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Interview with Danny Vaughn (Tyketto) | «We'd like to be fresh and feel that we are active and not like a juke box, you know play everybody's favorite song and go home»



So Danny, how are you?

Danny Vaughn: I'm fine thank you, I'm in Spain right now, that's were I live these days


Oh that's great. So, do you want to tell us a few things about the new album.

Danny Vaughn: Well basically this is a collection of songs that I call my orphans from all these years. Some of them were written a long time ago, some of them more recently but overall they cover a period of probably almost over 40 years. It's all songs that I've written with no plans to release because it's music that people don't necessarily expect from me but I like all kinds of music so I don't always write with planning, I just write songs. So these didn't fit anywhere, with a Tyketto album or a solo album. So, I started getting the idea it would be nice to put them all in one place when I have enough of them. So I have more, but we cut them down to 14. It turned out that it works well, I didn't know if people would follow it or like it but the reaction has been amazing.


How did you choose then those songs that ended up in the album?

Danny Vaughn: Well, they were all in a folder and I was going through them, I decided if some of them were not ready, if I was listening to them and thinking 'Nah, this one needs more work', others were more solid, those were the ones I ended up choosing.


Did your fans like this kind of music? As you said, it's different it's different from what you used to do

Danny Vaughn: Yeah, there came a point when I discussed this with friends and musicians and I was worried. It is definitely not a hard rock album and it's not just one thing. There's blues in it, jazz in it, songs that are close to country, there's an Irish song, all kinds of things. In the end, I was told by some fellow musicians that there is a point that you have to decide if you want to make the album that you want to make and people will spend the time to listen and like it as much as you do. So, that's what I did.



So, I suppose you are satisfied with the end result

Danny Vaughn: Oh yeah, I couldn't be more happy. I love the way all the musicians came together, we recorded together, everybody was excited with what we were doing. The sound of the album is just perfect for these songs. Very natural, organic sound, real instruments, the violins, the horns, the cello, all good musicians, I am very happy with that.


Is there a song that defines the album?

Danny Vaughn: Not one, it wouldn't make sense to pick just one.


Or any song that is more important to you?

Danny Vaughn: Nope, they are all my children (laughs). Some of them I've known for a long long time. I am more proud of these, they've been sitting around for almost 20 years and finally I have people listening to them.


Are you in a tour right now?

Danny Vaughn: I am doing a show in Madrid this weekend, but the actual tour will start Oct 3rd


Which will bring you here in Greece too!

Danny Vaughn: Yeah, in Athens and I've never been there. I only wish I could be able to stay a couple days but I can't it's gonna be one and out.


Tell me something about the Tyketto DVD "We've Got Tomorrow We've Got Tonight"

Danny Vaughn: Well, when I was thinking about my solo songs that I knew I wanted to have horns on, or string parts on. I wasn't sure if I was ready to try that but when we decided to do the DVD, the idea at first was to do it small, maybe Tyketto going acoustic and then somebody said 'well, if we are really going acoustically then we should get a proper grand piano for Ged (keyboard player) so we got a grand piano, then somebody said 'wouldn't it be nice to have strings too then?'. So we looked at synthesizers but we decided to get real string players and real horn players so all of a sudden we have that, and we have backing vocalists, all these people signed up to do the songs so we realized that somebody's got to give them their parts so I had to sit down and spend a couple of months writing the vocal arrangements for the singers, the string parts and the horn parts, putting that slowly together to make sense. So I realized that I could do that, I could handle that. It was some of the hardest work that I ever did and then we put the show together for a couple of nights at a nice little theater in Wales and we played a lot of Tyketto songs in very different styles, and it was exciting, in fact for a few songs it was very exciting, like 'Faithless' we didn't make it a ballad, we played it loud and big, but we found ways to put strings in it, to make it sound like Led Zeppelin, or 'Kick Like a Mule' we turned it to this giant jam with horns and everything else. It was just a load of fun and I'm proud of that project.



Are there any plans for a new album with Tyketto?

Danny Vaughn: We talk about it from time to time, but no plans yet. Right now, I'm so busy promoting my new album, and I'm also in the middle of writing a new album with Dan Reed who I sometimes tour with in a group called Snake Oil & Harmony. So we decided to record an album together at the end of October and tour at the end of March. So, not much time left.




Do you prefer to perform as a solo artist or as a band member?

Danny Vaughn: I like it both. I don't' think I prefer either one. Performing as a solo artist is definitely easier but it's harder to do everything else. If I am planning a solo album then I have to do all the planning. If it's
Tyketto then it's me and Michael, and Chris and we are all working together to make something happen. When it comes down to just performing, two audiences are very different. On an acoustic show it is really quite and you might get 150-200 people intensively listening and of course the Tyketto shows are full out rock 'n' roll and they are two completely different animals and I like them both.


You released your two solo album between 11 years. Would you like to release the next one sooner than that?

Danny Vaughn: I think it will be sooner, 11 years is a long time (laughs). Now that I know that this system works, we did the pledge music thing, and that's a different story, but I know that the fans are willing to be amazing and helpful with the project, I think another year or two I can go to the fans and say Hey, I can do another one cause I have certainly more songs. So yeah, I think a couple of years but you never know with the scheduling, I mean at this age I'm pretty busy so I'm very very fortunate.


You have done so many things in your career. Is there anything that you haven't done yet and wish to do?

Danny Vaughn: Well, I haven't been very successful yet, that would be nice (laughs).


No, come on!!!

Danny Vaughn: Haha, well I'm no David Coverdale o r Joe Elliot! Anyway, I'm very lucky to be making a life playing music even if I'm not really really famous and that is very rewarding and satisfying and I love it. Something seems to be coming on the horizon all the time. Now, if there's something that I haven't been involved in, is to work in soundtracks or movie music, writing with someone else of course, I couldn't do on my own. But songs on my new album like Black Crow or Seven Bells, they definitely sound like they could be in a film and I've been trying to get publishing companies to see it they can get this songs put into a movie somewhere. That would be very nice


Do you believe that the recording process is different than the past?

Danny Vaughn: Well yeah, all this big record companies handing out big money to all those bands, that's gone. What you have now is the ability to record very good quality things at home on a laptop, that's the good side. The bad side is people don't really buy music anymore, they'll download it and you can't make a living selling albums, it's not possible. Vinyl's coming back, CD's are going away it's very confusing to me, what it is that comes next, but nobody really knows. Record companies don't know what to do, we the musicians don't really know, we just try to keep up with how the technology changes every month (laughs).


What kind of music do you really like listening to?

Danny Vaughn: First of all I like everything, I listen to so much music from all around the world. But in the end, I love great songwriters. Part of the influence on making the solo album, was to listen to a lot of Bruce Hornsby, John Hyatt, Sting, Tom Waits, Don Henley, Elton John & Bernie Taupin, Peter Gabriel, these are all people that I really admire. So with this album, not saying that I'm as good as these guys, but you know, I'm trying to be in the same circle, maybe on the outer edge.


What can I expect from you at the live show?

Danny Vaughn: Well, I have to see when I get there. When I did the UK tour, it turned that every show went 2 hours long. It wasn't my intention, but nobody mind it. There was an energy between the audience and myself so why stop? If I'm enjoying it and the audience enjoy it I never play the same show. I come with a book of songs, and I put my book up on the music stand and I feel like maybe I'll do that song tonight, or someone will shout something out and I'll be like 'Oh, yeah I can play that' (laughs) and go through my book. So you never quite know. What I like to do, and it gets harder as I grow older, is to cover my whole career, so I'm doing songs from all the Tyketto albums, my solo albums, From the Inside albums or even from my guest spots I've done, Waysted of course. So, I'm just gonna wait and see what the people in Greece will want to hear, I'm guessing it's gonna be the hard rock stuff because every time I've been to Greece, Greek rock fans know how to party, I know that!




Do you want to say something to your Greek fans?

Danny Vaughn: Well I'm excited to finally see some of them, I've only played in Greece twice before, once in Thessaloniki and once in Crete, so this is my first time in Athens so I'm the most excited person in the room (laughs)!


How do you imagine yourself in 10 years from now?

Danny Vaughn: Oh dear, old!!! I hope I'll be still doing that, especially the solo stuff. As I get older it makes more sense, it's more like me. I will keep doing Tyketto as long as I can feel good doing that and going up and down the stage and be the frontman I want to be. If I start feeling tired and weak then I'm not gonna do it. But, so far so good, and when you have guys like Mick Jagger as inspiration, then I'm gonna keep right on going.


And what do you expect from the future for Tyketto?

Danny Vaughn: Well, we'll do what we can. The thing about Tyketto is that it's very important to us that we are not a nostalgic band. I mean we don't want people to come see us and thing about how it was when they were 19 and that song came out. Yeah, that's part of it but we also try to stay current so, two years ago we released Reach. So we'd like to have a new album and be fresh and feel that we are active and not like a juke box, you know play everybody's favorite song and go home. That's not how we are, and that's why our stage show is what it is.



And that's why people still like you and follow you. You have new ideas and don't stick to the past.

Danny Vaughn: Yeah exactly. And I think the fans know that everytime we go on stage, we try to give them the best show we can. Not the same old thing, same songs, it's not like that. We are excited to go everywhere we go, excited to see the people we see and we understand it's not like it used to be, you wouldn't really meet your fans in the 80's and the 90's, you were sealed off, you were in a tour bus, in a plane. It's different these days, you shake a lot of hands, you talk to people, you have a beer at the same bar with everybody. It's a musical family and everybody at Tyketto is aware of that.


How do you feel about the fact that fans are still admiring you after all these years?

Danny Vaughn: It's a great honor. I think it's because they know how honored we are that they come to see us, we never take it for granted


Do you see any differences in the audience between Europe and the USA?

Danny Vaughn: Well, yeah. We don't play in America that much, a few shows here and there, the Monsters of Rock cruise of course. It's hard to really explain the audience, but at the end, European and UK audiences have a better memory. If you've given them a good show back in the day they won't forget you and next time you come back, they'll be like 'Oh these guys were really good, I'll see them again. America is a little different. When it comes to music it's more about fashion. If you are not in style people just change their minds more often. European audiences have a much longer attention span.


And, I need to ask that, what's the secret to stay forever young?

Danny Vaughn: Hahaha,. I don't know the exact secret, but I guess it has to do with doing what you love



Danny thank you very much, we can't wait to see you live in October

Danny Vaughn: Thank you too, I am very excited, see you there!





Chris Mouskos, Elena Manta


Black Velvet Radio

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