Anything but dead
The Dead Daisies prepare to make some noise
The Dead Daisies is a “super group” if ever there was such a thing in the realm of classic rock. Featuring former members of Motley Crue, Whitesnake, Dio and more, the band released its third album,”Make Some Noise,” on Aug. 5 and will support KISS at an Iowa State Fair grandstand show on Aug.19. Vocalist John Corabi talked to Cityview’s Mark Skaar about the band’s new album and life on the road supporting a legendary act.
CV: You are currently in Ireland as we speak, but soon you will be Stateside to embark on a tour with KISS that makes a stop at the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines on Aug. 19.
John Corabi: Yes, and I am very excited about it. It’s going to be awesome. The Daisies have been touring furiously in Europe and Australia and all over the world. They did do a little bit in America before I was in the band. I am just very excited. We’ve got two records under our belt with me as the singer, and I’m like, “We need to go back to America!” So, I’m looking forward to it.
CV: Tell me about the new record, “Make Some Noise.”
John Corabi: We’re very pleased with the record. When we first got together, Marti Frederiksen (Aerosmith, Def Leppard, Motley Crue), who produced the album for us, he basically said, “What do you guys wanna do?” We said, “At the end of the day, we’re a classic rock band. We wanna do a classic, kick-butt rock and roll record”. We actually sat in the studio, and Doug Aldrich, our new guitar player, had just kind of come into the band, so we really didn’t have any material. We literally wrote for about 10 days, and we got to recording the thing, and the whole process of writing, recording, mixing and mastering took us a couple days more than a month. Pretty much every aspect of the new record is old school.
CV: The previous Dead Daisies album, “Revolucion,” was done really quickly, too, wasn’t it?
John Corabi: Yeah. It’s a little difficult for the Daisies. We don’t really believe in taking the luxury of being one of those bands that takes a year or longer to do a record. When I joined the band last year, I went to Cuba with them and then they said, “Well, would you like to go to Austrailia and do a record”? So I literally packed up and went down, and when we got there it was like, “Ok, you guys have a month.” I was kind of like, “What?!?” I was a little nervous about it, but then I started going back and started looking at the first Zeppelin
record and some of the Beatles records and these legendary, landmark records like Deep Purple “Machine Head.” You read about it, and you’re like, wait a minute, Deep Purple went into a hotel in Montreux, Switzerland with no songs, and they recorded that landmark album in like, three-and-half weeks. So, it can be done. We just locked ourselves away for a week or 10 days, and we immediately got into recording. It’s a little production line the way we do it, but we put in long hours, and we’ve been able to do two records now from nothing in a little over a month to five weeks max.
CV: Did you enjoy writing that way?
John Corabi: It’s pressure. But again, to a degree the Daisies are a little geographically challenged because our management and David Lowy are from Australia. I live in Nashville, and all of the rest of the guys live in L.A. So getting together or writing together or rehearsing ideas is non-existent with us. So basically when we do it, management will say, “Ok, let’s do the record in Nashville.” So we all just fly in, and we have ideas on our phones and computers — just rough little riff things — and then we just start throwing ’em at each other. It’s a little intimidating when you go, “Ok…we’ve only got really, a month.” Everybody’s gotta get home to their families or other things that their doing, so we’ve gotta knock this out. It is a bit intimidating, but I think a little pressure for everybody is good.
CV: Last time (on “Revolucion”) you covered “Evil” and “Midnight Moses.” This time out, you covered “Fortunate Son” and “Join Together.” How did you pick those?
John Corabi: “Fortunate Son” was one that we were already doing last year on tour in encores. We’re all Creedence fans, but it was just one of those songs that we played in America. We did a few shows with Whitesnake in America, and we toured Europe twice, and we even went to Russia, Isreal and all these places last year, and it’s just one of those tunes that, wherever you go, you look out into the audience and they’re singing along with you word for word. When you look back at that song, it was probably a protest song with the Vietnam War and all of that other kind of stuff, but it still kind of rings true for a lot of things now. People can relate to it. I brought “Join Together” into the band because, of all of The Who songs, I just always loved that song. I just think the bass and the guitar run in the song — once the bass and the guitar fully kick — it’s just so powerful. But again, I was thinking of a song where the audience could just jump in and sing along. It’s kind of caveman. You can’t mess it up! It’s just a great party, crowd song that they can all sing along with and they’ve heard it before. That’s the thing about the Daisies. We know we’re a new band, but we like throwing staples out there that the audience can latch onto for a minute, but we’re also fans. We’re huge fans of the groups we grew up with, so it’s kind of our tip of the hat to our heroes. We threw them on the record, and the response has been unbelievable.
CV: No offense to Richard Fortus, but I’m thrilled that Doug Aldrich is in the Dead Daisies.
John Corabi: Richard and I are great friends. I just saw him in Nashville with Guns ‘N Roses, and we were hanging out, and he’s a great dude, but you’re like, “Oh my God. Richard is such a great guitar player.” Then you have a guy like Doug Aldrich come in and you’re like, “Ok…we didn’t miss a beat!” I had never been in a band with him, but I’ve known him since he was 17, so we’ve both kind of followed each others’ careers. Obviously he’s a great player. That’s undeniable. He’s a great songwriter, and he’s a great dude to hang out with. He’s funny. We get each other’s humor because we’re both from Philadelphia. It’s very cool to have him on board here.
CV: You shot a video for the opening track of “Make Some Noise” called “A Long Way To Go.”
John Corabi: We shot that about a month ago. We did a huge show with Hollywood Vampires. We kind of knew that was going to be the first single. Everybody at the record label was freaking out over the song, and it was very relevant with everything going on nowadays with the news. We had a film crew, so we filmed the song during the show, and the video has been doing great on YouTube. The response has been great. The lyrics to the song are so relevant to what’s happening on the news everyday.
CV: “Song and a Prayer” sounds like a single.
John Corabi: It’s funny, because I’ve been doing interviews today, and somebody asked me if there were any surprises on the record. Not that I thought that was a bad song at all, but I’m just surprised at how many people are drawn to that song. The response has been unbelievable. We’re just pleased and I’m just happy. I’m like a kid in a candy store right now.
CV: “All The Same” is tucked back toward the end of the record but it’s really strong, too.
John Corabi: That one is one of my favorites. You could ask me tomorrow and I could pick something different. I love “We All Fall Down.” I also like “The Last Time I Saw The Sun”.
CV: Me, too.
John Corabi: That’s basically an ode to being on the road.
CV: Musically, it’s very Aerosmith.
John Corabi: Honestly, we’re all huge Aerosmith fans. Even throughout the whole record, there are little bits in it here and there, whether it’s the guitars or the vocal delivery or the drum beat. We’re all massive Aerosmith fans. There’s a little KISS throughout the record, and oddly enough, when we were doing the album, Steven (Tyler) actually came by, and Marti Frederiksen played him several of the tracks. He heard “Last Time I Saw The Sun,” and he said, “I love this one! This is great!” Marti laughed and said, “Well it should be; it’s something you guys would do!” (Laughs)
CV: Now you’re getting ready to tour the States with KISS.
John Corabi: Those guys have been amazing to us. The Daisies have toured with KISS before, so there have been ties for years. If you go back and look, Doug actually auditioned for KISS before Bruce Kulick, and Gene wanted to sign my band. I had a band before The Scream called Angora, and he tried to sign us. He’s taken a little special interest in my career personally. Eric Singer was one of the first people I met when I moved to L.A., and obviously Union was Bruce with me. Bruce and I are actually in the Eric Singer Project, so there are a lot of ties there; it’s a very incestuous circle. The guys dig what we’re doing. Every time they go out on tour, or the KISS Cruises, they call us and ask us if we’re interested, and we just love touring with them. They’re extremely accommodating. There are all these horror stories. You read about these bands, you know, “We were the opener, and the headliner only gave us so much room and they only gave us a quarter of the P.A. and 10 lights.” KISS is the complete opposite. I’ve got full reign of the stage. I can use the wings, the ramp in the front. They give us full P.A. and a majority of the lights. I can’t say enough good things about them. Even Gene (Simmons) and Paul (Stanley) pop into our dressing room every day, and they’re like, “Hey guys…glad to have you on board. Do you need anything? Can we help?” It’s just awesome. It’s like family. It’s like the creepy lizard uncle you didn’t know you had! (Laughs) CV