THE DEAD DAISIES – Burning It Down with a Passion

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Photo Credit: Matt Quina

Since their inception The Dead Daises have created a sound that mirrors the best of the ‘70’s and early ‘80’s, reflecting the decadent stadium riffs of Page, banshee wail of Plant, the attitude of the Stones and the best toxic qualities of the Boston-based twins.

Those born a few years or decades after the birth of hard rock and metal can hear its screaming echoes on stage when The Daisies come to town.

The title Burn It Down just oozes a cool vibe, “We tried coming up with a few different titles,” lead vocalist John Corabi says.  “Rise Up was [considered].  The band, label, management and PR people were all like, Burn It Down, that’s really cool.  If you listen to the lyrics, it all makes more sense.  It’s about starting new.  With each record, you’re in a new place, a new year, a new whatever.  It’s about people who whine, bitch and complain about their lives.  That nothing’s ever right but don’t do anything to change the situation.  At one point you just have to take a match, burn it to the ground and start over.”

Their upcoming video for Rise Up will be memorable, “What I’ve seen looks pretty intense,” Corabi assures.  “When we first heard the track and started that riff, we realized it was a bit old school Sabbath.  It’s pretty aggressive, and without being angry, angry, it’s angry.”  Corabi wants a bipartisan call for unification, holding all politicians accountable for their actions.  He’s sick of the insults and arguments.  “I see it every day on Facebook.  Nothing’s getting done by anybody.  If we want change and a better life, band together and tell those in Washington, ‘we voted you in.  If you don’t do what we want, we’re voting you out.’ Hold all politicians in check, period.”

Corabi says money and corporations have control but neither side have the answers, “I laugh and tell people, you show me one honest politician I’ll show you five honest lawyers.”

Everyone wants the American dream. “I think hard-working, blue collar people all want the same thing.  Buy a nice nest to raise their families, put food on the table and have health insurance.  Without breaking the bank, save money for retirement and take an occasional trip now and then.  I think we all want the same things.”

Corabi loves the vibe on Dead and Gone. “I love that song, I call that the summer song.  The one I can hear in a convertible, top down, a bunch of dudes hanging out or going to a bar or club to see a band and just cranking it on the way.  It’s just a fun song.”

Judgment Day is about personal choices. “I find people that are outspoken about how another person’s living their life usually has a closetful of skeletons.  Don’t judge me, I’m not judging you.  We’re all gonna be judged at the pearly gates.  It’s not a political statement, it’s a life statement.  It’s just my perspective on things.”

Set Me Free has hints of Prince in it. “There was a chord progression,” Corabi says.  “I forget who came up with the song.  We were working on it together.  We love the song, and you can’t copyright a chord progression.  We changed a couple chords and tweaked the melody a bit.  If you hit an A, and an F sharp minor, that’s basically the chords in Purple Rain.  If you play them in a somewhat slow fashion, people are just gonna assume you’re doing Purple Rain.  I can tell you a thousand other songs with that chord progression, since Purple Rain came along.”

Corabi does acoustic sets with the Daisies, and also solo gigs. “We’ll play in Hamburg, Germany.  The last couple years we’d had a day off, every time we go.  We’ll go to a hard rock café, set up and do a 45 minute to an hour acoustic thing.  It’s cool and shows another side of the band.  I did an acoustic record a few years back.  I do quite a few acoustic shows on my own.  It’s another side to everyone’s personality.”

Photo Credit: Mike Ritchie

His acoustic solo shows are a fun, loose affair, “Usually, I have a full electric solo band.  These last two runs, the guys in my band are playing with Gene Simmons.  My son is my drummer, he just had twin daughters.  He’s caught up being a daddy.  These shows, right now, it’s just me, an acoustic guitar, by myself.  It’s a lot of fun, I like doing them.”  It’ll be loose with no rhyme or reason.  He’ll tell stories, jokes, and do songs, no set list, and ask for requests.  There have been times when Corabi’s started a song and couldn’t remember the rest, saying, “that’s all I got folks.”

A younger audience is being exposed to Corabi’s earlier work with The Scream and Union through the Live ’94 fan bundle. Every person Corabi’s talked to about The Daisies has asked about the ’94 DVD, “Honestly, I’m blown away.  There’s this weird word of mouth thing out there.  The fans have been insane.  If I or my label posts something on my Facebook, fans are resharing and reposting.  It’s all word of mouth.  The craziest part is Rat Pak Records contacted me, freaking out, [saying] ‘dude, you’re appearing on four or five charts on Billboard.’  I’m not doing anything.  The fans are doing it themselves.  I couldn’t be happier and its way cooler that it’s happening that way.”

Corabi still gets trolled on his time with Mötley, “I had a guy on Facebook the other day.  He’s like’ dude, why don’t you do something on your own instead of riding Mötley Crüe’s coat tails?  All you do is talk about Mötley.’  I said, first of all, it’s not Mötley’s music, it’s our music, I co-wrote it so I’ll do whatever I want.  I’m just putting it out there, so fans that didn’t get to see it when Mötley did it and the ones I didn’t get to play for this time around.  It’s not as bad as it was, but still kinda polarizing.”

Corabi updates progress on the Mick Mars solo album, “Mick wanted me to do the whole record with him.  He talked about it prior to the farewell tour.  When he was done, I’d just started the Mötley ’94 thing.  Then I got The Daises gig.  When he got back, I did the two songs.” He told Mars, “Dude, honestly, my solo career’s going great, The Dead Daisies keeps me busier than hell.  This is your first solo record.  You want to get something out there, and start playing again.  I don’t wanna hold you up and do something I can only give you 40% of my time.  It doesn’t make sense, he understood.  He’s working with a really talented singer songwriter and I can’t wait to hear it.”

Corabi’s cool with camera phones at shows, as long as you’re watching and paying attention. “I don’t mind if they use their camera, rather than text while we’re playing.  I’m like really, are we boring you?”

The crowd’s age range is expanding, “The majority of people are 30’s, 40’s or 50’s.  I’m definitely seeing younger kids.  There’s a younger generation getting turned on to classic rock music.  There’s a ton of younger fans out there, word of mouth, keeps it rolling.  Corabi says he’d seen three generations of KISS fans with makeup on KISS Kruises.  “We’ve met quite a few, it’s pretty cool.”

l to r: Marco Mendoza, David Lowy, John Corabi, Deen Castronovo & Doug Aldrich

The younger generation is also keeping the classic sound alive as Corabi sees great potential in Greta Van Fleet. “They’re very reminiscent of early Zeppelin.  The world’s deemed them the new Zeppelin.  You hear the band, then you see them and you’re like, these are four high schools kids. They’re too squeaky clean. That’s not Zeppelin. They’re too nice.  We’ll see.”

Corabi will do music in some aspect as long as he’s still breathing, “As long as I’m having fun, enjoying myself out there.  As long as people are walking away saying, ‘I paid to see him and it was awesome.’  As long as I can do it, I’ll do it.  If there comes a time when I can’t then I’ll shift gears and write music for anyone that’ll record it.  I’ll go that route or produce other bands.  I’m having fun, going into the studio, pulling my hair out trying to write lyrics, doing world tours, solo band and acoustic shows.”  As long as he has his health and voice he’ll continue.

They start rehearsing March 20 and tour off and on till December 20.

Final words, “You guys have been supporting me for 30 years now.  I can’t thank everyone enough for everything you’ve given and done for me.  I appreciate it.  Hope to see you guys.  Thank you to all your readers and listeners.  I doubt it, but maybe I’ll be around for another 30 years.  Never know.”

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