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Doug Aldrich of the The Dead Daisies The OMN Interview

By BRENT ANGELO // Guitarist, Doug Aldrich of the Dead Daisies talks about the band's new record, Radiance which comes out on September 30th and the band's upcoming US tour that has a stop iin Portland at the Bossanova Ballroom on Friday, September 23rd. 

Brent: I appreciate you taking the time to talk to Oregon Music News. I was first turned onto the Dead Daisies at the 2013 UPROAR music festival where I first saw them play live.

Doug Aldrich: Awesome.

Brent: They caught me by surprise because in truth there wasn't a lot of information on them at the time leading up to the show, but I thought they stole the show that day. 

Doug Aldrich: That was a great lineup with Dizzy (Reed) and Richard (Fortus). Was that with Brian Tichy or not yet?

Brent: No, that was with Frank (Ferrer) at the time. I recognized him standing a few feet away and he was just hanging out. I had recently seen him play with Guns N’ Roses at one of their residency shows at the Joint in Las Vegas. He looked my way, said hello and we started talking about the GNR shows, which he was stoked I went to. We chatted shortly and then he took off. I then saw him start setting some drums for the Dead Daisies. Curiously, I went over to this little merch booth that had some of their stuff to learn more about them and freaked when I saw who was in the band. What a surprise and they were on next to play!

Doug Aldrich: Frank's a great guy too. Really nice guy.

Brent: So, when did you first cross paths with the Dead Daisies?

Doug Aldrich: Around the time that Brian got in the band. They did a video for “Midnight Moses” and that was I guess 2015, I think. Basically, long story short, I grew up with John Corabi back in Philadelphia. When we were kids, there was this band called the Dead End Kids and they were playing the Jersey clubs and we lived in Philly. If you were, you know, seventeen or eighteen, you could get an ID that says you’re nineteen and get into the clubs. These guys, the Dead End Kids played this song called, “Midnight Moses” and it was really cool. It was a big part of their show. Later I found out it was a cover. I forgot about that song for twenty, thirty years. Then all of a sudden, The Dead Daisies came out and they're playing it. John Corabi is on vocals, Brian Tichy and Marco (Mendoza). I was like, oh man, John, finally he remembered about the song and it's great. It's really cool. At the end of 2015, they called me and said Richard (Fortus) and Dizzy (Reed) were going back to the reformed Guns N' Roses and the Dead Daisies wanted to make a new record. They asked if I would be interested in doing the album and a tour. And that was six years ago now.

Brent: When you joined the band in 2016 for Makes Some Noise, I think you were a great fit for the band guitar and sound wise, I mean, who doesn't love the classic Gibson/Mashall rock sound?

Doug Aldrich: Thanks man. That's been my go-to for a long time. Marti Frederiksen, who was the Producer on Make Some Noise, said, let's go for a really raw sound. Let's put Doug on the left, David on the right and Marco and drums in the middle and let's just make a straight up kick ass rock record. That's so that's what we went for on that.

Brent: It was the right direction.

Doug Aldrich: Yeah, the album did really good. Makes Some Noise itself we composed in mind for using it along with sporting events. We got it into football as some football teams were using it, NASCAR was using it and the Yankees even used it. So, it was pretty cool.

Brent: “Long Way To Go” makes you crank the volume. “Song and a Prayer” is a cool and standout track. “Freedom” just rips.

Doug Aldrich: I need to listen to that one again. It's been a while. We still play “Long Way To Go” off that album. I think that's the only one we’re doing live off that album, but that album did have some cool songs. We were doing “Song and a Prayer” last year, but as we keep making new albums, we are moving the new songs in.

Brent: So where does that intensity come from? Who inspires you?

Doug Aldrich: I started playing guitar when I was 11. I was inspired by both my younger sister and my older sister, who had record collections, record players and headphones. I would crank my older sister’s Jeff Beck record. Jeff Beck “Blow by Blow” is still one of my top five. It's just got an amazing feel and it's just incredible. His playing on that it…doesn't need vocals for that reason. Of course, I loved Jimmy Page, Ritchie Blackmore, Jimi Hendrix and Peter Frampton were on the radio when I was a kid.

So, those were the main guys. Oh yeah, you also got Pete Townshend and Jeff Beck. Later on, there were guys like Gary Moore and Randy Rhodes and obviously Eddie (Van Halen) came in oh yeah. Big time. I love all that stuff. I love some progressive like Rush. When I discovered Rush, I kind of went back and listened to all their stuff and really loved them.

Brent: Cool. So, let’s talk about the new Dead Daisies record, Radiance and your US headlining tour.

Doug Aldrich: Yeah.

Brent: The lead off track, “Face Your Fear” starts the album off strong. That song gives Glenn a great place to shine vocally.

Doug Aldrich: It's got a nice vibe to it. It's kind a groovy track. It's kind of bluesy it's just, you know, starts off the album. We're not trying to like to create a typical thing like we always thought of doing in the past and just go for a kick rocker first. We wanted this album to be about, you know, facing your fear and shining through white light, having yourself radiant through your soul. And it just felt like a cool different way to start.

Brent: “Kiss the Sun” is a cool one that has a moody element about it. I dug the talk box and electronics fused intro not to mention the guitar solo on that one is killer.

Doug Aldrich: Yeah, I love that groove too, because it's just super solid and fat. It's an interesting tune. It's kind of a sleeper track and one of my favorites on the album. It doesn't have like a big chorus to it. It's got like a buildup, pre chorus and then the chorus is just a throwaway line is kiss of sun and then goes back to the riff. So, it's just simple. But I really like it.

Brent: “Roll On” is another good one. There's a lot going on with that track and there is a certain beauty about it. The cleaner tone direction stands out from the rest of the record, but it still sounds big. You can be almost hear that one being stripped down acoustic wise, but still being sound just as big.

Doug Aldrich: Absolutely. That's a good idea. Maybe we'll do that. I really enjoy that song too, Glenn and I really wanted that to be on the album. We recorded 13 songs and the album itself is going to have 10 so that it be a big sounding vinyl, but not stacking it with too much material. We've got three other songs that are going to come out along with the album, but “Roll On” is a great way, a nice way to end the album.

Brent: What new songs are you most excited to play on the road?

Doug Aldrich: We just came home from Europe. We did a two month, two and a half months run in Europe, and we had been playing “Radiance”. That was the first single we put out and it just kicked ass live it's so it's almost hypnotic in a way.

Brent: It's heavy for sure. And it will definitely be a good one live.

Doug Aldrich: It went over great from the get-go. We were supporting Judas Priest and right from the get-go that riff was happening. We were also doing “Shine On”, which is the second single and that was a bit different type of song. That one was just more straight up heavy, you know? That went over great live as well. So now for the US run, we're going to be doing those two songs and add in two more one being “Hypnotize Yourself”, which is the single out now and “Face Your Fear” looks like it's going to be on there as well.

So super excited about that. We have four songs from the new album, which we're going to do and four songs from Holy Ground that we're going to do. Then we’re going to do like six or seven songs from the previous Dead Daisies’ albums. We're also going to do a couple of Deep Purple songs that Glenn was on. And it's part of our show, you know, to kind of sometimes throw in a few covers. Those Deep Purple songs are awesome. 

Brent: Glenn has alot of history.

Doug Aldrich: Absolutely. 

Brent: So, you all got the US Fall tour coming up and you got the new album, Radiance coming out on September 30th. What are the plans past that? 

Doug Aldrich: Right now, we're just super excited about playing the US shows. We have the show in Portland coming up. I think it's the second to last show of the tour.

Brent: Yes. It's at the Bossanova Ballroom on September 23rd.  

Doug Aldrich: We're very excited about that. We love going to the, you know, West Coast, its beautiful up there. Great crowds. Last time we played there in Portland, it was insane. You know, it was just after the pandemic, the first time we could get back on the road and we had a blast. Now, we got this US run. It starts September 7th in Vineland, New Jersey.

It's like a week away. We're just getting ready to fly and go to New York, have a couple days of rehearsals and then we'll get to it. Then, we have a little time off. We'll probably do some writing and stuff to stay busy, but in December we got a couple, three weeks of shows in the UK. That's going to wrap things up for this year. 

Brent: Its honestly nice having you all come back to the Portland area. Portland sadly missed out on previous tours and hadn't seen the band in a while. After the Dead Daisies' played UPROAR in 2013, it wasn't until the Holy Ground tour with Glenn, that we were able to get you all back. I am just grateful that the band is coming back and we're looking forward to hearing the new songs live. 

Doug Aldrich: Yeah man, we're excited and it's coming up. It's going to be fun and we're really tight. We've got Brian (Tichy) back in the band. Him and Glenn are ferocious and then you got David Lowy and myself on guitars. It's interesting too because it's a situation for Glenn where he's never really had a two-guitar player band doing those Deep Purple songs and they are great. David's playing the keyboard parts and I am playing (Richie) Blackmore's parts. It's just a different sound that you'll get to hear.

Brent: There has to be different dynamics within the group now that Glenn Hughes came in as both the singer and bass player. 

Doug Aldrich: Absolutely.  

Brent: After a few listens to the new album, I can honestly say it's a great record. I am also looking forward to the Portland show. Be careful too. COVID is still floating around to a certain degree, so I wish you all the best and stay safe. We need you guys healthy and rocking. 

Doug Aldrich: Yeah. Definitely. When we were in Europe, we had a couple of bouts with COVID. We had to stop and do a week off in Luxemburg and recover. We missed two big festivals. Actually, that was a bummer. We missed the Hellfest and Graspop Festivals, but we got back to it and made it through the tour. We're very lucky, but yeah, it's out there and we just have to deal with it.

I was asked on a radio show the other day with Eddie Trunk and I said, "Eddie, if you were a band leader and one of your guys tested positive, are you going to pack it in and go home or have the guy isolate and wear a mask?" And he goes "Absolutely, man". I want to keep going. That's what we got to do. If somebody gets sick, they got to wear a mask and they got to isolate as much as possible. We got to carry on. I got COVID during that time in Europe and it was just the sniffles because I was vaccinated, but we just got to live with it. 

Brent: Agreed

Doug Aldrich: Music. We need it. 

Brent: We definitely need music. Again, I hope the record does well for you all. There's a lot of talent in this band. The Dead Daisies are truly a great rock n' roll band. 

Doug Aldrich: Well thank you bro. I appreciate your support and we all do. We look forward to seeing you on the 23rd. 


For more info on the Dead Daisies

For more info on the show at the Bossanova Ballroom

The Dead Daisies - Radiance (Meta Cinematic)


The Dead Daisies - Shine On (Official Video)

The Dead Daisies - Hypnotize Yourself (Official Lyric Video)

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