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Crush 40 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Parminder Gill   
Sunday, 10 April 2005

Current Lineup
Vocals Johnny Gioeli
Guitars Jun Senoue
Bass Takeshi Taneda
Drums Katsuji

Previous Members
Bass Naoto Shibata
Drums Hirotsugu Homma

Current Status
Jun Senoue is working with a Japanese singer on a new album.
Johnny Gioeli is touring with neo classical guitarist Axel Rudi Pell, supporting the "Kings & Queens" album.
Takeshi Taneda is continuing session work with various artists, more details are at his fansite.
Katsuji continues to tour with Gargoyle.
Hirotsugu & Naoto are finished with the new Anthem album due to be released in July, and will play shows throughout August.

Crush 40, previously known as Sons of Angels, was originally formed as a project band to record music for Sega''s arcade racing game NASCAR Rubbin'' Racing, or EA Sports NASCAR Arcade in the west. The core of the group is hard rock guitarist Jun Senoue and melodic rock vocal legend Johnny Gioeli.

Jun Senoue is Sega''s very own guitar hero, working for Sega''s internal sound department Wave Master but residing in San Francisco, working with Sonic Team USA. His virtuoso technique, influenced by Edward Van Halen and Joe Satriani and guitar acrobatics are a trademark of the band.

Johnny Gioeli is a cult vocal legend, possessing one of the most distinct and raw voices in melodic rock today. Although during the 80s he was known to those who frequented the strip in LA with the band Brunette, while his first appearance on a major label album was the classic Hardline debut "Double Eclipse". This album is regarded as a classic by melodic rock fans, and is still finding new fans today. However, the band did not last beyond their first album, even though all the material had been written for a second album, they parted ways in 1992. In 1994, Johnny sang a song on shredder Doug Aldrich''s solo album Electrofied called "Face Down". After a long period away from the music industry, he returned in the late 90s, joining neo classical shredder Axel Rudi Pell on his solo albums while writing material for the comeback Hardline album "II".

Originally, the rhythm section of Loudness (Naoto Shibata and Hirotsugu Homma) provided the band with the bass and drums respectively, but as they had full time commitments to Loudness, and later on Anthem, they did not return on further Crush 40 songs. Instead, longtime friends of Jun, Katsuji and Takeshi Taneda joined during Sonic Adventure 2.

The first Crush 40 song was Open Your Heart, originally recorded with an unknown Japanese vocalist for the theme tune of Sonic Adventure for Sega''s newly released Dreamcast console back in 1998. With Johnny Gioeli on board, this was the beginning of a long relationship between Jun and Johnny that would eventually lead to the formation of the band. This came to fruitition via a friend of Jun''s who knew Doug Aldrich, who in turn contacted Johnny.

When Jun was working on the soundtrack to NASCAR Rubbin'' Racing, he formed the project band "Sons of Angels", taken from the song on the Daytona USA CCE soundtrack that featured Eric Martin. The lineup was Jun on guitars, Johnny on vocals, Hiro on drums and Naoto on bass. In the March of 2000, the band released "Thrill of the Feel", a compilation of the songs they wrote for the arcade game. The album recieved a warm reception, with it''s blend of raw, racing rock n'' roll and soaring instrumentals coupled with Johnny''s legendary voice.

The next appearance of the band was in 2001, when Sonic Adventure 2 was being worked on in time for Sonic''s 10 anniversary. As mentioned before, commitments to other bands meant Naoto and Hiro could not take part, so Katsuji and Takeshi were brought in to record songs for the game. "Live and Learn" was the result of the band, an old fashioned hard rocker but with modern production.

All went quiet during 2002, then just under three years from the initial release, under the new name Crush 40, the European version of the Sons of Angels album was announced. It was stripped of the instrumentals, and in turn included both prior Sons of Angels songs from the Sonic games and two other songs featuring vocalists Tony Harnell and Ted Poley.

During 2003, Sega announced the first multiplatform Sonic game, Sonic Heroes. Once again, Jun was the sound director, and began writing, this time as a collaboration with artists such as Gunnar Nelson, Julien K, Kay Hanley and of course Johnny Gioeli. This time, there were two new Crush 40 songs: the theme tune "Sonic Heroes", a bright, melodic song and in contrast "What I''m Made Of", a distinctly dark hard rock song with metal sensibilities. Sonic Heroes was released at the end of 2003 in Japan, and in early 2004 in the US and Europe.



© 2008 Jun Senoue :: Crush 40 / JxJ / SEGA
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