GHOST DANCE: VEGLAM INTERVIEWS DANNY FURY, LEAD VOCALIST OF TANGO PIRATES!!!
(-by Anguish Young)
The most exciting and energetic new band to come along in ages may seem like overnight sensations to the young or uninitiated, but regular readers of Veglam will need no introduction to TANGO PIRATES, who are composed of alumni of many, many of our favorite bands, you know, where do you start? Lords Of The New Church, Kill City Dragons, Vain, Sham 69, Cherry Bombz, Wanderers, Dogs D’Amour, Rogue Male, Shooting Gallery, Anita Chellemah, Izzy Stradlin, Arthur Kane, Cheap N Nasty, the list just goes on and on.
Lead vocalist, Danny Fury, is a swashbuckling, gothic dandy in the romantic tradition of Stiv Bator, Jim Jones, and Mike Monroe. He has a really cool voice and is an outstanding entertainer, who looks and moves like he is about twenty. Dave Tregunna is obviously one of the most spellbindingly unique and beloved bass-players of our gothic/glam/punk rock subculture. He has switched to guitar, while the low-end is being nailed-down by one Vera Wild, an attractive and mysterious new presence to many of us, bringing a youthful energy to the surly and savage Pirate’s vibe. One can never say enough about how talented Timo Kaltio is, a flamboyant and highly-gifted guitarist/songwriter, who’s worked with all your heroes in Hanoi Rocks and Smack and Guns N Roses. Ex-Pleasure Victims drummer, Steve Grainger has a big job, playing drums behind a former drummer of Danny Fury’s stature.
Together, these wild-eyed outlaws who sail under no flag but the black ones, they are making some of the coolest and most vital underground music we’ve heard in a long time. Sultry, sensual, bluesy punk’n’roll that’s certain to appeal to young people who love style, drama, and an element of danger, as well as old-school glam and punk rock aficionados. They have come for your children, and for some of your grandfolks, too. This is the type of rock group that can bring all the real rocknroll tribes back together, luring the witches and underdogs, androgynes, new romantics, grebos, hooligans, bikers, and mohawks back out of the cupboards to dance in the half-light of a bloodshot moon, they have resurrected the seductive spirit of another time. VEGLAM was pleased to speak with DANNY FURY about what inspires him, his life and times, and all the real rock’n’roll with heart and soul.
VEGLAM MAGAZINE: Aren’t you originally from Switzerland? Did you ever know “The World Famous Mister Ratboy” from Motorcycle Boy/Pillbox NYC/Sour Jazz, who’s also from there?
DANNY FURY: Yes, I was born in Basel, Switzerland. I grew up there in a children’s home and left for London in January of 1984. I don’t know Mister Ratboy, I was probably gone too long.
VEGLAM MAGAZINE: Steven Tyler and Joey Ramone are two other drummers who became frontmen, having drummed for so many of rock’n’roll’s best frontmen, does that put extra pressure on you as a performer, have you always sang and written songs?
DANNY FURY: I don’t feel pressure from any singer, ‘cuz I don’t try to be them! If I would wanna be Robert Plant, or Stiv Bator or anyone….I’d be under pressure, for sure! But since I’m into being the best me I can be, I’m very relaxed. That is what it’s all about in my book : being yourself !!! I started singing late in life, at a point, where most people already pack it in! I always used to think that I could not sing, but have been writing lyrics, forever. After coming back to Switzerland from San Francisco, I could not find a good singer and decided to give it a go, myself. People around me thought it sounds cool and I should keep going. So I went out, bought me a guitar, learned a few chords and found out, that I had a talent I did not know about. The lesson in this (for me and all of you) is, it’s never too late for anything, as long as you’re still breathing !!!
VEGLAM MAGAZINE: Describe the first time you encountered Stiv Bators. Did you get to record much with him? Were you a Deadboys fan? What do you think about this C.B.G.B. movie and the Harry Potter lad playing Cheetah “MF” Chrome?
DANNY FURY: I met Stiv at a gig in Zurich, supporting the Lords Of The New Church. I had my mind set on London and asked him, if he would know a band in the UK, looking for a drummer. he replied, if Nicky (original Lords drummer) dies, I’ll get his job! Well, Nicky did not die, but when he left the Lords, 2 years later, I did get his job !!! Stiv thought, that it was in the stars and meant to be and was proud enough, to tell that story in interviews, announcing me joining the Lords. I always loved the Dead Boys and other great punk bands. I have not seen the CBGB movie, but the Harry Potter dude seems a bit of an odd choice to me, playing Cheetah Chrome, but maybe he can pull it off? ‘Would have to see it first, though!
VEGLAM MAGAZINE: Is Tango Pirates the Wild At Heart project with a revamped name, or are they separate entities?
DANNY FURY: Wild at Heart was basically me doin’ my own thing. Tango Pirates is still me doing my songs but with input from Dave and Vera, who write as well, and I’m happy to enrich our music with their talents! It seemed logical to call it something else, cuz it was a new start. There’s also too many heart bands out there. Tango Pirates is a term invented by the New York establishment, in the 1920’s, for those early jazz and blues musicians. Believing them to be a threat to their youth, which of course, they were….lol, seducing them to the devil’s music, sex and drugs–that kinda sounded like us, and seemed a good choice of a name.
VEGLAM MAGAZINE: Did you ever see or hear Steve Von Saint’s band, Angels In Vain? Whatever became of Augie Raia, and Elka Brandt? Jeni Foster from Princess Pang?
DANNY FURY: Steve von Saint played me Angels in Vain and gave me a t shirt that I wore ’till it fell apart.
VEGLAM MAGAZINE: When was the last time you saw Billy from Kill City Dragons?
DANNY FURY: I saw Billy last in L.A, at Steven Adler’s house (G’N’R) in the 90’s. We partied and talked about a Kill City Dragons reunion, but it has not happened (yet).
VEGLAM MAGAZINE: Did you get to see any of the recent Scabies James show? Rat’s birthday gig, fronted by Texas Terri? Are you still friends with Brian James?
DANNY FURY: I am still good friends with Brian James and since it is the Lords 30 years anniversary, we talked about the possibility of a Lords reunion for some gigs or tours. It’s up to him to announce that, if it should happen. I saw Brian/Rat/Texas Terri’s band and it was brilliant! Texas Terry is also a good friend and an amazing performer, a bit like a female Iggy. She came to a few of our shows and sang “Method To My Madness” with us, which we dedicate to Stiv.
VEGLAM MAGAZINE: What do you think of Urban Voodoo Machine, Jim Jones Revue, Michael Monroe?
DANNY FURY: Urban Voodoo Machine, Jim Jones and Michael Monroe are three great bands! ‘Love ’em all.
VEGLAM MAGAZINE: Do you know Paul Hornby, who all those musicians from Dogs D’amour and Quireboys are doing those benefits for? Ever see Tyla perform?
DANNY FURY: I don’t know Paul Hornby, but I heard about his illness. His is a hard destiny and I wish him and his loved ones strength! Did i see Tyla perform? Well yeah, the Dogs D’amour supported the Lords back in the day, a few times and I toured with Tyla earlier this year, playing drums for him.
VEGLAM MAGAZINE: What is the TANGO PIRATES song, “Ghost” about?
DANNY FURY: “Ghost” is a song about me being stubborn! Doing my own thing, against all odds and sometimes, against the grain! It’s about not giving up, even in the face of disaster! It’s also about my lust for life and a big fuck you too all the musicians in previous line ups who deserted me. It was originally called “Against The Grain”, but the band renamed it “Ghost”, cuz they felt that was the hook.
The chord sequence came out of a sad mood over another line up goin’ down the drain and was meant to be a bit of a ballad, my band had other plans with it though, and it turned into what it is now.
VEGLAM MAGAZINE: I know Cherry Bombz and Shooting Gallery supposedly got some of their cool leathers from a store on Melrose called Red Balls On Fire. Where do TANGO PIRATES get all your fabulous threads?
DANNY FURY: I used to work for that store back in the Dragon days and picked up some skills. but i’ve always designed my own clothes, too. That way I’m sure to get one-off stuff, ‘cuz I’m a one-off kinda guy! Some kids wrote to me, wanting to know about our clothes and I told ’em, that it’s not about clothes !! It’s about the message and the music ! The clothes are just another expression of who we are, some kind of visual language. You might not think so, by looking at me, but they become less important, as time goes by. Basically, what matters is on the inside, but in my case, the inside is reflected on the outside. I’m also a bit of an Errol Flynn victim, in that I watched too many of his pirate movies as a kid!
VEGLAM MAGAZINE: What do you remember about Gunfire Dance? The Bounty Hunters?
DANNY FURY: Gunfire Dance (a great band name) was a great band around the late 80’s and early 90’s. We played with them in the Dragon days and became good friends. ‘Just saw Ozzy last Saturday. I like those guys a lot! They are for for real and proved to be friends!
VEGLAM MAGAZINE: Ever met Dave Parsons? Were you a WANDERERS fan? How does Dave describe that project? I thought they wrote some really, really amazing songs, in spite of the dated 80’s production.
DANNY FURY: I have played with Dave Parsons for about a year now in Jimmy Pursey’s Sham 69. I get to play drums with them and really started to enjoy it again after a long break !! It’s great as well, to be a rhythm section again with Dave Tregunna. We are real tight since we played in so many bands together over the years.
VEGLAM MAGAZINE: How long have you guys been backing Anita Chellemah and how are those shows being received, will their be any recordings? Ever see Cherry Bombz back in the day?
DANNY FURY: Dave, Timo and I played with Anita over the last nine months, or so. She’s a great Lady with a great voice and good songs! Her gigs were unfortunately poorly attended so far, but this might change once the music, we recorded for her, is out there.I saw her back in the day with Cherry Bombz, playing at the old marquee in Soho, London.
VEGLAM MAGAZINE: Have you ever met Andy McCoy, Henri Paul Tortosa, or Gass Wylde?
DANNY FURY: I met Andy Mc Coy several times and saw him last in the early 90’s, stealing my singer. No hard feelings, of course!! He could not have done that, had still been tight with Billy at the time.
VEGLAM MAGAZINE: Describe each of your TANGO PIRATES bandmates…
DANNY FURY: That’s not an easy task, cuz they all are very colorful personalities and have many sides to ’em! To really describe ’em, I would have to write a small book. They are all very talented, though and we get along famously. The chemistry is great and I think they are the coolest bunch I worked with, since the Lords and Dragons days and I love the music we make together!!! I hope that they will stick it out with me, but will carry on, should any one of them decide on other plans.
VEGLAM MAGAZINE: Weren’t you in Stiv’s EVIL BOYS? What do you remember about Danny Nordahl, the Throbs?
DANNY FURY: I think he had that band in New York City. I was in a band with Stiv Bators, Nasty Suicide (Hanoi Rocks) and Dave Tregunna before I joined the Lords. Stiv called it Gang Bang and we recorded three songs but as far as I know, they never saw the light of day. We ended up reforming the Lords which was fine with me, since they were my favorite band at the time.
VEGLAM MAGAZINE: What contemporary bands do you enjoy listening to?
DANNY FURY: I have to admit, that I don’t know too much about contemporary bands. I’m too involved with my own projects, but I get to hear new cool bands we play with, like the Healthy Junkies, or Gasoline Queens. One band that stands out are the Peckham Cowboys. they just put out an album I really like! Blues rock with a modern twist and great grooves.
VEGLAM MAGAZINE: Wasn’t Timo affilliated somehow with Smack, as well as Izzy Stradlin, Cherry Bombz, Hanoi, Thee Hypnotics, and Cheap N Nasty? Ever meet Les Riggs?
DANNY FURY: Timo Kaltio played with all those bands as well as Johnny Thunders! We used to hang out with Cheap and Nasty and I met Les, back then.
VEGLAM MAGAZINE: Are TANGO PIRATES playing the Rebellion Festival?
DANNY FURY: I wish we would have, always been a bit of a rebel, myself…..lol…I love playing festivals and hope we get to play some next year! So get in touch, all you promoters !!!
VEGLAM MAGAZINE: What is your opinion of the Cult?
DANNY FURY: The Cult were a great band in the 80’s and 90’s! No idea what they are doin’ now.
VEGLAM MAGAZINE: Tango Pirates have been playing a lot of shows lately. Highlights? Has Ray Zell from Kerrang! come to write about you?
DANNY FURY: Yes, we played quite a bit lately. As people tell us, every show is better then the one before, so it’s going in a good way and I’m exited to watch it grow! We gonna have a break from live activities at the moment to work on the new great songs we’ve written. There is one I wrote about Stiv, called “Dark Star” and I think he would have been proud of me. Ray Zell has not been showing up, so far. Maybe I ought to give him a call. Got his number?
VEGLAM MAGAZINE: Will you be self-releasing an EP, or LP? Where will it be available? Is there any other TANGO PIRATES merchandise ready for purchase? T shirts?
DANNY FURY: We just recorded five songs that we put on our band page to listen to. Gonna put ’em out as downloads. We’ll do the same with the next batch and once we have enough to call it an album, we will release ’em on a cd as well, with artwork and all.
Merchandise will be available soon, too. We have a Tango Pirates Face-Book page where people can check up on our activities. We’ll have our own website soon, too.
VEGLAM MAGAZINE: Are you familiar with a young band called SILVER from Norway? They remind me a lot of Lords Of The New Church and early Flesh For Lulu. Very gothic sounding.
DANNY FURY: Never heard of ’em, but you made me curious. Gonna check ’em out.
VEGLAM MAGAZINE: Plans for the future? What do you hope to accomplish with TANGO PIRATES? What else would you like to discuss? What have I neglected to ask you about?
DANNY FURY: The plan is, to take this as far as we can!!! I’m like on a mission now and I ain’t gonna stop ’till I drop !
Music is a healing thing to me and I feel that I’ve been given something, that I have to pass on ! At the same time, we hope to turn people on to question things, or just make them feel that it’s ok to be different! Of course we wanna entertain ’em, too. I usually write when intense things happen in my life and it’s a way to work things out for myself and then pass on the conclusions. If it helps me, it might help others, too, cuz we all go through similar experiences in life. Iit is importent to me, that people know, that this is a very honest thing we do !!! It comes straight from our hearts and has not much to do with fame and fortune ! (Although we would not mind some of that….lol) It is what we do, Regardless of any outcome and our way of expressing ourselves !! We hope to continue the vision and attitude we shared with Stiv Bator in the Lords. our love to ya all xx TRUTH IS THE SWORD OF US ALL!