music. I’m a lifer through and through, and I will continue making music until my last breath. The passion has never waned even a little. Nothing excites me more than creating new music from scratch and watching it build into a finished song. As for the success of Storm Force, it’s surprising to see how much we’ve been embraced worldwide, even on a smaller level. The critics were overwhelmingly kind to us from the get-go, and it’s extremely gratifying to know that our style of music is still accepted in this day and age. 

How has your approach in Storm Force changed from your time in Brighton Rock?

My approach has not changed at all; I don’t think. I still just go after what I truly believe in and write music from the heart and hope everyone feels it like I do. So far, it keeps working, and hopefully, it always will.

Describe your songwriting process and approach to the guitar in the present day.

I usually start with a vocal melody. A lot of times when I’m driving around, I’ll just start making up melodies and start singing gibberish to myself, and when something sticks, I’ll record it on my phone so that I won’t forget it. And then later, I’ll sift through all of them, see what jumps out at me, and start writing chord arrangements around it to see where it goes.

Once I’m happy with it, I’ll lay it down in my studio and send it to the guys for some input, and then we’ll get together and build from there. I’ve been doing it that way for over 40 years, and it seems to work for me. As for my approach to guitar, I always play to help the song or come up with riffs to enhance the song. I rarely pick up a guitar to practice scales or solos; it’s always with songwriting in mind. 

All images courtesy of Michael Brandvold Marketing & Management

What sort of gear are you using these days?

I use mainly Canadian-made Lado guitars which I had an endorsement back in the early ’80s. They custom-built me two guitars exactly to my specs, and they’ve been my go-to’s ever since then. As for amps, my main two for live and my studio are a vintage 5150 and a vintage Mesa SOB. I still prefer the good old tube sounds to the digital ones. 

The Canadian music scene has often been overlooked in the past. Has that changed at all, in your opinion?

I would say it hasn’t changed much, even within our own country. It’s the old, “Make it big somewhere else, and then we’ll start taking you seriously here.” It’s ok, though; I keep plowing ahead regardless. I’m just happy to be able to continue to make new music. If you’re in just for the acceptance, it can be very disheartening most of the time, so I don’t strive for it.

Look at Led Zeppelin; they were hated by critics and were always overlooked. They have never even won a Grammy. One of the biggest bands of all time totally snubbed year after year. So, I’m at peace with it and never expect much when releasing new music; if we are overlooked, it’s ok. Our true fans will always find us. 

What are your thoughts on the use of backing tracks in the live setting?

Not a fan at all. Storm Force will always be 100% live when you see us, warts an all! I can’t stand watching a band lip-synching to prerecorded backing tracks. I’m old school, where a good band needed real talent to pull it off live. I know it’s becoming the norm now, but I’ll never respect it. 

What’s next for you in all lanes, Greg?

Our primary focus is to get Storm Force’s second record finished and hopefully released by the Fall of 2023 and play more live dates along the way. We’re having such a blast in this band, making music, playing live, making videos, and just hanging out together. It’s so refreshing being with guys who get along with zero drama and have the same goals and dreams. To sum it up, we’re going just to keep kicking ass!

All images courtesy of Michael Brandvold Marketing & Management

Andrew Daly (@ajdwriter88) is the Editor-in-Chief of and may be reached at

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