APRIL 13th 2017
JOHN CORABI EXCLUSIVE

Former Motley Crue singer and current The Dead Daisies frontman John Corabi caught up with MetalTitans on April 8th, 2017. The Dead Daisies are set to release their first ever live album titled ‘Live and Louder’ on May 19th.  “Man, this is my 9th interview today. It’s crazy. I would have liked to have done the interviews Monday; when I'm back home. I have a show tonight and I would have prefered to have saved my voice for the show,” says the flustered singer. Tired as he might have been; Corabi was a good sport and powered through his last interview of the day.  Determined not to do a ‘cookie cutter’ type interview we started with the obvious; ‘Live and Louder’ and where it ended was up to John. Enjoy the interview and check out The Dead Daisies who have issued a couple a good records with Corabi ‘Revolucion’ [‘15] and ‘Make Some Noise’ [‘16].
MetalTitans: ‘Live and Louder’ is the first live album from The [Dead] Daisies. Was this record the next next logical progression for you guys?

John Corabi: We were on the ‘Make Some Noise Tour’ last year [2016] and it came down to a combination of things. We have people come up to us after the show and say stuff like; “The record is good but you're so much better live!” I think people were writing into the record label and giving them positive reviews. The label was watching and listening to all of this banter.

The other thing is since I joined the band in February of 2015; we recorded ‘Revolucion’ in March through April. ‘Revolucion' came out in June and we were right back in the studio in January of 2016 working on ‘Make Some Noise.’ We made two records in a span of 12 months and a world tour.

I think between the banter from the fans and all the positive reviews; the label probably felt that it would be good to give us time to work on new songs [for the next album]. It's good opportunity to continue to gain momentum. It’s a chance for people that haven't seen the band an opportunity to hear our energetic performance. There was a lot of energy with KISS in the beginning; they weren't able to capture it on those first three records until ‘Alive.’ They released a live record to show everyone at how energetic they were as a live band. I can relate to that.  

MetalTitans: There's so many great landmark live records; ‘Alive' among them. Years later, we find out they weren't so live. How much ‘sweetening' did you guys do on ‘Live and Louder?’

John Corabi: None. I can honestly tell you that there was no overdubbing on this live record. We recorded 4-5 shows and gave them to Anthony Focx he mixed them. I'm not a big fan of that. As you know, I have a solo band and we recorded some of the ‘Motley ‘94’ shows that I did. I have a live record coming out in June or July. I have been sitting on this record for a year and half.  

MetalTitans: When I spoke with you last June you mentioned that live album. At that point you were hoping to have that out by October [2016].

John Corabi: I assure you, it's coming out. I just didn't want it to interfere with what was happening with The Daisies. I spoke to my label and said The Daisies comes out in May and in June or July we can get my [live] solo album out. So when we go to make the next Daisies record they can release my record. One of my favorite live records is Aerosmith’s ‘Live Bootleg.’ It is what it is; there's mistakes left on there. That's what I wanted on my solo album. I did one show; it’s called ‘94 Live One Night in Nashville.’ And that's the truth; it’s one show with no overdubs, nothing.  I gave that to Michael Wagener, he mixed it and it's ready to go. It’s the same with The Daisies. We didn't overdub anything. I haven't heard the entire live Daisies record yet;  I've heard a couple rough mixes and it sounds incredible. I can't wait for you to hear it.

MetalTitans: With the vinyl version there's a covers E.P. included. What is that exactly?

John Corabi: I believe that’s an acoustic show we did for a radio station and a bunch of contest winners. We recorded it and took all the cover songs from the set and mixed that.

MetalTitans: In keeping with the covers theme; you been a part of a number of those covers compilation records. Those albums as a whole can be hit and miss. There's some great performances on the Rod Stewart tribute where you covered; “Maggie May” and “Gasoline Alley.” You also did a UFO tribute album where you tackled “Only You Can Rock Me.” You also turned up on a GNR tribute and cut covers of “Used to Love Her” and “Patience” which turned out fantastic.

John Corabi: I had some misses, trust me buddy! [laughs] There are some where I think to myself “My God this is terrible!” If I can be frank, blunt and honest. There was a point when I left Motley; I may have done the wrong thing.  Maybe I did the right thing, I don't know. All I know, I'm a musician, I was in Motley and I was making very good money. Then I wasn't in Motley anymore and I had an ex-wife, two kids that need things, and I had two households to support.

I wasn't out there trying to solicit work; I'd get a call every now and then from Cleopatra Records or one of these record labels. They’d say “Hey do you want to do a Rod Stewart song for this tribute record?” I would agree and they would have me pick one. I did “Gasoline Alley” and they paid me like $5,000. I was like “awesome!” I turned in the song to the label and they thought it was amazing and they asked if i wanted to do another. Someone had recorded “Maggie May” but the label didn't like it. So they asked me to do it and I got paid another $5,000 and did “Maggie May” with the guys from Union. Often times it was a label calling asking me sing “Cat Scratch Fever” on a Ted Nugent tribute album for $2,500. I'd be like “sure!” [laughs] I needed to make money! [laughs]

How that worked was that I'd walk in and that tracks would already be done; I’d walk in and record my vocals. When I recorded “Cat Scratch Fever” I couldn't have been in the studio for 30 minutes; then I get handed a check $2,500 bucks! [laughs] There was a fan recently that brought several of them for me to sign; I was like “Oh my God why did I do that one?!” There’s some pretty horrible ones.

MetalTitans: Some can be ‘flat’ and ‘lifeless’ for sure. Some can be sterile because they aren't recorded by a group of musicians that are in an actual band together.

John Corabi: ‘Flat' is a good description for some of them. I appeared on an AC/DC one;  I recorded “Shake A Leg.” It was weird, I love all the players that were on that and they’re friends of mine; like you said it's not really ‘a band.’ To me AC/DC has ‘a groove’ but that version I recorded of “Shake A Leg” doesn’t have a groove. It’s like everyone is trying to ‘one up’ the next person. The drummer was over the top, the bass player was over the top and the guitarist was over the top. I’m screaming over all of it. If I could go back...I think I would pass on that one! [laughs]

MetalTitans: You current gig doesn’t suck. What’s the worst job that you’ve ever had?

John Corabi: Wow. [long pause] Worst job I’ve ever had...man, I haven’t had many jobs. I’ve always been a musician. I did have a few; I think the worst is when I was living in Philly and I worked for a shoe distributor. It was family owned, I worked there with my brother in law at the time. I just hated that job! It was owned by two older gentlemen; one of them had a son. I was in my early 20s at that point in time; he must have been 6-7 years older than me. Man, what an asshole! I can’t stand when people talk down to me. The guy knew he was ‘the boss’ and that he was the owner and he constantly let you know it. I was like I know I work for you, I get it. Things finally blew up; I used a few adjectives and a few verbs. [laughs] I just couldn’t do it anymore. That may be the worst job I’ve ever had.

MetalTitans: Have you ever considered dabbling with ‘country music?’ I know you’re based out of Nashville these days and have been for a bit. Some of your contemporaries have done it. Most recently Warrant have covered Merle Haggard in hopes to get a crossover hit.

John Corabi: Wait...What?!  Who is doing the Merle Haggard song?

MetalTitans: Warrant.

John Corabi: I had no idea. I haven’t heard about it. I’m personally very ‘anti-labels.’ I grew up in a home where no one played music at all. My mother probably had the most eclectic record collection on earth. Depending on her mood; some days it was Frank Sinatra other days it was Trini Lopez, sometimes it was Sergio Mendes other days it was The Raspberries or Gray Puckett or Led Zeppelin. Her collection was so eclectic. I don’t know why it is but I love Glen Campbell and John Denver; when I hear their music it takes me back to being a kid. My mom would do chores around the house and pull out a stack of records...I have no issues with people doing what they want to do. Write and record what you like. I see it as music. I don’t put a label on it. One of the reasons why I liked [Led] Zeppelin and The Beatles...if you listen to Zeppelin’s “Hot Dog” it sounds like an old Elvis ‘boogie’ country song. The Beatles covered the Buck Owens song “Act Naturally.”

I don’t mean to take the piss out of your question; a lot of what contemporary country is doing now is basically what Bon Jovi has been doing for years. I used to listen to country music when I was a kid; I’m not well versed in it. You’re never going to see me in a rhinestone jacket and a cowboy hat saying “Yeah, I’ve been into this my whole life!” [laughs] It’s just not the case. People that do that annoy me, because it’s not honest. You were singing Judas Priest two weeks ago [laughs] Piss off! [laughs] It’s not ‘real.’

MetalTitans: What your top three ‘signature songs’ and what are your top three ‘deep cuts?’

John Corabi: Well, I won’t include any of The Daisies songs because I don’t think they’ve connected yet. I’m basing this answer on songs that would be in the solo set or that I could possibly include in a solo set. I think as The Daisies begin to gain momentum I’ll begin to throw in some of those songs in my solo set, but we’re not quite there yet. I would have to say top three signature songs would include; “Man In The Moon” from The Scream, “Hooligan’s Holiday” from the Motley record and “(Love) I Don’t Need It Anymore” by Union. The three ‘deep cuts’ would include a song from The Scream that we haven’t done live “I Don’t Care” and I would also include “Kiss The Sky” which I wrote for Motley Crue. They did record it; it wasn’t like how I initially envisioned it; I would like to go into the studio and record it how I heard it in my head. There was another Union song that we used to do live but for some reason we stopped doing it; the song is called “Let It Flow.”

MetalTitans: The version you envisioned of  “Kiss The Sky” also had a psychedelic vibe to it?

John Corabi: Yeah, we were working on what later would become the ‘Generation Swine’ record. We working in two studio simultaneously; at Nikki’s [Sixx] house. There was one in his garage and one above his garage. I was working with Tommy [Lee] at the time; I shared him this riff that I really liked. We started building the song. It was a straightforward ‘Beatles-esque’ vibe to it. It was a trippy song. When they recorded it; the put a modern spin to it. I don’t think the solo on there is a guitar. When I heard it; I heard a George Harrison trippy slide guitar solo. The version they recorded had this modern or industrial vibe to it and I didn’t like it. I would love at some point to record that song the way I heard it in my head.