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Lifestyle & Leisure

‘I’m now comfortable being judged’

Wednesday, 15th August, 2018 4:46pm

Cork artist Mark Daly’s life is all change. The long-haired former frontman of hard rock band The VooDoos is preparing to release his debut solo album, a diverse mix of rock, country and pop.

Gone are the late night/early morning excesses of his band’s heyday in the US. Today, Daly is happily settled back in Cork, his early mornings now devoted to his new six-week old daughter.

“It’s a nice, quiet town,” he says of Crookstown, where he lives. “Especially after my lifestyle with The VooDoos. I dunno how we came out of it with our lives, haha! Now I can write, go to gigs and come home to peace and quiet.”

Daly’s music career has been an interesting one; he’s worked with Ozzy Osbourne and AC/DC musicians, gained popularity while living in Seattle, signed a record deal, and gotten screwed over.

While living stateside, Daly got to record with Operation: Mindcrime, a group led by Queensrÿche super group frontman Geoff Tate and featuring musicians formerly of Whitesnake, AC/DC, Dio and Ozzy Osbourne. Being a part of writing a concept album was a new experience, and something Daly says greatly improved him as a writer.

“Having to write on particular subjects and a storyline really help me songwriting. I just said yes at the time not knowing that all these amazing people would be involved! It was overwhelming but great fun.”

Returning home to Ireland three years ago, Daly began writing more introspectively. The sentiments remained similar, but he was no longer screaming the lyrics, no longer afraid to pull back and let himself really be heard.

“With this record, there’s no hiding what I’m trying to say,” he explains. “With The VooDoos I said things I felt vulnerable about expressing, but I was screaming them so people didn’t know what I was saying. But I’m now comfortable being judged on what I’m writing.”

To be released on 7 September, ‘When the Stars Align’ is a hotchpotch of grunge, pop, rock and country influences. Gloomy new single ‘Addicted to the Throne’ is an ominous ode to the dog-eat-dog world of music. The song comes from a place of experience.

Daly says: “With The VooDoos, we were selling a lot of our first record on the road, and a label signed us. But that took away all our momentum. We had our second album written, but we never got the funding to record it.

“That was kind of the nail in the coffin for us. You see how in this industry how power and ego goes to people’s heads, and they screw people over to get ahead,” he says matter-of-factly.

Daly says he has learned from experience, and is happy to have control. “Releasing this record independently, I can make the decisions about what to do and what to release, rather than being told. It’s more pressure on you, but you have the power in your own hands. If it doesn’t go well then you can only blame yourself! I’ve never been truly happy with anything I’ve recorded before, but there’s a real character to this one.”

Recorded with Kelly Gray of Queensrÿche and Operation: Mindcrime, ‘When the Stars Align’ will be supported by a UK and Irish tour, with dates to be announced, meaning there will be plenty of chance to see Daly. Judge as you wish.

‘When the Stars Align’ is released physically and on all streaming platforms on 7 September.

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