The Dead Daisies: Alive and Kicking

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By Genevieve Gao

With roots in both Sydney and Los Angeles, the Daisies sprang to life after the legendary Jon Stevens [INXS] and David Lowy [The Angels, Mink] reconnected back in 2012, recording their self-titled debut in LA.

Since that early formation, they’ve toured with the biggest names in rock, including Aerosmith, KISS and Def Leppard. The rockers also released the blistering Revolución and embarked on a supporting tour, shaking the world as the first international rock band to play in Cuba last year.

Led by John Corabi [Mötley Crüe, Angora], the current line-up is a force of nature, with Whitesnake’s former axeman Doug Aldrich replacing Richard Fortus [Guns N’ Roses].  This set the scene for latest album Make Some Noise, which a satisfied Aldrich describes as “a really simple, good rock ‘n’ roll record with a lot of great riffs.”

His excitement extends to their first rehearsal in New York, with the group preparing for a long run of touring kicking off in Germany next month.

“I really enjoyed the last album the Daisies did and I think it adds to that in a way. It’s got some similarities obviously. But if you listen to Led Zeppelin III and IV, they’re different records… and that’s how I feel [with Make Some Noise].”

A successful follow-up to any record needs to venture into new territory, and for the guitarist there was plenty.

“When we were in the studio rehearsing the songs that we had just written, Marty [Frederiksen] said “It’s got a great, raw vibe about it. Let’s just record you guys like this,” with not a lot of overdubs, but a lot of attitude. He reckoned that would be a good move for us and that’s something I’d never done before.”

“With Whitesnake, David [Coverdale] and I both came from the school of Jimmy Page where it’s all glaring and using a lot of different sounds. That’s all good, but I find it refreshing too to have it just be a straight up rock ‘n’ roll record. It’s based on a moment when we got together and wrote those songs, and that’s the record that you’ve got. When we were writing there was no shortage of ideas, we had to stop ourselves.”

I was interested in Aldrich’s perspective on Lowy, who provides the group’s Aussie influence, as “a great guitar player with a ‘no-bullshit’ style, very youthful and enthusiastic.

“I’m more of a player where I think about things and like to work them out, but he just goes for it. He brought in this flavour of some bands he’d been in like The Angels and the earlier Daisies stuff which I really enjoy, and we have some flavours of AC/DC in there. So I’m really happy.”

Aldrich’s origins with the band started late last year, with Fortus recovering from a motorcycle accident and leaving to re-join Guns N’ Roses.

“We’re all friends from various periods. I knew Marco Mendoza from Whitesnake, and he called me and asked if I could fill in. Unfortunately, I was already committed, but I recommended some other guys. I said “Listen, if you guys are in a huge pinch, I can do some crazy thing where I maybe fly to Tokyo and do the two gigs and then fly directly to Australia or whatever. But it didn’t happen.

“So then in January I got a call that they were going to look for a new guitar player and Richard had committed to Guns N’ Roses work, and he recommended that they call me. We’re friends and mutual supporters of each other, so it was very cool that he did that.

“We just jumped right into the fire. We all flew into Nashville and sat down the next morning, and began writing.”

While Aldrich wasn’t with the Daisies when they paid that historic visit to Cuba, he certainly recognises its significance.

“I remember when they did that because Marco told me they were going, but I didn’t realise that nobody had really been there yet. I saw the video for Midnight Moses and was just blown away. There were bigger bands with bigger budgets putting ones out at the same time, but the Daisies really captured the spirit of that time. You could tell people were so excited to hear that kind of music and have an international band come and play for them.”

Aldrich’s audition to be KISS’ new guitarist in 1982 is a well-known story, with him being “much too young for the gig,” at just 18. With the Daisies set to storm the Caribbean on the upcoming KISS Cruise in November, he revived a classic tale involving Gene Simmons… and one memorable studio session.

“I was playing a solo on one of their songs just as a test. They were recording Creatures of the Night and he goes “God I really like that, but do you ever play major scales?”, and I said “What is that?” Then he goes “You know, like do-re-mi…” and I go “Oh, of course!”. So I started playing the same solo but threw in a couple of major notes so it had the flavour he wanted.”

“It just made it click in my head that I need to learn what I’m doing. So that really set me off.”

Pre-order Make Some Noise HERE, out on August 5 via SPV Records.

Make Some Noise: Track Listing
01. Long Way to Go
02. We All Fall Down
03. Song and a Prayer
04. Mainline
05. Make Some Noise
06. Fortunate Son
07. Last Time I Saw the Sun
08. Mine All Mine
09. How Does It Feel
10. Freedom
11. All the Same
12. Join Together

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