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Rock Today

The Dead Daisies - Winter 2018

2018 has been another big year for The Dead Daisies. Following the release of their 4th album Burn It Down in April, the band have embarked upon a whirlwind of activities. The spring and summer consisted of a world tour and a round of Guitar Centre acoustic shows, followed by what appears to be becoming an annual performance on the Kiss Kruise. Now the band are mid way through their second world tour and we are hearing about some interesting horror TV ventures. We catch up with lead singer John Corabi on the Liverpool stop of their Winterland tour. It’s a particularly cold day that surprisingly sees John without his almost trademark faux fur coat. The article in question remains neatly hung up in his warm and toasty tour bus, and it’s here that we make ourselves comfortable as we begin to reflect on the last 6 months… 

We last caught up in April just as the new record Burn It Down was released and what I would like to do is reflect on the band's incredible journey over the last 6 months. You have already completed one world tour, you've done a run of Guitar Centre acoustic shows, you again played the Kiss Kruise and you've done a whole lot more. What have the highlights been for you?

You know honestly, I know it’s sounds cliché or whatever, but we don’t take for granted what we do. We love playing, we love coming over here, we love hearing "Hey guys! Every show in the UK is sold out!" even before we got here, so we’re sitting here going "Holy shit! This is great! This is awesome!". But in all honesty, without sounding cliché, we’re just happy to keep getting invited to the parties. You know how it is in the music industry- and the fact that we’re still doing this 25, 30, 35 years later is nothing short of a miracle because a lot of people can’t say that. Just the fact that we’re still able to go out and do what we love doing, make a living and take care of our families is awesome. 

It hasn’t all been plain sailing though and I think what I’m making reference to here is how due to serious adverse weather conditions you weren’t able to make the Steelhouse festival. At what point did you realise it wasn’t going to happen?

Well, you know it’s funny. I was just talking the other day to a fan about it. We have have a schedule. Our touring schedule is put together months in advance and it was set up that we were going to do a festival called the Rock and Blues Custom Show in Derby. We did it, our crew packed up and the band went to the hotel - easy, we do it a million times – get up the next morning – boom - it allows us to sleep a little bit more. The crew took off and started heading towards the Steelhouse Festival, we get up the next morning at 9am to leave and the airport was closed! There were all these 60 miles per hour cross winds and we were going to try to drive to another airport. They were pretty much closed and then we found that Cardiff was also closed. By the time we had checked out all our opportunities to fly there, or possibly even rent a helicopter or whatever to get there, we started driving and we hit traffic. It was like ‘fuck!’. We had like a 2 o’clock or 3 o’clock scheduled slot time and we were like ‘We’re not going to make it!’. By the time we had totally exhausted all possibilities of getting there and started driving, we we in the car knowing we weren’t even remotely going to get there in time. So we called the promoter and then as it turned out even our crew guys, our bus got stuck and had to get pulled up the hill. Once it was there and the gear loaded back in they had to get towed down the hill. They got stuck in the mud… It was unfortunate, it wasn’t planned. I knew a lot of the fans were writing saying we were the only reason why they came and not very pleasant about the Daisy thing but it was a weather thing and we had nothing to do with it. 

Of course, but I think one of the really important things to talk about is how in the band’s social media actions that followed, it was clear that the band wanted to do all they could to make it up to your fans. For example, you provide discounted tickets for this current tour for the Steelhouse people and provided a special free concert in Manchester ahead of the tour. This is an unprecedented level of love and appreciation for your fans. So in the days following the cancellation of the Steelhouse show, how did the conversation unfold around what you can do to make it up to the fans unfold?

Well, again, I mean it was nothing we could help. Mother Nature! We knew there were a lot of fans voicing their opinion and were kind of upset with us and we wanted to make it up to them somehow. I still think we are going to do something possibly in London, I think we are doing maybe a free full acoustic set on the second day. I overheard somebody saying ‘if they have a Steelhouse ticket’ they can show their ticket we’re going to do something for them. Honestly, David Lowey and David Evans our manager have set this up – it’s a very fan-friendly band. It always has been and always will be regardless of who’s in it. There’s no charge for the meet and greets, you know, so when the fans get bummed out about something we want to make it up to them, and again it was out of our control that we couldn’t make the Steelhouse festival. I’m sure David has something up his sleeve for that.

So you're back in the UK on the Winterland tour, the opening show being Hard Rock Hell where you were the headliners. It's an incredible festival and surely a great way to kick off the UK tour? 

We had a great time! It was a great crowd. I don’t think I’ve ever been in that building before and it was crowded as far as I could see, like on the sides. We had a great turnout and we followed it up with Inverness Monster Fest yesterday. It was a pretty good turnout. It was their first one so they were still working the kinks out on that one but it was great and we had a great response from everybody and we had fun. But again, we’re just happy to be back here again in the UK. For me the UK has always been really supportive going all the way back to The Scream. For some reason, this band in particular, people have been really drawn to this band. I can’t thank everybody enough. Like I said, the last couple of tours we’ve played here, the tickets have been sold out before we even got here, you know what I mean? So it’s pretty cool!

I think The Dead Daisies are quite a visionary band in terms of all the activities you’re involved in to share the music. For example your music is featured in a new horror TV series Welcome To Daisyland – a show about a travelling carnival with some pretty gnarly characters. I’ve seen the trailers and this looks pretty special. How did the show and your involvement come about?

Honestly, I’ve got to give credit to David Edwards our manager. We’re all very much a fan of shows like The Walking Dead and Night Of The Living Dead and Rob Zombie’s A Thousand Corpses. I think most rock bands are fans, but there’s also a TV series in America that I fucking love called The American Horror Story, and I think it’s a little bit of all that, you know? It’s short little stories and it’s going to feature the music of The Dead Daisies. I believe the band’s going to make little cameos. I believe! I’m not totally sure but I believe there will be little spots where you’ll go "That guy… Oh shit that’s Marco! I’d didn’t recognise him in a tutu!" (Laughs!)

As our conversation draws to a close, we reflect on the fact that The Dead Daisies are a true example of what it means to give the fans the very best. Of course this means the very best music but it also means giving them a personal service and one that brings them into the band’s inner circle, almost as if they are family. The band give their fans a free acoustic show for the first 50 people in line, a 2 hour set and free after show meet and greets. They also listen to their fans and act swiftly when circumstances beyond the band’s control have meant a scheduled event couldn’t take place. How many other bands are this fan-centric? And finally what we see is a band pushing boundaries with their Welcome To Daisyland horror TV series which brings new and exciting outlets for their music. 2019 will be yet another incredible year for The Dead Daisies.