Uber Rock at Steelhouse Festival 2016 - John Corabi - The Dead Daisies - Interview Exclusive Print E-mail
Written by Rob Watkins   
Sunday, 21 August 2016 03:00

With the release of their third album ‘Make Some Noise’ The Dead Daisies have scored a Top 40 album here in the UK. Uber Rock’s Rob Watkins caught up with the band’s singer, John Corabi, at the Steelhouse Festival to talk about said record, the band’s upcoming UK shows with The Answer and a whole lot more besides.




Thanks John for doing this from all of us at Uber Rock.


Now is this for print or radio?




Okay, I just did a radio interview and I dropped the F-bomb left, right and centre. (Laughing)


No that`s fine, we use the f-word and the c-word in our reviews all the time, just go for it.


Okay Cunt. Cunt. Cunt. Fuck. Cunt. Cunt. Cunt. Let‘s start this up, that’s cool, now the guy needs to go away and edit this stuff. (Laughing)


So tell me how did The Dead Daisies come to life, who came up with the idea and so forth?


David actually, our guitar player David Lowy, he started the band, I think in 2012, with a gentleman named Jon Stevens who used to sing with INXS and it’s been kinda climbing ever since and I guess last January Marco called me, I don`t know what happened prior to me being here, I’m just speculating, they just asked me if I’d come to L.A. and meet everybody, they had a trip to Cuba they were doing and Jon the old singer couldn`t leave Australia for whatever reason and I went over to Cuba and did a couple of shows with the guys and I think they just wanted to feel me out before committing, you know seeing how I was in front of an audience, how I was to work with and after we did the shows they asked me if I wanted to do a record. We did ‘Revolución’ and we`ve been literally on the road non-stop since we`ve done that record.


Given the musicians in the band with the guys having played previously in Whitesnake, Thin Lizzy and of course Motley Crue and past members being in Guns N` Roses to name but a few...we have a supergroup right here...what`s a supergroup to you?


I`d say Blind Faith and Cream, but we don`t look at it that way.


I mean it’s tagged around a hell of a lot, the supergroup thing.


Yeah It’s a little over-used especially as everybody in this band is an incredibly talented player, they know their instruments well, they’re all great songwriters, and at the end of the day a lot of people ask that question and for lack of a better term this is like a boys club. I mean I’ve known Doug since he was 17, we grew up together in Philadelphia, I’ve known Marco and Brian for 20 years and Richard I’ve not known for so long but Dizzy I’d known for 20 years too. It`s just this travelling circus of friends, we love hanging out, if we lived closer to each other we`d be the guys sat in a bar on Sundays watching American Football, so we’re just pals and we do what we do and we have fun doing it. Ummm, if people actually knew the shit we say to each other on stage whilst we`re playing, they`d laugh their arses off, we`re telling jokes and shit. I mean the whole supergroup thing, it’s people who’ve had some success in other bands so that term will get thrown out there, but at the end of the day, I could put my all-time supergroup together, Jimmy Page on guitar, John Bonham on drums, Paul McCartney on bass guitar, Steven Tyler on keyboards and vocals and maybe Joe Perry or whoever and you`d call that a supergroup. But at the end of the day if the songs aren’t there, nobody’s gonna know anyway, I mean we`re just a bunch of friends that love hanging out with each other, we all like the same music and everybody’s sense of humour is so twisted and funny. We just have fun man that`s cool.




So how`s the touring been going thus far? Obviously you’re only a few dates in. How did Ramblin’ Man go yesterday for starters?


Ramblin’ Man was great. We also did Rock And Blues Custom Show too last night, those guys treated us amazing, all the guys were cool, very friendly and incredibly accommodating so we had a really good time and The Rock And Blues Custom Festival was much bigger than we ever imagined. It’s been around for 32 years and they’ve had like Scorpions, Motorhead play there and it’s kinda now on an upswing again, I can`t say enough good things about that one, but all the shows we’ve done have been great, we did a couple of shows in Europe, we did an amazing Festival in Poland, that was awesome and the response has been great to the new record, the new songs and the new line-up, it`s been killer. I’m very pleased.


Steelhouse Festival then, up on the mountain, you guys looking forward to rocking in the rain?


The weather yeah, but I had a look out there, the audience is out there doing their thing so yeah we`re looking forward to it.


This is the sixth Steelhouse and possibly the best turn out so far.


That`s so cool.


You have toured with KISS tour and have their Kruise coming up. What`s the vibe like being on a tour of that scale?


You know the thing with us and KISS is funny, all the members of this band and KISS have known each other for years, and forme personally Eric Singer was possibly the first person I met when I moved to Los Angeles in 1986 or 1987,Gene Simmons personally took an interest in my career before The Scream, he wanted to sign the band I was in at the time and he`d always be telling me "Corabi you’re a star" so when I got The Scream gig and the Motley gig, Gene was funny about it, but Gene always reminded me that he thought I’d be a star. I mean the guy has a track record, he discovered Van Halen, House of Lords a lot of these other bands. I didn`t know this but Doug actually auditioned for KISS before Bruce Kulick or Vinnie Vincent around that time around 1982 or 1983. They loved his playing but were taken back a little because at the time he was only 18, so there`s a lot of ties between us and KISS, so when we go on tour with them it`s like another part of the family and they treat us amazingly well, which in all honesty I was a little nervous about. I mean you know somebody in one aspect but then you go on tour with them, and I was a little weary of that headline and opening act thing. I was so grateful and impressed, there’s always a little bit of etiquette when you’re on somebody else’s stage, so I asked the production manager last year they had the big stage with wings and the walkway that went out the middle, and I was like “let me know, what parts of the stage I’m not allowed to use” and he said “fuck just use it man go for it.” They gave us full PA not all of the lights ,cause that`s to do with their show but they gave us a shitload of lights, they`d be in the dressing room every day, Gene would come in and tell a joke, Paul would come in and we`d go in Paul’s changing room and hang and it’s really cool.


Then of course you come back to the UK for co-headline tour at the end of the year with The Answer. Do you enjoy coming to the UK?


I just like coming to Europe, the UK I have a lot of friends over here, I’ve been coming over since The Scream, I have people telling me they have tickets for The Answer and meeting up in a pub before or after the show, and it`s funny I married a girl in America whose mother is from Essex so I have family here now and yeah it`s cool I love it here.




You’ve mentioned Doug (Aldrich) a few time already today, how’s he fitting into the group and what does he bring to The Dead Daisies’ musical equation, especially on the new album?


You know obviously Doug’s a great player and although we’d known each other for so long we’d never worked together before and with this band it’s more about fitting in, you know, working within the way we work, which is pretty quick usually. I mean with this record we wrote it, recorded it, mixed it and mastered it within about a month, Doug is a great player, a great songwriter but more importantly he has a great sense of humour. Doug and I fuck around all day long and that’s part of that boy’s club I mentioned. I don`t think anybody in this band wants to deal with fucking egos, I’ve dealt with it in the past I’m too old for it now/ I don`t give a shit how good somebody is I’d rather take somebody who`s lesser of a player. I just wanna get along with them and not worry about them being an arsehole.


So, what would you personally like to achieve musically speaking, and what does the future hold for The Dead Daisies beyond touring the `Make Some Noise` record?


Obviously we all do this to make a living. I just want people to look at my body of work not that it`s nearly as impressive or whatever but me as a musician, when you look at a guy like George Harrison or Paul McCartney and you look at that body of work and you go “fuck, that`s a pretty impressive catalogue” and at the end of the day I want people to look at my body of work and not that it’s as impressive or whatever, but me as a musician. I’d like somebody to say, “God he`s done all these records and they`re all pretty fucking good,” I mean that’s it, I don`t know if it`s ego but that`s what I’d like to leave behind.


Okay to finish things off let’s have some fun. What five alive, dead or dysfunctional bands would you add to a festival bill with The Dead Daisies headlining?


I would love Queen with Freddie, umm I’m a huge fan of Grand Funk Railroad with all the original members. Let me see, Zeppelin that’s a must, the Eagles and then I’d love to see David Bowie Ziggy Stardust era and of course The Daisies, that would be pretty badass.


And what`s on the rider?


You know what really I’m not really a crazy rider guy, i never have been, as long as I have Earl Grey tea, I do like Earl Grey tea and just like anything but the norm, like when you walk into a dressing room, you know something different to candy, I mean give me a slice of New York pizza or something, yeah I’m just not a big rider guy. There`s not a lot of things that I need, from a singer point of view, tea, water, ginger ale and maybe a couple of diet Cokes whilst on stage then after show I like whiskey and wine. I see some things and it’s like the dressing room has to be all white and facing the east and people running around fanning the band, for me that`s so ridiculous.



John, that’s our time up, thank you so much from Uber Rock.


No problem butty.


The Dead Daisies are set to tour the UK in November, co-headlining the following dates with The Answer:-


November 12th           ABERDEEN                 Lemon Tree

November 13th           GLASGOW                   Classic Grand

November 14th           SHEFFIELD                 Corporation

November 15th           NEWCASTLE               Riverside

November 16th           HOLMFIRTH                 Picturedrome

November 18th           DONCASTER               Diamond Lounge

November 19th           BIRMINGHAM               Academy 2

November 20th           BRIGHTON                   Concorde 2

November 22nd           NORWICH                     Waterfront

November 23rd           LONDON                     Electric Ballroom





Photography by http://www.russellprothero.co.uk/


To pick up your copy of ‘Make Some Noise’ – CLICK HERE