Interview: JOHN CORABI on why THE DEAD DAISIES are ready to ‘Rise Up’ and ‘Burn it Down’


The age of the “rockstar” has been declared dead. The internet, social media, illegal downloading and the digital age have unknowingly conspired to demystify rock and roll, and as such, rob the world of new musical icons. This is not a belief that John Corabi and The Dead Daisies entertain. The veteran quintet goes about the business of crafting arena rock the same way Aerosmith, Led Zeppelin and the Stones did before them. The band’s new album, Burn it Down, out April 6, is a reminder that rock and roll and rockstars, are alive and well.

The Dead Daisies were formed in 2013 by Australian guitarist David Lowy, who gathered together a collective of well-known performers including vocalist John Corabi (Motley Crue, Union), bassist Marco Mendoza (Thin Lizzy, Whitesnake), and lead guitarist Doug Aldrich (Dio, Whitesnake). With the forthcoming release of Burn It Down, drummer Deen Castronovo of Journey and Bad English fame also joins the line-up. Metal Nation recently caught up with The Dead Daisies’ charismatic frontman to talk about Burn it Down, and all manner of things coming up Daisies.

The Dead Daisies has been on a tear for the last two years. The band released its previous record, Make Some Noise, toured arenas alongside the likes of KISS, Aerosmith, and ZZ Top, as well as performing in front of several hundred-thousand fans at the Woodstock Festival in Poland with the Gorzów Philharmonic Orchestra. Last year also saw the release of the band’s first concert album, Live & Louder. 2018 shows no signs of slowing for a band built for world domination.

“It’s been a whirlwind,” offers Corabi. “We’ve literally been going non-stop for three years, but it’s all positive. We’ve already done four records in three years. We go into the studio in a short amount of time, and we’re coming up with great records, and we’re getting great reviews from everybody. I love this band.”

The group recently released its new single “Rise Up.” The track has a definite Black Sabbath groove to it, but it is also an anthem of discord in an era where politicians work against the greater good, while society buries its collective head in the sand.

“As soon as we heard the riff, we were all like, ‘it’s kind of cool.’ It’s got a bit of an old school Sabbath vibe to it. It’s obviously aggressive, maybe borderline angry. It’s basically about the divisiveness in America. I see it every day on Facebook. If you say you’re conservative, you’re an idiot because you voted for Trump. If you say you’re a liberal, you’re a libtard or a snowflake. It seems to me most of us are now just like all the people in power in Washington. They’re sitting on opposite sides of the table yelling insults at each other. The Constitution starts with three words; ‘We the People.’ When I sat down and wrote the lyrics it was like, hey guys, why don’t we stop yelling at each other and band together as one and make sure that WE, liberals and conservatives, keep the politicians in check. The way I’m looking at it, those guys, on both sides of the table, all have corporations and lobbyists in their back pockets. If we want our voices heard, we all need to rise up, and we all need to say the same thing together.”

Burn it Down represents the next chapter for The Dead Daisies. It marks the first album with Castronovo behind the kit, and the next step in the evolution of the group’s sound. It is packed with high octane, rattle your bones and melt your face rock and roll. Beyond the music, Corabi always has a lyrical message, and often it comes with an edge or a bite to it including the title track.

“When you listen to ‘Burn it Down,’” Corabi shares, “you realize it is about a person or persons that whine and complain and bitch about things, but never really do anything about it. So basically what I’m saying is, if you want to change that situation, you have to take a match and burn it to the ground, start over and move forward. It’s that way with everything. It’s not just about politics or the state of the world. It can even be about a relationship.”

Corabi notes that the album’s songs address many topics on this record.

“The song ‘Set Me Free’ is about all of us guys; we’re all married, we’ve all got a significant other in our life. It’s that thing about having to leave from March until December and go on tour and be away from that person for long periods of time. It’s hard for us. It’s hard for them. It’s hard on the relationship. There’s a song called ‘Resurrected,’ and it’s for guys like me and Deen. When I was in Motley Crue I was sitting on top of the world, but when Vince [Neil] came back, everybody wrote me off. Everybody. And I’m still here 30 years later, bitches. I ain’t going anywhere (laughs).”

“The record’s all over the place lyrically,” Corabi continues. “There’s a song called ‘Dead and Gone,’ which is just about cutting loose and enjoying your life. ‘Leave Me Alone,’ again, it’s not a political statement. It’s just one of those things where you have people sitting over your shoulder, whether it’s a boss or a wife… Even with me, I constantly have fans giving me grief about, ‘Why’d you grow a beard? Why’d you grow your hair? Why’d you do this? Why are you doing that? Man, you look so different than you did when you were in Union.’ That was 20 years ago (laughs). People age. It’s like, you know what? Leave me alone. I’m just having fun man. Just leave me alone.”

Corabi and The Dead Daisies will spend most of 2018 on tour around the globe playing huge festivals and arenas, as well as supporting bands like the Scorpions. In July, the group is even talking about doing an unprecedented, record-breaking five performances on five continents in one day.

“I’m sure the management and the record label will find some way to torture me as the lead singer,” laughs Corabi. ‘Okay, here’s what we’re going to do, John. We’re going to start in Dubai or Africa, and we’re going to do five shows on five continents in one day. No sleep, No food. Can you do it?’ Do I have a choice? Of course I’m going to do it.”

You can check out the full interview with John below as he talks more in-depth about Burn it Down. You can also check out our previous conversation with guitarist Doug Aldrich about Make Some Noise.

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