Interview with Danny Vaughn of Tyketto (Part 1/3)

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First part of the interview tha we had with Tyketto´s frontman, the great Danny Vaughn

(Versión en castellano de esta entrevisa aquí)

We had the opportunity to spend a great time with Danny Vaugh of Tyketto talkling about the history of the band, Reach, Live from Milan and his most personal view. Today we publish the first part of the interview where we tall about Tyketto´s  from the beginning to  the present time.

Tykketo will be soon in Spain, here is the tour Info

RnB: Hi Danny, first of all, we  would  like to thank you for giving us this opportunity to talk from Rock and Blog to a legend and a reference of Hard Rock like you.

Danny: oh I don’t know but that’s a big word legend

RnB: Let’s review the history of Tyketto a bit. Don’t Come Easy, is a referent in the Hard Rock style. It was a great success and took you very high even those years were not good for the  genre , did you  noticed that success? Did you feel like a big band?

Danny: I would never say a big band no in fact it’s we’re very lucky  because when people talk about us they talk about us in the same breath as on a Winger and Warrant and Rat, you know and those bands also platinum albums we never did. We built more of just a live reputation and we were very very lucky because the fans picked up on us and they saw what we did live really.

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I don’t know it communicated something to them and so they never forgot us so I would never call us a big band but I would just say is a band that has done something right because we’re still standing 27 years.

RnB: If there is a Tyketto reference song, that is Forever Young. How was the writing process? Did you known that this song was going to be part of the Hard Rock history?

Danny: no I don’t think we did it. Some songs are very simple you take a song like “standing alone”, I wrote standing alone in about 15 minutes. it just happened you know. Some of the great songwriters I’ve read say their best songs are like taking dictation. It was already there they just wrote it down.

That is not “forever young”. It took weeks maybe months and I think it’s because it was pretty obvious from the beginning that it was going to be an important song for us and therefore everybody that got involved with the bands wanted to get their opinions in. You know so people from the record company, people from the management company, the record producers, the record engineer, everybody. We call it a very difficult childbirth

RnB: Everybody has an opinion yeah

Danny: I think it’s true it’s true everywhere and you got to remember that in the 80s and 90s in the music business the people in the industry were almost as famous as the bands, you know, David Geffen, John Kalodner, Clive Davis, they had big reputations big egos.

RnB: Is it easier now with Frontiers?

Danny: Little bit a little bit we get along better that’s for sure.

RnB: We have a band, we are the drummer and the singer, hehe. Can you give us some advice to write the perfect song, like Forever Young?

Danny: I don’t think we’ve written the perfect song yes but the thing about Forever Young is that was the work of a group of people. I can’t even remember how it started. I think Brooke came at us first with the riff, and you know, you heard the riff and sey “oh hang on a minute, this is something special”.

We started writing songs together in 1988 roughly and at that time of course “living on a prayer” had just come out and it was kind of the birth of what I call “arena rock” . You wrote songs specifically to get a reaction from a large group of people. You know there would be 10 20,000 people with their hands in the air so when we wrote don’t come easy that’s what we were trying.

I think we wrote a number of songs on that album specifically with that intent in mind of being songs to be played in front of a lot of people so I think that was pretty.

RnB: And despite the success, Geffen, a great company,  fired  you. Do you know why?

Danny: Most people say we came out too late you know I think if I’m pretty certain if “don’t come easy” had been released in 1988 or 1989 that we would have been a very very big band. it’s okay I don’t mind but I just think that’s that’s the truth of the years by the time we came out. The fashion was changing and the music business is still very much about fashion.

The audience didn’t want their rock stars to have long hair, those perfect looks and the leather outfits…All that changed and the audience chose a different kind of rock and roll for a while and so many of us we were left out in the cold.

I know people that that for instance hate nirvana. I don’t hate nirvana I think the audience made that decision so there’s nothing you can do about it.

At that time we had actually finished the second album it was recorded. “strengthen numbers” was done, and we even had a release date. It was someone in in the accounting department, I guess, and just looked at the numbers and said no we didn’t make our money back so now forget it. it was over for us.

RnB:  Do you think the twenty first century is giving you a second chance?

Danny: it certainly it’s giving us a chance to continue to be musicians and to make a living. No one has any illusions about becoming selling platinum records or becoming gigantic rock stars anymore,  not in this not in this era and not at our age. But what is happening is people are coming around and realizing that bands from that era knew how to work we knew how to play. We know how to perform and  we know how to keep working on our craft.  Some of that has been lost recently. There’s still some great bands out there no question. But people are able to get their music on the internet right now, when they want it, where they want it they don’t always make choices. It’s just oh this is free! that’s fine!

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I’ll take that people who are still going to live concerts that makes a big difference. Those are people who are choosing and saying no this band is worth it. That’s what I’m gonna go see with the money that I earned this week at my job. And that’s the only thing I think that’s going to keep rock and roll going.

RnB: How do you feel when people say about new albums. «Yes, the new is not bad, but nothing will be like Don’t Come Easy or Forever Young …»

Danny: Well luckily not too many people have said that but we know people have decided that first album is a classic and that’s great, fantastic.  But then they make it into something in a sense more important than it is, because they have made it important to their lives.

I know which albums from my life are the ones that never get better. Led Zeppelin made Physical Graffiti it doesn’t matter what they did after, that was my album .

We never tried to  make another “don’t come easy” and no no no there’s no point. I’m so proud of what we did on “Reach” and the reaction of the fans to that has been fantastic.

RnB: Who was the motivator of the two thousand and four reunion? It was in two thousand and four, right? Was it your idea?

Danny: it was really all of us because we had been asked many times before that. Frontiers had always said if you ever want to put Tyketto together again we would love to have you. That’s nice it’s just nice to know that if you want to make a record someone’s out there ready to make a record with you. But we only found that every time we would talk about it, the main reason was money and sooner or later somebody in the room would say that’s not a good reason and then we wouldn’t get together.

That happened 2000, 2001 and I was doing some solo stuff… and I don’t know one day we all decided that we wanted to get together because we’re friends and we wanted to get together because it would be really nice to go out and and play some shows and have some fun.

RnB:  If we were not wrong, you were the only member of the band  that was still in the music industry

Danny: ah let’s see now Brooke was doing stuff. I know he made an album with LionHeart and he had done a bit of producing. Michael was working in the business but he was working as a booking agent and Jimmy was playing in bands local to where he was New Jersey in New York around the area.

RnB: How did the audience  received  your return? Do you feel the affection of the public?

Danny: Yeah for sure. In fact one of the shows we remember so much on the the 2004 reunion was Madrid. I can’t remember if it was Sala Heineken. We looked at each other like wow. It was a very very warm reaction. Spanish fans there is a great great passion for music of all kinds.

RnB: At the two thousand and four meeting, and in Dig In Deep, there were both Brooke St. James and Jimi Kennedy. Why are not they in “Reach” or in «Live from Milan»?

Danny: well basically after we finished “Dig in Deep” we did this was 2011 we did some live shows and Brooke came to us and said, “guys I have to be honest he says you know I enjoyed making the album it was really fun doing some of shows but I don’t want to do this anymore. t’s not that I don’t love but  I hate being away from home”.  He has a family young children and he just asked us if it would be okay if he could just stop.

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With Jimmy was something similar but more just practical. Tyketto can only play a month or two every year we don’t don’t tour all year round and we don’t make the kind of money we’re Tyketto  Oh is everyone’s first job. Jimmy works very hard at his jobs and he can’t get away , you know there’s not many jobs that will let you just take off for a month.

Michael and I are able to do that. He has his own business and he has ways of getting away from it where people take care of it. I’m a gypsy so you know I travel where the music goes.

So we talked a lot. We have two choices here which is we retired and just say it’s over, or we hope that the audience will accept that we can play Tyketto songs with with new members.

RnB: Why did you choose thunder bassist Chris Childs and Chris Green on guitar? Did you know them?

Danny:  that’s easy,  had known Chris Green for many years and I’ve worked with Chris Childs  on a number of different things including the ultimate Eagles which we do together. And It’s quite simply the best bass player I’ve ever met.

And Chris Green and Chris green I had played with some of his bands like Pride. And I just remember watching him play as a young man and thinking wow this guy’s got something special. There’s millions of guitar players that can play all the notes, and they can play them really fast but there are not so many guitar players that have those skills and know when to use them and when not to use them and you play.

RnB: Do you see any difference in the audience’s support now and when St James and Kennedy were in the band?

Danny: We are all getting older

Interview by Ape Navarro and Oscar Ricoy

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