There's always Strength in Numbers... Danny Vaughn speaks out.
Melodic Hard Rock/ Metal band 'Tyketto' are a band that back in the early 90's made a name for themselves with their debut classic album 'Don't come Easy' which saw the band released the classic anthem 'Forever Young' which was a big hit on MTV back in the day. This was a great album that did really well for the band and certainly put them on the rock & roll map.
Formed by ex Waysted singer Danny Vaughn, the band that featured former UFO members they recorded 1 album together and Danny decided to form Tyketto. This band have recorded 4 studio albums with Danny and 1 live CD/ DVD. The band recently toured the UK so I caught up with Danny and the band in Sheffield UK at the Corporation club to chat what they have been up too since our last interview which was 21yrs ago. The band released their last album 'Reach' in 2016 on Frontiers, here is what Danny had to say.
Hi Danny, good to see you again, it's been like 21 yrs ago since we last met and did an interview in Bradford at the Rios Club. Do you have any good memories from that show if you can remember?
"Good to see you again, its been a long phase hasn't it? Yes I remember Bradford Rio's, we had played there several times, at one show we had 'Noisy Mothers' & MTV turn up and film us, it was when 'Strength in Numbers' came out so it was a really good time for us."
I never asked you this before but which singers inspired you to become a singer?
"Well I don't think I was inspired to become a singer, I think I was forced to become a singer when I looked at David Lee Roth when I was 10-yrs old. I had a teacher who had a bit of an insight to charm this kid down so they tried to put me into the school choir to see how that goes. So I guess it just happened from there and back then my vocals were very high (Ed: Rob Halford was in the choir too) yes he was, so I ended up doing Gilbert and Sullivan and musical production stuff.
You then discover guitars and girls and pot and you get into a rock band (laughing). As for singers back in the day I lot of the classic guys like Steve Tylor, and Steve Perry, and I think I always wanted to be a different kind of singer to what I actually am. I was in love with Motown, the gravellier singers David Ruffing, Joe Cocker, I like the husker singers and powerful guys and that is not how my voice turned out. I grew up listening too a lot of music in my neighborhood from New York city and a lot of my friends were black so I grew up listening too Marvin Gay, Jackson 5 and the The Beatles. (Ed: What do you think of Glen Hughes?, He has that powerful sometimes husky voice) Yeah Glenn is one of my favourites, I like them because he is really capable of putting all into the soup if you know what I mean?"
Did the guitar follow after the vocals then?
"Well not really, I can stuff a chord here and there, but I wouldn't say I am a guitarist by far. For the amount of time I had been playing the guitar I wish I could play more, more of a practiced musician. I am catching up no, now I play guitar all the time I think I started late."
So before Tyketto formed and before you joined Waysted what bands were you in?
"My 1st band was out of high school and we were called 'Relative Pleasure' and out of those who are left, the drummer still plays and works with a number of Jazz artists. The original guitar players is one of the most powerful men in show business Jason Flom and he ran Virgin records and Atlantic records and he was our guitar player (laughing). I went through a whole period of been in band before I joined Waysted. I did a lot of cover bands in New York and New Jersey area and Twisted Sister started out as a cover band and they were packing out clubs and they had bigger lighting sets then touring bands. I was also in a band called 'Allied Forces' and we played about 3-4 nights a week."
How long were you in Waysted for?
"I did an album with them called 'Save your Prayers' in 86 and I started in the band in 85 and we toured with Status Quo, and Iron Maiden thought 86-87 and in mid 87 it kind of died rather quickly. So in the end I decided to put my own band together rather than join another band."
So Tyketto were formed back in 87, how long did it take for you to find the members for the band form the start?
"Well when it 1st got going it was just thinking out loud and the line-up came together pretty quick. Michael Clayton came 1st and I had met him through a demo from friends of friends and basically he was doing a drum demo audition for Whitesnake and I think he came very close, Aynsley Dunbar got the job and I think it was their loss in my opinion my gain. We did this demo with James LoMenzo on bass and I think one of the guitarist was in Over Kill, but I can't remember who it was. We really hit it off and when it was time for my own band that was the drummer I wanted to have."
Was Tyketto the 1st name you came up with for the band?
"No we didn't have a name for a while. We got so tired of names so we just carried on writing songs and one day Brooke came back from Brooklyn with a name spray pained on a wall that said 'Tyketto' and thought it was a great name for the band. we thought maybe it was a gang name at 1st and I thought it was a pretty cool name for the band. (Ed: it sounds very Japanese) Yeah we got mistaken for that a little bit but it didn't do any harm back in the day."
How many demos did you record before the debut album was released?
"I think we did about 2-3 demos I am not really sure. We kind or originated the rock & roll boot camp which now everybody does. We found a place where we could all live together and rehearse there which had a big open space and we all bunked down in the offices. So basically we got all the money we had and if we needed to find a job we would for a little while and when we were ready for the album we already had a great deal of songs wrote.
Then we called the guys at L'Amor club in Brooklyn and we knew the guys who owned it they also ran 'Loud & Proud' management who had Over Kill, White Lion, then they got us and Tora Tora and they were doing rather well at that time. They knew me from Allied Forces and Mike from 'Dreamer' so we told them we were doing some stuff together and they were really interested in us. We had the best rock & roll club in rehearse in and we got the package together rather quickly. Loud & Proud then shopped us to labels and Geffen came along."
What other labels showed interest in the band?
"Well after White Lion released their album the label wanted to know what other bands were out there, as that album as a huge success. When we did the show case in the 'Cat Club' in NY there were 5 labels there and Geffen was the most aggressive about us and they wanted us. At that time it was a great level for us and a great label.
Thinking back I don't think the label did enough for us, because 'Don't come Easy didn't come out till 91 and we finished it on 90 and the music had started to change and tastes. We came very close as we did a lot of filming of what we did back then and we made a film about it, it is called 'Documentary yours' and it shows the story of a band that was almost big a bit like 'Story of Anvil' and we are still out here now."
Was it a big success the debut? Yu got a lot a airplay on MTV."
"Well it sold less than you think, we are very honored when people talk about us in the same sense of 'Winger' or 'Danger Danger' and 'White Lion' those bands sold a lot more than we did. It was that close to happening but in the end it didn't happen."
So what happened between you and Geffen and the debut?
"We got dropped, and we had made the entire 2nd album and finished in the can and they only thing we didn't do was the art work and Geffen had sent a couple of test tapes to the radio stations and somebody in the accounting department at the label just said 'No'. Which I don't understand? They spent all that money on the album and they didn't make enough money from 'Don't come Easy' so there letting us go. We had open guy at the label who was god to us and I think he stood up for the band right until the end of the deal. They did what no other label had done, they handed us the master tapes and said if you can find another label please have it. I have nothing but praise for them for doing that for us."
Which label came 1st for you for 'Strength in Numbers'? CMC or Music for Nations?
"Well CMC came 1st and that was a complete waste of time it was a good offer but they talked a good game but never delivered the goods. As for Music for Nations, there were the best label I had been with back then, they are good guys."
The band recorded 2 albums for MFN's, the 3rd was 'Shine' released back in 95 with singer Steve Augeri who later on joined Journey. What did you do and what did you think of 'Shine' album and do you think it would of been the 3rd album if had of been in the band still? What I mean is do you think for music would of remained the same?
"Well I left in 96 for various reasons, we were all still good friends. I think the 3rd album would of bee a lot different to what is turned out to be. Well that album was put together by Jamie and Brooke took over musically and I remember mike writing too me saying he didn't really know were it was going with the new album and they wanted to keep everything raw and they wanted to get away from what we had established on the last 2 albums. I think it was a big mistake and I think they should of released it under another name.
It was too different, however it is a really good album and we have done songs from it and Steve is a great singer and good friend. He is still out there touring, it's the Steve Augeri band. Some of that album I liked and some of it I didn't like, I think some of the songs were weak."
Later on you started up again doing you're own albums. When did this all happen?
"Well I didn't start this until about 2000, I did nothing musically for 4-5 yrs. (Ed: How did that music differ from that of Tyketto?) It was pretty different, it was me at the center and I let it run more towards my natural side which is more of an acoustic thing. I listen too music which is kind of Country but not quite like that and it is not guitar dominated stuff and it still had plenty of punch to it.
From Tyketto is was always more of a multiple input from everybody and with Vaughn stuff it was how I saw it and everybody worked on their own parts. I guess I was kind of guiding it and I wanted to stay more like this as appose to that. With Tyketto it was a equal partnership were we all worked together."
So which label put out you're own material?
"Back then it was 'Z Records' and I try not to remember them. There was a bad person running that label but I loved the albums. I have the rights to them and I did re issue them which are available on my website. We did the 2 albums into a double disc."
Did you record many guest appearances after leaving Tyketto?
"Well I did a couple here and there. The 1st one I did was with Gary Hughes did 'Once in the future King' album was the 1st time I was asked to do something like that. I did 2 songs on that record. Over the yrs I have done backing vocals for 'Riot', which Tony Harnell from 'TNT' & 'Yes', I did backing vocals for the album 'Union', it was my 1st album I did backing vocals for. I was asked to write some parts with other singers with the producer and what ever John Anderson liked he would come in later on and said I need to sing his voice over mine or the other singers.
The opening song 'I would wait forever' has several of my parts on it."
For those who don't know how many albums did you do with Tyketto?
"I did about 4-5 albums, you have the 'Takes out & Served up Live' album which I am on some of the songs, and you have 'The last Sunset' album which we released just for our fans which was a series of demos and outtakes. The last album 'Reach' came out in 2016 and the new live CD/ DVD."
How did the deal with Frontiers come about?
"Well the door with them was always open and I am very luck that the label manager is a very big fan of the band. He would always send me emails saying if you want to get Tyketto back together I want to sin the band. There would be times were 3 of us would say 'Lets do it again, other would be like no not interested'. So it didn't happen for some time until 2004 and that is when we got together and played some shows. We didn't make an album until we did 'Dig it Deep' in 2011. I liked that album but I think it was an incomplete album and it has some very strong songs.
The difference between 'Dig it Deep' and 'Don't come Easy' or 'reach' and 'dif it Deep' is pretty much the same, we had a lot of time to get it right and and with 'Dig it Deep' we didn't, Brooke was only available for short periods of time and Mike and I would fly out to Las Vegas and work with him for 4-5 days and then we would not hear from him as he was working. We tried to get it made and the label were like 'When's the album finished?' There are songs that are filler songs, and I wont play them live as I think there OK songs but nothing great.
When I look back at 'Reach' there are no filler songs on that album. Back in the day a band would release a single and go out on tour and add new songs whilst on tour, so when it came t record the album they knew the songs inside out. Nowadays you write and record the songs and then you go out on tour, it happens all the time."
So who came up with the album title 'Reach'? Did you have any other names for the album?
"Well we usually come up with the title from a song, I felt that reach was one of those songs that it was one of the most familiar songs on the album I think it sounds like classic Tyketto. I think we had other titles for the album but I can't remember them."
Did it take long to record this album?
"The recording was 3-4 wks and then another week mixing the album. The album was done by Bruce Buchanan he is not a Rock producer and and he got in the good graces as he works with Mike on some other projects and he was worked with some of the biggest musicians around. He was one of Atlantic records biggest producers and he was involved with 'Lord of the Rings' trilogy's an many more. He pushed me very hard and got the best out of me, we talked to him a lot before we worked together so we knew a little about each other."
Are there any songs on 'Reach' that you like and why?
"Yes it is hard to pick a favourite song, I like 'The Run' it was the 1st song we wrote and it was about my uncle who had just died and it was 2 wks later I wrote that song and he was an ex Vietnam veteran and he had a rough time after the war trying to find his own feet what we wanted to do with his life. He met a lady and bought a Harley and did the 'Sturgis Run'. The song came very quickly and it was about him he was my hero when I was growing up. I like all the songs from that album."
So how well is the tour going so far?
"It's going really well have a lot of fans coming out to see us new and old, which is great. It's been a great tour so far."
Well Danny thanks for the interview, do you have anything too say?
"Yes thank you to the fans for their loyal support, we hope you enjoy the albums and we look forward to another album and tour soon. Thanks for the interview Jason, nice to meet you again."
Thanks Gary from Redsand's and Danny for the interview.