Intervista The Dead Daisies (John Corabi)

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Intervista The Dead Daisies (John Corabi)
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Hi John, welcome to TrueMetal! How are you doing?

Good, I think I’m coming out of the tail end of a really bad cold.
I’ve had bronchitis for a week, I just took my last pill today, hopefully tomorrow I’ll get up and I’ll be fine.


Last week you played your first ever sold-out tour of the UK, how did that go? Were you expecting such a good result?

You never know, it’s so hit-or-miss ‘cause you can’t really judge what the public’s gonna do, you know what I mean?
We’ve always seen a steady increase every time we come over to Europe, but we were expecting the turnout that we had, literally every show was sold-out in the UK, and even here in main Europe it’s been pretty cool, if it’s not sold-out it been fucking close every time.
It’s pretty awesome.


Are you satisfied with the fans and critics' reaction to the new album?

Yeah, I haven’t heard anything negative at all, the album is…I think we’re two weeks in, it came out April 6 so we’re two weeks in, and it’s already entered all these different charts around the world, so we’re pretty pleased, yes.


Looking at the track list of "Burn it Down", your new album, there are many songs like "What Goes Around", "Bitch", "Leave Me Alone" and so on that give me the idea of a very angry album; what is it about, what are the topics you dealt with in this album?

I don’t think it’s angry, a lot of it is...what goes around comes around, ‘What Goes Around’ is basically about life in general, just sayin’, “Hey man, you’re gonna get back what you put out”, it’s all.
Bitch’ is an old Rolling Stones song that we covered which we absolutely love.
You know, a lot of the stuff is...‘Resurrected’ is about, in all honesty, a lot of people wrote me off after my time in Mötley and even our drummer Deen, he went through trying times a couple of years back, he was like, “I didn’t think anybody would ever want to work with me again”, so it’s just about sayin’, “I’m still here doing what I love to do and having fun”.
Rise Up’ is, basically, just today before coming here I was seeing, today is Earth Day and they were showing all these giant, like 10-20 mile ponds of plastic floating in the Pacific Ocean and things like this, so ‘Rise Up’ is just about, politics, people angry with each other fighting on Facebook, the global warming, you know, it’s just, “Man, nothing’s gonna change unless we stand up and do something about it”.
So, I don’t really think it’s an angry album, it’s just basically calling a spade a spade, it’s just, this is what’s happening.


I think most, if not all of you, live in different places; as you are all credited as writers I was wondering, how does the songwriting process work for you?

We basically say, “Hey, we’re gonna do a record”, David, our guitar player, actually lives in Sydney, Australia, and in New York, he’s also a businessman, so we go to New York, we stay there for a week and every day we go to a little writing studio and just write.
Once we are done, we got 15-20 idea, we got to Nashville and record them all.
Then everybody goes [whistles] back to where they came from.


Deen Castronovo joined the band not long ago, jut shortly before you started working on the new album, how has he contributed to "Burn it Down"?

He’s a great drummer!
One thing that’s different from when Brian was here, ‘cause Brian is an equally amazing drummer as well, but Deen actually bring a lot to the table as far as vocals, backing vocals, he’s a lead singer!
So, we have that, that actually bolster our backing vocals and then, just his attitude, like I was saying earlier, he wasn’t sure if anybody would ever work with him again, so he’s just very happy to be here, he’s always, “Good morning guys! How are you?”, “Let’s do…”, you know, he’s just fun, he wants to have fun and he’s just happy to be here.
He’s happy to be playing Rock N’ Roll again and being in the public’s eye, he just has this positive energy, it’s really cool.


I'd like to talk a bit about the band now; first of all, it's defined a collective, not a band, what does it mean?

When they started, I think David ultimately wants a band, but he also realises that the people he was working with, people like Marco, Deen, Doug, myself, before it was Richard Fortus and Dizzy Reed, these people are very talented and always in demand.
This is what happened with Brian, last year Brian was out, when we would had downtime Brian would go and do shows with Steven Tyler, he’d go do shows with Don Felder from the Eagles, this year he got offered a bunch of shows with those guys and couldn’t do both.
So, they called it a collective because for a little while there was…different people were coming and going each record; but this lineup has been pretty much set for three years, two years, something like that, and we want to continue forward like this, so we’re just keeping our fingers crossed that nobody in the band gets the call from Led Zeppelin and has to join, you know what I mean?

 

That was pretty much my next question: the idea now is to keep the band’s lineup as stable as possible.

Yeah.


The first time I heard of The Dead Daisies I was very fascinated by this group of great musicians from all over the places led by David Lowy, this businessman who apparently had no prior experience in music…

Well, he did, just not on a bigger level.

…what was your first reaction when you were offered the gig?

I didn’t know them, I listened to some of their music and thought, “Oh, this is cool”, I didn’t know much about the band, I know Marco was in it, I knew Brian was in it and Dizzy, I didn’t know Richard and I didn’t know David.
So, I flew out to California and met the manager, David Lowy and Richard, and I’m like, “Oh, this is cool, great players, this could be fun”.
I also have my solo band, so I was out doing shit with that, I was content, I was busy, making money, so when they called me I was like, “Okay, I think I can do both, okay, let’s try”.
I didn’t know anything about David, his businesses, nothing, I just listened to the music and thought, “Oh, this is pretty cool”.
I went and did a show in Cuba and then they said, “Hey, would you want to do a record?”, “Sure”, so I went in Australia and we did a record.
It’s like a Mafia, now I can’t get out.


When I saw you guys last year at Hellfest of the 6 songs you played 3 were covers; with 3 albums out then, 4 now, you have a lot of original stuff, why do you play so many covers?

This tour I think we are doing 17, maybe 16, 17 songs and I think we are only doing two covers, on this tour.
The Hellfest thing I can’t explain, a lot of times out set would change day to day, I don’t know what the thinking was when you saw us last year, it might have been our management, “Hey, let’s keep it heavier, let’s keep it aggressive”, and they maybe went through our set and said, “I think these are the 6-7 most aggressive songs”.
We don’t really give a shit about the cover thing, a good song is a good song; it’s funny because a lot of the bands I grew up listening to, I mean, even Led Zepplin’s first record most of it was covers, you know what I mean?
So, we’re not really worried about it, it’s just…you know what is funny? It’s a bit of a tip of the hat to the people we grew up listening to, but the thing is that a lot of people don’t realise that they’re cover songs.
Like, we were just talking about ‘Bitch’ and you were like, “These seems like angry songs’, and you’re not the only person.
When I go, “Do you realise that ‘Bitch’ is a Rolling Stones cover?” and they go, “Oh…no idea”.
So, in some way…it’s really funny, I could put a set of music together and have us play it, go out and play it live, and the entire set could be covers and people would think it’s all original material, it’s funny to me.
But this is the era I grew up and these are the songs we grew up listening to, you are much younger than I am, so you’re not gonna know a lot of these song the way that I do.

 

Actually, I feel pretty stupid now because I think the Stones even played ‘Bitch’ when I saw them a while back…

No, no, no, it’s funny but it’s just one of these songs, even the way they play it on the original record, it just got this kind of cool riff in it, and when we did it we wanted to do a Rolling Stones song, a tip of the hat to the Stones, and there’s a million songs we could have done, but that one song, that riff, "Da du, da du, da du, da du, da da", lent itself to the rest of our record.
So, we kind of jammed it, made it our own and its being going over great, but it’s funny because when I’m on stage I have to say, ‘cause a lot of people are like, “I don’t know the song, who’s that by? Did you guys write that?”, it’s amazing, so now every day we do it, we have the extended beginning and I have to say to the audience, “This is something from one of the greatest Rock N’ Roll bands ever, Rolling Stones!”, boom, and play the song.
Nobody knows, it’s funny.


Often when a musician is in a big band he ends up remaining "the former singer/guitarist/whatever" of that band for his whole career even if he leaves the band. Does it bother you that you are still being labelled as the former singer of Mötley Crüe after more than 20 years?

No, ‘cause it is what it is, you can’t change it.
It would be like someone coming over to me and asking, “Does it bother you that you’re white?”, you know what I mean? There are some things that you can’t change.
I don’t worry about it!
The only time I get a little pissy about it is if somebody comes to me and they give me shit for being in Mötley Crüe and then I just sit there and I go, “Hold on…”.
A couple of months ago I had someone write to me and they said, “You’re a loser, la, la, la, fuck you, Mötley Crüe is…” and they’re telling me, “Mötley Crüe is Tommy, Nikki, Mick and Vince”, okay, tell me something new that I don’t know.
But I just wrote back to the guy and I go, “Here’s the deal bro, I was in a band and I was asked to join at the time one of, if not the biggest American Rock band in the world. Tell me, if you were in my position, you would not have done the same thing”.

You just don’t say no to something like that.

Right, so we could sit here and go, “Does it bother me that 20 years later people still refer to me as the former singer”, it could, but on the other hand, on the positive side which I always try to look at the positives, having that tag has kind of allowed me to continue doing new things.
Even when I do my acoustic things by myself, they say, “John Corabi, former la, la, la” and people, maybe out of curiosity, will come.
So, it’s fine, I don’t caught up in a lot of that stuff, even record review, reviews of shows, reviews of movies, I’ve talked to people who were like, “Oh God, I fucking hated Braveheart”, but I went and saw it and I thought it was a great movie.
So, it’s all good.

 

That was it, thank you very much for your time.

Bye buddy, thank you.

I’ll leave to you the last word if you have a message for your fans.

Honestly, thank you guys for everything, the support for The Dead Daisies has been unbelievable, we can see it growing and growing, and we can’t thank you enough.
See you next time!

Davide Sciaky

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