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Fresh from his first major musical foray with the Doc Neeson-fronted Red Phoenix, guitarist David Lowy, looking for a new challenge, met up with solo singer-songwriter and Noiseworks frontman Jon Stevens, himself fresh from his time working with INXS. Within a few hours of getting together, they’d written a dozen songs, and they new there was that vital ingredient in any creative enterprise – chemistry – right their in their collective musical genes. The result is an extraordinary new band they’ve called The Dead Daisies.
Riffing around the kind of rock they both love – classic late ‘70s early ‘80s hard rock in, say, that soulful Bad Company meets Foreigner via The Faces kind of vibe – big choruses, powerful melodies, strong hooks – the pair then thought about who could best capture the sounds in their heads. Stevens had previously recorded with LA-based engineer, producer and multi-instrumentalist John Fields, and so the pair headed over to Wishbone Studios, Blind Melon’s old studio in North Hollywood, and finished the debut Dead Daisies album in just two intensely creative weeks, expat Australian singer Vanessa Amorosi popping in to add a little of her vocal magic on the odd track.
While they’re serious about the music, the important thing with The Daisies was always that it should be fun. “We’ll bring friends in to play with us when we tour,” Lowy explains. The fun began in earnest with The Dead Daisies invited to open for ZZ Top in Southport and Sydney in March, but then the news leaked about their debut single, Lock N Load, featuring and cowritten by Slash. Throw in the fact that guitarist Richard Fortus, fresh from stints with Thin Lizzy and Guns N’Roses, joining the Daisies. Also joining Stevens and Lowy in The Dead Daisies are drummer Charlie Drayton (Keith Richard’s X-pensive Winos, Divinyls, Cold Chisel), bass player Marco Mendoza (Thin Lizzy, Whitesnake) and keyboards player Clayton Doley (Harry Manx, Eugene Hideaway Bridges, Silverchair).