For a band who have only been active for around four years, The Dead Daisies have managed to pull some fairly epic collaborators. Perhaps it’s their Australian-American heritage, or the fact their name sounds like an unpublished Virginia Andrews novel; maybe it’s that these guys are simply pros at what they do. Whatever the reason, their lineup has grafted musicians from luminaries like Cold Chisel, Nine Inch Nails, The Rolling Stones, and particularly with guitarist Doug Aldrich, Whitesnake. It’s a carousel Aldrich wouldn’t trade for anything, though with third album Make Some Noise arriving in August, it’s not always an easy ride.
“There were some tours when I was with Whitesnake where …,” Aldrich pauses, trying to capture the reality of life after 30 years on the road. “I was in something like a hundred different hotels one year, just always checking in and checking out. Maybe the whole tour itself was something like 120 shows, and between playing and your days off, you’re moving a hundred times. It gets pretty tedious, and everything starts to look the same. Even the people themselves are basically the same. The people in Sydney, the people in Los Angeles, the people in London, they’re all just doing their thing, wanting to hear music from a band that they love. They’re just trying to have fun and to take care of their family and be able to work, it’s the same thing. If you’re in Albania or Tokyo, wherever. So you’re doing all this moving, all this packing and unpacking, you go to the gym and try to stay healthy while having to gear yourself up every day for the show, and then wind down. It’s tedious, man, and I tell you the honest truth, eventually, if you’ve got a relationship or a family, it’s very difficult to be away.”
It has been less than a year since second album Revolución arrived, itself appearing soon after the Daisies found themselves as the first Western rock act to play Cuba after the US embargo was lifted. Make Some Noise marks Aldrich’s first time recording with the band, and although the Daisies have seen a variety of members in a relatively short lifespan, the impression you get is that this turnover doesn’t reflect personality clashes or the rigours of touring. Rather, it is an outfit that enlists the best possible musicians available to serve each new direction. Aldrich is himself taking the reins from Richard Fortus after the latter signed on to the current Guns N’ Roses tour.
“Richard and I [have] mutual respect, and I love what he’d done with the Daisies. David [Lowy, co-founder] and I had lots of conversations regarding what we were trying to accomplish and how we would do it. What actually went down was, when we went into a room, it wasn’t so much anything to do with where the Daisies had left off. It was kind of, let’s see what we can create right at this moment. I think Revolución is just great. I really love that record, there’s great songwriting and great playing. Make Some Noise feels like another chapter, in kind of the way bands like Led Zepplin worked. Led Zepplin II to Led Zepplin III, which was totally different, and then Led Zepplin IV. So, Make Some Noise for me is a nice change of speed. It’s a little more riff rock, it’s a little more raw and stripped back. It’s got the elements of the Daisies that you heard from Revolución, but obviously there are going to be some differences between Richard and myself. But when you’re looking at the overall thing, there’s a theme that runs through it. I didn’t feel any pressure about trying to recreate anything.”
BY ADAM NORRIS
When & Where: Album release Make Some Noise – August 5