One of artists who will perform at the United Forces Of Rock festival '06 is Danny Vaughn. This former vocalist of Waysted, Tyketto, Flesh & Blood, From The Inside and Vaughn has a new band called... Danny Vaughn!?

How are you doing? What's going on in the world of Danny Vaughn today?

Danny: Today? Well, I brokered a peace treaty in the middle east by 10 am, then on to giving Tiger Woods his weekly pep talk (what would he do without me?), then on to teaching a seminar in advanced biophysics, before preparing my own gourmet recipe of Duck Lorange for a gathering of 20 people in the lobby of the Louvre museum. Tonight I'll be shooting pool with Johnny Depp in Sri Lanka. Oh wait! Scratch that. Today I painted the living room.

Your soon to be released album will be called "Traveller". How did you end up with this title?

Danny: This album is unique in several places because, for the first time, I had concepts for things. I am not a concept person usually, but I knew what the album title would be even before I wrote the song to go with it. "Traveller" is about myself and people like me. People that keep moving throughout their lives and never seem to completely settle in one place and yet can adjust to almost anyplace. Outsiders, if you will.

"Traveller" will include altogether 13 tracks. How would you describe the new album overall?

Danny: I just listened to it today for the first time in a couple of weeks and I'll say it loud and proud: Its the best album I've ever done! On this one I was also the producer and that was a burden at times but, again, I got to implement concepts that I had been wanting to try for a long time and they turned out, by and large, to be very succesful. I have done things like that from time to time, like the beginning of "Inherit The Wind" on the "Strength In Numbers" album. I love mood setting pieces. But also, this album is a reflection of the new talents and personalities that played on it. This is the first time I have recorded with all of these guys and I have been so comfortable working with Michael and PJ in the past, so this was a real leap into unknown space. I encouraged all of the guys to put their individual stamp on the music and they really put their hearts into it.

Would you give us a rundown of all the songs on the album?

Danny: All 13 songs? You know, since the album won't be coming out until next year, I think it's a little too soon for a complete rundown. We haven't even decided the running order yet. But I'll give you the song titles:

1. Miracle Days
2. Badlands Rain
3. Traveller
4. Restless Blood
5. Thats What She Says
6. The Touch Of Your Hand
7. Lifted
8. The Warriors Way
9. The Measure Of A Man
10. Think Of Me In The Fall
11. Death Of The Tiger
12. Better By Far
13. Speaking In Tongues (Bonus Track)

You have said that the new album will be a heavier one compared to your earlier production. Is this due to the fact that your current band has two axemen?

Danny: Yes, definitely. The funny thing is that there are a decent amount of keyboards as well. It's a much fuller sounding record than in the past. As far as the guitarists are concerned, that was also a brand new experience for me because I would have ideas in my mind as to what the guitar parts and the leads would sound like, but so often, Pat and Tony would come at it from a completely different angle and I had to step back and let them have their way with it for a while, because we all approach the guitar in completely different ways. The result is that each song has a distinct personality of its own, rather than everything sounding too similar.

Could you introduce the band's line-up, who's in the band these days and what kind of characters they are?

Danny: You know I usually hate doing the old "Ex-members of" list, but each of these guys is accomplished in their own right, so we'll give it to you one time!

Pat Heath on lead and rhythm guitar - from the band Brave New World. Pat is a dauntingly talented guitarist and yet so encouraging to everyone else around him. His lead work is stunning and shredders will be lining up to work it all out, but he never sacrifices emotion in his playing. He also bought me a Beatles T-shirt.

Tony Marshall on lead and rhythm guitar (he sings, too) from Contagious. Tony has been my lifeline throughout the entire project. He's the "go to guy" as we Americans like to say. This has also made his head 3 times larger than it was when we started together so well need an extra large van with a moon roof for the next tour.

Steve Mckenna on bass. Well known for his long stint with Ten. As with most bass players, Steve is a steady, solid influence on the music and on the sillier band members around him. I was really pleased with how he was trying all sorts of new approaches to his playing on this album. He's made many a record before, so the willingness to continue to expand his method, and not stick to the same old system is a really valuable trait and it made the songs sound that much better.

Lee Morris on drums. A new addition and a most versatile player going from Paradise Lost to little old me! Despite the music that Lee has been involved in for so many years, he's a very happy person! You can't hope for much more than having a happy guy grinning and bashing away for all he's worth at the beginning of it all. If the foundation is solid, what you build on it will stand. (Ooh, did I say that?) And he did a fantastic job.

Did you write all the songs for "Traveller" by yourself or did the other guys collaborate with you?

Danny: As with the rest of my albums, all of the original concepts come from me. Some were more finished than others. Something like "Miracle Days" was done almost exactly like I did it on my home demo. But the title song "Traveller" was brought to the guys in a simple acoustic guitar form. Thats how we used to do it in Tyketto and I wanted to try one that way here. They way it came out, I'll be glad to do more. I also co-wrote one of the songs with an old friend, Charlie Calv, from Shotgun Symphony.

When did the you start writing the songs to "Traveller"? Are these songs all new or did you dust off some older melodies?

Danny: In all of the recordings that I make, there's some of both to be found. I keep a load of idea and rehearsal cassettes. Anything from full band rehearsals to just me rolling over at 3am and mumbling something into my tape recorder (and that usually turns out just like that episode of Seinfeld where he can't understand himself so he doesn't know what he wrote). Anyway, some songs simply have to wait until they are ripe. Something like "Badlands Rain" would never have fit on any of my previous records. It was just waiting to be picked up by two monster guitar players!

Along with the new album you are changing your band name to "Danny Vaughn". Is there any particular reason for that?

Danny: A few reasons, actually. The name Vaughn was just too soft a sound. People either weren't getting it, or weren't remembering it. And that's not good. Also, there has never been the same line up of players on any album, so it's not really a solid band.The only running constant has been that its me singing and they are mostly my songs. The success of From The Inside proved to me that people aren't as scared of solo albums as we might think.

"Miracle Days" is the name of one track at "Traveller". The story behind this song is very touching. Some of our readers might be familiar with it, but for those who aren't, can you tell it in a few words? Did you ever find the family that contacted you?

Danny: This song was inspired by the courage and fighting spirit of the Lindley family, Mason, Chuck, and Tracey. A couple of years back Chuck Lindley contacted me and told me a truly terrible story about an horrific accident that his son, Mason had that left him fighting for his life and undergoing a gruelling series of surgeries that would have left most of us unable to go on. But Mason did and inspired everyone around him for a few years before the seriousness of his injuries finally took him. Chuck told me that he wanted to write a song for his son to let him know how dearly he loved him and he felt that I was the writer to do it. I was extremely moved and flattered and tried my hardest at the time to come up with something I thought was worthy of their family. But, I was going through a really bad period in my own life and nothing I wrote satisfied me. It got left undone, I'm ashamed to say. Then, not too long ago, everything clicked. And the song "Miracle Days" was born. Although Mason is no longer with is, his parents have heard it and given me the thumbs up on it, so it will be the opening song on the album. Also, the Lindley family has gone on to found "N Rock United". Please, if youre interested in their story, let them tell it to you. Go to their site And see all of the cool things they are doing for their cause.

Your previous project "From The Inside" was well received. Can we expect a sequel someday?

Danny: Frontiers has already started talking to me about it and I'm very interested in doing another one because Fabrizio Grossi would be producing it again.

Are you planning to do more gigs this year, in addition to UFOR 2?

Danny: Sadly, no. Since the album isn't coming out until the beginning of next year, it seemed like a good idea to wait and then really put a good sized tour together when its out. Plans are in the works!

Your band Danny Vaughn will be playing in Ludwigsburg, Germany, on 1 October. Are you looking forward to the festival? Are you planning to check out some band in particular?

Danny: Mostly I'm planning on keeping an eye on us to see how we do! I am really pleased about this festival because it has been a very long time since I last played in Germany and I always loved the Rockfabrik, so meeting the fans will be the most fun of the whole show for me.

Have you already decided the songs that will be played there in Ludwigsburg? Are you planning to play some stuff from your earlier bands? My absolute favourite of your earlier production is "Forever Young". It's one of my all-time favourite songs. I hope that you would include this song to the set list...

Danny: If I didn't someone would probably shoot me! So you can rest assured that "Forever Young" will always be part of our set. We haven't decided which songs we will play yet. I think our set is only for an hour so we will have to make it fast and furious! We will mix it up with Vaughn, Danny Vaughn, and Tyketto songs.

Why should one come to this festival? Does Danny Vaughn (the band) have something special in their sleeves for this event?

Danny: Of course! Its also a great collection of bands. These package shows and festivals are the best thing for melodic rock because there is value for money there with so many different bands playing. Its just like Firefest. These shows need to be supported because there are so few bands that can tour at all anymore at our level. So everyone needs to come out and party!

Is there anything else you would like to say to our readers? Danny: "Shennanigens". It's one of my favourite words and I didn't manage to work it into this entire interview yet! Seriously, we are very much looking forward to seeing faces and friends that we haven't seen in a while. I hope to meet every one of you!

Thank you very much for your time and looking forward to seeing you in Germany!

Danny: Thank you!

Interview by Mira Suutari-Toivonen,

Check out RockUnited's UFOR 2006 special for more interviews etc.

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