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TYKETTO DANNY VAUGHN INTERVIEW 2014

HARD ROCK INTERVIEWS 2014 - TYKETTO VOCALIST - DANNY VAUGHN

INTERVIEW OF THE MONTH!

 

TYKETTO

Celebrates 25 Years this year, with a UK Tour, Festival dates and a DVD Documentary!

Danny Vaughn Spoke to the Rockpit!

 

MARCH 2014

Tyketto was the band that should have been huge with songs most bands would die for and a vocalist with one of the best voices in the business. It was all a case of timing. This year Tyketto celebrates its 25th Anniversary with a UK tour, Festivals dates and a Documentary DVD. We caught up with Danny in rehersals for the UK Tour...


Mark: Hi, thanks for taking the time to speak to us, especially during rehearsals, how are they going?


Danny: Rather amazing, actually! It’s always a bit of a grey area when you’re waltzing in a new player, because you know what someone’s abilities are, and have no doubt that they can do the part, but there’s that certain invisible something that you can’t predict, as to whether or not people are going to lock when they play together. Chris Green and Michael, I think are starting a love affair!! It’s gone so well, it’s quite impressive, and Jimi has just got in today, so the next couple of rehearsals are full force!!


Mark: Do you have Bobby on the tour as well?


Danny: No, it’s kind of a revolving door with us lately, because Tyketto is not a full time concern, and most of the guys that are involved have jobs and families, and so you can’t get away for two or three weeks at a time, so we’ll squeeze out a few gigs here and there. Bobby has gone into a whole new line, he’s in computer graphics, and so we’ve been using Ged Rylands for the last two tours, he’s the keyboard player for Ten.


Mark: Yeah, he’s busy at the moment with a few projects on the go.


Danny: Yeah, it just seemed such a natural fit, as I worked with him with Rage of Angels, and he worked with me on my solo tour, he’s such a “go to” guy, as long as he’s available, we love using him.


Mark: What a fantastic double bill, to see Tyketto and Bonfire together, amazing! Two of my all-time favourite shows at Rock City in Nottingham, were when you blew White Lion off stage!


Danny: No comment!!


Mark: I remember you being amazed that everyone in the crowd knew the words to your songs!! I don’t think the album had been out very long at that point!


Danny: That’s a very apt description of the entire trip, because the first show of that tour was St David’s Hall in Wales, and I remember giving the guys a pep talk, and saying just to go out there and play their best, no one’s going to know or care, half of them are going to be in the bar, we’ve just got to do our job, which was my experience in Waysted and opening up for Status Quo. We were not welcome and people didn’t want to hear us, and it was exactly the opposite!! Everybody knew, at least, “Forever Young”, so the reception was big, and what I remember a lot about Rock City, was it was run by a gentleman called Andy Copping, and that was his baby. I remember him coming in and introducing himself and the thing about, Andy, amongst the many people I have met in the music industry, he is one of those rare birds that tell you the truth, he says what he can and cannot do, and what he will and will not do, and he sticks to either one! He came in and said I want you to know something, not only am I a fan of the band, but I could have sold this out without White Lion tonight! So, you guys go out there and kick it!! We got such a tremendous reaction, so we’ve been close with him ever since. This is our second appearance at Download, and it’s such a great time because of the whole 25th anniversary, DVD and all that stuff.


Mark: That was one of the questions I was going to ask you, about the 25th anniversary, from my estimation, you formed in about ’87, the first album was out in 1991, I think everyone was on board in ’88.


Danny: We formed actually in ’88, I think ’87 was when I probably met Michael, and we started talking about working together at some point, but I don’t think we actually did anything till about ’88 or even ’89, I can’t quite remember. We sort of go from ’89, because that’s when we stopped talking about it and actively started looking for guitar players, and it’s when Tyketto actually came in to existence.


Mark: It was one of the all-time great debut albums, are you going to play the whole album on tour, or a back catalogue of stuff?


Danny: Well, no, because “Dig in Deep” hasn’t really got a fair shake, live yet, so last time we played we did maybe two songs or three, this time there’ll be four or five, we hope more people will have had time to digest the album. If we do something like the 25th anniversary of “Don’t Come Easy”, which will be in two years’ time, we will probably play it back to front, but to be honest we normally play just about every song on it anyway!


Mark: I guess you don’t get to slip in any 'Vaughn' songs on the tour?


Danny: I never felt as though it was appropriate, to be honest. Tyketto has enough material that we can keep juggling, particularly now with “Dig in Deep”, where we can keep it from feeling stale from ourselves, that’s the worst thing that can happen on stage, that the band gets tired of playing the same old songs! I was quite surprised with the DVD; Michael did use some of my solo stuff, for some of the backing music on it.


Mark: That is one of the things I am excited about; I haven’t had a chance to see it yet, is it just available to buy direct?


Danny: Just direct, we are pretty much doing it off our own back, and of course at shows wherever we are playing. The first thing that needs to be said about the DVD is that it is Michael’s baby. I’m responsible for it in the sense that I was the bands chronicler over those years! When I moved to Europe there were a lot of things that couldn’t come with me, and there was a box of VHS cassettes, that’s what we had, because all we had back then was a camcorder the size of the steady cams they use to make TV shows!! I just taped a lot of stuff and then as boys will be boys, you get a bit bored in hotel rooms and everyone tries their hand at sketch comedy, and so all this stuff just went into his basement. At one point he started looking at it, and then I’d get an e mail about the things we had on film. We always hoped we would film a live show, that’s what the fans really wanted, a live Tyketto DVD, and we hadn’t done that yet, and that was what we initially thought, maybe there’s enough live footage in here, from various gigs, to put together a conglomerate of a live show. Then he came back to me a week or two later and said there’s something else going on in here, there’s a story here, maybe not the equivalent of the Anvil thing, but it’s a really good story, we should really try and get it to VH1, and let them have a look and see, because it’s the story of a band that didn’t quite make it! Tyketto is more famous, by word of mouth, than by record sales, we got mentioned alongside other bands, if you were into Tyketto you were into Winger, Poison, Danger Danger, and they are all platinum selling bands, we were never close to that! We just had a tremendous reputation because at every live show we gave it what we had! So, something got built up in this story, about how close we came, and that the “Wings” video we paid for ourselves because the record company turned their backs on us, so we took our last advance money and spent it on that, and it’s that kind of thing that turned it into a really good story. I’m really pleased because I’m starting to see fans reactions on Facebook, because those are the reviews that really matter to me.

Mark: Let’s try and sell a few of these DVD’s then! What are some of your favourite moments on there, or maybe things you’d forgotten about over the years?


Danny: I can name my personal single favourites, simply because I never knew the camera was rolling! I thought I was the only person who picked up a camera when we were in the studio recording “Don’t Come Easy”, so we’ve got quite a bit of footage of Michael cutting drum tracks, and getting guitar sounds, but I didn’t know there was anything of me, but there’s a section of me doing the acoustic guitar in “Seasons”. It isn’t much really to look at, but for me, it put me right back in the room, and it was kind of “teary”, because when you get such evidence of where you’ve been and what you’ve done it puts you back in the moment. There’s a lot of silly shit on this DVD, and I remembered doing it, but there were bits where I had to step back, and your past is suddenly in your living room, it blows your mind!!


Mark: Sounds amazing, we’ll stick a link up on the website for that, definitely!


Danny: On top of that, the documentary is 90 minutes, and also in 2011 we did a World Wide Web show.


Mark; Yeah, you’re right that was a fantastic show!


Danny: Well, that’s on there as well. So anyone who didn’t get to see it, the full show is on there on a separate DVD, and we also did the “Wings” video as a pop up video with all kinds of useless facts, and funny shit!! It’s also got all of our video blogs that we did when we were making “Dig in Deep”, so there’s a lot of stuff in there, it’s not just a single sitting!


Mark: So which songs are you likely to play from “Dig in Deep”? It was a great comeback album after, what, 18 years?!


Danny: Yeah, we are having a lot of fun with it. Right now, “Faithless”, “Dig in Deep”, “Here’s Hoping it Hurts”, I think that’s it for now, we were toying with “Battle Lines” but we felt it was slowing the set down a little bit.


Mark; Are there any songs from the back catalogue that you wish you just didn’t have to play again??


Danny: Usually we don’t play them!!


Mark: Good answer!!


Danny: I went through a real love/hate period with “Forever Young”, just because there comes a point where it becomes a bit dated, at this point in my life I’m 52, and standing up there yelling forever young, seems a bit silly!! But, I took a lesson from Sting on that one, they said no matter what style you play, classical or jazz, or rock, you have to play “Roxanne”, don’t you get tired of “Roxanne”? He just smiled and said you know that lady’s been very, very good to me! so for a while I thought, Fuck, “Forever Young”, I’d had it, but someone drummed some sense in to my head, it’s hard to imagine that something you’ve written means something to somebody else, I don’t know if that makes sense?

Mark: Yes it does. It was a song that meant something to me, as we emigrated to Australia shortly after we saw you with White Lion, and for me it was one of the moments that stayed with me about the UK, it’s a great song! One of the questions we got from the internet, from the UK, was, is the tour likely to be extended?


Danny: Not this time. Here’s the thing, going back to what I said earlier, we have very limited availability from someone like, Jimi who has a job, so this is a very compact run. The internet is the land of the invisible opinion; everyone feels they can say whatever the hell they want, because there is no repercussion. And what drives musicians crazy, more than anything else on the planet, is when you announce your tour dates, and the first comments are “Oh, you’re not playing up here!!!” That’s because nobody gives a shit, as to how hard it is to book dates in the first place!! Once you start explaining this, everyone starts yawning and walking away!! It’s a hard thing, and it drives us crazy, only because live shows are kind of all we have left now, let’s face it, nobody’s buying music anymore. With the economy as it is, music is going to die out, unless people go to shows, and you’re going to have to travel a bit sometimes, it just can’t be helped. But to answer the question, we are going to come back in November, we’re going to play some stuff, but, it’s primarily going to be Europe as far as I know, but I have a feeling we will do a couple of kick off dates in the UK, and hit an area that we’ve not been able to on this trip. There’s nothing confirmed yet, we’d love to do a show at Rock City, and we’d have to do one in the north, my vote would be Newcastle.


Mark: I remember when you played the Mayfair there, it was a great show.


Danny: I think it was the last date of the tour, and I remember the roadies started taking our gear off the stage while we were still playing!! We had to get down to Heathrow and catch a flight!!


Mark: Now this is a question I had never thought of, and someone asked, the name Tyketto, is it really a group of Japanese gangsters or something similar??


Danny: I’m surprised everybody doesn’t know that by now!! The first gig we played as Tyketto, we called the venue up so that they could put an advert in the paper, and the advert came out, and they wrote Krakatoa!!! We did like every other band does, you end up sitting in a room, looking around and saying what about lamp? Lamp’s a good name!! You get so tired of trying to find something meaningful, and Brooke had seen the word Tyketto spray painted on a wall in a very dodgy section of Brooklyn, and he said he’d seen this word and it sounded cool, and we said yeah, after all what the fuck is a Def Leppard?!!! So we said we’ll take that, and it just stuck!


Mark: You mentioned Download, you’re on the bill again, the first time in a few years, 13th of June, are you going to be catching up with a few people, Tesla are there also.


Danny: Yeah, as well as that we are doing the Monsters of Rock cruise; it’s going to be one big reunion this year. On the cruise I pretty much know everybody there in one form or another, I’ll get to see Johnny Dee, who’s Doro’s drummer, and he was Waysted’s drummer, we became very close and we are always in contact, but I haven’t actually seen him for twenty years! It’s unbelievable.


Mark: That is a fantastic cruise for anyone who loves that kind of music.


Danny: I’m looking forward to it; it’s going to be a lot of fun.

Mark: So what are your plans for the rest of the year and beyond? You have the Tyketto dates, the DVD release; I imagine you have other things up your sleeve!

 

Danny: The older I get, the busier I get, and it’s unbelievable! I keep thinking it might be time to retire, but no, it’s not going to happen! I am in four bands currently, so working with Tyketto, and thinking very seriously about getting a new solo album together, it’s about time, but I have also done this Burning Kingdom album, and we’ve done some dates with them, and I think there’ll be more stuff with them, possibly South America with them. Of course I’m also with the world’s greatest Eagles tribute band, The Ultimate Eagles, if I do say so myself!! That is an ongoing thing, we have a full UK tour in September/October, and it’s all in the big theatres, like Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, Nottingham Royal Centre, we’re doing the full “Hell Freezes Over” set this year, so it’s busy!

 

Mark: What made you decide you wanted to be in a rock and roll band? Was there a defining moment for you?


Danny: I’d say there were probably a couple, I think like most people you start playing with your mates, someone’s got a guitar, someone’s got drums, and you think this is fun! The first time I remember being hit by the thunderbolt, and saying, this is what I want to do, was at a Blackfoot concert, they were the band that did it for me! They were so much larger than life, they were big guys anyway, they were all big American Indians on top of that, which of course, I was starry eyed about that. They had this thing, and it was the first time I had ever seen it, in my young life, where Charlie Hargrett, in particular, would hit a chord, and then point at someone in the audience, and I thought, wow, what a connection! I walked out of there absolutely tingling, and thrilled and Rickey Medlocke is still one of my heroes, he has such a command, and I thought I want to do that!! That was the first time it went from having a lot of fun playing some songs with my buddies, to wait a minute, I want to do this, I want to be a rock star!


Mark: Can music change the world?


Danny: I think it always does. If you mean can music change the world and fix all the shit we’re in, probably not, but does it keep us from going off the cliff? Yes, no question about it.


Mark: Well, Danny, it’s been wonderful to talk to you, thanks for taking the time, take care, and good luck with the tour.


Danny: Thanks, man, I appreciate it, take care, bye bye.

 

 

Danny Vaughn spoke to Mark Diggins March 2014

 

 

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