Interview: The Dead Daisies talk about their upcoming US tour, fan reaction to new album
WDR Rockpalast

After spending a month touring the U.K. and Europe, The Dead Daisies are excited to get back on the road and bring their Burn It Down Tour to Japan, back to Europe, and then back home to North America over the summer and into the fall.

“It was crazy. Pretty much every show in the U.K. prior to our even getting there was sold out,” singer John Corabi told AXS. “And then we went into the main part of Europe and if [each show] wasn’t sold out, it was really super close. We had a great run, it was awesome!”

In a phone conversation with AXS, drummer Deen Castronovo, the newest member of the band, remarked that he is impressed with the fans’ response so far to the new album, Burn It Down (the band’s fourth album, released April 6). “It was amazing to us, to know the record had only been out two or three weeks and most of the people [at the shows] had already learned the lyrics and were singing them back to us,” he said. 

As is becoming typical for the Dead Daisies when they go out on the road, the hard rock collective packed 24 dates into a month — starting on April 8 in Glasgow, Scotland and ending on May 9 in Italy. In between, the tour hit: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Hungary, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Sweden, and Switzerland. 

Last year’s world tour sent the band to 16 countries for 30 shows. In 2015, they were the first American band to perform in Cuba after the embargo was lifted and the following year, they toured South Korea with the USO.

Burn It Down peaked at #6 on Billboard’s Heatseekers Albums chart on April 21 and has been climbing charts throughout Europe. As Corabi proudly noted, “Rise Up” — the first single off the new album — just entered the Top 40 Active Rock charts, which measures radio play. 

The band is currently on a short break and will return to the road with three shows in Japan starting on June 25, then returning to Europe for more dates and festivals through July 29. After another brief rest, they’ll set out on their North American tour. That starts on August 15 in Cleveland and will end at The Roxy in Hollywood on September 16. (The full schedule for these dates is below.) They are curious to see how American fans are reacting to the new album.

As The Dead Daisies (founded in 2012) enjoy increasing popularity each time they perform around the world, the same level of fandom eludes them at home. “America’s like the last frontier,” Corabi said. “We’re doing so well everywhere else and now we just want to see what kind of imprint we can leave on America, so we’re all pretty excited to get back here. We’re all citizens of America — this is our home country. So obviously, we’d all love to be as successful here as we are everywhere else.”

Castronovo is eager to tour here, as well. “I have not been to the States with this band yet, but I’m sure it’s going to be great,” he said. “How can it not? American crowds are awesome.”

Throughout the first month of the tour, the band has loaded the setlist with six songs from Burn It Down — “Rise Up,” “Resurrected,” “Dead and Gone,” “What Goes Around,” “Bitch” (a cover of the Rolling Stones’ 1971 hit), and the album’s title track. They round out the shows with songs from their earlier albums, Revolucion (2015) and Make Some Noise (2016).

“I love ‘Resurrected.’ That’s one of my favorites — that’s the opening song [of both the album and the nightly setlist, so far],” Castronovo said. “‘Rise Up,’ to me, just kind of sets the tone. Those are my favorites.”

Corabi explained that while setlists are planned before each tour, audience reaction sometimes dictates removing some songs, adding others, and sometimes reworking them. One example of the latter is “All The Same,” from Make Some Noise. 

During an earlier tour, they played the song just as they did on the album, but felt that it fell flat live. After taking it out and putting it back into the rotation a few times, the band decided to speed up the song a little. That small adjustment paid off in a big way. “It’s hilarious — now it’s like one of our mainstays in the set. We get a great reaction from it now,” the singer said.

After the globetrotting tour winds down toward the end of the year, the band members will take off some time before determining their next moves. As Corabi pointed out, in the three years he has been with the band, they’ve put out 3 studio albums and toured extensively — but he does not know what the plans are beyond this tour. “I don’t know if we’re doing an album or not this year. I do know that we have a little time off in the beginning of next year, so I’m going to try to go out and promote — I’ve got a solo band — with my son,” he said. “I haven’t had a lot of time for it since I joined the Daisies, so I’m going to try to go out and do some shows with my kid. And I released a live album in January, so I want to go out and promote that a little bit, as well.”

Castronovo also noted that the band is planning a break from January through April 2019, and that the Dead Daisies will likely hit the European festivals in May or June. “I don’t know if we’re going to do another album this year or just tour next year on this one,” he said. “We’re going to be busy no matter what.”

The drummer will be busy with multiple projects during the band’s break early next year, including the possibility of another record with the Revolution Saints (with bassist Jack Blades and Dead Daisies guitarist Doug Aldrich) and an upcoming album (July 13) with his old friend Johnny Gioeli via their Gioeli-Castronovo project. “There’s talk about me, Neal Schon [Journey], Gregg Rolie [Journey], and Marco [Mendoza, Dead Daisies bass player] going out next year as the Journey Through Time band, and do all the old hits,” he said. “But the Daisies are my priority, so we’ve got to work around them. And Neal understands that.”

The schedule for the North American Burn It Down tour:
Aug. 15 - Cleveland, OH - Agora Ballroom (buy tickets here
Aug. 16 - Fort Wayne, IN - Piere’s    
Aug. 17 - Joliet, IL   - The Forge  
Aug. 18 - Flint, MI - The Machine Shop
Aug. 19 - Louisville, KY - Diamonds
Aug. 22 - Rochester, NY - Montage Music Hall 
Aug. 23 - London, ON - Harris Park
Aug. 24 - Toronto, ON - Phoenix Theatre
Aug. 25 - Ottawa, ON - The Brass Monkey
Aug. 26 - Montreal, QC - Foufounes Electriques
Aug. 28 - New York, NY - Highline Ballroom 
Aug. 29 - Warrendale, PA - Jergel's
Aug. 30 - Cincinnati, OH - Bogart's
Aug. 31 - Lancaster, PA - Chameleon Club 
Sept. 1 - Albany, NY - Upstate Concert Hall
Sept. 4 - Nashville, TN - Mercy Lounge
Sept. 6 - Houston, TX - Scout Bar
Sept. 7 - Dallas, TX - Trees
Sept. 8 - Austin, TX - Come and Take It Live 
Sept. 12 - Las Vegas, NV - Fremont Country Club
Sept. 13 - San Diego, CA - Brick by Brick
Sept. 14 - Pomona, CA - The Glass House
Sept. 15 - Phoenix, AZ - The Marquee  
Sept. 16 - Los Angeles, CA - Roxy Theatre (buy tickets here)