20 QUESTIONS WITH…
Ex-Tyketto Singer Danny Vaughn
Just the other day, Jani Bon Neil was checking his emails and received this:
My name is Danny Vaughn and, if you really stretch your burnt out memory cells you might recall me from my band Tyketto. Or my current band Vaughn.
So how do I pick from the list of illustrious names to contact here? Well, I read your interview onRockconfidential.com and figured you were the man to start with.
Basically, I love your site. I’ve always thought that some of us take ourselves waaaayyyyyy too seriously. It’s been fun watching you go shot for shot with some of the bigger egos in the business as well.
Anyway, I’d love to do the 20 questions with you or anything else that you might be interested in. Of course, after Dee Snider, everybody seems to be a long range second place. I’m taking some time off so I don’t have shit to sell or promote currently, but I love the site so I thought I’d get my courage up and write to you. My bet is your first question will be: "Who the fuck ARE you?"
Anyway, keep up the great work,
And with that, we sent out 20 Questions to Danny and here they are. Enjoy!
1. Who the fuck are you?
I knew you were gonna say that!
2. Give us 3 career highlights and 3 career lowlights.
1.Touring with Iron Maiden when I was with Waysted. This culminates with finally playing Madison Square Garden, every major hockey arena in Canada, and doing the gig that got beer banned from the Meadowlands!
2. Having Billy Cobham, jazz drumming legend, tell me I had a great voice. (Don’t worry, he won’t remember).
3. My first interview on Totalrock radio in London.
1. Being dropped from Geffen records over the phone.
2. If I told them once, I told them a thousand times, "Tyketto", THEN "Puppet show" on the Marquee.
3. Being strip searched by a New York State trooper only to have him freak out when he discovered stuff to get rid of crabs in my pocket. Hmmmm… maybe that’s actually a highlight.
3. What hard rock/heavy metal band should give it up and call it a day?
Actually, 2 bands come to mind. Both are bands that I really love. One is Kiss. What is this, their 4th farewell tour? And now it’s with a vague Ace Frehley impersonator? Either they should stop calling them farewell tours and carry on as the mighty band they are, or, well, farewell, already.
The other would be John Sykes and Thin Lizzy. Great as John is, Phil Lynott was Thin Lizzy. Please guys, let it go gracefully.
4. You were once in a band called Flesh &Blood. Was that some sort of Poison tribute band or something?
Flesh & Blood was more of a project. A heavy, blues rock album with some fantastic songs and musicians on it. The brainchild of Mark Mangold (of Touch, Drive, She Said, and The Sign) it was the first time I ever got to just walk in and sing without all the planning and sweating that goes into doing your own album. It was great fun.
5. Rate the following singers on a scale of 1 to 10. 1 being somebody who has no business on stage and 10 being a vocal treasure!
Dee Snider = 6 (please don’t tell him!)
Pete Loran = 6
Steve Augeri =9
Jani Lane = 5 when he sings with Warrant, 7 when he sings outside of them. Heard him jam one night on a cover of the Beatles "Oh Darling" and he wailed on it!
Stephen Pearcy = 2
Bret Michaels = 6
David Lee Roth = 7 as a singer, completely and utterly off the scale as a lyric writer and performer.
Paul Stanley = 8
Sebastian Bach = 7
Ted Poley = I’ll give up a 1 here but after hearing his last offering and that unbearably insulting "Elton John" song perhaps a lower number could be arranged?
6. You wrote a rant on your site about Ebay and people selling bootlegs of yours. Shouldn?t you just be happy that anybody is even selling your stuff and that people will pay for it?
When you put it that way, I suppose that I should. I would just rather that the bootlegs were traded for free rather than used to make money for some third party that doesn’t care about the band in the first place.
7. Of all the bands Tyketto and Vaughn played with, which one took themselves the most seriously?
It’s a tie between Blue Oyster Cult and Yngwie Malmsteen. With Blue Oyster Cult I think it’s because they are all pretty short. With Yngwie, well, you’re Metal Sludge you know more about his problems than I do!
8. Where is the rest of Tyketto?
Michael Clayton runs an extremely successful booking agency in New Jersey called 107 Productions, and he still pounds those skins with a vengeance whenever we get together.
Brooke St. James is alive and well and playing up in Wisconsin somewhere.
Jimi Kennedy still plays bass in various bands in the New Jersey area.
Jamie Scott is a very happy father and husband in Texas.
9. Tyketto was signed to Geffen Records during Geffen?s heyday. So how did you guys end up not having the major success others bands at the time did? Who would you like to blame for that?
I think we were just a couple of years too late. (the story of my life, really). We had all the machinery behind us and all the right things in place, but music changed drastically right after we were first released. I’d love to blame the coming of Nirvana but that’s too easy. Part of the reason Nirvana was so successful is that so many rock acts had become parodies of real bands. Hairspray endorsements, sampled vocals, matching leather outfits had turned the music we love into a fashion show. As soon as fashion changes, if you’re in the wrong line, you’re dead meat.
10. Which do you prefer and why:
Elton John or Don Henley = Very tough choice. Love them both. I’ll go with Elton because I think "Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me" is the greatest pop song ever written.
Paulie or Christopher (Sopranos) = Gotta be Paulie! Chris is a whiner.
Poison or Warrant = Poison
Maxim or FHM = Which one of those does Martha Stewart publish?
Bruce Dickinson or Rob Halford = Both awesome. I’ll go with Bruce because I got to fence with him once or twice!
The Exorcist or The Sixth Sense = Man, you’re killing me here! Exorcist because it damn near ruined my childhood.
David Coverdale or David Lee Roth = I’ll begrudgingly go with Coverdale but it’s a good thing my opinion doesn’t mean a damned thing!
Playing acoustic or playing with a full band = Love them both for totally different reasons. It is a lot easier getting into the dressing room toilet when I’m on my own, though.
Journey or Foreigner = Journey. Steve Perry was a major influence on me at one time.
Trixter or Britny Fox = I’ll take Britny ’cause they got Johnny Dee.
11. Your band’s bus?.let?s rephrase that, your band’s van drives 800 miles to a gig, but there is a detour that takes you off course by 34 miles. After fueling up and driving off course again by 20 miles you finally arrive at the gig but your drummer jumps in a fan?s car to hit the mall 10 miles away for shampoo. How many miles did the band?s van travel to get to the gig?
D. I’m a musician I can’t figure this out.
E. My tours are so low budget that the next acoustic one will be on a fucking bicycle! I’ll take 854 Alex.
12. What rock star deserves a smack in the mouth and why?
Axl Rose. He continues to insult the fans who hope beyond hope that he’s got even the slightest bit left in him of whatever he used to make the "Appetite" album. And he keeps sticking it to ‘em. Please folks, if we all just ignore this idiot, he’ll go away.
13. You’re a singer, usually the bands sound is defined by this person and ‘he/she’ becomes the focal point as well. What are your views on the following groups moving on without the original?
Ratt without Stephen Pearcy = Couldn’t be any worse
Skid Row without Sebastian Bach = Not much point
Anthrax without Joey Belladonna = Doesn’t bother me
Enuff Z’Nuff without Donnie Vie = Might get to the gigs on time
Danger Danger without Ted Poley = Much better
Guns n’ Axl without his ‘real’ band = See previous answer about Axl.
Tyketto without you = Steve Augeri is awesome. In fact, it was my idea that they replace me with him. However, they shouldn’t have called the band Tyketto because "Shine", while a really good record, wasn’t a Tyketto record.
14. There have been reunions and half-assed reunions from Kiss all the way down to Pretty Boy Floyd. Will we see an official Tyketto reunion anytime soon?
If you do, it won’t be for the money, I can tell you that. We’ve always said "no" before and I think we always will. We all get along well enough, but don’t want to relive the "glory days"
15. The Last of Danny Vaughn:
Last time you got a royalty check = Last week. It was for $1.81
Last time Tyketto played with original line-up = Via Rock festival in Belgium, 1995
Last CD you purchased = I’m a musician, we don’t purchase cds, we get them from friends in the industry.
Last concert you were backstage at = Sweden Rock
Last rockstar you shook hands with = JJ French
Last movie you saw = League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen
Last book you read = Don Quixote by Miguel De Cervantes
Last time you signed an autograph = A month ago at Sweden Rock
Last time you played the banjo = When I recorded "Gandy Dancer" for the "Soldiers And Sailors On Riverside" cd
Last time you looked through a Metal Edge magazine = The last time Gerri Miller ran it.
16. Your new band is named Vaughn. We?re you hoping for the same success as other one named acts like Madonna, Shakira, Jewel, Cher, and Ozzy, or were you just too lazy to think up anything creative?
I had wanted to simply go out as a solo artist. As Danny Vaughn. But the record company felt that people would respond better to a band name. And, let’s face it, all the good band names were taken a long time ago.
17. Do you think you?d be more famous if you weren?t born in Cleveland, Ohio?
I always thought that should have made me more famous! I’m just waiting for Drew Carey to ask me to be a guest on his show! Then, fame and fortune everlasting will be mine.
18. Do you think it’s possible for a melodic rock band these days to go gold without having a DJ or some gimmick?
Nah. I don’t even think it’s possible for a melodic rock band to get a record deal at all in America. Pretty sad, really.
19. You?ve played a lot of shows in England over the last few years. Does that bum you out that the only gigs you can get are on a rainy island?
No way! Arguably, the best rock bands in history come from that island, so they know their shit when it comes to music.
20. Time for Metal Sludge?s Word Association. We mention a name and you give us your thoughts.
Dana Strum = who?
Axl Rose = very, very boring
Kevin DuBrow = miraculous instant hair re-growth
David Geffen = Extremely honorable, classy, and successful man.
Steven Tyler = The reason I got started in this thing in the first place. None cooler.
Kid Rock = Giving rednecks a good name. More to him than meets the eye. I think he’s going to be around a long time but he sure owes Sheryl Crow a really nice Christmas card this year!
Butch Walker = Very talented. I Loved "Left Of Self Centered"
Gene Simmons = He was my substitute teacher in Manhattan at PS 75 for about a week. We drove him out! So he dropped his teaching career and played in a band. I think he owes me!
John Kalodner = Told me I’d always have a record deal wherever he went. Oh well……
Thanks to Danny for getting these back to us in a timely fashion!
For more info on Vaughn, you can visit Danny’s website at www.Vaughn.de