Live Review: The Answer and The Dead Daisies in Sheffield, 14/11/16

Date: 14th November 2016
Venue: Corporation

Rock fans came out in their hoards to a packed Corporation in Sheffield to see the unusual combination of one of Ireland’s prominent blues rock bands and American/ Australian rock super-group, The Dead Daisies.

The double-header concert started with Cormac The Answer taking to the stage opening with the title track from their latest album Solas. Lead singer, Cormac Neeson’s voice soared high above the gritty blues undercurrent creating a haunting atmosphere throughout the venue.

Continuing with the powerful rock ballad, Beautiful World, there was no mistaking it, the boys were back.

Whilst most of this tour focused on their latest release, the band threw in New Horizon from 2013’s album of the same name and Waste Your Tears from the Revival record. The audience appreciated the nostalgia.

After a spell of pure driven rock in their set, the band swapped their overdriven, electric guitars for bouzoukis and mandolins for an impromptu, chilled out, acoustic set.

In This Land and Thief of Light really showed a different side to the band, their variety as musicians and strength as writers with beautiful close harmony and stripped down arrangements. A real hit with fans who sang along at the tops of their voices.

It wasn’t long before the volume and pace picked up with inviting special guest vocalist Lynne Jackaman to the stage for a duet, as per the original recording on Nowhere Freeway.

The boys finished up with a rousing rendition of Battle Cry, leaving the audience shouting out for more as singer Neeson remembered his last gig in Sheffield.

He recalled that he had been in a bad place personally on the last tour with family illness taking it’s toll, but said he felt he had made so many new friends on this visit.

It was certainly a hard act to follow, though rockers The Dead Daisies were the men for the job. Entering to a screams and cries from the audience as one by one, Doug Aldrich, Brian Tichy, David Lowy, Marco Mendoza and John Corabi arrived and kicked off their set with Long Way To Go.

Made up of previous band members of Mötley Crüe, Whitesnake, Thin Lizzy, Dio and Foreigner to name a few, their musical CV reads like something out of rock n roll history. There have been many band member changes including the introduction of Corabi in 2015 and most recently lead guitarist, Aldrich.

This tour is promoting their latest release Make Some Noise and the title track of that album sure enough features right at the beginning of their set. In true classic rock style, it packed a punch but it was not treading new ground for the band.

Covers of Creedence Clearwater Revival’s Fortunate Son, The Who’s Join Together, The Beatles’ Helter Skelter and Midnight Moses from The Sensational Alex Harvey Band. All great covers, which saw the crowd joining in from the first note to the last chord.

As entertainers, you can’t fault these guys. They’ve earned their stripes with some of the most prolific rock groups in the business. Their musicianship is reflected in the plethora of flamboyant, intricate solos, yet somehow musically I felt a longing for a variety in pace, to see something more musically exposed.

An unusual mixture, but nonetheless the crowd left exhausted having sung along and danced all night. It had been energetic and impressive evening from some of rock’s finest musicians.

– Charlie Barker

View full set of live gig images: click here.

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Interview with John Corabi from The Dead Daisies

Rock group, The Dead Daisies released their latest album Make Some Noise earlier this year and saw it reach number 35 in the UK album charts. Since then it’s been non-stop for the band who are about to embark on their November UK tour co-headlining with Irish band The Answer, stopping at Sheffield’s Corporation on November 14th.

The Dead Daisies frontman and ex-Mötley Crüe singer, John Corabi talks about what in store for the band and their fans.

dead-daisies

Given the varied groups you have all played in before, how did The 

Dead Daisies come about? Do you feel like a Rock Supergroup?

John: Well The Daisies was started in 2012, by David and a singer named Jon Stevens in Australia and I personally wasn’t there in the beginning, and don’t really know what happened before I got here but, I’ve been told that they wrote a bunch of material, and recorded with a bunch of session players, and decided to put a “band” together to tour. It was kind of “ass backwards” actually, cause most bands get together and write for a while, then try to get a deal, record an album, then go on tour. So I guess there were a couple of members that didn’t quite work out along the way. I don’t exactly know the time frame on when Marco and Brian got involved but they been involved for a few years now. I’ve been with the band since last January, as Jon Stevens left the band to do some solo recording. We’ve recorded 2 albums since I’ve joined (Revolucion, and Make Some Noise) and things have been steadily getting better with each tour!!! The band doesn’t consider ourselves a supergroup, we like to say we’re more like a “boys club”, as we’re more a bunch of really good friends that share the same love of classic rock music, if you will, and we’re just having a ton of fun doing this!! We’ve all known each other for 20+ years so, it’s been an incredible couple of years hanging, creating, and jamming live with each other!!!

Your latest album ‘Make Some Noise’ came out in August and charted well across the globe, are things getting bigger with each release?

J: Yes!!!!! We’re very excited about all the NEW places we’ve been invited to, i.e. Japan, South Korea, South America, etc., and the growing amount of fans, and the amazing support they give us in the places we’ve played already. I think we’re tapping into a huge segment of people that just dig good classic music, and the fun and excitement that we all used to feel when our favourite bands would put out a new record, or come to town for a show. The energy the fans give back to us via email, and at the shows is really great, and again it reassures us that Rock is still alive and well, and the music fans are still there and ready to “throw down”!!! We’re all very blessed to be in this business this long, and still be able to do what we all LOVE, and continue to make new music and make new friends all over the world!!!!

Are you consciously developing the bands sound with each recording or is it a case of going with the flow when writing songs?

J: Its very much a “go with the flow” thing here. We’re a bit geographically challenged as David lives in Sydney Australia, Marco, Doug, and Brian live in Los Angeles, and I live in Nashville. So, both records I’ve done with the guys have been written and recorded very quickly. We start with a bunch of riffs, and just develop them together. We’ll get what I like to call a “map” or a song foundation, and we just record it onto a laptop or cellphone. Once we had enough material we sifted through all the ideas with Marti Fredrickson, and decided on the best 13-14 tunes. We started laying the rhythm tracks down all together in the same room, so we could all play off of each others energy. I’m usually in a separate room scatting and trying to develop a melody. Once that part is finished, we go off into different rooms and Doug worked on his solos, and I worked on lyrics and melodies. There’s no egos at all in the process and we all kind of bounce the ideas off each other and get input when it’s needed. I’ve gotten some great input from all the guys at times for lyrics or titles, so it’s all very band oriented..We all work about 12 hours a day, everyday, in the studio and just get extremely focused on the work at hand. As we’re laying down vocals and guitars you begin to hear other ideas for the songs because you really begin to get a feel of how the song is going to sound, so there may be a bit of experimenting. In a nutshell, basically we just write, record, then play around a bit with the tunes, and let the songs go where they want!!!! We did both records (Revolucion and Make Some Noise) this way, and the process of writing, recording, mixing, and mastering was completed in a little

over a month both times. When we talked to Marti about producing, we just told him we wanted to do a good old fashioned, classic rock record. Thats about all the thought that went into the sound…

You are playing across the UK, what have been the groups experiences over here up till now?

J: Playing in UK has been AMAZING for all of us!!!! The fans are awesome, and have been extremely accepting of all of us, separately and together. It gives us a chance to see and hang with some mates. Personally, I’ve played England a couple of times when I was doing my solo acoustic shows and had a blast!!! I was schooled on a few different warm beers and managed a bit of sight seeing, but not much! I’ve got quite a few friends there, and enjoy seeing them every time I’m there, and I also LOVE the history of UK, so that intrigues me as well.

Is there a venue anywhere in the globe that you enjoy playing at the most?

J: That’s a hard one… We all just LOVE playing!!! Theres a bunch of places, even here in America that I haven’t played yet so, after 25 years of touring, there’s still a lot of famous venues that I’d LOVE to play!!! I think playing The Download festival last year with The Daisies, was awesome, as I read about that when it was called The Donnington festival in magazines as a kid in Kerrang. I was supposed to play there with Motley in 1994, on a bill with Aerosmith, and for some reason we cancelled, so I was more than disappointed, but it was definitely a bucket list gig. Playing Budakon with Motley in Japan was great as well, and thats another legendary venue, that I remembered from the Cheap Trick album. I think my biggest wish is to play my hometown in Philadelphia at the new Spectrum, and Madison Square Garden cause that’s as legendary as you can get!!! Hopefully it won’t take that long to cross those venues off the list…

You are starting this UK tour off the back of the KISS KRUISE – whats it like to play to a boat full of rock fans sailing around the caribbean?

J: Doing the Kiss cruise or The Monsters Of Rock cruise is ALWAYS a blast!!! It’s a festival on a boat with people from all over the world. How could you not dig that? The Kiss guys are always very accomodating, and we can’t thank them enough for the invites the last couple of years!!! Personally I’ve got a pretty long history with their fans, as I had a band called Union after Motley Crue, with Bruce Kulick, who used to play guitar with Kiss. I also have a side band with Eric Singer, the current drummer from Kiss, called “ESP”. So, it’s always a blast doing that! This year should be a real party cause a bunch of good friends are playing as well, so it’ll be out of control I’m sure. Kiss has Skid Row, Whitford/St.Holmes, Kings X, this time, so we’re excited to see and hang with them all. It’s pretty cool when you can go onto a huge cruise ship, and soak up some sunshine, hang with friends and fans, have a few drinks, and then go play and listen to great music! It’s a bit of a “work vacation” as I get to bring my wife and have a quite a bit of fun..The fans are always very

polite, and respectful, so we always have a great time!!!!

You are co-headlining with The Answer from Northern Ireland in the UK and Europe, have you played with them before, what are your thoughts on the Irish rockers?

J: We have never played with them before but, I’m very excited to check them out. Everybody we’ve spoken to has given us great feedback about the guys, so I think it’ll be a GREAT tour!!! We’re all big Thin Lizzy, Gary Moore, Rory Gallagher, U2 fans so we know Ireland has some great music coming out of there. There’s a huge list of amazing talent then and now from Ireland so I’m beyond curious to see what the guys are all about. Most of the people we’ve met from there are always very jovial, so we’re really looking forward to meeting them, and hanging and maybe even having a drink or two…They are Irish, so I’m training my liver as I type…hahaha!!! Oddly enough, I’m also doing the Monsters Of Rock cruise with my solo band, and their on the boat as well in February, so this tour will be the warm up for that too!!!

Out of all the band members who would be the most rock’n’roll?

J: 1- Brian, if you love drums and animals!!!!
2- Doug, if you love guitar heros and guys with good abdominal muscles!!!
3- Marco, if you love bass, and Salsa, anything Latin and eyeliner!!!!
4- David, if you love guitar, Aussies, pilots, and shopping!!!!
5- And yours truly if you’re into incredibly talented, handsome, savvy,

poetic, Godlike, HUMBLE singers such as myself….

Has the notion of taking it easy ever entered your head or is life on the road too addictive?

J: I STILL LOVE being on the road!!!! And obviously you’ve never seen me with a POWERTOOL in my hands…(not good) But, right now, The Dead Daisies are really picking up a lot of steam, with our new record “Make Some Noise” and we’re touring until mid December of this year, then taking off January and February of 2017, then picking right back up again in March. I also have a new live solo record coming out in January, (94 Live, One Night In Nashville) so I’ll be touring to support that with my band during The Daisies’ off time.. I guess if you still really enjoy doing something you love, it’s not really considered work…is it???