By Patrick Prince
The Dead Daisies are a supergroup of sorts, comprised of a “rotating line-up” of musicians since the band’s creation in 2012. Past membership has included Richard Fortus (Guns N’ Roses/The Psychedelic Furs), Dizzy Reed (Guns N’ Roses), Darryl Jones (The Rolling Stones, Sting), Charley Drayton (The X-pensive Winos/The Cult), Jon Stevens (Noiseworks/INXS), Tommy Clufetos (Black Sabbath/Rob Zombie) and even guest appearances by Guns N’ Roses guitarist Slash. Different incarnations of the band have released two albums and toured around the globe with the biggest names in rock (including a historic visit to Cuba to support the Daisies’ second album “Revolución”).
The current Dead Daisies’ all-star team of guitarist Doug Aldrich (Whitesnake, Dio), vocalist John Corabi (Motley Crue, Union), bassist Marco Mendoza (Thin Lizzy, Whitesnake), drummer Brian Tichy (Ozzy Osbourne, Foreigner) and co-founder/guitarist David Lowy (Red Phoenix, Mink) continue to produce a traditional hard rock sound with the newest album, “Make Some Noise” (to be released in August).
The following is a talk with vocalist John Corabi.
GOLDMINE: It’s refreshing to hear a heavy band sounding traditional rather than extreme? Don’t you think there’s a void that The Dead Daisies can fill nowadays? There is a need for real good hard rock bands.
JOHN CORABI: Honestly we don’t really think about it. We make no apologies for loving good, old-fashioned classic rock, and we just enjoy ourselves in the studio creating music, and live playing it for our fans.
GM: Your voice is the perfect match for the hard rock that The Dead Daisies play — even more so than some of the bands you have been performed with in the past. Would you agree with that?
JC: Again, I don’t think about it. The guys called me last year when their former singer (Jon Stevens) left, and I was just really excited to be in a band that included the caliber of musicians that we have. As soon as I looked them up on YouTube I really dug the vibe, and couldn’t wait to get involved.
GM: There also seems to be solid Paul Rodgers and Steven Tyler influences in your vocal delivery. Are both an influence?
JC: Well, thank you. That’s a huge compliment. My biggest influences are — including Paul Rogers — Robert Plant, Steven Tyler, and the guy that started it all for me, Paul McCartney. I have tons of other singers that I love, but you don’t have enough time to list them all.
GM: Overall, The Dead Daisies’ sound is very warm, perfect for vinyl, do you like the vinyl medium? What do you make of the vinyl resurgence? Will The Dead Daisies new album be on vinyl?
JC: I love that vinyl is having a bit of a resurgence. It’s classic and I do believe you’re correct when you say it sounds “warmer”… I think vinyl has always been more prevalent in Europe, but it’s definitely catching on again in America.
GM: How do you compare the new music on “Make Some Noise” to music during the band’s beginnings? How exactly has the band evolved in your eyes?
JC: Well, I have only been involved in the last two records, but I think we’re just getting more comfortable with each other as musicians. We’re touring quite a bit, so we’re obviously playing more, which helps.
GM: I think Doug Aldrich is an underrated guitarist. Do you agree? With Whitesnake, he was a force to be seen live.
JC: Doug’s great! I’ve known him since he was about 17-18 years old. We’ve never been in a band together but we’ve both kept an eye on each other’s careers. But now that we’ve done “Make Some Noise” together and done some touring together I’ve realized how talented he really is! He’s a great writer, player and just a cool dude to hang with.
GM: How has the “rotating line-up” worked in the past with The Dead Daisies? Do you think fans have found it confusing?
JC: I think the list of people who have been involved is a bit misleading. Most of the people on the list are just “friends” who have filled in for one of the members that had prior commitments. We all do other things as well, and sometimes there can be schedule conflicts. So because the sum is greater than the parts we’ve just called a few pals to fill in at times. There is a “core band” here and we’re very excited about hitting the road this year together.
GM: Is Slash an honorary member of the band?
JC: Probably to some degree. (laughs) Obviously we have close ties to the Guns N’ Roses guys as Slash co-wrote “Lock and Load” (2013 single) and played on the track. And Richard Fortus and Dizzy Reed were part of this beast we call The Dead Daisies for a couple of years. We wish all the guys great luck with the GN’R tour this year — which I saw in Nashville — and the band sounded brilliant.
GM: Do you think the rotating line-up makes it easier for The Dead Daisies to continuously tour all over the world?
JC: I don’t really think it matters. At the end of the day we’re very honest about everything with the fans. We keep them posted about everything as it happens. So, like last year when Richard (Fortus) had his motorcycle accident we explained it to the fans, and asked Dave (Leslie) from Baby Animals to fill in for Richard on our shows in Australia. As soon as Richard felt better, he was back playing and doing his windmills with us and the circus kept rolling! No biggie.
GM: You were booked on KISS Kruise V? How was that experience? Did die-hard KISS fans accept you?
JC: I’ve always had a strong tie to Kiss because of Union and ESP (both with former Kiss lead guitarist Bruce Kulick). But the KISS fans have definitely embraced The Daisies with open arms. So has KISS.
GM: And you have performed in Cuba. What was that experience like?
JC: Cuba was amazing! We truly had a great time playing there. We’ve met some great friends and fans, and we can’t wait to go back again. It truly was an eye opening experience!
GM: You have done a lot of touring all over the world? Is there a favorite place to perform, and why?
JC: I just love touring! It never gets old. We’re always meeting new friends along the way so, it’s new and fresh every day. I love it!
GM: Since a few Guns N’ Roses alumni have been in the band (Richard Fortus and Dizzy Reed), could there be an easy tour connection opening for GNR?
JC: Honestly that’s a Guns N’ Roses call… I know we would love to go on tour with the guys cause it would seriously kick ass, but it would be like a family reunion! So Axl, Duff, and Slash, if you’re reading this…Let’s do it!
GM: Are you planning on staying in The Dead Daisies? As I mentioned before, you sound like a perfect fit.
JC: I’m having a blast with the guys, so I’m just enjoying myself and not really thinking about it. As long as I can do this, and continue with my solo career, I’m not planning on going anywhere.
For more info, go to thedeaddaisies.com