THE DEAD DAISIES - New Single “Unspoken” Provides “Hope And Strength To Move On”

April 26, 2020, 4 months ago

By Aaron Small

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THE DEAD DAISIES - New Single “Unspoken” Provides “Hope And Strength To Move On”

“Originally we were going to release the record sooner,” begins Doug Aldrich, lead guitarist for The Dead Daisies. The record in mention is the fifth studio album from the band, and their first featuring new vocalist and bassist Glenn Hughes (Deep Purple, Black Country Communion). “We pushed it back (release date tbc), and they wanted to release ‘Unspoken’. I think it’s a good time to hear that kind of a song, it’s uplifting in a lot of ways; what Glenn’s written in that. It wasn’t necessarily meant to be a single or anything, ‘Unspoken’ really wasn’t on the radar for that. But it makes you think about what’s going on in the world right now. It’s cool.”

Back in August 2019, The Dead Daisies released “Righteous Days” as the initial taste of their new lineup, which is rounded out by drummer Deen Castronovo (Journey, Bad English) and rhythm guitarist David Lowy (Mink, Red Phoenix). “I think that ‘Righteous Days’ was the formal introduction to Glenn, and ‘Unspoken’ is the introduction to the record,” comments Aldrich. “We did re-cut ‘Righteous Days’, so it’s a new version that’s coming out (on the album). It’s the same tune, we just freshened it up when we had a little more time to think about what we wanted to do, fixed a few little things on it. So, I’m excited about that coming out again too.”

The new single “Unspoken” first came to life in California at Sunset Sound in Hollywood. A few months later and The Dead Daisies found themselves at Studios La Fabrique in the South of France, where it was tweaked a little bit and ultimately recorded for the album. Doug takes us through the gestation period and ultimate birth of “Unspoken”. “We had bashed it around. We had four songs we were working through at Sunset Sound, just trying to get our bearings writing-wise, basically as a new band almost. But when we came to do the record, we all decided ‘Unspoken’ was a really cool song, we should revisit it. That’s basically what you do; you take your original idea and strip it down again, see what you might want to change on it, or try some different things. That song pretty much stayed the same, with the exception of the intro, we changed it a bit, and the solo section. Then we recorded it from scratch in France. We did record it at Sunset Sound, but we wanted all the sounds to be the same, so we re-recorded it in France.”

Speaking of the guitar solo in “Unspoken”, just prior to its arrival, the song unexpectedly drops off, only to segue into the solo. “We just decided to have a little bit of a breakdown. On the guitar, there’s a tip of the hat to an older song we had done prior to Glenn called ‘Long Way To Go’ (from Make Some Noise, released in 2016). In the intro to that song, I had done kind of like a Pete Townshend type of thing with the guitar. And I did the same kind of thing during that breakdown, it made it like a Daisies tip of the hat to The Who. Then the solo explodes out of that. Like those Who songs that have those sections that go off a little bit and then come back. It just turned out that way, but I really like that part of the song.”

When it came time to write the lyrics for “Unspoken”, “Glenn certainly didn’t get any help from me,” laughs Doug. “I’m not a lyricist. Glenn wrote all the lyrics, on everything, I do believe, on the album, and especially on ‘Unspoken’ cause we’re talking about that. It’s all Glenn’s lyrics. The only time I could ever be helpful to somebody with lyrics is if they had options. If they said, ‘what do you think about this or that?’ Then I can pick what I think is better. Glenn is really cool with lyrics, as everybody knows. So, there’s no point. Maybe one day I might say to him, let’s write something about this or that, but he would do it in his own way. He’s really great at that.”

Doug reveals his personal interpretation of the lyrics to “Unspoken”. “It’s funny because I didn’t understand all the lyrics until I saw the lyric video. I’d seen the lyric sheets, but I didn’t pay as much attention to them because we were recording and under the gun. A lot of the feeling I put into a song comes from the way that somebody sings and the syncopation, not so much from the words. If somebody mentioned, this song is about X, then when I’m playing, I might keep that in mind. But to me, ‘Unspoken’ is basically a song about these current times. It’s pretty ironic that it’s about needing to leave it all behind and move on to the next phase, whatever that is. In simple terms, it’s a song that can give you hope, and give you strength to move on, and not be afraid to let go.”

Glenn took to his Facebook page about “Unspoken” and said, “I transported myself back to 1972 just for a moment.” In 1972, Glenn was a member of the band Trapeze. Apart from Glenn’s voice, there doesn’t appear to be a correlation between Trapeze and The Dead Daisies. “No, I didn’t think of it,” admits Doug. “Maybe I’ll have to listen to it with that in mind. But no matter who comes up with the song idea, when you get a group of individuals to play on it, it’s going to sound like those individuals. It sounds mostly like a Dead Daisies song with Glenn Hughes. We’ve got Deen playing drums, I’m playing guitars, David’s playing guitars. David Lowy really adds a Daisies sound to whatever he plays on; it’s pretty cool. He’s got a very simplistic approach, a very honest approach, and he’s got this attitude in his playing that is something you can’t really learn. Either you’ve got it, or you don’t. For example, the intro on ‘Unspoken’… of course together we were making the sound, but the power of what he does comes across in that; it’s classic Lowy.” 

David seems to be the unsung hero of The Dead Daisies, simply because his previous bands aren’t as well known as the ones the rest of the guys have played in. “It’s true. I don’t want to say he doesn’t get the credit he deserves, cause he does get credit for it, but he’s not as known for his playing as the rest of us. I like to give credit where it’s due. I would love to say, it’s all me. But it’s only my quarter; I’m 1/4thof that song, and everybody really does put their own sound into it. So, back to your original point, maybe something sparked an inspiration for Glenn from that time. It could have been something besides Trapeze, it could have been something else that was going on.”

As mentioned, Doug is one quarter of The Dead Daisies, previously he was one fifth. According to Aldrich, downsizing to a four-piece was not cause for concern. “No, not at all. It’s going to be different though, for sure. We’ve rewritten the book a little bit. It’s going to be really cool from the standpoint that, I don’t think Glenn has ever really had a two-guitar player band, where he’s flanked by guys, both playing loud rock. It’s a cool blend with the four of us. It was really exciting when we first got together and jammed. We played some covers, a couple of Daisies songs, we played a couple of Glenn’s Purple songs; it was definitely a different sound than for example Black Country, or Glenn’s solo, or The Daisies. It’s something new and we’re going to have to embrace that when we get on the road and see what it sounds like, I think it’s going to be cool.”

At the moment, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there’s no definitive date for The Dead Daisies to hit the road. “Not exactly, no. We’re hoping of course that it will be sometime this year. We’re ready to go with regard to promoting the record. Like they’re saying, it’s going to happen in steps probably. Maybe we’ll do a little run, I’m hoping maybe in the fall, if it’s good, if it’s healthy, if it’s safe. Once everything starts to kind of wind back up, I know that we might do something special, some one-offs. Or maybe we’ll do a situation where we fly a group of fans into… contest winners and film something, I don’t know what we’ll do but we’ve got to do something to keep ourselves busy. At some point next year, I’m sure that touring will start to come back a little bit. We’re ready to go. We’ll be one of the first bands out there, can’t wait.”

The record, which “Unspoken” will appear on is titled Holy Ground. “Yes,” confirms Doug. “We wanted to pick a title that was one of the songs on the album. There are a lot of different songs we could have gone with, but the visual of that felt good at the time; and we’re on Holy Ground right now. We’ve got to take care of this world, so it’s kind of timely fitting. But that title came about way before this CV-19 stuff. I think it just felt like a cool visual for the band, is why we picked it.”

Unfortunately, the release of Holy Ground has been delayed because of the Coronavirus crisis, even Doug himself isn’t sure when it will hit store shelves. “Not exactly. Last I heard, it was August. But don’t hold me to that. The best thing is for people to keep in contact with The Dead Daisies socials and have a look at that; Facebook especially is the best one. It’s a deep record. It really has a lot of different flavours. You’re always trying to improve everything that you do. Just from my end, I wanted to play as much melody as I could. It was something I talked about with the producer and with Glenn and the guys. I wanted to make solo sections that you could remember the melody. So, I tried to do a little bit of that. As far as the songs go, it’s a kick ass album! I’m not going to lie. In my opinion, it’s going to be a great album to have when I’m driving. Then there’s a couple of surprises that you wouldn’t expect from any of us, but I think people will like it. I hope they do. The only thing you can do is do your best, and try and make a record that you like, and you think people will like. But mostly it’s got to be about what you get off on. You never can make everybody happy; you’ve just got to try and make yourself happy.”

The Dead Daisies have been renowned for doing cover songs in the past. Are there any covers on Holy Ground, or is it all originals? “We did cut a cover song, but I’m not going to tell you,” laughs Doug. Would it be a recognizable track, or something like “Midnight Moses” where most people aren’t necessarily aware that it’s a cover song? “I’m going to let you guys think about that. Think about whether or not we would do something like that again, or do we go with something like ‘Billie Jean’ from Michael Jackson? What sounds more like it would be The Dead Daisies? ‘Midnight Moses” – a song that nobody knew by The Alex Harvey Band, or a song like Madonna – ‘Like A Virgin’? The songs that we’ve picked to cover in the past have been stuff that we like. We wanted to see if we could add anything to it. We don’t want to do a cover and make it just like the original. We want to do something to make it fresh.”       

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