Interview: Danny Vaughn

Danny Vaughn is gearing up for some live dates in support of his new album ‘Myths, Legends and Lies’, he took time out from his preparations to answer some questions fired at him.

Danny VaughnNew album ‘Myths, Legends and Lies’ is quite a departure from what people might class as a typical Danny Vaughn album, but an album which sounds like you had a lot of fun making? Was the pressure off, or was it a different kind of pressure?

It was different, I suppose. I had made up my mind early on in the demo phases that I would have to stick to my guns and what I believe in as good music, regardless of its classification, and hope that the songs would find their way into the listeners’ hearts. And, yes, I had a lot of fun making it. The recording process was a joy each day.

With tales inspired by memories of your parents reading to you as a child, it’s quite a personal album it would seem?

It is. These are songs that I have written over various decades of my life that had no home in any of my other projects. I wrote them for myself and at one time, never had any intention for anyone else to hear them. I just wanted to test my abilities to write music beyond the confines of one genre.

‘The Missouri Kid’ is one of my favourites on the album, what’s the story behind this one?

It’s a true story about a fella living rough on the streets of New York City on a corner near where my first band went to rehearse. We dismissed him as a wino and paid him little mind but we always said hello to him and sometimes bought him a sandwich or a cheap bottle. One day he pulls out a deck of cards and suddenly..magic! It’s always been a good lesson to me that each person, no matter who they are, has gifts beyond your own. And each person you meet is fighting a battle that you know nothing about.

That’s very true indeed, another track that caught the ear was ‘Last Ride of The Sunset Men’. Its ‘War Of The Worlds’-style mid-section had me checking that I had the correct album playing! Where did the mid-section come from?

I have no idea! Hahahahaha! It just showed up and that was it.

What about ‘Point The Way’, is that autobiographical? How is the coffee in Kazakhstan? And how much stick did you get for the line… “Can anybody, anywhere, figure women out at all?” ?!

I think most men immediately shake their head in agreement and most women appreciate the idea of them being unfathomable. What’s love without mystery? No, it’s not autobiographical in any way. The furthest east I have been is Greece ☺

‘What You Left Behind’ totally floored me, I was a mess after that, a total mess! How hard was that to write?

It came to me quite quickly. And unwanted. I wrote it the day after my mother died. She passed unexpectedly and I was in the process of making all the logistical plans it takes to get to the states and deal with her belongings, etc. I’m not one to necessarily share my feelings on a subject like that. I never wrote a song about 9-11, for instance. Too personal. And yet, there I was walking on the beach the day after she died and the voices in my head said “I know exactly what you want to say to your Mom, so say it”. It was done in a couple of hours.

It’s truly an incredible song, had PledgeMusic not collapsed, how different would the album that you planned to release have sounded?

That’s hard to say. It was all the same songs, the same studio, engineer and musicians so I don’t imagine that it would sound any different. The magic of what happened is that the pledge debacle didn’t stop me or my fans from getting this done. We don’t quit.

Guitarist Chris Buck appears on ‘The Good Life’ and ‘Monkeys With Money and Guns’, he is a rather special talent isn’t he?

He is, indeed. He has a very personal touch on the guitar. And he’s a lovely person on top of that.

How important a musical partner is Chris Childs?

He had some key musical insights all the way through the process. He’s a skilled player, engineer and has tremendous musical instincts.

You played with Chris when you were in The Ultimate Eagles of course, I was curious to get your take on the current touring line-up of the actual Eagles? Country gets a bad rap sometimes, but Vince Gill can sure as hell play guitar!

He is amazing. I saw him play in a bar in Nashville years ago and it was a guitar tutorial.

Solo tours, ‘Snake Oil and Harmony tours with Dan Reed, as well as Tyketto of course, where does this relentless drive come from?

Fear of poverty, love of music.

Good answer! The first time that most people caught Tyketto in the UK was in 1991 opening for White Lion. At the time, how aware were you that it was the beginning of something special? If I remember correctly, at the Barrowlands gig in Glasgow, most people went to the bar after your set ended and never came back!

That gig was one we never forgot. In fact, the poster is still there in the venue! When we launched into Forever Young at the end the sold out crowd all jumped up and down for 4 and a half minutes all at the same time. We thought the stage was going to vibrate itself into splinters. By the end of that short UK run we knew we had established fans for life here. What an amazing stroke of luck that was.

Indeed the poster is still there, I pass it by on a regular basis! Now, you have a handful of solo acoustic shows this month, with more to follow in August, what does the remainder of 2019 hold for you?

I am going to be announcing more MLL acoustic dates for Europe very soon. Tyketto will be doing a couple of festivals as well as two special shows in the UK (Nuneaton and Sheffield) as an album launch party for the Strength In Numbers Live CD.

Sounds like a busy year! Thanks for your time Danny, looking forward to August at The Dreadnought! Cheers!

Thanks very much Dave. I will see you there ☺

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