Interview THE DEAD DAISIES
Doug Aldritch (guitar) & Marco Mendoza (bass) – Saturday 17 June 2017
“We are just interested in spreading the message, planting some seeds, cultivating some friendship” – Marco Mendoza.
My first question today is the same than the first question I asked you when we met last December: what’s the last bit of music you listened to?
Doug: Yesterday I listened to Journey’s Escape. With Neal Schon. It’s a great record. I hadn’t listened to that record for 25 years. So I listened to it yesterday and it’s really nice.
Marco: To be honest, at the moment, we’re writing some music for the next album and we’re also reviewing songs here. Loads of learning, memorizing songs. My time’s been quite short as we’re working. The focus is here, right now
Is that Hellfest 2017 experience up to your expectations?
Doug: I love it, man. I’ve been here once before (with Whitesnake) and I remembered it was very well organised. People were very friendly too. And the other thing is that I have a lot of friends in France and in Paris. So Hellfest is like a reunion, meeting with friends that I’ve known since the 90s.
Marco: It’s really cool. It’s one of the best put together festivals on the planet right now. To have an opportunity to come and play here is great. I love Hellfest.
Did you enjoy your show?
Doug: The show was great and the audience was great too. It was really big. I don’t know how many people. A great turn out. We really appreciated the support and wished we could play a little longer but it was great.
Not too disappointed to have such an early slot?
Doug: No. I mean it happens like that and you have to prove yourself. And we had a great show anyway. So hopefully next time we’ll play a little longer with a couple more songs.
Marco: No matter how you look at it, we’re still a new band. Even though we come from wherever, we have the credentials, the history or whatever, you still have to prove yourself and earn it. I’m for the challenge and I think we did well and that the audience liked it.
Why such festivals don’t seem to be so popular in the States?
Doug: Now, there’s a lot of festivals actually but something about these festivals feels more… important or something, I don’t know. It just feels like the fans know the bands they wanna see, they’re really into them. Maybe in the States it’s a little different. You’ve got stuff like Rocklahoma which is kind of cool. It’s pretty cool. But I mean it’s a newer festival. I guess Hellfest is kind of new too, right? 10 years of something ? OK, eleven years. And now, everybody wants to play Hellfest. In the US there’s a lot of festivals but they are all pretty new.
So, as Marco said, you’re currently working on some new material. What’s the ambition? Is it going to sound like Make Some Noise?
Marco: I think after a little bit of time together in the studio and all that, we’ve been trying to shape the Dead Daisies sound and I think that we captured that in Make Some Noise and previously. We’ve found our directions. And bottom line, it’s about good songs, that’s what it is. We’re talking about having good songs that are going to make the audience have a great time with a nice message, good lyrics and good melodies, nice playing. I’m really happy to be surrounded by the best guitar player, the best drummer, the best singer, you know. And David Lowry, our founder, he’s got riffs, ideas… So we’ve got a good team. We already have a sound, the Dead Daisies sound. We already have a sound but we have to develop it, you know. With loads of margaritas!
Doug: It’s always good to expand. It sounds like us. We’ve got tons of ideas between us. But the cool thing about the Dead Daisies is that we can just sit down together and figure the songs out together. We just record the basic ideas and we move on to another one. We keep moving on. We don’t really know what it’s gonna be like until we sit down and write it. We know we’re not going to do something unless it’s good: we’re only gonna do it if it’s good.
You just released a live CD with a behind the scenes DVD. Was that DVD made for yourselves or for the fans?
Doug: To be honest; I haven’t seen the DVD yet so I don’t know exactly what’s on it. I think it’s mostly for the fans, you know. We don’t really watch ourselves, stuff like that. We try to include the fans on everything. So the DVD got a lot of behind the scenes stuff: interviews, funny things, etc. It makes the fans feel like they’re part of the inside circle. We really try to have the fans feel like going together through the process. It’s important to keep the fans’ interest, you know.
I’ve always been amazed by the time and importance dedicated to your fans. Is it some kind of compulsory duty for you?
Doug: Marco is the best!
Marco: It’s just a way of showing appreciation. I grew up like that, you know. I’m a people guy, social: I like to talk, I’m a butterfly. Sometimes, I have to bring it back as it gets me into trouble. Loads of bands are charging for this, charging for that… We are just interested in spreading the message, planting some seeds, cultivating some friendship. So you can come on board and have a safe journey with us. Of course, sometimes you’re really tired like you’re sweating bullets. Last night, we played the hardest fricking gig ever. We were melting. I thought I could piss my pants. Wet, wet, wet. We just said “15 mins to cool down”. But they’re waiting for you. So it’s not a duty, it’s a pleasure to just go and say “thanks for your support”. And I think that’s part of the identity of this band. As far as the live DVD: this band is a live band. We like to have fun onstage. We’re constantly working on it: “let’s do this, let’s change that, that works, let’s keep that, let’s get rid of that”. We want to… Steel Panther – I have to bring it up… They’re our friends. We’ve seen them through the whole thing. I saw them at Sweden Rock: they kicked butt, man. The thing they do, it’s just entertaining, funny: it’s just great, man. So we’re trying to perform and provide the best show possible. And we take time to go signing, saying “hello”, “merci beaucoup”, “à bientôt” and “we will see you next time”.
I really enjoyed your show earlier on, but I really do have a major complaint: you didn’t play “A Song And A Prayer”. To me, it’s your best song. Why didn’t you play it today?
Doug: Yeah, we didn’t have time. But it would have been fun. So that’s your favourite? Why?
Definitely. I like everything about it: the music, the way it develops, the way it’s sung, the lyrics, everything.
Marco & Doug: (singing)
I got a song and a prayer for the dying
Wherever you go, whatever you do
You gotta be strong, you gotta keep trying
I got a song and a prayer for you
Marco: There you go!
Many thanks to Olivier Garnier & Roger Wessier (Replica).