The Dead Daisies have had multiple configurations since forming in 2013, but the lineup we’ll be seeing in Buffalo tonight is arguably the best one yet. Led by guitarist and licensed aviator David Lowy, the band is rounded out by singer/bassist Glenn Hughes, lead guitarist Doug Aldrich, and drummer Tommy Clufetos, all of whom bring with them resumés that rival anyone else on the hard rock/metal scene today.
I caught up with Doug Aldrich earlier this week to discuss his time with the band as well as how the camaraderie compares to what he experienced in Dio and Whitesnake. If you’re still on the fence about going to an indoor show in the time of COVID and you’re vaccinated, stop living in fear and go take in one of the coolest club bookings left on the docket in 2021.
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MNOD: I haven’t seen The Dead Daisies since 2013 and the band is completely different now, so I’m excited to experience how the new lineup jells together live. How did Glenn Hughes come to join the band?
Aldrich: Our schedules ended up aligning. He was done with what he was doing and we were looking for someone to replace John Corabi. I’ve actually toured and played with Glenn before, so we’ve been friends forever. What I love about this band is that no lineup or album is the same. David Lowy’s original concept for the band was to be a place where members could come and go as they please, which is really what keeps things fresh. Having Glenn in the band now gives us a fresh start and it helps that he’s pretty much the voice of rock, because he brought a lot of fans with him.
MNOD: What has the audience reaction been like on tour thus far?
Aldrich: They’ve definitely been supportive. We’re very grateful, because we’ve played 11 shows so far and I think we have 15 or 16 left. People are really into it.
MNOD: How does the band chemistry compare to some of the other high profile gigs you’ve had?
Aldrich: Every band I’ve been a part of is like a family. You spend a lot of time together. We worked on “Holy Ground” in the south of France and we were living together, which was awesome. The recording studio had a living area attached to it, so the vibe was really tight. All the bands I’ve been in have had a good vibe. With Dio, we were super tight and we respected each other, so it was always fun. Whitesnake was the same way. David Coverdale had his own way of doing things, but we definitely got along well.
MNOD: Which band has been the most creatively fulfilling for you as a guitar player?
Aldrich: They’re all different, but I loved them all. I learned a lot from every experience I’ve had and I brought a lot of those lessons to the process of working on “Holy Ground.” I always refer back to those early bands you’re in when you’re younger and just starting out, because you’re always together and eager to make it.
MNOD: What was the creative process like on the latest album?
Aldrich: Working on it in the South of France was incredible. We had ideas of what we wanted to do for the next album and it really came together when we knew that Glenn was going to be the singer. You want to make sure that you’re giving your singer melodies that they can be inspired by or it won’t work. They have to be into what they’re singing and Glenn brought a lot to this material.
MNOD: What was the vibe like when you first joined the Dio band?
Aldrich: It’s interesting, because I had actually met Jimmy and Ronnie back in 1990. Grover Jackson of Jackson Guitars told me that they were looking for a guitar player and that I should check it out. Ronnie ended up offering me the gig on the spot. I wasn’t ready for it at the time, though, but he offered it to me 10 years later and I took it. One of Ronnie’s favorite things to was go to the pub, so we did that and then jammed together. I accepted the gig and he said ‘Great, you start tomorrow.’ He allowed me to be myself and really have a go at those songs live, which was great. We all had a great camaraderie together.
MNOD: What is something you learned from Ronnie that you still carry with you today?
Aldrich: He was fearless in everything he did. He lived for those moments on stage and he was able to dig deep and always strive to be better. The way he owned and worked the stage was amazing. He made everybody better. That’s actually how I got noticed by Coverdale. I remember I was on loan from Whitesnake once and he brought me in for a UK tour in the Winter of 2005. It was just like old times. I actually met up with the band in Holland and I practiced really hard to get caught up. I think that desire to constantly get better is what I always carry with me.
MNOD: Does it ever frustrate you as a hard rock/metal musician that the mainstream music scene has drifted away so much?
Aldrich: It does to some extent. I mean, the MTV awards were just on, but when’s the last time they actually showed anything having to do with music. The thing about hard rock and metal is that there’s always an underground scene, so the fans will always be there. In Europe, metal is still important. The media and the industry have kind of moved on to stuff like Machine Gun Kelly or whatever, but there are still kick ass new bands out there. The Black Moods are opening for us on this tour and they have some ripping new material. Tyler Bryant and the Shakedown is another new band that is really good. Greta Van Fleet has also done really well, so it’s great to see the kids get back into it.
The Dead Daisies play the Showplace Theater tonight with Don Jamieson, The Black Moods, and Hair Nation. Doors open at 7:00 p.m.