“We are still music fans. We love music!”
Interview with John Corabi (Dead Daisies) Balingen, Germany,
Bang Your Head Festival, Thursday, 14 th July 2016
by Maxx Double X and Andrea Mr. Rock, photo and transcribition Sabrina Deckert
JC: How are you buddy? Good?
Maxx: Very, very good. So for Mötley Crue it is game over, meanwhile John Corabi is still here. All the story you have told us in Triest that time (acoustic show John Corabi on 29th october 2012 in Teatro Miela Trieste, organized by Trieste is Rock, note of the redaction), for me, it looks like it lead you to the right decision.
You are still alive, kicking and… rocking!
JC: Yes. It has been a long 30 years, I have been doing this for 30 years – it is crazy. But I am honestly very blessed and the Mötley guys, at the end of the day, bringing me into the band the way they did. It has actually allowed me to continue doing much great things. So I am very grateful for everything. No complains.
Maxx: Great! In our Rock Program we already had been putting songs by the Dead Daisies for some years – and than you joined them. So we said: „Oh fuck! This is amazing!“ You already did two records with them, right?
JC: This is my second allbum. Yeah! I did last year „Revolución“ and now this one „Make some noise“ – and it has been awesome. I mean last year I was in the band, I joined in February, we did Cuba, and than immediately went into the Studios in March, recording the album in March and April. And in May we were on tour here in Europe with KISS. We toured until December, took off for the holidays. Than we started this record in January – it has been crazy. Between this, as I have a solo band in America, we did a live record. So I had to mix that in the beginning of January and than start this immediately after. So it has been very, very crazy. Very good.
Maxx: Even more alive and kicking and rocking!I saw you were also performing as special guest of Whitesnake.
JC: Yes, yes. Well, we were here in Europe, went back to America and did some shows with Whitesnake there. Than we went to Australia with KISS and the KISS Cruise and than we came right back to Europe with Whitesnake. It is like I said: We have been very busy.
Maxx: You played even in Verona, in the arena.
JC: I love that arena. It is so amazing. On the ground, looking at everything. It is very cool. Yes!
Maxx: Well, we can offer you only nice places, nice women and good food. ..
JC: And wine.
Maxx: Yes, and prosecco and other types of wine. Next time before we will meet, let me know which wine you prefer. So I can bring you a bottle.
JC: You know, as long it is red, I am good. So, it is all good.
Maxx: Good. So let’s talk about the new album „Make some noise“. It is coming out on august 5th, but luckily, we already listened to it.
JC: You listened to all the record or just the song?
Maxx: We received the entire album from your label. The single is great but even the album is amazing. I think that „Make some noise“ will become the new „We will rock you“ – if I may do this comparison.
JC: You know what we say? From your mouth to God’s ears. Hopefully.
Maxx: Are you performing it live?
JC: We are doing almost…see, we had to have seven different sets for this tour. So some places we were doing accoustic shows, so we had a set for that, and a lot of the festivals that we are doing, we are doing some sets 45 minutes, some are 60 minutes – so we had to have two different sets there. And than we were doing some headline shows at the end in the UK – so that’s like 75 minutes. So we had to have three of that. On most of the sets we are doing quite a few of the songs from the new record. But we are still doing some old stuff from even before I was in the band and than „Revolución“ and than you know, if you have seen the band before, we always kind of rolled a cover song in here and there, that we all like and grew up listening to. So it is gonna be… it is a lot of fun and it is cool! Easy.
Maxx: I saw it. And we saw as well that you have fun on stage. So actually we were already smiling when we saw you coming on stage. This is even extra fun for us: Watching our artist having fun on stage. Like you’re having a second life.
JC: I think honestly that’s one of the things that Dead Daisies have been really picking up a lot on momentum. But everybody says: „What can I expect from the Dead Daisies, on tour, live?“ and you know, honestly, it is just five really good friends. Last year we were six – but this year it is just five really good friends, playing music that we all love, like, I feel listen to even the last record „Revolución“, it’s really, really heavily influenced by a lot of the bands we grew up listening to. The classics: Led Zeppelin, Aerosmith, Queen and David Bowie and all the stuff. So – and than we just have fun. Like, when Marco and me kidd around with each other and I kidd around with Doug and David. We are always laughing and whatever and I think it is very contagiously at the audience – like: „Ah, these guys are good but they are having fun.“ It loosens everybody up. So it has been awesome.
Maxx: Tonight, or better today, it will be the first date of a very long, extensive, tour.
JC: Yea! We are actually, at this point right now, I think when this tour is ended, it is crazy again. We do have a couple of little breaks, for ten days here, a week here, whatever, and it is funny for me, as I go home on the breaks with Dead Daisies and than I go do shows with my solo band. Because I have a record coming out, too – a live record coming in october – so I am very busy. But we’re packed all the way until december 22nd and than they have already started booking shows for next year. So it is gonna be cool.
Maxx: Don’t forget Trieste!
JC: I hope so! The theater I was performing the acoustic set, it was beautiful. That could be great for us. I would love to!
Maxx: Talking about Whitesnake. We were a bit worried when we heard that you are loosing pieces going to Guns n’ Roses and than Doug arrived. What a treasure.
JC: Yea, he is awsome. It is weird. Like Doug and I had known each other since he was something like 17 years old. We grew up in Philadelphia together. We never played together but I have always watched what Doug was doing. Like: „Oh, he is doing this, doing this, he is with Ronnie James Dio. And he did the same with me. And it was funny because when Richard was going back to Guns n’ Roses he was like: „Oh you should call Doug Aldrich, he would be great for this!“. So we gave him a buzz and he came down. He is a great player, a great song writer and he is really funny. So we kind of fuck with each other all the time, but he is a gread dude. We all get along again, it is like we have another guy in the band, with a good sense of humour that understands our humour. And we just fuck with each other all the time. It has been awesome. Yeah. Now he stepped right in and once again we had a very short amount of time to do this new record. But we just got in a studio in Nashville and we wrote, recorded it, mixed and mastered this entire record in a little of a month. You know what I mean. So everybody was awesome. Even Brian. Brian is a great guitar player. So we were all sitting in a room together, all of us, playing guitar, coming up with ideas and than Marti (Frederikson; note of the redaction), the producer, he was playing guitar, so it was all of us. And it was like: „Boom, here is a riff, boom there is a riff!“ And we just had too much. After we wrote for maybe ten days, we had like 22 ideas. And we were like: „Ooohhhh“, you know, and Marti was like: „Okay, does everybody like this song? Yes, okay. So that’s gonna be in.“ So we kind of shifted through everything and we kind of came out with the album.
Maxx: So Brian is also a guitar player?
JC: Yes, he is an amazing guitar player!
Maxx: Oh fuck!
JC: You know, honestly, if you see Brian play drums …
Maxx: I love him.
JC: … he is as good on the guitar.
Maxx: Oh shit.
JC: He is great. It is crazy. He had a band for a little while. With Michel Devin from Whitesnake. And Brian was singing and playing the guitar. It was a three piece band called The Ball.
Maxx: No, I never heard them.
JC: Check it out. Brian is playing all the guitars, like all the solos and I am like: „I wanna punch him. He is too talented!“. You know what I mean? He plays piano, guitar, all the shit, he sings – it is amazing.
Maxx: Great. And do you feel comfortable to sing the old stuff which you didn’t write or produce?
JC: Yea, yea. That’s fine. You know what: To me, I don’t care. A good song is a good song. And even the same: A lot of people ask, why we do covers. I grew up, obviously, in the 1970s and I would watch bands like Humble Pie, Led Zeppelin, Aerosmith and Grand Funk Railroad. All these bands they didn’t take themselves so serious. They were like: „Oh that’s a great song!“. Even Grand Funk Railroad had a cover song of „Gimme shelter“ on a live record. In like 1974. It was amazing. There version of „Gimme shelter“. But the song was only maybe three or four years old. The Rolling Stones only did it. That was such a great song that bands were like: „You know?! I am gonna play it!“ Humble Pie would do Tina Turner songs and whatever. It is the same with us. We do the cover songs because some people think of us as rock stars or super groups but we are still music fans. We love music. And even last year on the tour we were doing a couple times, just for the fun, we did songs like „Fortunate Song“, „Allright now“ and „Sick as a dog“ by Aerosmith we did some Zz Top, we played in the States, we played in Texas, so we did a ZzTop song, and we just have fun.
Maxx: Also The Who, right?
JC: Yes, also The Who – „Let’s join together“.
Maxx: There is also a cover on „Revolución“ – but I don’t remember which one.
JC: „Midnight Moses“.
Maxx: Yes! You can think that it is your song – as it fits you perfeclty.
JC: No, it is not. But you see, this is the thing. I don’t know how old you are. But in the audience there is a lot of younger kids. And it is funny, like, they don’t know. You play a song like „Midnight Moses“ and they say: „Oh, that’s a great song.“ And than what we are doing is until some degree, we turning them on to a band like The Sensational Alex Harvey Band, a band which was brilliant. Not a big band. Not a lot of people knew who they were. But is was a great band.
And it was funny, I had a niece, years ago, in Philadelphia, where I grew up. And she is like: „Oh, I love this band Rainbow!“ And she was talking about the band. „The guitar player Richie Blackmore is amazing.“ And I said something like: „Oh yes, have you ever heard him on the…“ – and I mentioned a song from Deep Purple. And she goes: „Wait! He was in Deep Purple?“ Like she had now clue. And than there are some kids, they look at Paul McCartney now, when he did the song with Kanye West, and they go: „Who is this guy?“ They don’t know. So these are our idols, these are the people we grew up listening to, and hopefully some kids in the audience will go: „Oh I like that song „Fortunate son“, and than look it up and than realize that it is Creedence Clearwater Revival. Or The Who with „Let’s join together“. I mean The Who was a great band, legendary. But you never know: There is some kid in the audience that may not know it.
Maxx: Yes, this is continuing the legacy. Alright. Good. Thank you. Can we do some jingles for the radio? We already have an amazing one. Do you want to say: „Facciamo casino“? This means: „Let’s make some noise“ in Italian.
JC: Okay. Hey, this is John Coraby from the Dead Daisies – facciamo casino!