Danny Vaughn already did a very cool interview with us via e-mail, but when we got the chance to talk to him face to face at UFOR, we didn't turn it down! The Danny Vaughn bass player Steve McKenna was also present in the interview.
What kind of touring plans do you have currently?
DV: Not much because Frontiers are telling us that they are gonna release the album on 16 February. We only just started to get contacts with promoters in Germany. There are a couple of possibilities, package things with two or three band bills but I can't say more about them yet 'cause they might not happen...
Why the long wait? Wouldn't it have made sense to release the album before this festival?
DV: The original release was planned for October this year but Frontiers had such a busy schedule and they said that they wanted to wait, because they are really going to put a lot of time and effort into it. It's hard to wait but I'm in favour of it to be able to make a bit more noise when it does come out.
Will "Traveller" be a priority release for the label?
DV: I hope so, or I'll have to go and hurt somebody! "Yes, yes, Frontiers are going to make it a priority!", he he (Danny yells so that the Frontiers executives nearby hear it for sure!)
We heard 5 songs in the pre-listening session, and the first thought was that "the Tyketto fans are gonna like it"!
DV: You think so?
Sure, it's a kind of mixture of the first two Tyketto albums and also a "summer album", although it seems to be released in the middle of the winter...
DV: Yeah. You heard 5 songs. There's more surprises to come. This album has the shortest song I've ever recorded and the longest. I've never done conceptual stuff, and this time for some reason I got some conceptual ideas.
There is a song that you haven't heard, it's called "Death Of The Tiger". There is always one song on every album I do that divides the fans. On this album I think it will be this one. It's very Led Zeppelin. Very big, strange, I've never tried that before but I've always wanted to do that.
On this album we've tried a lot of new things. A few people have said - and I think it's a nice thing - that it will take a few listens. I think I like that 'cause it means that it stays with you longer. I think the good albums are the ones you keep putting on.
For me it's important to have different moods. I like the singers and songs that say "Come with me over here". That's the kind of stuff I think when putting together an album.
Do you think that the five songs represent the album well?
DV: Yeah, I think so. But like I said, there's more to come...
SM: I think they could've chosen one of the ballads, they're really great too..
DM: Yeah. I guess "Lifted" is closest to a ballad out of those, it starts very quietly but builds up... I think they just wanted to let the fastest ones out first... then again there's one we're playing today called "The Warrior Way" which is as heaviest thing I've ever done. There's no point in being safe, when you go with something you feel "that really excites me", hopefully the listener will be excited too. And I think that it's not always the story, but the telling of the story.
Are you a full time musician these days? You seem to have a lot of projects going on..
DV: No... I'm the least full-time out of everybody in the band... Yeah, there's a lot of stuff that's happened lately, like the Richie Zito thing... With these things you sort of start to feel like they take you out of a frozen storage, you do your job and then you're done and off you go, and hibernate until they need you ago. Obviously, it's not like it used to be, touring for months and months... we tour for two or three weeks, and if we're lucky, we get some other things, like festivals. There's always talk of things like touring in Japan, trying to get a break there, or Brazil. We keep trying...the thing is, music business in general isn't good for that anymore. The type of Rock'n roll we do is definitely not good far that, and the people who are still doing it are doing it because they love it. You can't make a living out of it.
Let's have a couple of "what if..." questions: Who would you tour with if you could pick on any artist at all?
DV: Haha ha... you know I certainly wouldn't turn down an Aerosmith tour...
SM: Bon Jovi would be good too...
DV: Yeah, not only business-wise but it would be a good match. You never know, these things never happen as planned... one thing everyone's hoping is to get a few shows with Journey when they tour...would be nice!
You do most of the writing on your own. Would you be interested in writing with Desmond Child or Glenn Ballard?
DV: Certain people interest me... Glenn Ballard... I have to say, just for my personal taste, I'm not that fond of Desmond Child, but yeah...Jim Vallance, remember that guy?
Bryan Adams' sidekick?
DV: He's written with some other people too. A Desmond Child song is a Desmond Child song, Jim Steinman - the same thing, but Vallance, he writes for the artist. Someone like that I'd be very interested in working with. If it could be anybody, Id probably write with Don Henley. Or Bruce Horsby would be nice.
I've always thought that your voice could make you a Country music star. Have you ever considered doing Country music?
DV: Well, I lived in Nashville ("The home of Country Music") for a while, but I was too much of a rocker to really get into it. I've done some country'ish things but just for fun. A lot of us do live there in Nashville, you know Kip (Winger) lives there. I think the country vibe comes naturally, as I write almost everything on an acoustic guitar. I started more from the blues on acoustic, Eric Clapton stuff, things like that. I could never sing about "Achy Breaky Heart"! But Country did become Pop Music.
You can't seem to get rid of the title "Avalon". First there was the Gary Hughes rock opera, then the Richie Zito project Avalon on which you sang the song called "Avalon"...
DV: Yeah, it keeps coming around! Now I think I'm done with "Avalon"... but a lot of times you have to go with your instinct as a lyric writer, and sometimes these "monsters" come out of your mouth - you have no idea, you just start singing and syllibles fall into place. Then you start working on the story of the song, and if it comes out as nonsense, you just throw it out. When Richie sent me the music, "Avalon" just fit right into the chorus, and I went "Okay, what does it mean?" The lyrics just came very naturally. And Gary Hughes hasn't come to punch me yet!
Have you ever been to Finland?
DV: No. We certainly would like to come, we'd like to play anywhere we haven't played yet. We talked a bit with Tony from TNT about doing something together, but we'll see...
Is Tyketto finished now?
DV: I think so. We did our reunion tour in 2004 but it wasn't something the guys wanted to keep going. We had a lot of offers for many years, but everytime we talked about there was a lot of business, bad feelings... then the timing was right, and we had a good time for a couple of weeks.
Interview by Kimmo Toivonen, and Mira Suutari-Toivonen,
Photos by Mira Suutari-Toivonen,
Check out RockUnited's UFOR 2006 special for more interviews etc.