segunda-feira, 14 de agosto de 2023

Interview - Danny Vaughn: The Voice of Tyketto talks about The Band, career, and gigs in Brazil


After 15 of his last visit to Brazil, the voice of Tyketto, Danny Vaughn, will return to the country soon for three presentations, one of them, in SP (19/08), with tickets sold out. But for those who couldn't get a ticket for that first date in São Paulo, you can buy a ticket for the show the next day (20/08) with a totally different setlist. (acesse aqui a versão em português)

Danny Vaughn began to gain worldwide fame after the release of Tyketto's first album, "Don't Come Easy", that will be played in full in all concerts here in Brazil.

Before joining Tyketto, Danny was lead singer of Waysted, a band formed by the late and legendary bassist of UFO, Pete Way. When there are no commitments with Tyketto, Danny invests in his solo career and in acoustic shows in Europe and Spain, countrie where he has lived since 2009.

Before leaving for Brazil, the vocalist made some of his time available to us at Road To Metal to talk about the pandemic period, the beginnings of Tyketto, expectations for the shows here in Brazil and some other curiosities.

RtM: Thank you Danny for taking the time to talk to us and answer some questions. To begin with, I would like to know how his life was during the Covid-19 pandemic?
Danny: Hi Gabriel! How nice to talk to you. The pandemic has been a long story for all of us... At first it was a little scary, but there was also something liberating about it.

In Spain, we was locked in our homes for 47 days. Everything got difficult quickly. Then there was the time of real crisis, both national and personal, but there was also a renaissance.

RtM: You've been living in Spain for a while, what motivated you to leave Cleveland to experience the Spanish atmosphere?

Danny: I was born in Cleveland, but my parents leave there when I was less than a year old. We had to live in many countries, but I always think of myself as a New Yorker, because we moved there when I was seven and lived there until my twenties. I have lived in various places in the United States, but I moved to Ireland in 2004 and then, in 2009, to Spain. I love it here.

RtM: We also remind you that you recorded an album with the Spanish band Burning Kingdom, with guitarist Manoel Seoane (Delalma, who also played with Mago de Oz). Tell us how this experience was, and talk a little about this work.

Danny: I loved working with Manoel. He is one of the kindest souls you will ever meet. He is a brilliant and talented musician. They called me for this project because their singer had taken a lot of money and disappeared with the money. A mutual friend asked me if I was available to go to Madrid and help Manoel.

The worst part was that all the work was already recorded, so very little could be transformed. I had to write the lyrics and melodies to fit in with pre-existing work. It was very difficult, but I was happy with the result of the songs. Not very happy with the production and label.

RtM: A great Brazilian vocalist, who released an album on Frontiers Records two years ago, Alirio Netto, is also living in Spain. Because Hard Rock was more present in Europe than in the United States, was that also one of the reasons for moving to Europe?
Danny: Yes, a lot. I knew that I could continue my career in Europe, but not in the United States. I've always thought that in Europe and South America fans have a great memory, and they don't forget you when music scenary changes.

RtM: I was researching about you and I saw that we have similarities in some things... And both I, Gabriel Arruda, and you, were born in the month of July. I usually say that good people are born in this month (laughs). And the other coincidence is that you are the same age as my father.

Danny: So I'm the same age as your father? I don't know how I feel about it (laughs). Seriously, thanks for the kind words.

RtM: Last month you turned sixty-two years old. Fans of yours here in Brazil say you're singing a lot more and looking in better shape than when you were younger. Has going vegan helped keep you looking young, as well as, of course, keeping your vocal health in good shape?

Danny: I don't know if I look healthier than I did starting Tyketto, but I do know that I feel good for my age. I became vegan seven years ago and it has had many positive effects on my life. I definitely feel like I'm a stronger singer because of my diet.

Last year I had started eating fish again, so I don't call myself a vegan anymore. But I still don't eat other types of meat dairy products. I don't tell people what to eat, but this change worked for me. I am also in a wonderful marriage that has lasted 14 years and when you have your partner's full support it takes a huge weight off your shoulders.

And for being born in July (in the United States), our mothers will never allow us for being born in the hottest month of the year! Ha ha ha!

RtM: “Don’t Come Easy”, Tyketto’s debut album, is already over 30 years old. But the album came out at a time when grunge was dominating the music business. Do you believe that if the album had been released in the eighties the repercussion would have been better?

Danny: I believe so. The release of the album was delayed by Geffen Records because they were in the process of selling to Universal, so everything on the release list was pulled back. It cost us a lot.

RtM: Time was good for "Don't Come Easy", because the record still sounds current nowadays and is considered one of the best works in the history of Hard Rock. What were the best memories from that time when you released the album?

Danny: Well that was a long time ago. I have a vague memory of that. But I do remember that the day the album came out, some girls who were already fans of the band and knew where we lived – and we all lived in the same house on Staten Island at the time – went to Brooke, rang the bell and asked us to sign your albums. We love it.

RtM: “Forever Young” and “Wings” are the songs that open the work and the ones that made – and still make – more success among the fans. The album as a whole is spectacular, but most associate it with these two songs. After the launch, did you imagine that they would be so successful? And taking the opportunity, tell us how was the composition process of this two songs?

Danny: When you're a young musician, on the verge of becoming a rock star, your ego tells you that everything you do will be a huge hit and everyone will love it. But there's also that inner voice that tells you how much of your success comes from your luck.

I would argue that "Standing Alone" would be more impactful to people over the years than "Wings" or "Forever Young". Anyway, all we knew was that we had made a strong album. One we would have bought if someone else had made it.

We wrote all the songs with a lot of concentration and time, rehearsed almost every day and wrote and wrote until we had what we thought were the best ideas we could come up with. Some were fast, like “Wings”. “Forever Young” took forever. Everyone had ideas and opinions to use.

RtM: The way of consuming music has changed in recent decades, with streaming platforms having their positive and negative sides. How do you rate this issue? Many artists say that the values passed on are unfair, having this as one of the main negative points. On the other hand, have these platforms gained Tyketto, and of course you, a new fan base around the world?
Danny: You're never sure. Streaming across the music scene is a double-edged sword. Artists can achieve greater reach, but not make any money from it. Occasionally this will degrade our music quality.

RtM: In a few days, fans from Curitiba and São Paulo will watch and listen to “Don’t Come Easy” in its entirety. The songs that I am, and I think most are also, waiting to watch and hear live are “Lay Your Body Down”, “Nothing But Love” and “Strip Me Down”. Is there a particular song from this album that you enjoy singing live?

Danny: None in particular, although I had a lot of fun with “Sail Away”. It depends on the audience. I like it when people come and sing and clap and dance and let it all roll. A great show is a partnership between the band and the audience.

RtM: “Seasons”, “Standing Alone” – song that has one of your most praised vocal performances – and “Walk On Fire” are others that I'm looking forward to hearing live. And they refer a lot to the influence of Led Zeppelin and The Eagles, bands that were part of their musical formation. Tell us a little about them.

Danny: They really were an influence. I think that was part of the magic of the first album. We all have different tastes. Michael and I are more 70's, we like Led Zeppelin, Rolling Stones, Montrose and Grand Funk Railroad. Brooke was the expert on great guitarists like EVH and George Lynch. And yet we listened to newly formed bands like Night Ranger. Somehow we mixed it all together.

RtM: It won't be the first time that "Don't Come Easy" will be played in its entirety. One of these events is recorded on the live CD/DVD “Live from Milan”, only played in reverse. Will this feat be repeated here in Brazil – so that no one leaves after “Forever Young” and “Wings” – or will this time be chronologically?Danny: Well, a while ago, the Eagles learned the hard way that they shouldn't open with Hotel California. Many people's interest waned after their favorite song had already been played. I don't know what order we'll play it, but you can be sure that “Forever Young” won't be the first.

RtM: The last time you and Tyketto were here at Brazil was in 2008 at Hard In Rio, in Rio de Janeiro. You once said that you had the desire to perform in São Paulo, and that desire will come true soon thanks to Carlos Chiaroni, from Animal Records, together with the people from On Stage Agência. How were the negotiations for this show?

Danny: It was easy. Yes, Carlos is always in touch and we always talk about making it happen. But Rodrigo [Scelza] is the guy who brought us in last time and he's a great promoter. So when he got in touch the conversation was simple:

"Rodrigo: I want you to do 3 shows in Brazil this summer."

"Me: Absolutely!"

RtM: Tyketto's last album is “Reach”. In interviews you say that you have a greater appreciation for it than with “Don’t Come Easy”. The album would be a perfect (and natural) evolution if it had come after "Don't Come Easy". Comment about it.

Danny: Actually, I think this is the best Tyketto album. We were older, we were smarter and we were also really excited because we had Chris Green, Chris Childs and Ged Rylands in a studio for the first time.

We had already been on tour together and at that point we were ready to record. It was very exciting to make an album the old-fashioned way, living in a studio in Wales and having no distractions. Rockfield Studio helped us make such a great album.

RtM: Now a little about your beginnings in music, tell us who were your main inspirations and when and how you felt in your first experience on stage.
Danny: I'm inspired by anything and every kind of music. I love sound creation. It hypnotizes me. My parents had a huge, weird assortment of records, so I was exposed to music pretty early on. My first time on stage was at the age of 11 in the school choir.

I was a noisy, busy kid and they were trying to focus me on something. After 2 months of being in the choir I did a solo. We performed in church in front of my family and friends, it was Christmas performance.

And when my solo came, suddenly everyone was looking around to see where that voice was coming from, I had the attention of the whole church and I was moved!!

RtM: What a cool story Danny, thanks for sharing. Well, finally, can we expect a new Tyketto album in the near future? And what other projects do you have going on?

Danny: Now that Tyketto is coming back stronger than ever, we'll start working on new music and soon on a new album. I keep busy doing acoustic solo shows and these private shows around the world. It's a completely different experience than playing with a band, but I'm enjoying it. I have several shows booked in the fall in America.

RtM: Thank you very much for giving us your time with us. See you soon here in São Paulo...

Danny: Thanks Gabriel! I can't wait to play in Brazil.

Interview: Gabriel Arruda (with the collaboration of Carlos Garcia)

Editing / Proofreading: Carlos Garcia

Photos: Disclosure

Thanks: Ricardo Batalha (Editor-in-Chief of Roadie Crew magazine / ASE Music Press), Rodrigo Scelza and Filipe Barcelos (On Stage Agency)

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