Doug Aldrich - Good to Be Bad
In the time since I first interviewed Doug Aldrich back in 2002, he's gone from being a stand-in guitarist in Dio to a full-time guitarist in Whitesnake. He's done several world tours with the band, and has recently finished co-writing, co-producing, and playing on Whitesnake's first new album in years, Good to Be Bad. A slab of classic Dino guitar rock that is everything you'd want and expect in a Whitesnake album. And yeah, Doug plays his ass off on it.
Since we first spoke in that initial interview, Doug and I stayed loosely in touch. When he passed through town on tour, he'd always leave me passes to come see his show, and we'd catch up for a few moments after the show. After a warm friendly hello from Doug, the first thing he'd usually ask me would be: how was the sound? How did my guitar sound?
I've always admired his guitar work, but more recently Doug and I have become closer, and speak more frequently. I think everyone here understands how great a player Doug is, but he is also one of the nicest, most ego less, down-to-earth people I've ever met. He laughs, and says "I'm very blessed to be able to do what I do for a living, and it's hard to have much ego when people still come up to me after a show and say: great show, Adrian!"
Doug reads DRG and is aware of the forum and its topics. On the recent European leg of Whitesnake's tour, Doug went out of his way to ensure that several European DRG members got passes to see the tour. I didn't ask him for that — he contacted me and offered it. On a more personal level, at a time when when my family was going through something rough, Doug showed me kindness and support that I've rarely seen in this business. In doing so, he became a good friend.
Doug and I had been trying for several months to coordinate our schedules so that we could catch up, and give this interview the the time it deserves. But we finally got it done, and I think you'll enjoy reading it.
And Doug, bro, you have a voice here at DRG anytime you want one.
Interview conducted by Dinosaur David B. 8/29/08
DRG: So the first thing we should talk about is the new album, Good to be Bad. Whitesnake hadn't done an album of new material in many many years. How did it come about that David decided he wanted to do a new album?
Doug: Well it was a natural process but it took a bit of time. A few years ago, David had done a solo album called Into the Light, and he put a lot time effort and money into the project, and I think he was kind of disappointed with how it was marketed, and that the record company didn't get behind it the way he was used to seeing them (push) some of his earlier releases. So I think he decided to take a hiatus, and spend more time with his family, and he stopped working. Then in 2002, he decided he would do a tour for the 25th anniversary of Whitesnake. He called me and asked me if I wanted to do it while I was still doing Dio, and I said, yes. And later when we were on tour in early 2003, I said: "I've had a great time working with you, I'm really enjoying it, and I just have to ask, what are your plans for recording? Do you want to make a record?" And he said: "Look, I don't know, I can't promise you anything right now. I know you and I will be in the studio at some point together." It was one of those things where you'd like the person to tell you yes, but you're more happy that they told you the truth — even when the answer is I'm not sure.
So he was really honest about it, but he also said, if you've got some ideas, by all means, let's hear what you've got. I'd been working with him for a while by then, and with his history, I knew where he came from. But he was still learning where I came from. So I sent him a few ideas that I thought would be potentially appropriate for a Whitesnake type of sound. And it wasn't specifically something for a new record. More like here's something, let's see where it goes. He was inspired enough to invite me up to his place. We kind of hashed out some ideas. Then we got busy and ended up going back on the road. We did a lot of touring in 03, and that was kind of like the start of writing with him. And all through 04 and the next couple of years, we'd work on little parts. I'd show him something, or he'd show me something. And if he gave me an idea, I'd go home and really spend time on it and work on it. Try and develop it. Do what I could to make it happen. And I think he appreciated that. There was still no plan to make any record, but through all that process, we started to latch on to some ideas that we were both sort of excited about. It kind of just turned into time to make a record in a natural way.
DRG: You ended up with enough material?
Doug: Yes, but we had a different kind of material than we had started on , more evolved. It was my opinion that for us to move to the next level, we need to be perceived as a band that is still creative.
DRG: Well, yeah, from the outside world, it looked like nostalgia tour after nostalgia tour.
Doug: Yeah, and it was. We'd change the set around a little bit, but when you're playing songs that were written years and years ago, that's pretty much what it is. The first new songs we wrote were added to the live album called, Live in the Shadow of the Blues. Those four new songs were from that first batch we worked on in 04. They were good and had raw energy but we were just scratching the surface. Its hard to tell much from four songs, it was kind of like an appetizer. So we started working the Good to Be Bad songs around the end of 06, around Christmas. And the songs called Best Years, and All I Want, All I Need were the first two we came up with that we were really excited about. They turned out really cool and they had potential. I mean, these are demos we're talking about initially. We would program a drum machine, and I'd play bass and guitar, and maybe slam some keys on it for a rough demo. But the potential was there, and this set the precedent that this is gonna work, and if we can put together a record with material like this, we'd be good to go. And we just got on a roll.
David and I always want to move things up to the next level, including our writing, so we agreed that if something we're doing wasn't getting us off, we would just move on (to the next idea). Don't try and force it and spend too much time on it. We were honest with each other about it. And by that time, we had more confidence to be straight with each other. Maybe it would be an idea that had originally I sent him, and he liked it, but I had lost interest in it. I would just be honest and say: You know, I originally thought it was gonna be cool, but it's not. And at the same time, if there was something that I really thought was gonna be great, I would get behind it 100%. And he had said, let's see what we come up with, and we'll see if we can put together a record, but there was never any guarantee — there never is. But we found a batch of songs that we mutually agreed would be good for Whitesnake, and just pursued it. And you can always say, let's write one more song, just one more song. But at some point, you have to say this is it. This is what the album is gonna be.
DRG: Not only that, but recently I've been having discussions with people — and you tell me if you agree — I think albums have too many songs on them these days — in general.
Doug: Well it can work if it flows well from one song to another — in a certain way. Or if it puts you in a certain mood, and then takes you somewhere else, and then back. Maybe then 13, 14, 15 songs can work — maybe. But, I agree with you. Sometimes you just want a . . . statement.
DRG: Exactly. An artistic statement. You and I grew up in the days where you had to get your album done in 45-48 minutes. And if you had extra songs, only the best songs made the album. So you had this tight package, and your attention span wasn't as likely to wander. You could get your head around all the songs as part of a whole, and you could have your mind totally blown by an album because it was like a punch. It had impact, as one artistic statement from beginning to end — and on the classics, you can rattle off the names of the songs from beginning to end. Now, every album is like a movie that hasn't been edited enough and runs two and a half hours long. It loses the impact.
Doug: I know what you mean. If it can't keep your interest, you never end up hearing all 17 songs. Which is why now people end up going on iTunes and just buying maybe three or four songs they like. Because it's too hard to digest all of it.
DRG: Yeah. I think the technology and the media has been counterproductive to the art in some respects.
Doug: Yeah, it has. In a lot of different areas. That's a whole . . .
DRG: Yeah, that's a whole different discussion. I don't want to get that far off topic.
Doug: The thing was these songs would not have gotten finished if we hadn't been really into them. If there was something that wasn't floating our boat, we were good about just moving on to something else. Sometimes really cool songs come pretty quick, and you can have an outline done in a day or a couple of hours.
DRG: Yeah, you never know if something's going to come to you quick from divine intervention, or if it's something you're gonna have to sweat your ass off over. It never goes the same way twice.
Doug: There were a few of them that came together really easy. And they were very inspired. We didn't have to sweat over those at all. And then there were a few like All I Want — I had a rough demo of that when I left David's, but it wasn't a completed song yet. I had to re demo that thing about six times. But before re demoing it, I had to write new guitar parts each time. The song was just kicking my butt all the way through. Even during the actual recording — trying to capture the right vibe. It's not perfect, but it turned out pretty good. So sometimes, if you believe in the song — if it's keeping you awake at night thinking about it, you've gotta finish it.
DRG: Well, when I first heard the album, I was more than pleasantly surprised. Because you don't know what to expect from a band that's gone so long without making any new music. I mean, I know I'd seen you guys live and you did a great job on the old stuff, but a new thing is really gonna sink or swim based on the strength of the songs. So what's an album gonna sound like in 2008 from a band that's largely known for an album made in 1987? And I thought you guys managed to do very clear nods to the past, but without . . . I guess totally remaking the past.
Doug: Well that's cool. I feel sort of the same way. In my mind's eye, I was hoping to find a way (to do that). With Whitesnake, it's really difficult to please everyone. You've got fans of the early Moody Marsden era with the ex Deep Purple guys. And that was a killer lineup that made great music. And you have fans from the Sykes era, and even some fans of the Steve Vai era that didn't like the old bluesy sound. So it's very difficult to please everyone. So I was hoping to have the aggressiveness of the 87 Whitesnake (sound), but maintain the blues side a little more, and bring back some stuff like slide guitar — a little bit. Some more organic stuff that didn't sound like we were trying to write it for FM radio or something.
DRG: Right! I mean I put the thing on, and the first song kicks your butt, and two or three songs later, it's still doing that, and I'm thinking: damn! This sounds like a real Whitesnake album. This is exactly what you want a Whitesnake album to sound like.
Doug: That's cool. I think most people who've heard it would agree with that. There are some people who've heard it — unless it's their particular favorite lineup (they're not happy). And when I look at it, the 87 record — that's a great record, and Sykes sounds just genius on it. For me Sykes was probably the coolest of all the 80s guitar players.
DRG: I think I'd certainly agree with that — at least for the guys in his age group, sure.
Doug: He was the cool guy. Badass. He could play . . .
DRG: He had the songwriting, the sexy lead style. He had it all. Still does.
Doug: So what I'd tell people is that we wanted it to have the integrity of that sound, but also keep the roots of the classic Whitesnake, and that's what I wanted to do. So when people would say: it's a really good record, but it doesn't compete with 87. I would say give it some time. We're talking about a record that's 20+ years old.
DRG: And it's a different time now and a different reality.
Doug: Totally. Everything. It's like comparing Led Zeppelin IV to Presence. Presence didn't have the big hits, but is more favorable to me personally because it has different sides to it, as does Good to be Bad.
DRG: Well, to carry that analogy further, one album is so familiar and ingrained in everyone's mind — almost to the point of overexposure. It's refreshing to hear the band in a different context.
Doug: Yes. So I wanted this record to be deeper, and have more colors. Peaks and valleys if you will, so that there's a little of everything. One way to do that was to write riffs around grooves that were nodding more toward the classic older Whitesnake. Like Good to be Bad could have been something that came from the Ready and Willing era.
DRG: I was gonna ask you that. Because there are some pretty clear nods to past songs. There's a ballad that sounds, you know, fairly reminiscent of Is this Love. There's a riffy song that — not so much the riff itself, but in the compositional structure of the start-stop rhythms — kind of harks back to Still of the Night. And I'm not saying it's a ripoff or anything like that, but it certainly feels like a clear nod to those old classics. And I was wondering how that came about. Whether it was conscious? Was it something David was requesting? Was there ever discussion along the lines of: We need to have a song like (whatever) on this album.
Doug: It wasn’t conscious. You know, every time I've ever tried to do that — you know, let's try and construct a song like this — it never works out. For whatever reason. When you're not trying to do it, it might happen, but when you try to do it, it's just really difficult.
DRG: Yeah, it feels forced.
Doug: And the song you're talking about that sounds like a tip of the hat to Is this Love, is probably All I Want, all I Need. Some of the essence of that song is the groove. Which is a straight ahead, 8th note bass part, with a kind of arpeggio over it. And right there, it's already similar.
DRG: Yeah, and dynamically it feels similar.
Doug: I hear you. It is. It is. But the way that came about was still really organic and natural. That song started out on acoustic guitar, with a funky tuning that I probably learned off of Jimmy Page or something (laughs). And I thought it would be an acoustic song. David and I originally jammed it on acoustics, but when I got up to David's, we banged around some melodies on it, and we ended up with a drum beat that was sort of in a similar tempo to Is this Love. It just ended up being that. We tried a bunch of things, and we just went with what felt the best. And maybe that's why it felt the best — because (that structure) was already a proven Whitesnake (success) with Is this Love. It has its differences too, but yeah, structurally, it's very similar to that. And you know, some people want to know if this band can get another Is this Love right. And even though we didn't try to do that, it's kind of cool that it's there, and that it can be done. I feel pretty confident that that song would do well on radio if it had a shot.
DRG: Oh sure. I agree with that, if there were actually still a radio station around that was interested in playing this style of music. But I was just curious about whether it was a conscious or subconscious thing with the particular songs that felt familiar.
Doug: It was a natural process. It started one way, and ended up like it is. That said, I'd still like to do that song as an acoustic version someday. And with the others, I just like that classic period of Whitesnake. When David came out of Purple, he kind of came up with a new sound that didn't sound like Purple. And it probably had to do with his influences. There's some Slade in there, or Status Quo in that early Whitesnake. But the bluesyness is unique. It's a heavy minor blues. And I love that stuff, and I wanted to find a way to incorporate those flavors. Because that's what I naturally like to play. Stuff that has a good groove to it, and has a little bit of an edge. So some of those songs turned out like that. Like Good to Be Bad, and Lay Down Your Love. And to answer your other question, Lay Down Your Love, and another one that has that stop start rhythm you were mentioning, that is something that David is kind of known for.
DRG: Well, yeah, it's a trademark of Whitesnake that they got from Led Zeppelin — absolutely.
Doug: Well, it's also an old blues thing — a call-and-response thing. The singer would call and the band would respond with a riff.
DRG: Yeah, that's all true, but come on. Still of the Night bore more than a slight resemblance to Black Dog, and that isn't news to anyone.
Doug: Yeah, and I heard that too, and the middle section has (some Zeppelin in it) too, but in a cool new way that we hadn't heard before.
DRG: It's a great device, and it still clearly works time and time again.
Doug: Yeah. So with Lay Down Your Love, the structure is kind of like that, but trying to be a little more blues-based. Like something more like the Black Crowes or the Allman Brothers or early Whitesnake might do.
DRG: Yeah, I can hear that. Musically it's a nice diverse album from song to song. It's not all one style. I think what ties it together is David's lyrics, which are always very characteristic of him. But musically it moves from different areas within the heavy blues rock genre, without bogging down in any one area.
Doug: David put the sequencing together. I knew he was going to be working on the song sequence of the album, and I said: can I give you my thoughts on this, because I obviously felt very strongly about it. But aside from which song to lead off the album with, we were pretty much on the same page — without knowing what the other guy was going to come up with. I think he did it very smart. He's good at that.
DRG: Tell me a bit more about the songwriting process. Were you given any kind of direction from him at the outset of the project, or was it a true collaboration where he was really open-minded? Were you given a lot of freedom or did he have very strong ideas. I remember when I asked you a similar question about Dio, you said he had very definite ideas, and you were working within the context of this is what he wants.
Doug: It was a different feel. Because we'd been working together for a while, there was a confidence we both had that made it be a little more relaxed. Fortunately, he knows me, and trusts me. He knows I'm not going to try and take advantage of the situation. I don't have an agenda. I just want good things for my friends and the people I work with. When it comes to music, I want the people I work with to feel inspired. And he knows that's all I care about.
DRG: And so he didn't have an agenda either?
Doug: No. He never said let's do a record like this, or a record like that. Like I said, there was a loose understanding that we might be doing a record, but that can change quickly if you don't come up with the goods. And then it would have been, hey sorry, we're not doing it. Here's another tour. But we got on that roll, and it was left unspoken about what kind of songs to do. We (began by) trying to find some riffs that were blues-based, that had an edge to them. And have his big voice on top of it. Those were the only parameters I had in my head. I just wanted it to sound like the next Whitesnake record, but to also sound fresh.
DRG: Well, that's a good segue into something I wanted to ask you about. How much of this album is you being you? I know you are conscious of what a Whitesnake album should be, but how much of this album is really Doug, pouring his heart and soul into it. What does the album mean to you personally and professionally?
Doug: I know what you're saying because people have heard me do other things in the past that are quite different than this. But in terms of playing heavy rock, this is a close to it being me as anything could be. I love blues based riffs. I love melody and grooves that are a little different. It's easy to listen to something and say: I hear this is coming from there, but that's not at all the way I thought of it. It came out of us very naturally. Though in the back of my mind I was aware that some people want this or that — holy shit! How do you do that? You basically have to blow all that off, because if you think about that too much, you'll never get anything done. It's so weird too, because we could have sat down and said: this is what we need. We need a song like this, this, this, this, and this. And Reb Beach said that a few times — I'm gonna write the next Still of the Night. But that's a very difficult thing to do.
DRG: You have to please yourself first and then hope it pleases other people, too.
Doug: Yeah, and you also have to believe you bring something to the party that's gonna be good, and I definitely do. So I just carried on with what I thought was cool. There was a lot of ideas that I never even presented to David. And when you're sitting with a guitar, you come up with all kinds of different things. One thing might be inspired by Hendrix, another may be inspired by Tony Iommi, or whoever.
DRG: Yeah, and I've heard that on your solo albums. And while this is you, it's definitely different from those solo albums. Just another side of you being you.
Doug: You know it's funny. This (music) is more like my very first real band, a band called Lion. Lion was kind of like a junior Whitesnake, and I didn't even know it at the time, because I really wasn't that familiar with Whitesnake at that time. And we had some grooves and stuff that was sort of similar to that old Whitesnake stuff. The singer Kal Swan was a massive fan of David. So this is kind of like coming full circle, with some touches and things that are more current. Different tunings and some things I didn't know back then. But it's similar to the first record I ever recorded. Same style.
DRG: Well, I think you did a great job on it. It sounds like you're proud of it.
Doug: I'm really proud of it. Man, I've never had something consume my life more than this particular project. Every time that you work on a record, and you believe in it, and you're in the moment — if you're passionate about it — it takes over. But this took the cake. I had told myself that I would go the distance, go the extra mile — whatever I had to do. But I really did have to do that to finish it so that I would be happy with it. And everything in my life took a back seat. So I'm definitely proud of it, and I put a lot of heart and soul into it. And I hope as people hear it, I hope they'll hear some of that.
DRG: Well yeah. I certainly heard the quality of the work. It was well thought-out, it wasn't thrown together. It pushes all the right buttons for what a Whitesnake should be. And of course, you're playing your ass off, which is always great. And before I forget, since you mentioned Reb, how much involvement did he have with the album?
Doug: Not as much as I had hoped. The solos for All For Love and Got What You Need were Reb I think. There was meant to be more (involvement from him), but a couple of things happened. We had been off for a while, and David and I got on a roll writing, and it was taking months to do. And during that time, Reb had taken a tour with Winger, and also Nightranger. Anyway, he was pretty wrapped up. David had said to everyone: send us ideas, Doug and I are working on some cool stuff. I think Reb sent some things but I never heard them so I don't know what if anything was sent. But Reb and I talked and he said, why don't you play the rhythms and we'll split up the leads, (because) you wrote the stuff, and it'll be tighter. That was cool with me and I sent him some stuff to work leads out for. But because of his schedule it was taking some time. I think he was just in a different frame of mind. When you're in touring mode, it's very repetitive. He was only home a couple days a week. But as David and I were writing and recording, we were in a very creative state of mind. I think it was difficult for Reb to get on the same page. We talked about what was needed and I tried to help him, but there were many other tasks that needed to be completed, and we were running out of the time we could realistically spend on recording guitars. When it was done, he just wasn't on the record as much as I had originally hoped (he'd be). I think he's an amazing guitarist, and phenomenally talented. I respect his playing a lot, but at the same time, I felt very strongly that I didn't want somebody to just . . .
DRG: Mail it in?
Doug: Shred on top or something. I originally figured we'd each play five solos. There was one on All For Love that I had already done, but Reb did a cooler solo for that so I took mine off. The solos need to fit within the song. I wouldn't be true to myself or the time and effort that I'd put into it to just leave a part that wasn’t working. It needed to be right. Which means sometimes he'd have to redo something, or sometimes I'd have to redo something. I was pushing him pretty hard to get it right — I just couldn't settle for anything but the best. Maybe I was too intense about it, but I'm harder on my own playing than I am on anyone else's. There has been some confusion on who plays what parts on the record and I'm fine with people having the idea that Reb is on the whole record. It doesn't bother me. In fact, that's a good thing. It doesn't matter who plays or writes it, as long as it's good. I did enjoy working with Reb on the solos and I love what he contributed. I just wish we had had a bit more time.
DRG: Let's talk about the recording process. Where was the album recorded?
Doug: In LA at a place called Clearlake Audio. A little studio with good old mics, and we did record into ProTools, but we went through some nice compressors and mic preamps. It was a reasonable workable sound for drums and bass and I put down scratch guitar parts. I would have liked to have put on some real guitars there, but because David and I were producing it together, I really needed to focus on what the other guys were doing. By this time, we were so inside those songs that we really knew what we wanted. But we needed to inspire those guys to make the most of it. It wasn't really the time to be tuning guitars and tweaking amps.
DRG: So you did some scratch tracks with a POD or something and then went back later to record it for real?
Doug: I actually ended up recording the guitars in my home studio. Like you said earlier, it's great that the technology lets you do it, but it can be hard to keep the vibe straight. There's something about having to go in the studio, (to) just play guitar, and knock out your parts, and get out of there. It's really difficult when you're at home and you have all the time in the world to sit around and get a guitar sound. So you think: I'm not sure, I'll check it again tomorrow.
DRG: Did you do a lot of that? Certainly in your own studio, with your own gear and equipment, you know the environment pretty well.
Doug: I do, but I just wanted a better sound. I wanted something that would stand up against anything that's out there now, from the Foo Fighters to Ozzy or whatever. And I just couldn't do it on my own. I couldn't engineer it. I sat there for a week documenting different amps with different cabs and different mics and different guitars. This one sounds good with that one, or that one sounds good with this. It was endless. I made CDs and I would listen to them in my car. Finally, I had to bring in some other ears. One was a guy called Joe Barresi, who is an amazing producer. Another was Mike Tacci, who had recorded the drums and bass. He helped me make sure I was phased correct, and he gave his opinion about which amp sounded the best.
DRG: It's great to have a second set of ears, cause you drive yourself crazy if you don't.
Doug: Exactly, and it takes a lot of time, man. Because when you go in the studio and your just playing guitar, you just play. You may even have a guitar tech doing the setup and the tuning. You just play. But at this point, I'm at home, I have distractions, and a lot of things that pull you away. I was the engineer, producer and player all at the same time, you've got to run behind the amp and change the speaker cable. Run to where the cabs are and move the mics around. Run the machines. You lose perspective.
DRG: Well, not only that. I would guess you're at the point where everything I'm using sounds pretty darn good, but what are the subtlest of differences — that I actually care about.
Doug: Yeah, I think you're right. I think in the end, it comes down to your performance. Because the original guitar sound on the tracks that was mixed, was pretty perfect for what I wanted — with the guitars and amps I was using. But when it got mastered, it ended up getting brighter. And for me, it made the guitars a little bit buzzy. Which set me back a bit, but because I was inspired by the performance, that carried it a bit for me. You're right. The sound is important, but it's more about the performance.
DRG: So what did you end up recording the guitars with?
Doug: Mainly it was a 58 reissue Les Paul or my Goldtop. The main amp was the 78 JMP that's been modded, by Martin Golub. And I had a Marshall that was modded by John Suhr, and 71 Marshall that was modded by Mark Cameron. Sometimes I'd double with a Marshall Vintage Modern to give it a different flavor on the other side. I used one 4x12 with three speakers micd. One was a Shure 57 straight on, another was a Sennheiser 421, and Royer ribbon mic. I had used the Royers on my live rig and they sounded amazing. It really captured the rig in a good way, so I bought one for recording. It didn't do what it did live — like I thought it was gonna do — but it gave me this super bottom end, that was really big but still punchy.
DRG: So you got three mics on three different speakers. Did you end up blending them all?
Doug: Yeah, they were blended pretty much equally, depending on which amp top I was using, so for example, if the amp had enough bottom, I didn't need as much of the Royer. I could just back that down. And I was getting a bunch of top (end frequency) off of the 421. So you can make fine tune adjustments as you're recording. But the main thing when you're using more than one mic is that you can get into phasing problems. And that's not always easy to hear. You can think you've got it in phase, but it might not be 100% in phase, and if it's a little out of phase — as I found out — it sets your guitar tone back in the mix a bit. You can turn it up, but it never sounded quite right. So I had an engineer come help me sort that out. Once we got that fixed, the guitar sound was more of an in-your-face sound.
DRG: I thought it was a very in-your-face guitar sound. I was surprised at how dry sounding it seemed to my ears.
Doug: It is (dry). The rhythms pretty much have nothing on them except for maybe a little EQ, or some compression depending on if the riff could take a little compression. Even though the riffs are more from that nostalgia period, I wanted the production to sound more current.
DRG: It does, it sounds a lot more current. One of the things that struck me was that the guitars were very present. There wasn't that big old ambience.
Doug: No. That would have been more old school. The other thing is that we would be recording and David would say something like: what about adding a guitar part like this? And I was always a little hesitant, because the more guitars you add, the harder it is to mix. And when you get all those tracks in ProTools, it makes the separation of instruments more difficult. It kind of squashes stuff.
DRG: You don't have enough room in the stereo spectrum to place everything.
Doug: Right, so he'd go what about this, what about this? He had a lot of great ideas. And if someone has good ideas for an overdub part or something, it may work in your head, but you have to find the right sound so that it works in the mix.
DRG: And if you've got your rhythm guitars panned hard left and hard right, and your leads are somewhere between — what — 10 and 2? How do you do it?
Doug: It depends on the song, but yeah, you try and move stuff to where it has its own place in the mix — both in location, and in frequency. It was hard, but one thing I found was that after some of these songs had six, eight, ten guitar tracks on them, if you put reverb or plate (reverb) on them or something . . .
DRG: Oh yeah. It's all over. You end up with mush.
Doug: When we were mixing, David would say something like: let's turn this guitar up. I'd try to bring it up just a bit, but he'd want it up a lot. And as soon as I'd bring it up enough so that he heard it, it would start stepping on the other guitar tracks. And we'd lose the main essence of the riff, because we've got one guitar turned up so loud. It's a lot a work to find the right mix. So we ultimately decided to just make it raw and dry and in-your-face.
DRG: Well how many rhythm tracks did you record per song?
Doug: Usually there would be two, but on three or four songs I would do more rhythm tracks with a slide, and just blend the slide (tracks) in underneath (the main tracks). Or I'd double the riff in certain spots. Or maybe in the B section or in the chorus. So right there, you're talking about four or six tracks of rhythms.
DRG: That gets very dense, very fast.
Doug: And I like that, but there's also something about stuff that has more space that I love too. So I was trying to make songs like Summer Rain and Till the End of Time be more sparse. Sometimes it worked out and sometimes it didn't. Sometimes, there's something to be said for a single guitar (track) ala Eddie Van Halen, or Gary Moore in the old days. You can hear some of the little things that get lost when you start stacking stuff.
DRG: I think it also gives the listener a break to hear something that's not so densely packed. To let things breath a bit. Less ear fatigue.
Doug: All true. Also, you know that some of the most popular Whitesnake albums of the past were stacked sounding. So this is kind of another Whitesnake trademark in a sense. And for me to get everything David wanted in there so that you could hear everything, it ended up having to be being a dry record. And I had no idea how hard it was to mix drums!
DRG: Oh God, yeah. (laughs)
Doug: Man. You talk about the difficulty in trying to get a guitar cab in phase correctly, try it with a drum kit that's got 12, 14 mics on it. It's like pulling teeth! You'll get everything sounding good, then you'll put in the overhead(mics) and it will all turn to shit. Then you have to start over. And I had (producer) Andy Johns come over at one point to help me. And (engineer) Mike Tacci, and it was never really working.
DRG: It was left for you to mix this album?
Doug: It wasn't intended for us to mix it, but we were so inside of it and we knew what was (recorded). And you think it'll be so much easier to get someone else to mix it, they'll make it sound amazing and we won't have to lose any sleep over it. But inevitably someone else takes things in a different direction from what you want. Then if you try to pull the reigns back a bit, it gets a little weird. You're stepping on the producer's toes, and your spending a lot more money. Anyway, the record company was coming in from Europe to hear it, and we needed to do some rough mixes.
So we did the roughs, and the record company was really happy with what they heard. That kind of clinched it. And from there it was: OK guys, we're gonna do this ourselves. So we fell into it, and it was a lot of work to get mixes right. For example, on one system it sounds good. On another system, the snare is too loud. And we'd be sitting there trying to make everyone sound great. I want to make sure the bass sounds big. I want to make sure the snare is the best snare sound Chris ever had. When it came to Reb's parts, I spent a lot of time making them sound the best they could be. All those things take a lot of time. And when you get one thing sounding great, it will start stepping on other things. And then there's the phasing (issues) again, and it just went on and on and on! We took about six weeks doing the mixing. Then we did some alternate mixes that took a couple more weeks. Then we did vocal-up mixes, and TV mixes, radio edits, and it just went on and on forever.
DRG: Yep, that's why those producers get the big bucks. (laughs)
Doug: It's intense. And the whole time I'm thinking: Am I ruining the magic that we had on the demos? You always go back to the demo, and the fricking demo sounds amazing. Because you're not thinking about any of that stuff at that point. I'd just grab a guitar, tune it up and go record it. After a while you can forget how you achieved all that stuff. Then you listen to the actual record and it's not as cool as the demo. It's bigger sounding, but it doesn't have the same vibe yet. So it takes a while to figure out how to get that, and it's just a lonnnng process. When people make demos to get the songs working compositionally, you can forget what you did to get them that way. But after you get ten songs demoed, it hits you: oh man, now we've got to redo them all from scratch! You're coasting down this hill, and then you see this massive Mt. Everest in front of you. To try and revisit the original vibe that's on the demo, and try and figure out how to get that back. It's really difficult, but it needs to be done.
DRG: Yeah. It's a huge amount of work to have fun playing guitar.
Doug: But all in all, I think we did a good job, and as you mentioned, I'm really proud of it. Not just from the songs or the playing, but from the shear fact of getting through it, and having it turn out OK.
DRG: It turned out better than OK, and I think the work, and attention to detail you put into it does show.
Doug: Well that's good. The riffs are really fun to play if you sit down and learn some of those parts with the different tunings. I used a whole mess of different tunings and different guitars. There's a whole lot of fun things about it. Tunings are real inspiring, because when you play one of those, I'll think of often another riff.
DRG: Cool. There's something else I noticed and I wanted to run it by you. I think your guitar style has changed a little since you've been in Whitesnake. Have you noticed any change?
Doug: It's hard for me to notice, but I'll take your word for it. I still do the same types of licks and stuff, and I feel like I solo in a similar way, but someone like you would probably be more objective. So if you say that, there's probably something to it.
DRG: It's not that you your playing licks all that differently or anything. I still recognize your trademarks and things. I hear it in your vibrato. What I heard — and I don't know if it's due to the fact that you've been playing the Whitesnake back catalog for a few years now — is that you're using your vibrato more.
Doug: (In the previous interview) You and I talked about strengths and weaknesses, and that was something that we talked about. And I had said that I like my vibrato sometimes. And you had said something like there's always room for improvement on vibrato. And when people I respect tell me something, it stays in my head. There will be times I'll be in the car or whatever, and I'll think: I need to work on this. It's something that I have (thought about) because Sykes has such a killer vibrato. Sometimes he even goes so wide with his that it can be a bit (out of pitch), but I love his vibrato. And Gary Moore's vibrato, and a lot of others that I like. But if it sounds like it's potentially getting better, that's good! (laughs)
DRG: Well, I didn't say it was bad or anything to begin with. What I remember saying — and I put it in your alchemy profile as well — was that I'd like to hear you use it more. I like it when I hear it, so I just wanted to hear more of it. And I think whether it's because you've been playing a lot of John Sykes' stuff — where you're hitting that big wide vibrato — and you're not completely aping John's vibrato — it's still yours — but it seems wider than it was before, and you're definitely using it more. And part of that could just be that you're on Les Pauls a lot more now, but I'm listening to this and I'm thinking: wow, Doug's really milking the heck out of his vibrato now, and its great!
Doug: That's good. It's not something that I thought about or even noticed myself, but I can definitely agree with you that playing some of the stuff that Sykes recorded — and trying to pay respect to in when I'm performing it — that's one thing. And the other is, yeah, playing a Les Paul rather than a Strat, you don't have that whammy bar for vibrato — I think it's just easier to get a wide vibrato on a Les Paul, I guess — or a Gibson.
DRG: I agree. I think the shorter scale is part of it.
Doug: I love Michael Schenker's vibrato too, and there are times when you get the wah cocked just right — man, that just reminds me of that cool vibrato of Michael's.
DRG: Yeah. You're talking about the guys who are really the top of the heap for vibratos. So now that we've discussed the new album a bit, let's move on to the other thing I wanted to discuss, and that is: What is life like as a Whitesnake guitarist in 2008? And how different is it from what you imagined a gig like that would be when you were say, 20 years old?
Doug: It's a lot different. And one of the reasons it's different is that my priorities have changed. People's priorities change as they get older and mine definitely did. I can remember when I first came to LA in 1981 after finishing high school in Philly. At that time, there was nothing that would get in the way of my guitar playing, and my focus was on that 100%. I lived for months on something like three bucks a week, it didn't matter, I just didn't care. I was losing weight and getting skinny like Randy Rhoads, and I'm thinking that's a good thing for what I'm trying to do. And as I got older, and have been through the ups and downs of doing music for a living — I've tried not to get jaded, but what does happen is that your priorities change a bit. Especially when you get a family. Once you get married, or if you're lucky enough to have kids, your priorities change. So the gig is 100% different from what I thought it would be. I wake up, and I feel blessed an honored to be able to make a living playing music. It's pretty rare in this day and age to be able to do that. But at the same time it's a lot of sacrifice, being in a touring and recording band. Because when you're doing those things — working on a record like we just did — everything else has to take a back seat. When you're 20 years old, you don't care.
DRG: Right. At 20 you don't usually have any responsibility anyway.
Doug: At that age, there's nothing you care about more than the music — not going out with girls, doing drugs, what kind of car you drive — you just want to play great music, play great guitar, and get a great guitar sound. That's all you care about. But as I've gotten older, and I've got a relationship, and relationships with your family become more important as your family gets older. Those things either become the focus of your life, or they take a backseat to your music when you're doing it. And it's difficult for the family and your relationships when you have to wake up, go in the studio, and work 14 hour days, and you're too tired to talk to them when you come home. Or worse, when you're on tour for three or four months — although the playing part of it is great — hearing your guitar through all those Marshalls on stage is pure adrenalin — but it's all the other time on the tour when you're not on stage. And the fact that you're away from home — that's difficult.
DRG: We had talked about this before this interview, but tell me again what it is you do when you get off stage after a show.
Doug: Well, I'm married to an amazing woman who totally supports my music. Not only does she support it, she just generally loves music. We'll just rock out together when we're on a road trip. She's into serious death metal like Slayer, Carcass, Testament, Exodus, bands like that, but she also likes stuff like Twisted Sister, and old school rock. Its cool. To answer the question, I get online to connect with her. Its important. This is my second marriage. My first marriage basically fell apart when I went on the road with Dio. First I made the record with him, and I was away for that. And then we toured pretty much the rest of the year. So it was like a full year of losing touch with my wife. Not to say that we weren't headed in different directions anyway, but the stress of being away on tour really (ended it). I'd get home, and it was like I didn't really know her anymore, or how to react around her. Because my reality was totally different from hers. But now, I've got a laptop, and I take it on tour with me. And I've got a webcam with it, and my current wife does, too. So as soon as I check into a hotel now, I get online, get the camera hooked up, and we'll carry on like it's our normal day. It's just that I'm ten thousand miles away. And if I have a hotel room after the gig, I may go have a beer at the bar after the gig, but then I'll go up to my room and hang out with her. That definitely makes a big difference. It helps a lot. It's still hard to be away, but I can't imagine not being able to see her on a daily basis. It really makes it bearable.
DRG: And you get to hear what's going on in her life.
Doug: Yeah. The funniest thing was on this last tour. She'd be saying: we've got to get this fixed or that fixed. It was the plumbing, or whatever and I'd say, well show me. And she'd take the camera to the area and show me what was going on. And it keeps me grounded. I'm not just out there living some rock star life. I'm trying to keep my shit straight. I don't want to be distracted by other girls, or whatever, because that stuff can happen out on the road. I don't want to disrespect my marriage, so it helps by keeping me grounded. But this last time she says:
"I think you're not going to love me anymore."
So I said: "Well I doubt that's true, but why?"
"Well, I scratched my car."
"It's not too bad. It's just a little scratch."
"OK, show me." So she takes her computer out to the car and shows me, and I say: "Babe, that's a little more than a scratch." (laughs) It's a little four door Honda that we lease. And she creased the back door, so that's a problem, and then it went into the rear quarter panel and scratched and dented that, and it continued into the bumper and scratched that too. So I said:
"You did a triple whammy there. That's three separate sections of the car that need to be either replaced or fixed and repainted. But don't worry about it, babe. Shit happens. I love you. It doesn't matter. We'll get it fixed. That's what we have insurance for." So we're talking for another 45 minutes to an hour catching up on stuff like what bills have to be paid. And then I said: "by the way, what did you hit?" And she says: "I hit your car." (laughs)
Doug: Just when I thought it couldn't be worse. (laughs) It didn't end up being a problem on my car, but it was just funny the way it went down. So the cool thing is I'm able to kind of maintain a sense of reality. Because being on the road, even though we're in our 40s — or in our 50s, in some cases with this band, there's still lots of distractions, and people who want to hang out and drink with you, or whatever. You can end up not taking care of yourself, and waking up the next day and doing it all over again. And two or three months down the road you can have problems. So (this technology) has made things a bit easier, but it's definitely hard being away.
DRG: Well I think the point is is that it is a job. And a certain level, for certain players, when the work is available, you have to go. You have to make the money when it's there in front of you to be made.
Doug: Yes. absolutely.
DRG: That's your income. That's how you make your living. And it's a hard way to do it at times. It has a lot of positives, but I think you'd agree that it has plenty of negatives too — like any other job. It's not all groupies and glory.
Doug: No. It's not. And because you're working so closely with the people in your band — and they could be your best friend off the road — but when you're on the road with them, there are times when you just get on each other's nerves. It's hard to find your own space on a bus. It's definitely harder work than it may seem from the outside. Because when people see you, you're on stage having fun, and they think that we get on the bus and party all night while we head to the next city. But you end up getting tired, and the travel — especially with the way flying is these days after 9/11 — it's a lot more involved and harder. But the time you get to play makes it worth while. I actually love doing the sound check. That's one more chance to play, one more chance to hear your guitar cranked up through a huge PA. But I'm in a very lucky position to be doing this, and I'm definitely not complaining. It's just that you get homesick. That's it. Everybody's job — it's the same as being in a band. You've got responsibilities. People who are pressing you to get this or that done. Or be here at this time. And you've always got to try and look presentable.
DRG: That's the same in any other job.
Doug: Right. You've got a boss or someone higher up that you have to deliver for. There are different things that happen at the office. It's the same being a guitarist in a touring band. Instead of going to the office and working on a computer, I just strap on a guitar. But the good thing is that if you've got a regular gig, and you can play music — as a lot of my friends do — it's the best of both worlds, because you have some stability there.
DRG: Right. I get to go home to my wife every night and that's a very positive thing.
Doug: Well also, you've got some financial stability, too. I mean — no matter how big the band is — how many guys can we think of that sold platinum records —
DRG: Yes, touring very, very modestly now compared to what they were doing in the 80s.
Doug: I know people who've sold millions of albums, and the band didn't make the money. They made a little money, but not what they should have made. And especially in this day and age with technology being what it is, it's very difficult to make a living playing. So I feel blessed, but there is always stress around what happens next — after this tour, after this album.
DRG: Well I know the fourm guys are sort of interested in how it actually works. Are you being paid by the tour, or on a retainer, or what? How do you actually make money from not only the tour, but hopefully from the album too?
Doug: Well, it varies with every situation. Every band does it differently. You have big bands that run thing the same as any business would. And there are situations where something looks like a true band, but some of the guys are . . .
DRG: Hired guns.
Doug: Yeah, you can call them that, but it doesn't necessarily appear that way because they're a band member in every other sense. If you were a guy who started a band 30 years ago — like the bands we still like — there may have been some lineup changes. But you're going to try and hold onto your rights — as you should. So even if someone new comes in — no matter how instrumental they may be, you've got to take care of business and look after yourself first. So people are hired, but you're still considered a band member. But as far as how it works — it takes a really long time to get paid from a record. And I'm not that experienced. A lot of times with records I've done, I'd get a chunk of money up front — and it might not be that much, but it'd be enough to get me through for a while. And I might not see another penny from it. Or it may be a record that sells a little bit, and it may take a while to get paid from those sales.
DRG: Well, do you have your publishing?
Doug: Yeah, if you write a song, and I'm not the best person to ask, because I'm still not clear on exactly how publishing works.
DRG: Well, I'm not really asking you to speak for everyone. And I'm not trying to get into your personal business at all, but I'm just trying to understand the mechanics of how a gig like yours actually generates tangible income for you. You're doing tours with David and you just did a record. Is it: I'm gonna give you this amount for the tour, and this amount to do the record, or what?
Doug: It really depends on the band. For a lot of these gigs, the player gets a weekly salary. And if you do something else like write on a record, or produce on a record, you might get paid for that. When a band records, there is a budget to pay everyone. But there's a lot of gray areas in the music business.
DRG: Right! Those are the ones that can bite you in the ass if you're not paying attention.
Doug: I've been really lucky to have been able to sustain my life and move forward a little bit. But I know guys who've sold millions of records, and they have nothing to show for it. It blows my mind. Cause you'll still hear their songs on the radio.
DRG: Yeah, and if they did a good deal, they're still making money off of it, and if they a lousy deal, they're out of luck.
Doug: It seems to me that all the deals are pretty much much unfair to the artist. Even stories of the biggest acts — you find out they didn't make any real money till maybe their fourth record, or something. So you really have to watch your back.
DRG: Well, musicians have always been taken advantage of because they've always been more focused on the artistic side of things that the business side. And when they're not making the art, they often just wanted to live the life, and they often weren't willing to pay enough attention and take an active roll in protecting themselves and their future. It's your standard episode of Behind the Music.
Doug: There's only so many hours in the day.
DRG: And that's not the fun part.
Doug: I'm actually embarrassed to say that I don't know how publishing works — still. And there are people who are in the publishing business, who can't explain it to you, because it's very complicated. To actually learn it and figure it out would take a lot of time. And like you just said, I'd rather spend my time trying to come up with new riffs.
DRG: I think the tactic of every record company out there, was to put the worst possible deal for the artist on the table first, and see if anyone bites. And if they bit, they bit, too bad for them. But if they were smart or lucky, and had, say a Peter Grant working for them, who'd say: no way. The deal is gonna be this. But I think it's just the naivety of youth. Young players with stars in their eyes who want other people to handle that end of it for them.
Doug: You just don't know any better. Especially young bands.
DRG: Right, and the record companies actively took advantage of them as often as possible. And now that the industry is imploding on itself, it's hard to feel sorry for those companies.
Doug: Someone told me there used to be about 500 A&R people in LA, and now there's like 40. It's their own doing, really.
DRG: Yep. The industry has eaten itself. I can't feel sorry for them.
Doug: That's why I feel very fortunate to be doing what I'm doing. I definitely don't take it for granted. I try to work hard and give it my best, and take it seriously.
DRG: And pay attention!
Doug: You have to. If I knew back then what I know now . . . all that stuff. This is one of those cases where you say: I should have listened to my dad and hired a great attorney.
DRG: Yep. We've all lived though that one.
Doug: But even if you did, there's no guarantees. People are getting laid off left and right. There's a lot of instability in the job market these days. And aside from being good at your craft, you still have to have a bit of luck. There's no way around that.
DRG: Agreed. Well, I only have one more question, but it's actually a two part question because it has to do with two signature products of yours: the Doug Aldrich signature pickups, and the Doug Aldrich Rocket Fuel.
Doug: You've heard about that? Cool!
DRG: One my friends from the site has those pickups in several of his guitars now, and he loves them
Doug: I do too, man. I was pretty much blown away with how that happened and how the pickups ended up. John Suhr is very meticulous about everything that he does. You can tell when you play one of his guitars or his amps. He's very detail-oriented. So when I said this is what I'm looking for in a humbucker — we started with the bridge — I told him what I wanted and he sent me four pickups that were all slightly different, and all really cool, but over a couple of months, I narrowed it down to the one, and from there, we changed one last thing about it. The end result is that I'm really happy with the pickups. They're definitely hot, but if you clean up your amp, they're not like a Duncan Super Distortion or anything like that.
DRG: Can you tell me sort of what you were going for in your mind?
Doug: I was looking for something that had the bottom end — the size on the bottom. Not too brittle or bright on the top. Some of the pickups I had been using had sort of a coating over midrange that made it not really present. It just felt like there was something blanketing it. Maybe it was too compressed or something. So John found a way to make the midrange really aggressive, and punchy — not so compressed — but still a hot pickup. So I don't know exactly what he did, but he accomplished everything I wanted, and I stand by those pickups.
DRG: I haven't personally had a chance to try them out, but I'm interested. Are these an Alnico II or V or what?
Doug: I think it's an Alnico V. You can only wind an Alnico II so far before it starts to get muddy. It's really aggressive with good bottom end, and clear on the top. This doesn't get squeaky when you're playing high up on the neck. And the DC resistance rates out somewhere around 17 I think. A Duncan JB is like 14 or 15 I think. So it's a bit hotter than a JB, but to me it sounds bigger too.
DRG: You have it in just Les Pauls?
Doug: I have it in the Les Pauls, and in a few Teles that have humbuckers, and in a Zemaitis guitar. But those are more recording guitars. For the Whitesnake gig, the Les Paul is the best thing. From the standpoint of the kind of music it is, and because Reb's got the super strats. And it's better if he's using that that I'm on a stud tailpiece. So the pickup is really cool, and it made a huge difference in my guitars. I'm digging them.
DRG: OK. So tell me about the Rocket Fuel.
Doug: That's something that I started to talk to a few smaller companies about, because I didn't want to get in with a company that had a lot of red tape. I wanted to be able to actually call someone and say: can we try this, can we try that. So I found this company, Majik Box, through a friend of mine, and they whipped up a couple of prototypes for me. I was looking for something that could potentially replace this Furman PQ3 that I've used for 25+ years. I always wanted to get that graphic PQ3 thing in a foot pedal, that you could kick in and out. Because with the Furman, you can't. You have to use it in a loop. But I always thought it would be great to be able to go to a club and jam, and have that same sound that I get from the PQ3 for solos, and heavy parts. And I've got a gazillion stompboxes, and they all sound good, but it was never quite the same as that Furman, so I was looking for something like that.
So the Majik Box people came over, and we documented the sounds. And they got a Furman and checked out the frequencies exactly, and checked what I was boosting and stuff. And the prototype ended up being like a clean boost with EQ. A bunch of knobs with different EQ points you could boost or cut. And an overall boost, just like a PQ3, but the thing was really sensitive, and really noisy, and I said: this isn't going to work. The idea was cool, but there were too many places where you could get yourself into trouble. So I said, we need to get the sound, and simplify it down to a few knobs.
They did that, and one of the key things is in the bass frequencies. A lot of overdrives and distortion pedals — when you kick it in, it's actually cutting the bass a bit, and giving you a midrange bump. I was trying to avoid that. Because while something like a Tubescreamer is great for playing leads, when you're playing rhythm, sometimes you want that bottom end. And sometimes when you're playing lead high on the neck on the bridge pickup, you want to be a little fatter sounding.
So this pedal achieves all that stuff, and doesn't cut the bottom end. It can actually also boost the bottom end a little bit if you want it. And it's got a really responsive touch to it. It's providing more gain, but it's giving you a bit more clarity at the same time. It's kind of weird. It kind of compresses it in a way you want it to for soloing, but when you back off the volume on your guitar, it reverts back to like it isn't even on. It's not like a pedal you have to kick in for solos. You can have it set and on, then back off the volume on your guitar, and when you want a little more gain, you can turn it up at the guitar. Or you can use it conventionally and kick it on when you want it. But the bottom line is that the tone of the thing is really really cool, and kind of unique in its own way. Which is something I think is important. And for me, for the kinds of music I like — everything from Stevie Ray to the heaviest stuff imaginable — it's all in there. It's a little bit expensive ($270), and I was a bit bummed out about that. But when it was explained to me that this is a custom hand made box from scratch — each and every one of them, I understood, and it made sense to me.
DRG: You get what you pay for.
Doug: They're using the most expensive transistors and capacitors etc. That's how come it sounds good. And if you mass manufacture it, something probably will get lost. And I need to be able to count on this thing working and sounding good. So I'm really happy about it.
DRG: Sounds good. Well the only thing I have left to ask you is what's next? Any new tours, new projects, any solo albums in you future?
Doug: It's been a while, but I have a little bit of music bouncing around that could potentially be a solo record at some point. But it needs more focus. That's what it takes for me to get a project done. To have the ability to focus without those distractions. When you're on tour, there's so many distractions that the only time that you can focus is onstage. Otherwise, you're packing and unpacking, or in my case, talking to my wife and seeing what car she hit today. So for me it's really hard to focus on anything like another recording project. We're home for the moment on this break, but then we're going back out. So to achieve a solo record, I'd need to focus on that for a few months. I had also written a whole bunch of music for my old Burning Rain project, and that is maybe something I do at some point. But obviously, at the moment, my priority is Whitesnake, and promoting the new record. So I've got to finish out the year. The tour starts in Japan in October, and we go through southeast Asia, including Hong Kong, and India. Then we're back in Europe from around mid November to the Christmas break.
I've also started dabbling with some acoustic stuff. I've talked to David about potentially doing some acoustic songs, and maybe that will turn into something at some point. One of my favorite things on the record is the last song, Till the End of Time, which has a cool vibe, and it provides more open space for David's voice, and I'd like to experiment more with that kind of thing using different tunings and different instrumentation. It could be unique, and something he hasn't done before. So we'll see.
DRG: Well I wish you only the best, my friend. And I'm sure we'll all enjoy whatever comes next. It was great to catch up with you.
Doug: My pleasure, bro. Take care.
We at Dinosaur Rock Guitar would like to thank Doug Aldrich for taking the time to answer our questions. Copyright ©2008 All rights reserved.