Interview: Joe Deninzon & Stratospheerius

Today we are sharing an interview with Joe Deninzon & Stratospheerius, who showcased their “frenzied mélange of alt-bluegrass, progressive rock, jazz fusion and funkabilly” throughout the world.

1. First of all, tell us about how did you start your music career?

– I don't know when my "career" officially started. Maybe it started when I was playing violin for other kids at my school talent shows at age 7, or playing bass in my band playing parties at age 13, or when I got into the NY scene as a freelance violinist in the late '90s while I was in college, but I've been playing music most of my life.

2. Who are your music inspirations?

– Here is the short list: Igor Stravinsky, Miles Davis, Frank Zappa, Led Zeppelin, Yes, Queen, Brice Springsteen, David Bowie, Spock's Beard, Dmitri Shostakovich, Mahavishnu Orchestra, Bruno Mars, Screaming Headless Torsos, King Crimson, District 97, Beatles. There is a much longer list...

3. Our readers would like to know more about your new music video Behind the Curtain. Any interesting facts?

– We filmed the performance footage at Alpha Wave studios in East Hanover, NJ using neon masks, face paint, neon makeup smeared all over my Viper Seven String electric violin. We filmed in black light. That part was filmed and edited by David Milone. The other footage was filmed in the basement of former MTV producer David P. Levin using green screen, and the incredible actor Max McGuire playing 6 different characters! That part was filmed in only 6 hrs with very fast costume changes. The concept is this man stuck in the hell of his own mind, inhabiting many different sinister characters but always returning to his own personal hell In his mind, which is a series of endless hallways. He continues to descend into madness.

4. What opinions have you received about your music?

– We have been fortunate to have mostly good and great reviews by critics and fans, especially in the progressive rock community. Someone said I have pioneered a new standard in rock violin and it's really an honor when you are compared and put in the same league as your musical heroes! It's very humbling.

5. What do you like to do more: songwriting or performing?

– Writing can be a chore when you are not inspired and are laboring over a song for weeks or months, or it can be an incredible rush when you get in your zone and the ideas flow freely. I would say performing is the ultimate experience for me. I love having that instant connection with an audience and the spontaneous magic that happens on stage when musicians are truly tuned into each other. It's a beautiful telepathy that I wish everyone could experience.

6. Which countries do you want to visit with tour?

– I would love to see the world, but great places to start would be Japan, the UK, Italy, France, Spain, Russia, Germany, all the Scandinavian countries. I'd love to go to Brazil and Argentina as well.

7. How do you deal with haters?

– I welcome haters! They fuel my fire. I would rather have someone passionately hate my music than ignore it. There is nothing worse for me than apathy. I have framed some of my worse reviews and recited them on stage. It's hilarious!

8. What would you tell to your fans?

– I am grateful to my very core for every person who is a fan of my music. It is truly a blessing and I never take it for granted. To all my fans, thank you thank you thank you and Keep rockin!!!