Concert Reports





Escape Music is pleased and delighted to announce the return of Alliance with a brand new album Fire And Grace!

Alliance - Fire And Grace

Release date: 24th May, 2019

Band is:
Robert Berry: All vocals, Bass and keyboards (solo artist, 3, and GTR)
Gary Pihl: All Guitars (Boston and Sammy Hagar)
David Lauser: Drums (Sammy Hagar And The Waboritas)

Produced by: ALLIANCE
All Arrangements by: ALLIANCE
Recorded at: Soundtek Studios, Campbell, CA.

 GP Studio Boston
Engineered and Mixed By: Robert Berry
Mastered By: Alan Douches
Cover Artwork and design by: Richard Jones at web-spaghetti, UK

Track listening:
1-DON’T STOP THE WHEEL TURNING 3:39 / 2- GOOD LIFE 4:03 / 3- UNCERTAIN 6:34 / 4- I'LL HAVE SOME OF THAT 4:43 / 5- FIRE AND GRACE 3:26 / 6- RAISE YOUR GLASS 3:24 / 7- TIME 4:38 / 8- REAL THING 4:33 / 9- REASON TO WALK AWAY 4:26 / 10- FAST FORWARD TO LAST NIGHT 3:13 / 11- CHANGE OF HEART 4:21 / 12- THE SAME 4:02 / 13*-YOU ARE THE HEROS 3:27 *bonus track with first pressing only



Alliance is a result of four professional musicians & friends looking for an outlet to express their music outside of their primary bands. Although their main bands keep them busy, they found time to record three CDs. Enjoy the result as they release their new CD Fire & Grace



To celebrate the release of Alliance’s new CD Fire & Grace we asked guitarist Gary Pihl and Drummer David Lauser a round of questions


First off tell us how you discovered Music. Was there a certain personality or event that inspired you to start playing?


Gary Pihl: I always liked the sound of electric guitars. It started with Duane Eddy and The Ventures. When I was in a band in high school in California, the other guitarist said there was a great guitar teacher in the next town and that we should all take lessons from him. We started lessons and saw his band, The Warlocks, play at a local pizza parlor. He stopped giving lessons when his band changed their name to The Grateful Dead. That was Jerry Garcia giving us lessons.

David Lauser: Seeing the Beatles on Ed Sullivan…I had no aspirations of becoming a musician but that really got my attention. Oddly enough, I became a drummer by accident, as a friend gave me a pair of drum sticks when I was 14 years old…I began beating on any surface available to my favorite records….the rest is history.


You guys played for years for Sammy Hagar, including recording on his biggest albums ( Standing Hampton, Three Lock Box & VOA ) what events led you to join up with him and what were those years like touring with Sammy


Gary Pihl: What you see is what you get with Sammy! Terrific singer and musician, friendly to everybody and always in a good mood. I was in band looking for a singer when Sammy left Montrose. He didn’t want to join our band, he was putting his own guys together and we even did show club dates with them. Our manager said I should try out for Sammy’s band and at the audition, Sammy’s manager called to say he could open for Thin Lizzy on the day after tomorrow - if he had a guitar player. I told him I’d be ready! We did the show and actually got some good reviews. We had some great times on the road opening and headlining all across the country and Europe. One of the first tours I did with Sammy was opening on Boston’s first tour. They asked us to be on their second tour and we got to know them as friends. When Tom Scholz (Boston) heard Sammy was leaving to join Van Halen, he asked me to play on the last song he needed for the Third Stage album. I jumped at the chance and flew directly to Boston from my last gig with Sammy, Farm Aid One in Champaign, Illinois.

David Lauser: Sammy and I met when I was a junior in high school…he was much older than me! ;-> He actually auditioned for my 2nd band, at the time, I had just turned 17 and joined a band called "The Mobile Home Blues Band." Most of the guys were in there early 20s, so I thought I was big time. Sammy and I immediately connected musically and seemed to have a lot in common…he had great sense of humor. We played school dances and other gigs until I was old enough to play in night clubs. Finally, our night club band, The Justice Bros. journeyed to San Francisco to make it. While gigging in the Bay Area, Sammy auditioned for Ronnie Montrose and his career was launched. I kept playing in different club bands until Sammy asked me to join him and record his first Geffen release, "Standing Hampton"….as they say, "the rest is history."

There was never a dull moment while touring w/ Sammy. I'm sure Gary would agree….he was and is great entertainer and loved to be spontaneous…we never stuck to the set list! LOL



David, you ultimately linked back up with Sammy in the Waboritas.


David Lauser: I was gigging with a 50s act in Reno when Sammy called me to tell me he had been fired from VH…I had been going down to Cabo San Lucas and jamming with Sammy and Michael Anthony when they had breaks form their Van Halen tours. The local Mexicans dubbed us as "Los Tres Gusanos", English translation, The Three Worms. I guess the fact that Sammy and I were in touch and still gigging casually, he felt I would be a good fit when he went solo again.



Gary Pihl


How did the desire to form Alliance manifest and does it give you and the
other members a more creative outlet as opposed to your main bands?



Gary Pihl: The Boston Third Stage album went to number 1 and we did a big tour in 87. After the tour, Tom Scholz warned us that it would take a few years to make the next Boston album so if any of us wanted to do a side project, go ahead. I called my old bandmates, David Lauser and Alan "Fitz" Fitzgerald. Fitz was in between working with Night Ranger and David had heard about Robert Berry from Geffen Records. (Sammy's label). We actually first got together in Sammy's home studio. We all had song ideas and it just clicked.

David Lauser: This band gives me more creative outlet than I've ever experienced! That's all I'm gonna say….Robert and Gary can fill in the rest. LOL




Tell us about the latest Alliance release titled Fire and Grace, what tracks are your faves, I’m really digging “Raise Your Glass”


Gary Pihl: First off, we only want to record when we can all get together. We don’t want to send files to each other through email. We’re old school in that we want to feed off of the energy of a band playing together. In fact, I wish our fans could see us in the studio to see where the magic happens for us. As we work on a song, we all throw in ideas about sounds and styles and grooves. No egos get bruised! We all just want what’s best for the songs. Robert is usually the most prolific songwriter but David’s songs from Fire and Grace have been getting a lot of good reviews. The title track is one of my favorites as well as Uncertain, Good Life and Raise Your Glass.

David Lauser: I always felt "Time" was a great song, lyric and arrangement…I have a lot of faves, but that one stands out for me.


David Lauser


Will there be any Live Alliance shows in the near future?


Gary Pihl: I hope so! I’d love to be on some big summer festivals either in the USA or Europe. It would be great to play in front of people that have seen us with our other bands, but now with completely new songs and sound.

David Lauser: If they book us we will play!



Speaking of live shows is it possible that any one or two shows that you
have played over the years of your career stand out for you personally?



Gary Pihl: My first show with Sammy, my first show with Boston and our first show as Alliance really meant a lot to me. You never forget your first time. (I’ve heard that line before)

David Lauser: I've had many great experiences playing live and recording, but I would have to say my backing up the late great Chuck Berry at Caesar's Tahoe was my most memorable experience.
A close 2nd was my first big show with Sammy and Gary at the King Dome in Seattle New Year's Eve…yowza!!!


Robert Berry


Your plans for the rest of the year?


Gary Pihl: I hope Alliance does some summer shows! In the meantime, I’m helping to compile video from all the Boston tours for a live DVD. No telling when that will be done. I’d also like to do some more shows this fall with Robert and David in December People. That a charity project where we play traditional holiday songs in the styles of our favorite bands. Each show is a benefit for a local food bank or something similar.

David Lauser: I'm currently in the process of remodeling my dream home, I'm determined to dispel the myth about drummers, i.e.,

Q: "What do you call a drummer without a girlfriend?" A: "Homeless!" ;->



Final words for your fans?


Gary Pihl: Thanks for being there for us and eager to hear the new stuff we’re working on. There’s no better feeling for me than standing on stage, looking out at
people smiling and singing along

David Lauser: Thank you!…it's such a rewarding feeling for people to appreciate your art, I never take that for granted!
Alliance Facebook



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