I’ve been fortunate enough to have chatted with guitarist Doug Aldrich a few times over the past number of years. The first interview was recorded when he was in Belfast with Whitesnake in 2013 and the second was recorded in 2018 just before The Dead Daisies tour brought them to Belfast. I was pleased to get the opportunity to speak to Doug again via Skype on 31st January. This time the focus was on the recent release of the third album from Revolution Saints; the band that he is in alongside Deen Castronovo and Jack Blades. However, we also chat about The Dead Daisies, Burning Rain, Dio, The Planet Rock Allstars and more.


You can hear that interview along with eight tracks featuring Doug on the Friday NI Rocks Show on 7th February. This is available from the On Demand Player - http://www.rockradioni.co.uk/hosts/ni-rocks-friday-rock-show.html

 

 

 

 

The 2018 interview with Doug can be found here - http://www.rockradioni.co.uk/interviews/3485-ni-rocks-interview-with-doug-aldrich-the-dead-daisies-burning-rain-etc.html

 

The new interview will be transcribed and posted here later.

 

Playlist -

TRUCKER DIABLO – Year of the Truck

DYNAZTY – Presence of Mind

MADDISON – Masquerade

FURY – Galactic Rock

REVOLUTION SAINTS – When the Heartache Has Gone

Interview with DOUG ALDRICH Part 1 (7 min)

REVOLUTION SAINTS – Rise

Interview with DOUG ALDRICH Part 2 (5 min)

BURNING RAIN - Revolution

Interview with DOUG ALDRICH Part 3 (9 min)

REVOLUTION SAINTS – Closer

THE PLANET ROCK ALLSTARS – You’re The Voice

THE DEAD DAISIES – Righteous Days

DIO – Better in the Dark

ROXANNE – Nothin To Lose

TESLA – Freedom Slaves

CINDERELLA – Nobody’s Fool

Promo Interview – DELAIN album “Apocalypse & Chill”

DELAIN – Burning Bridges

IRON MAIDEN – Murders in the Rue Morgue

ALICE COOPER – Lost in America

SAFIRE – Heartbreaker

TRIGGERMAN – Hail to the River Gods

BLACKFOOT – Train Train (Live)

GARY MOORE – Over the Hills and Far Away

BOB DAISLEY AND FRIENDS – The Loner


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NI ROCKS –  Hi Doug. Thanks for taking some time to talk to Rock Radio NI. It’s always good to have you on the Show.

DOUG – Thanks Nigel. It’s great to be on the Show of course. Thanks for having me.


NI ROCKS - Last week saw the release of the third Revolution Saints album “Rise” and we’ve just played the track “When The Heartache Has Gone”. What can you tell us about that track?

DOUG – There is a video that we did for that song. The three of us are in there, which is fine; but we’ve got a really great Spanish girl called Paula and she did a fantastic job of distracting people away from our ugly faces to her beautiful face.

 

NI ROCKS – That was the first single. Why did you pick that one to release first?

DOUG – The record company I think picked that. With Revolution Saints, it’s really run by Frontiers and owned by Frontiers. It’s their baby, so they picked that song as the single. Other than playing guitar on it, I really don’t have that much to do with it. Other than writing a few bits here and there. So credit goes to Frontiers for picking that one. It’s a really good song. It’s got the Journey-esk thing about it that Frontiers loves and it’s still quite heavy.


NI ROCKS – You and Deen have obviously been very busy with The Dead Daisies. When did you find time to write and record the latest Revolution Saints album?

DOUG – The majority of it was written by Alessandro (Del Vecchio), so it was pretty much together and I just helped co-write some bits as I said. And Deen as well; and Jack. But last spring we had some time off and I was able to knock out my parts. I think Deen actually went to Italy for a week and knocked out drums and his vocals. With that type of thing, it’s really a session; so you can do it any way that you want. With a band like The Dead Daisies for instance we really need to be in one place at one time, all together in order to really make it happen. But when you’re doing a session it’s much easier. You just get the songs and you put your parts on it. We did track the second Revolution Saints album together, but this one came up really quickly so we just did a bit of writing and went for it.


NI ROCKS – The last time we spoke was about 15 months ago and at that stage you weren’t even sure what the timescale was for the third album so it obviously happened quite quickly. I presume we can’t rule out album number four then at some stage?

DOUG - I would be happy if we ended it right here with this one because its a good statement and to be honest, as much as I really enjoy working with those guys, I’m not really a big fan of the projects as much as I was before. I really want to dedicate myself to the things that are most important and for me that’s the Daisies and some odds and ends that I do, that are bands of mine. I don’t see any plans for more Revolution Saints. I would tell people to enjoy this one, It seems as if it would be a fair time to say that was that and let’s move on to something else. Don’t get me wrong, and I’m grateful of the opportunity to play with Revolution Saints; and you never know, you can never say never, but there are so many project bands out there that it waters down the market and the scene and I really don’t want to do that. I want to try to build a scene as opposed to putting one more.......you know we could all do a bazillion projects at the same time, but it doesn’t build as much as it does distract a little.


NI ROCKS – One project that you were involved in recently was the Planet Rock All Stars charity single which was a cover version of “You’re The Voice”. I’ll play the track later, but how did you get associated with that and how did you get involved?

DOUG – My friend Wyatt from Planet Rock asked me if I’d do something for charity and I thought that was a great idea. I love that type of thing. Those are the kind of projects that I like; where they are trying to use your name to help with their charity cause and I think that’s a good thing. Especially anything to do with kids; I’m all for it!


NI ROCKS – It’s a good cover version too! You must get asked to do a whole lot of things – how do you pick and choose what to get involved in?

DOUG – I trying to realise that less is more. I think that being home a lot last year; which I mentioned off the air, led me to do some coaching for my son; made me realise that time is so precious with your family that you’ve got to spend as much time as you can with them. That being said, I’m a working musician, so I do have to leave home, but I just don’t want to take on too many projects; or not projects, too many tours or too many sessions or things like that, where it is going to distract from my family too much more. Because I’m full on with The Dead Daisies right now and it’s quite a lot, in a good way!


NI ROCKS – Getting back to the Revolution Saints album and we’ll play another track now. Can you pick a track to play and tell us something about it?

DOUG – Let’s go with the title track. It’s called “Rise” and I like that track. I was able to contribute a little bit to the guitar parts on that and do a little bit of writing on that song because when I first got it, it had a riff that I thought was really catchy, but it just needed a little help to toughen it up a little. I spent a lot of time going through it and then I woke up one morning and came out to the studio and fell upon the way the riff is now and it really has a good hook to it. I hope people like it.

 


 

 

NI ROCKS – When we last chatted in October 2018 you revealed that the new Burning Rain album would be released the following March. That album “Face The Music” has now obviously been released. There was a change of line-up this time. How would you compare the new album with the previous release in 2013?

DOUG – It’s a little more raw sounding I think. We tried to keep it less produced and make it more basically simplified rock. That’s my band, so it’s a really fun thing for me to do; even if I can’t tour or do much with it. But when there is time to do something, we’ll go ahead and do it. That makes it so it’s not a project. It’s always been me and Keith, but because of the fact that we can’t do it full time, it means that sometimes the players will come and go. But we were really, really happy to have Brad Lang and Blas (Elias), and Brian Tichy also, on that record. We were able to do an acoustic promo tour last year that was really great and helped get us a little closer to being able to do a run in Europe at some point, and the UK. We are actually next week playing two shows on the Monsters of Rock Cruise that sails out of Florida. We’re going to do that, but then the rest of the year is committed to the Daisies and home time as much as I can.


NI ROCKS – Where had you recorded “Face The Music” and who did you worked with for production etc on that one?

DOUG – I kind of co-produced it with Alessandro (Del Vecchio), but we had him mix it. We started off with demos that were pretty complete and we just re-recorded the tracks ourselves up at Brian Tichy’s studios. We had Blas come in and Brian played on some of it. I did the guitars at my house, in my home-studio, and Keith sang in his home studio down the road. When it came to some of the final over-dubs I was actually on the road with The Dead Daisies, so I just did what I needed to do from my mobile rig. Then we sent the sessions over to Alessandro and he mixed it. So, it has definitely got a different sound than the previous record, just for the fact that someone different mixed it, but of course Keith’s voice and my guitar are the same so it still fits.


NI ROCKS – It’s a great album. Burning Rain is actually the band now that you’ve been associated with for the longest time during your career. It’s now over twenty years since the release of the first album. Would you say that Burning Rain holds a particular attachment to you as it was formed by you? It’s your band.

DOUG – Yeah, I think so. You never know what we’re going to do! I’ll just call Keith and say are you available to do some writing or something, and he’ll say yes or maybe that he’ll have something else going on; you never know. Then he’ll call me and say we’ve got an offer to do this or that and what do you think. And I’ll say I’m out with The Dead Daisies, I’m definitely not available. It’s tough to make it really come to life as much as I’d like to, but it’s definitely got a good place in my heart. When there is time it’s a fun thing and people seem to really support it still; after twenty years like you said. It’s pretty cool.


NI ROCKS – You mentioned the Monsters of Rock shows there, but have you talked about doing some more Burning Rain gigs or about a fifth Burning Rain album at some point?

DOUG – We have not talked about it, but it could definitely happen at some point. Like I said, I’ve a full schedule for The Daisies this year so I’m committed to basically the whole year with them. So other than an odd gig here or there or something for charity maybe, I’m probably not going to be available for much else.


NI ROCKS – We’ll play a track from “Face The Music” now. Which track would you pick and why?

 

DOUG – I would say “Revolution”. It’s a very simple thing musically; there’s not much to it. It’s kind of got a simple riff to it, but I really like the melody and the lyrics kind of have an edge to them. A political thing that is interesting for this time.

 


 

 

NI ROCKS – As you’ve mentioned you’re currently working on the new album for The Dead Daisies. How are things progressing and do you have a target date for completion?

DOUG – I think its springtime and it’s going great. It sounds incredible – what Glenn (Hughes) brought to it. Of course we miss the other guys. John Corabi is one of my longest friends; I’ve known him since I was in grade school. And Marco is super close to me. John has wanted to tone it down a bit and get into his solo stuff which he’s great at. That left a little bit of a gap, when you have a lead singer who needs to take time off. And Marco was working on his solo thing and I think he had a discussion with the Daisies about taking a little time. They reached out to Glenn and he was all for it. We didn’t know, exactly, what we were going to sound like, but we got together and started writing some things. We came up with four or five songs last summer, and we released “Righteous Days” as you know. Now for the album we’ve really stepped it up. We’ve got a full album of stuff that is a really great blend of what Glenn brings and what the Daisies sound like. We re-cut “Righteous Days” and made it fresh. We thought why put the same version on the album – lets re-cut it. We made a few little changes here and there and it sounds really good. I’m really happy with the whole album.

Glenn of course is a legend. He is the voice of rock. He’s one of the greatest singers. He did some stuff on this record that I’ve never heard him do before. At one point in particular he started to hit this long note and I thought ‘that’s kind of an early time to start doing that because by the time you get to the point that you really want to hear it, it’s gonna be....I don’t think that’s possible!’ So he starts this note and you’re listening to it for the first time and you’re like, ‘wait a minute, there’s no way, how’s he going to do this’...and he keeps going and he’s getting to the point and you’re getting nervous... like ‘he’s not going to make it!’ And he gets past the point where you think he should have stopped and he keeps going and you’re thinking ‘oh my god, I can’t believe he just pulled that off! That’s incredible!’ You feel like making a sigh of relief because he did it. And he didn’t just do it and stop there – he kept going and I’m thinking ‘this guy is from another planet!’ He really is!


NI ROCKS – You’ve worked with Glenn before and you were part of his touring band; I think it was in 2015 when you actually played Belfast with him.  It’s been a fairly smooth transition then for Glenn coming into the band?

DOUG – Yeah. There is a bit of a transition. He is a larger than life personality and he’s got a way of doing things and the Daisies have a way of doing things. We met in the middle and made everything work out. Not so that we had to compromise, but everyone got their ideas out there and made it a band sound. That’s what we went for. Anytime you bring in someone new... even when I came in, they were used to working with Richard (Fortus), so it takes a minute, but obviously it worked out well and I’m sure it’s going to work out well with Glenn too.


NI ROCKS – You mentioned that you were tied in for most of the rest of the year. The Dead Daisies management are very good at locking people in and telling them when they’re doing things. I take it there will be a tour sometime soon.  Any idea if there will be some UK shows?

DOUG – We’re going to start kicking off in April. I’d say for sure we’ll be coming to the UK and Ireland, but we have a European run first I think; starting in May. I’m not sure if that includes some UK stuff or not, but we absolutely have a full on UK and Ireland tour at the end of the year.

NI ROCKS – It’ll be great to see you back again.

DOUG – Absolutely!

NI ROCKS – You mentioned that following the arrival of Glenn the band put out the single “Righteous Days” which we’ll play later in the Show. What can you tell us about that track?

DOUG – Like I said, we wrote that last summer. It was one of the first tracks that we wrote together as a band. You can have a guy like Glenn come in and write a full song – he doesn’t need anyone to help him write a song. But there is a chemistry when you write together, or at least record together. That was a song that we wrote together and recorded together. The other songs we’ve also re-recorded that we’d done and put our stamp on them. “Righteous Days” was a good lead-off, just to give a teaser of what we were going to sound like. A simple, heavy riff, a simple melody and a nice lyric. That’s really what we were trying to go for. It was a good first step.


NI ROCKS – The song went down well with fans. It was very good. I know you were at the NAMM show recently doing some promotional work. Do you do much of that still or do any of your clinics?

DOUG – I was demoing for a friend, who has a company that makes guitar pedals. I was doing some demos for them and I was also doing signing. I did a demo for Marshall really quickly. And I did some shows at night. I did the Ronnie Montrose tribute show and I did the Ultimate Jam night. I think next year I’ll avoid doing the demo thing because it’s eight hours of basically standing up with a Les Paul on my neck! (Laughs). It’s a lot, my back was....It took me a chiropractic trip and I’ve been going to the gym, trying to keep it maintained now because it’s going to get busy. It’s a lot of fun, but it’s more fun I think for the people that come in from out of town, than it is for me, because I live here. I know everybody and it’s like I’ll go and check out the gear and stuff, but I end up just hanging out and talking to people and playing all day and I don’t get to see as much gear as I’d like to.


NI ROCKS – I was reading somewhere recently that they are planning to re-release some of the Dio studio albums, including “Killing The Dragon” that you played on, with some additional live tracks. Do you know much about that and is there likely to be any live performances that haven’t been released before featuring yourself?

DOUG – No, I don’t know anything about it to be honest. I need to call Wendy (Dio) and ask her if i can help in any way. That’s really good news. I’d heard something about it, then I forgot about it. I’d love to help out. I do still have a track that I played a solo on for Ronnie and it’s an unreleased track that, other than (Dio drummer) Simon Wright, no one had heard it. I want to offer that to Wendy. Originally when he died, it’s now almost ten years, I had mentioned it to Wendy and she said I can’t listen to anything right now. Everything is too hard. So we’ll see. I would love to be involved.

NI ROCKS – From reading the interview, what she was saying was that they were going to put a lot of additional live tracks on with  the studio stuff, so it would be good to hear that.

DOUG – Cool, yeah!

(note – the re-issues are released on 20th March)


NI ROCKS -  I thought we might play something from “Killing The Dragon” later in the Show. Do you have a favourite from that album?

DOUG – There’s a lot, but I really love “Better In The Dark”. It’s a great track.


NI ROCKS – We’ll get back to Revolution Saints again for the final track to play. Do you want to pick a track from that and tell us something about it?

DOUGThere’s a song called “Closer” that I really like. It reminded me a little bit of some of the changes that I wrought for the song “Forevermore” with Whitesnake. It was something that I really enjoyed and I thought it had a great vibe.


NI ROCKS – Thanks for taking the time to talk to us, I know you’ve plenty to do there. Good luck with the Revolution Saints album and good luck obviously with The Dead Daisies stuff.

 

DOUG – Thank you so much Nigel, I really appreciate it; and everybody in Northern Ireland, thank you guys for your support.


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Last Updated (Wednesday, 18 March 2020 00:28)