Angel Alamo: What has the band been up to lately?
Danny Vaughn: It’s a bit of a quiet year for us. We have a couple of major things coming up with the festivals in June. One in Switzerland one in London. We are doing something we have never done before which is we are filming a live DVD in over two nights, which is kind of reinterpreting a lot of our songs that we are known for that our fans love. We are including a string section, backing vocalists, violinists, soloists all kinds of crazy stuff going into it.
Angel Alamo: Is that the plan that the band has with an evening with Tyketto?
Danny Vaughn: It’s dinner with the band, it is multiple video takes we will do about six songs each night. Working with the audience getting it all filmed.
Ged Rylands: It’s like Michael says it is more of a TV show, that’s the kind of vibe we are going for.
Danny Vaughn: Something we have always wanted to try. It’s something that bands on our financial level rarely get an opportunity to do. We have been very lucky we have had someone helps us, because it cost quite a bit to put on a production quite like that. We have always kind of shot over our pay grade if you will. We are grateful we get included in the same sentence as the same bands that are on today’s bill. We haven’t sold anywhere near what most of these guys have sold over the years.
Angel Alamo: You guys have not really been as active do you think people are now rediscovering the band?
Danny Vaughn: What you are referring to is a lot America we have never left Europe. when you see We tour England almost every year. I’m down and if we don’t I do it with my solo band. We have never gone away in Europe.
Ged Rylands: A lot of the bands here today they come up to us they are envious of our position to be able to go over to Europe because a lot of these bands don’t get that chance.
Danny Vaughn: Our last European tour was like 5 weeks.
Ged Rylands: Yeah
Danny Vaughn: That’s a long time
Ged Rylands: We do good numbers were not playing to 50 or 60 people. It has always been that way.
Angel Alamo: Is it Because audiences are more loyal. In America you have to have a big number 1 Radio hit where in places like Europe and Japan once the fans love you they love you forever.
Danny Vaughn: I think that’s it that is basically right. They have very long memories. They are not locked into the trends. You know that’s not saying that our shows are filled with teenagers but they are there, that’s always heartening to see a 12-year-old rocking out to your songs alright good parenting.
Ged Rylands: We have gotten a lot of new fans these last few years.
Danny Vaughn: The reach album really got us a lot of new fans. You do something like this today even a lot of people come up to me today and say I don’t know who you are I just went out and bought your album you really can’t beat that.
Angel Alamo: Is there any new music on the horizon?
Danny Vaughn: Our last studio album was in 2016 Reach Then we put out live in Milan which was 2017 which was us playing live at the frontiers music festival. So yes it is time to start engaging in the writing process again. I got my Whiteboard out at home by the way with 35 ideas.
Angel Alamo: So there is no timeline as to when the next studio album will be coming out.
Danny Vaughn: Oh no I don’t like to say it because one, I am unfortunately notoriously slow when it comes to writing songs. I can’t make any excuses for it I just think a lot. Also we won’t put something out because it’s time to if it’s not ready it’s not coming out. We want to put out an album that we would happily sit and listen to which is what reach is.
Angel Alamo: The rest of the year will the band be doing any major touring?
Not too sure no just the things that I mentioned with the festivals.
Ged Rylands: The last two or three years we have been touring almost Non-Stop.
Danny Vaughn: In 2017 we did two European tours and We have been very, very lucky to have been included in for about 5 Years running in the Monsters of Rock cruise. That has really opened the doors for America. We have done a few more American shows of course we would like to do more like this. So next year is a quiet year. It will be devoted to writing. Taking ideas back and forth between all of us.
Angel Alamo: What was the feeling like playing in your first arena show in Denver in 1991. Any memorable moments.
Danny Vaughn: The most memorable moments of that show was actually after the show. That was the first tour with Nelson. We had gone a few shows with them but just was the first official night of the tour. A played we had a great night. We watched Nelson and they blew the house down, so we are packing up at the end of the night. I suddenly realized that they got hot tubs backstage and stuff. I turned the corner and someone goes dude, so we got the nelson twins with two or three very lovely young women in the hot tub. They go what are you doing. We are getting on the bus, they go bullshit you are getting in the hot tub. So I get in so yeah that was my first memory.
Angel Alamo: Who was the best band that you guys toured with?
Danny Vaughn: Best is a harsh word.
Angel Alamo: Or good bands.
Danny Vaughn: Nelson was a stunning band but they were a great band. Everybody was building on their looks. They went out on tour they had one of the best guitar players in the world with Bret Garsed, Bobby rock on drums, and Gunner is a stunning bass player. Paul Mirkovich on keyboards. But seriously a solid live act. Anybody ask me that question in my history I will say Iron Maiden when I was in Waysted we were opening for Iron Maiden across the United States and Canada. That is quite an experience.
Ged Rylands: Shows like these with a lot of these bands and then afterwards you just become friends. This can be transported to Germany, UK, different festivals it’s the same kind of bands You meet up with these bands during the summer months’ friendships do develop. It’s nice when bands do gel.
Danny Vaughn: There is a lot less competition between us all, are a lot more of us of course as we are older, be really appreciate where we’re at,that we still get to do this at whatever level. It’s a privilege to do it.
Angel Alamo: You read my mind about the next question back then that you would imagine that you would still be doing music today after all these years?
Danny Vaughn: I mean back then my imagination was quite Limited. I just wanted to be a star man and that was it you wanted to be Bruce Springsteen, or Bon Jovi or whatever. And then it becomes your life. No, there was nothing in my imagination that would of prepared me to be 56 years old and looking ahead Band camp I still do this and I do not do anything else. Believe me I have over the years. It is quite nice to not have another job.
Angel Alamo: I have to share this as fan, I still remember reading one of your interviews on metal Edge magazine.
Danny Vaughn: Oh Gerri Miller.
Angel Alamo: The one segment where you guys were shooting the music video (forever young).
Danny Vaughn: Yeah, I still got that.
Angel Alamo: I remember reading the interview. Before the whole internet thing.
Danny Vaughn: Those were the good days. One of the things that has killed music a little bit. There is none of that anticipation for information anymore. Go back a little further to Led Zeppelin. They didn’t do a lot of interviews. So what day did for example kerrang magazine So we have spoken to Robert Plant. Bought that because that was your only insight. Now because the demand is so immediate Internet anything video or whatever you’re constantly feeling this machine that’s why the attention span is short while I heard that song now 400,000 times this month now I’m moving on.
Angel Alamo: After knowing the songs were so many years do you guys still practice?
Ged Rylands: No
Danny Vaughn: Cat is out of the bag.(laughs)
Danny Vaughn: You want to know what’s funny this thing that were talking about and evening with Tyketto. It is the hardest that it’s been and it will work. So this is going to be concentration time. A lot of times you think you should practice but these guys are so locked in let me tell you a story. We played the Barcelona rock festival in front of 25,000 people hot as balls literally I am hallucinating on stage. I feel bubbles is that hot. I normally for a longer set would have to acoustic guitars because I use different tunings so one it’s normal to me and then their songs like standing alone Where it’s dropped down a whole step so I’m playing standing along And I picked up the wrong guitar The one that is tuned up a whole step higher than what I would normally sing in. I am playing the song because I do the whole Intro by myself. And half of my brain is going excuse me excuse me my brain shout out I am busy. So I’m playing I’m playing The first chorus where I sang Stand up and both sides of my brain goes you asshole so my point being is that at that point you can’t stop so I have to tough it out a whole step higher and these guys I think you picked it up first Jed picked it up first. And look at the bass player and said you’re not playing as an F this is G so without missing a beat that I can see now I got to have the whole band played the exact same song The guitar player transposed the solo, On the spot and played the solo a whole Step Up from the way he has been playing it for three years. So I’m really confident About you know we can get together and rock.
Angel Alamo: How do you warm up for show?
Danny Vaughn: Just waking up we have to be on at 11 so we have to be here around 9 if I have a chance I’ll do warm workups but there was no time today I don’t think warming up is really big and are things to do.our drummer Mike will always do some drum stuff.
Everyone just does their own thing and is to their own space. Over many, many years before shows we tend to freak people out. Before shows no matter how big or small we tend to fall asleep and people go like dude are you alright is anything wrong what’s the matter aren’t you into this you are about to go in front of 10,000 people. Is just your body going I know it’s coming. I need to be explosive to end so we just save it now as you get older you have to parcel out your energy wisely.
Ged Rylands: This is actually what you can expect backstage. This is what it actually looks like everybody’s just relaxed and chill
Danny Vaughn: That’s kind of how we are I mean you can find endless things to get all worked up about and it does no good to anyone to yourself to your friends to your family. As long as the essentials are in place any of these bands will tell you. You do this long enough you are so used to okay we didn’t have a keyboard stand so let’s put the keyboard on some boxes is that okay yeah fine.
Angel Alamo: Would you ever put out a remastered version of your debut album?
Danny Vaughn: We actually did there is a remastered version that’s kind of a weird spot for us because we have never been able to have any control of that it’s only by Geffen the publishing is owned by Universal I believe so we never been able to say hey would you please give us this album so we can rework it we do it we release it because it was unavailable for years completely out of reprint but one of these companies that does that Rock Candy Music got a hold of it last year and re-released don’t come easy. That coincided with the 25 year anniversary of the album so that year we toured Europe and did just played whole don’t come easy album all the way through.
Ged Rylands: That was the basis of our live show with live album and DVD live in Milan.
Danny Vaughn: The live in Milan is the whole don’t come easy album. That’s what they wanted. It’s imperfect everything is not completely right there are mistakes here and there but it’s what a live band is, it is a shoot from the hip kind of thing. As a matter of fact the opening song my acoustic guitar I come out in the beginning and I singalong while the band is jumping around and didn’t have my guitar on the guy doing monitor board just forgot to turn it on so the beginning you kind of hear and if you don’t hear it then look at the monitor guy going yo the n it comes on going back to what was said earlier. If you let something like that turn you into fuck you tighten up like that there goes the whole show. I think its dynamite live album. I’m not a live album fan but it’s great to be able to put it out.
(After the interview we got to chat a bit and talk about metal sludge Danny was enough to share a story about his first interview with metal sludge)
Metal Sludge has got me in a little bit of trouble over the years so it’s nice to do something nice. I’ll tell you a story and it’s a good story. I had my first interview with Metal Sludge years and years ago. I made a horrible mistake right after I did it. Which was I listened to the metal sludge interview first with Dee Snyder. I was taken in by the fact that Dee Snyder does not give one single flying f*** he says whatever he really means and I got that into my head and I said some really shity things I said some shity things about some of my contemporaries who I actually quite light and I just was in the wrong mind frame consequently I insulted Ted Poley and we didn’t talk for years and when we did finally talk he said why did you do that not only are these are my peers these are also my friends I have known Ted for over 35 years we go back to playing cover bands together so I was just trying to stir up a little controversy to be something I’m not which is a combative arrogant mouthy kind of guy it wasn’t Metal Sludge fault I just went with the flow and it cost me Of course we’ve become friends since and I did apologize.