Interview by: Robert Cavuoto
The Dead Daisies have caused quite a stir enlisting different line-ups of All-star musicians for their CDs and tours. Throughout their career founder, guitarist, and songwriter; David Lowy has remained at the core and the driving force behind the band’s success. The band has seen such alumni musicians as Richard Fortus and Dizzy Reed of Guns N’ Roses, Darryl Jones and Bernard Fowler of the Rolling Stones and John Tempesta and Charley Drayton of The Cult. For the band’s upcoming third album, Make Some Noise, due out on August 5th via Spitfire Music / SPV, David Lowy raised the bar with a high-calibre line-up of musicians that includes John Corabi of Mötley Crüe on vocals, Doug Aldrich of Whitesnake & Dio on guitar, Marco Mendoza of Whitesnake & Thin Lizzy on bass and Brian Tichy of Whitesnake & Billy Idol on drums and speed bag!
Make Some Noise is full on classic hard rock CD; think classic Aerosmith meets classic AC/DC with Van Halen guitar solos for good measure. The CD is dripping with strong hook, memorable riff and an uncanny knack for melody. Doug Aldrich’s hard edge playing combined with John Corabi’s charismatic vocals make this album a must have for all classic fans.
I caught up with newest member of the Daisies, guitarist Doug Aldrich to talk about the making Make Some Noise and their big tour with Kiss this summer!
Robert Cavuoto: Tell me a little about how you joined The Dead Daisies?
Doug Aldrich: The previous line-up had Richard Fortus and Dizzy Reed but they went back to Guns n’ Roses. Marco threw my name into the ring and one thing led to another. I worked with both Marco and Brian in Whitesnake but never at the same time so I’m really excited about that. I’ve known John since I was in 10th grade in 1979 so it’s like getting back with friends. The first things we did as a band was to go into the studio and write the record. We started with a week in Nashville and then went to New York. Now here we are again in New York doing rehearsals for our tour with Kiss this summer.
Robert: Did you have to audition for the band?
Doug Aldrich: No I didn’t have to audition. I heard there were number of guys but they went to me first and I took the gig so I guess they didn’t pursue anyone else [laughing].
Robert: I have to tell you the band sounds really great and the songs kick ass. I’ve been telling so many people to check the Daisies out.
Doug Aldrich: Thanks, what’s cool is this new CD doesn’t step on what they did on Revolucion. It has its own unique vibe to add to the band’s catalogue. It’s more of a straight-up riff rock record which blends nicely with Revolucion. I’m happy that we weren’t not trying to do the same thing. We had the freedom to expand on the Daisies’ sound.
Robert: Tell us about the songwriting process for the band? Did each member contribute to the writing in the studio?
Doug Aldrich: It was a very open vibe; we all came in with our ideas and demo’ed up the ideas that were our favorites. Little-by-little the songs began to take shape and we ended up with 25-30 song ideas between our time in New York and Nashville. Then we sat down and voted which were our favorites and eventually narrowed it down. All the while leaning towards the riff oriented songs. That’s how the record got its sound. We did it all together, we took all what we had and jammed though them. We made changes, nothing was sacred, and everything was in the best interest of the CD. On the song writing credits, the whole band is credited.
Robert: Speaking of your sound, I really think Make Some Noise has an early Aerosmith vibe, what’s your take on it?
Doug Aldrich: I got that sense too; there is also an AC/DC vibe with a little Van Halen on the guitar stuff. It’s kind of like Aerosmith’s Rocks as I think that was their most riff driven record. The singer is always the catalysis and I think John did a great job on this CD. He was the shining star of the CD. I love what he did on the lyrics to “All Fall Down” and “Last Time I saw the Sun.” He has a Tyler-esque voice. Even when I was kid I can remember him having that gypsy guy thing, like Tyler, Keifer, and Keith Richards; like they live on a boat off the shores of London [laughing]. When I first met him he could sing anything from Aerosmith to the New York Dolls to Sex Pistol, Now I work with him and I think he is very better.
Robert: Did John Corabi play guitar on the CD?
Doug Aldrich: John is a great guitar player and he may have done an over dub on “Song and a Prayer” I’m just not sure. I can tell you he will be playing guitar live. I’ll tell you what; he is no Brian Tichy on guitar [laughing]. He is our secret weapon and hasn’t made his live debut yet.
Robert: I recalling seeing him play guitar with Billy Idol during the encores a few years back?
Doug Aldrich: He is taking the whole Billy Idol thing and turning it up a notch; we are saving it for our live shows [laughing]. On the cab ride over to rehearsal today we were just talking about it, he said “If I can manage a drum beat I could do it.” He of course is known for his drumming and his solo in Whitesnake was 15 minutes long. David wanted him in Whitesnake at the time but Brian said he was knee deep in working with Billy and couldn’t cut out. He was too invested.
Robert: Does touring with Kiss scare you in any way as their fans are so hard core.
Doug Aldrich: The Daisies have already supported Kiss a couple of times so the fans are open to their sound. I think Kiss fans love rock and classic rock so they are naturally open to it. I think we’re a good fit with that. We are a no frills band and not trying to compete on any level with Kiss. We are bare bones and stripped down so we can rock out to get the crowd warmed up for the ultimate experience.
Robert: The Daisies have had a lot of member changes, is the band more of a revolving All-star band or are they looking to finalize a consistent line-up?
Doug Aldrich: I think all the people have been right, depending on everyone’s schedule there is no reason why this line-up couldn’t do another CD next year. At this point we are so deep in promoting the CD and the tour, we are locked in. Of course as a fan you never want there to be changes. If you look at it from a different perspective it can be cool that there is a band that has revolving musicians that can come and go and all be friends. Right now the sound of this CD is right for this line-up.
Robert: I know that you decided to take break from Whitesnake to spend time with your son, what made you decide to head back on the road with the Daisies?
Doug Aldrich: I’m asking myself the same question because I miss him already [laughing]. I have been doing Raiding the Rock Vault in Las Vegas and it’s a really cool show. It’s another collective situation with great players like Howard Leese and Hugh McDonald from Bon Jovi. When I left Whitesnake I joined up Revolution Saints with Jack Blades and Deen Castronovo but it didn’t work out schedule-wise with those guys. This situation came up and I thought it would be fun to do the CD and a little touring. Now it turned into a bit more of a longer term schedule. The decision for me was that I wanted to make a record with these guys and see where things would go.
Robert: I was really behind the Revolution Saints, “Locked out of Paradise” is one of my favorite songs of all time, Deen’s voice is phenomenal on it.
Doug Aldrich: That’s a huge statement “of all time” thank you. There were a lot of fans that wanted to see it happen. Deen and I are tight and maybe we will do something down the road together.