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Welcome to Appetite for Discussion -- a Guns N' Roses fan forum!

Please feel free to look around the forum as a guest, I hope you will find something of interest. If you want to join the discussions or contribute in other ways then you need to become a member. We especially welcome anyone who wants to share documents for our archive or would be interested in translating or transcribing articles and interviews.

Registering is free and easy.


2015.06.02 - VerdamMnis E-Magazine - Interview with Dizzy and Richard

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2015.06.02 - VerdamMnis E-Magazine - Interview with Dizzy and Richard Empty 2015.06.02 - VerdamMnis E-Magazine - Interview with Dizzy and Richard

Post by Blackstar Fri Jan 27, 2023 1:50 am

The Dead Daisies

THE DEAD DAISIES is a collective composed of John Corabi (ex-MOTLEY CRUE) on vocals, David Lowy (MINK, RED PHOENIX) on guitar, Richard Fortus (GUNS N' ROSES, PSYCHEDELIC FURS) on lead guitar, Marco Mendoza ( THIN LIZZY, WHITESNAKE) on bass, Dizzy Reed (GUNS N' ROSES, HOOKERS & BLOW) on keyboard and Brian Tichy (OZZY OSBOURNE, BILLY IDOL) on drums (but Tommy Clufetos replaces him on the tour) . On the occasion of the release of their new album, 'Revolución' – produced by Craig Porteils (GNR, BILLY IDOL) and Ben Grosse (MARILYN MANSON, SEVENDUST) – we spoke with Dizzy Reed and Richard Fortus.

Your new album 'Revolución', follow-up to the eponymous album released in 2013, is available since June 1st. How is it being received by fans and the press so far?

Richard Fortus: As far as I'm concerned, it's true that I've been watching the feedback on the album and so far it's been excellent. But the record has only just been released, as you said, so I prefer not to declare victory too quickly. I hope the reviews will continue to be so positive. It feels good to read such kind words regarding the work we have done. It's really rewarding.

Dizzy Reed: It's like preaching to a believer. You can't really help it, help yourself to look at what is being said about what you are doing and have put so much energy into it. Fortunately for us, the reviews are very positive at the moment, we can only hope that it will continue like this. Fingers crossed! If you read this interview, don't hesitate to support our new album. You won't be disappointed, I promise.

Precisely, for those who have not yet listened to it, what would you say about it that it would make them want to listen to it. What can they expect?

Dizzy Reed: Uh, I think we wanted to release something honest, authentic, direct, something that oozes passion. We wanted songs that come from the depths of ourselves, from our hearts. Because in the end, that's what we do best. As a general rule, if you give it your all all the time, it works. I think you can hear it on the album. Musically speaking, people can expect classic rock songs with a Rock N Roll spirit. If you find yourself there, in the rock wave from the 1960s to the 1980s and in what is done with passion, you will find your account. I don't know if it's objective on my part but 'Revolución' is a great album (smiles).

Richard Fortus: It sounds like a classic rock album. If you are a fan of this musical genre, you will necessarily like this disc. It's worth it!

In February, you played in Havana in Cuba, which marked you. What you experienced there made you want to write the new album. Can you tell us more about this experience? What was so special about Cuba?

Dizzy Reed: Our trip to Cuba was exhilarating, for sure — really. Just rubbing shoulders with the Cubans and playing for them was a fantastic experience. People were very responsive. We played with extremely talented musicians. These people exude passion. Cubans are passionate at heart, it was an extraordinary experience that inspired us a lot. We had a click there, a really special connection that has pursued us here. We became attached to the country and its people instantly. I can't explain that to you in detail, it was just nice to be there. Their enthusiasm and excitement infused us with energy, creative energy. I don't think we wrote about what we experienced there, about the country itself. Rather, it was the energy and passion we felt that drove it. They more or less rekindled our flame. Each of us was completely absorbed in a creative atmosphere that emanated from all over Cuba. We had already written a few songs before this trip, but once we arrived there, the love that emanated from these lands gave us the inspiration to write the rest of the album. It was then completed in five weeks.

Richard Fortus: It was pretty exciting for us to see Rock N Roll fans being so avid and enthusiastic about it. It was beautiful to witness it. I think the rest of the world has become somewhat jaded and sated. It's been ages since we've seen people get so excited and exhilarated by Rock N Roll. We absolutely loved it!

This event was held during a cultural exchange organized by the Cuban Minister of Culture, the Cuban Institute of Music and the Cuban Rock Agency. He made THE DEAD DAISIES the first Western rock band to play in Cuba since Havana and Washington announced the restoration of diplomatic relations. How does it feel to be part of a historical fact?

Dizzy Reed: That's very cool! Music binds people together. It is a powerful instrument that can make a difference. To be part of this human connection is really fantastic. And having this opportunity, the opportunity to make a living from his music, is a real blessing. I think we did, we learned a lot too. I became a better musician...simply by spending time with talented people. Being around positive people has certain benefits. It strengthens you.

Richard Fortus: The music instills so much passion. It is a very particular medium. It is powerful and generally has a great impact on people, wherever they come from, whoever they are. It is capable of altering our emotions and states of mind. It can direct our thoughts and feelings. To be part of a historical event through music is a very intense experience, which I cannot describe with words.

You said you learned a lot on this trip. Can you be more precise?

Dizzy Reed: I understood my love for the Cuba Libre (note a rum-based cocktail). Seriously, through these creative collaborations, collaborations with talented people for passionate people, I understood the reasons that motivated me to engage in music. I realized that I had taken the right path. This trip had a really positive impact on me and I believe it had the same effect on the other members of the group.

Richard Fortus: Absolutely!

The album was produced by Craig Porteils (GUNS N ROSES, BILLY IDOL) and mixed by Ben Grosse (MARILYN MANSON, SEVENDUST). What do you expect from these collaborations? How did they influence the sound of the album?

Richard Fortus: Actually, Dizzy had worked with Craig before this record.

Dizzy Reed: Yeah but the last time I saw him he was Guns N' Roses assistant sound engineer for the song 'Knockin On Heaven's Door'. It was a very long time ago. For the record, we just needed someone in Australia and they were available. He did a good job on 'Revolución'.

Richard Fortus: We exhausted him (laughs).

Dizzy Reed: It's true (laughs)! We demanded a lot of him, constantly. We didn't take any time off, it must have been hard for him. We were so excited to work on this album, we were very inspired. He had a few days off, but as far as we are concerned, we worked in one go. We had so much to do, it's not an easy job to do well, to do at all. It's very restrictive. You have to stay so focused and extremely motivated. It's tiring, you know. You have to be constantly on the alert in case the magic happens. You can't afford to miss an opportunity when it presents itself. You have to be on the lookout to capture this special moment.

Richard Fortus: For Ben, I worked with him on different projects before this one. I wanted him for this record because I knew he would be perfect for the job. We come from the same musical background. We have the same musical tastes, we have the same sources of influence, so he was sure he would understand what we were looking for, musically speaking.

You are currently touring alongside KISS on the tour celebrating its 40th anniversary. How is it going so far?

Dizzy Reed: So far so good.

Richard Fortus: The KISS audience is very welcoming to us.

Dizzy Reed: Yeah, for some reason the KISS fans are pretty excited to have us as opening acts. They are really great with us which makes us grateful to them. It's always a challenge to open gigs for big bands like KISS. We hope it will continue like this and that it will grow our fanbase.

Tommy Clufetos is the drummer playing with you on this tour, although Brian Tichy (and Jackie Barnes) plays on the album. Why did you choose such a changing lineup for the band?

Richard Fortus: To be honest, Brian wasn't available for the rest of the album and the tour. Otherwise he would be with us today. Tommy does a great job though.

Dizzy Reed: We just have a lot of talented friends that we want to work with. We want to collaborate as much as possible. Over the years, our list of contacts has grown, we have developed many relationships. It's amazing to be able to work with so many talented musicians, musicians who have become friends. We come from the same background, we have the same tastes. So it's always super efficient to work with them. It's also cool to have the opportunity to hang out together (laughs). We're glad Tommy joined us. He does a good job, he's a great guy and a great drummer!

How did you enlist John Corabi?

Dizzy Reed: Again, we were looking for someone and he was more or less the first name we thought of. We were looking for a good frontman, a good performer. I had already worked with him before this project, I knew he would match. We did acoustic shows together, just him and me, it was a unique experience. We did other stuff together. Anyway, I was right to choose him for TDD.

Richard Fortus: We thought of other names. We talked to these other people but John made the difference. It's great hanging out with him. He always has plenty of stories to tell. He is funny. He has his feet on the ground. If you see him later, after this interview, intercept him, he will tell you funny stories (laughs).

What does TDD bring you compared to GNR?

Richard Fortus: I feel much more free with DD compared to GNR.

How will you be involved in writing the new GNR album? Have you written any new songs? Where are you at?

Richard Fortus: I'm definitely going to be involved. There's so much stuff that was done. I mean, there's two or three albums' worth of material, seriously!! We've all been handing files back and forth to one another. We look forward to getting at it seriously and releasing a new album as soon as possible.

Dizzy Reed: It's good stuff that will come out awesome. When will it come out? We just don't know yet. Only Axl knows, and he's very secretive. Be patient!

Thank you both for taking the time to talk to me.

Dizzy Reed: Thanks for having us.

Richard Fortus: Thank you.

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