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Danny Vaughn (Tyketto)

Interview with Danny Vaughn from Tyketto
by Grigoris Chronis at 19 September 2004, 11:35 PM

Danny Vaughn surely is a hard working musician. In my mere eyes, he's also a little bit unlucky. I was convinced this man would build a successful career since firstly hearing his charismatic voice in Waysted's Save Your Prayers (1986) album. Then came Tyketto… Data: I can't - even now - explicate why this band did not went as famous as a lot of other overestimated contemporaries \[Checkin' out the band's Don't come easy (1991) notorious debut release I guess you'll come up with the same wonder…]. Danny's own band, Vaughn, took over from where Tyketto had stopped with a number of – at least – notable albums (2001's Fearless recommended). In addition, a collection of acoustic songs – Standing Alone - was released under the name Danny Vaughn in 2002.  So, year 2004 now and Danny Vaughn is certainly not tired. A new project CD under Frontiers Records, From The Inside, plus a long-awaited Tyketto reunion European (mainly) tour sums up why this musician trully love's what he's doing. And we surely wanna know more…

Danny, greetings from Greece and magazine. Things in summer usually slow down a little bit for everyone but it seems that you don’t fit in this category. A new CD is about to come out these days, a European Tyketto reunion tour will begin in upcoming November… I guess there’s lots of hard work this period?

Yeah, and I couldn’t be happier. For a long time I felt like my musical life was going very slowly and now it’s good to feel busy.

Let’s begin with the new CD, From the inside. I have to admit that I was a little bit confused when I saw the first ads in some magazines. We‘re not talking about a Tyketto release for sure, but it also isn’t a Vaughn release. So, it’s a project you are involved in or we’re talking about a brand new band? A little help would be grateful (songs, musicians, rehearsal period etc) since we haven’t heard the CD yet, OK?

The new CD From The Inside is strictly a project. It was something put together by Frontiers Records. They have made a few other albums like this where they gather together songs from outside writers and put them around one particular singer. They have done it with Kelly Hanson and Steve Walsh. And now it’s my turn! It was a great new challenge for me.

I read that there will be bonus enhancement added to the CD. I guess it will be some video material? Also, it seems there’s a song written by Desmond Child. Is it a new composition or a new version of an oldest song?

There is a video for the song Nothing At All on the cd as well as a video interview that I did about the new album. The Desmond Child song is a sing called Suddenly that was originally recorded by country artist, Leann Rimes.

Are there are any plans for touring so as to promote the From the inside CD in the near future or some time later, depending on the CD’s response?

No, we don’t have any touring plans for it. The Tyketto tour will be strictly playing Tyketto songs (as it should be). But I think that the next time that I do a Vaughn tour some of these songs will have to make a live appearance

Let’s jump to the Tyketto section now. I was (and not only me, for sure) more than happy to hear that some Tyketto reunion shows will take place across Europe in November, with the original lineup. Was it your decision? Should we expect any new material some time?

It was all of our decision. We have had many offers to reunite before and we just never felt good about it. Usually we were only considering doing it for the money. This time, however, everyone was just in the right frame of mind and got really excited about the idea of playing together again.

The tour is going to focus on the Don’t Come Easy part of our careers so I don’t think we will be introducing any new material.

One of the countries Tyketto will be touring to is also Greece. I must inform you that Tyketto have a well-respected name over the years in Greece, since the band’s debut album Love don’t come easy. How do you feel playing in this country for the first time? I guess you noticed that there were many Greek fans in Vaughn’s show last March in London with Firehouse (e.n.: notice how – due to a slip of the tongue – I named the Tyketto debut album…hang me…).

Love Don’t Come Easy was a White Lion song. Not the only thing they stole from us, might I add! Our album was called Don’t Come Easy.

When Vaughn played with Firehouse at the beginning of this year we were met by a very loud, very strong group of Greek fans in London. Up until then I had never realized that Tyketto was even heard of over there. So we are really excited to be coming there for the first time. And we get a day off there as well! I am also very grateful to Bonfire for helping us out and letting us in on their gig. They are a great band and it’s going to be one hell of a double bill!

Really, do you like Firehouse?

I’ve know them for along time. They impressed the hell out of me with their live show. It was like a machine. Very well rehearsed. It just rolled over the fans. They also care a lot about their fans, which goes a long way with me. Nothing but respect for them.

The show in Thessalonica, Greece also features Bonfire as co-headliners. Will you be playing anywhere else together? Do you like their releases all these years?

I played with them once before in England and I was impressed with them. I thought their singer was very strong. I am not as familiar with all of their music as I would like to be but I’m sure that I will know more after we play together! That’s the only show that we have planned with them.

When the tour dates were out for the Tyketto reunion shows, there was only one show for the US. Then, I noticed that it was canceled. Last time a US gig was finally added. On the other side, except from the UK Tyketto also will play in countries such as Greece, Belgium, Holland and Spain. You think there’s no interest anymore for melodic hard rock in the States and, thus, focused more on Europe or there is a plan of a set of US dates some time in the future?

No plans for the US. I don’t know if there is a real interest in the States or not. It’s kind of sad to be unable to tour in my own country. But I feel that music fans in America tend to have very short attention spans and are much more dictated to by fashion than European music fans are.

Danny, due to the newly released from the inside CD and the Tyketto reunion shows, should we consider that Vaughn will be kept on ice?

Vaughn will be back in 2005. Remember, I only just finished touring with Vaughn at the beginning of this year. I toured with a completely British band and it was a lot of fun. I’m hoping to be working on a new Vaughn release in the beginning of next year.

During 2003 Vaughn toured the UK as support act for the great Bob Catley. How did you feel to share the shame stage with such a legend?

Well, it was only me, really. I was opening for Bob with just me and my acoustic guitar. It’s very intimidating to try something like that. But, his fans were very welcoming and it was a great time. Bob is a truly genuine guy and we got along great. I’m hoping that we’ll do it again sometime.

In 1997 a CD release under the band/project name Flesh & Blood came out, featuring you along with well-respected musicians like Al Pitrelli & Mark Mangold? How would you portray this specific effort?

Some of the most fun I’ve ever had recording. The songs were done. All I had to do was sing them. No thinking, no planning, just good old blues. I love the blues with a passion and it had always been a dream of mine to do something in a more Black Crowes, Rolling Stones kind of vein. This was a joy to do and I still like listening to it

There’s a question from the fan side. I myself (and many more, I guess, over 30 years old now) discovered Danny Vaughn as the man behind the microphone in Waysted’s Save your prayers’’ LP, back in 1986. Since I am not familiar with any musical experience you might have before, how much of a key factor was to work with a musician with the skills and the experience of Pete Way? You think this period was valuable enough in developing your musical skills and gaining important experience?

Absolutely. I went from playing Iron Maiden songs in a cover band to opening up for Iron Maiden on a world tour in less than a year. It was a roller coaster of learning, both bad and good. This was my first. And you never forget your first!

What kind of music do you like to hear in your free time? Is there any fresh band/artist whose work you particularly admire?

I listen to so much and it’s never the same thing twice. Of the newer bands that I’ve heard, I like a band called Jet as well as the Darkness. It’s about time somebody reminded us that rock and roll is supposed to be fun! A release! Not all this whining, complaining and growling that has taken over in the last 5 years.

A general idea that I catch from the colour of your voice and (or) your performance style is that you must be fond of singers like Steve Perry (Journey), Paul Rodgers (Free, Bad Company) and Glenn Hughes (Deep Purple, Trapeze). Yet, it’s amazing how your vocal act differentiates from period to period (e.g. from Waysted and Tyketto to early Vaughn, or from Flesh & Blood to late – acoustic - Vaughn). What do you think? It’s the feeling or the technique that comes first?

I think you have very good ears. These are all my biggest singing influences. I feel that things have changed greatly from album to album. When I listen to the Waysted album I hear how new and scared I was. By the time Tyketto started I had learned to open up and access so much more power and emotion. And these days, a close friend, and fantastic bass player, gave me one of the greatest compliments I’ve ever received when he told me, after listening to From The Inside that I have come to the point where it all sounds effortless. What a wonderful thing to hear! I think more than anything that is what I would like to achieve. I think that I have become very comfortable with my instrument now and can get to that place inside that is needed for a song without any big fanfare or trouble or set up. Dear me, is that called maturity??

Well, it’s about time (for you, mainly…). Sincere thanks for having this brief conversation. We hope all the best for the future and all the success you expect from your latest shot, From the inside. Last words are gladly welcome for our readers!

Thank you so much for still being out there and encouraging me to keep going. Every letter and every person I meet means something to me. I am so very excited to be playing Greece for the first time!


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