JOURNEY drummer DEEN CASTRONOVO: 'the amount of drugs that I was using would have killed a rhino'
In a new interview with Clint Switzer of “On The Road To Rock”, JOURNEY drummer Deen Castronovo, who famously completed court-ordered drug rehabilitation in 2015 after being arrested on domestic violence charges, spoke about how his faith and sobriety have given him a new outlook on life.
He said: “I don’t take anything for granted now. I mean, honestly, bro, and I’m not blowing this up or hyping it, I should be dead. The amount of drugs that I was using would have killed a rhino. I mean, I was in deep. And I’m just grateful to be alive. I give all glory to Jesus Christ. If it wasn’t for Christ pulling me out of that, I’d be dead. So for me, yeah, every day is, like… I go around with my drum tech, every once in a while, at these JOURNEY shows, and I’m, like, ‘Dude, I’m back in the band. Isn’t this amazing?’ We pinch ourselves. I used to do that before, but now, dude… I’m grateful to have my wife back, my kids and my grandkids. And to be able to do what I love and make a living doing it, man, there’s nothing better. Nothing better.”
The now-58-year-old musician was dismissed from JOURNEY in 2015 following years of alcohol and drug abuse that led to him being sentenced to four years’ probation for a variety of charges involving his now-wife.
Castronovo later admitted that he emotionally, verbally and physically abused his now-wife and said that he will always be indebted to her for calling the police after his 24-day methamphetamine binge.
“Domestic violence is really a choice, and it is calculated,” he said in a 2015 interview with Statesman Journal. “The drugs and the alcohol exacerbated it immensely, but there’s no excuse for what I did. I deal with it every day, and it’s deeper than regret or remorse.”
Deen spent 15 days in jail following his arrest, which he said scared him straight, and he lost his JOURNEY job. While still in rehab, he received a phone call from the band’s manager letting him know he was being fired.
“They had to,” Castronovo told Statesman Journal. “They have an impeccable legacy, and I tarnished that. They didn’t fire me to punish me. They fired me because they love me and they wanted me to get help. They knew I couldn’t do it and be on the road.”
Castronovo returned to JOURNEY in July 2021 and has been performing with the band ever since, initially sharing the drum duties in the group with Narada Michael Walden.
In March 2021, Castronovo revealed that he was on opiates for over a year while waiting to get his back surgery during the COVID-19 pandemic.
2015 booking photo courtesy of Marion County Sheriff’s office