John Corabi, former frontman of Motley Crue and member of Ratt, Union, The Scream, ESP etc has released a new unplugged album, called simply “John Corabi Unplugged”. He plays Auntie Annies in Belfast on 17th November as part of a European tour.

NI Rocks – John, thanks for taking some time out of your busy schedule to answer some questions for Rock Radio NI. You’ve just arrived in Europe at the start of a five week tour that takes you through about 14 countries. I know you’ve been doing this for a while but do you ever get used to living out of a suitcase? Do you still have a hunger to get out on the road and play?

JohnAfter a while it starts to get a little tough being away from home, and my girlfriend and the comforts of home...But I still truly love playing, and meeting new people, so I still have a hunger to continue...I am blessed to do something I love doing for a living!!!!




NI Rocks – You arrive in Belfast for a gig in Auntie Annies on 17th November following dates in Dublin and Galway. I think the last time you were in Belfast was back in 2008 with Ratt. Have you spent much time in Ireland over the years and what are your memories of playing here?

JohnUnfortunately I have only been to Ireland the one time I was there with Ratt. I am really looking forward to seeing Dublin, Belfast and Galway on this trip!!! My last visit to Belfast was great, and I thought the fans were really amazing!!!


NI Rocks – The current tour is of course to promote the new album “Unplugged” which is released through Rat Pak Records on 13th November. Is an unplugged album something you’ve been wanting to do for a while?

JohnYes!!! Actually just about every song I've ever written has started on acoustic, and translated to electric, so it’s quite natural for me..Also, very early in my career when I was recording the Scream album, I had the great fortune of meeting Steve Marriot from Humble Pie..He really enjoyed the Scream music, and even volunteered to do some vocals with me, but unfortunately was killed in a house fire..But he told me if you can play a song acoustically and entertain an audience, then you have great I figured let’s give it a try!!!


NI Rocks – The 12 tracks on the album include unplugged versions of songs by The Scream, Union and Motley Crue as well as new songs. Tell us a little bit about the track selection process.

JohnHonestly a lot of the songs were tunes I was doing in my acoustic sets..I just kind of recorded the  songs that received a great I fine tuned the arrangements and my guitar player D.A. Karkos and myself worked out some harmonies and recorded Unplugged right in my house, which I'm also very pleased with!!! I really enjoy having the freedom to record when I want and not having to answer to anybody!!!! Lol...


NI Rocks – You’ve released an audio trailer of the unplugged “Hooligan’s Holiday” and Rat Pak Records have kindly provided me with a copy to play on Rock Radio NI. This includes Bruce Kulick on guitar. Have you worked much with Bruce since the days of the Eric Singer Project (ESP) and Union?

John - Yes... Bruce and I still work together a bit. I co wrote a song for his last solo record and we still do E.S.P. shows when we're all available.




NI Rocks – Who else was involved in the recording of “Unplugged” and who will you have helping out on tour?

John - Just D.A (my guitarist) and my drummer Cheney Brannon (from Collective Soul) all three of us had a bunch of recording gear so we did everything at D.A's house. My touring band will be the same two guys along with my bassist Topher Nolan.


NI Rocks – Your time with Motley Crue has been well documented and you’ll probably be relieved to see that I don’t intend asking questions about it. However, just out of curiousity, is there any question are you most sick of being asked?

JohnFirst let me state this...I had an AMAZING 5 + years with Motley. I'm extremely proud of the record we did, regardless of the outcome. Also, I understand that fans of Motley are always going to be curious, as well as have opinions so questions and such never bothered me...


NI Rocks – You’d left Ratt before the recording and release of the “Infestation” album in 2010 but I notice you are credited with co-writing the track “Don’t Let Go”. Is this a track written before you’d left the band or was there any involvement in the studio?

JohnActually it’s a song I wrote with Blotz for his solo project 24/7, and he took it to Ratt after I left. Apparently, Steven dug it, and changed it up a bit to put his stamp on it. I didn't even know it was on the


NI Rocks -   Over the years you’ve obviously played some fairly big venues. How does that experience compare to the more intimate unplugged sessions you’re doing now? Is it a different kind of buzz?

JohnI really do love doing both!! Obviously when you're playing bigger venues, there's a success tag. If you're able to sell big venues, who wouldn't enjoy that? But there really is a disconnect to a degree from the fans. I love the energy you get from 18-20, 000 people, but there’s another kind of energy being that close, and truly being able to see the expressions on their faces...It’s wonderful....


NI Rocks – With your experience of touring you must have a few tales to tell. What’s your favourite tour story?

JohnProbably one of the funniest things that happened was during my very first trip to England with the Scream. Considering it’s an English language speaking country, we found out the hard way the differences in the "slang". We were continually saying the wrong things and getting into trouble and at one point were thrown out of the Marquee club as a result. Walt and I went to have a pint one night and proceeded to get shit faced drunk. We were at a Tiger Tailz show. We had no idea who they were, we just happened to pick that bar to drink in. Well, we're sitting at the bar, and this guy comes up to us and asked us for a "fag". It was loud, as the band was playing, so I said to the guy..." excuse me???" He asked again if he could have a fag. So, Walt looks at me and asked me what the guy was saying, and I said “I don't know, I think he called us fags"....Well Walt stood up, and levelled the poor fellow. KNOCKED HIM OUT!!! The club threw us out. The next day we explained why they threw us out to our record label people, and they were hysterically laughing and told us, the bloke was just asking for a cigarette...


NI Rocks - I always like to ask people that I’m interviewing for their musical recommendations. What up and coming bands are you aware of that you’d recommend to those reading this interview?

John I honestly see soooo many great bands and songwriters in my travels, so that’s a really difficult question to answer. There is a great unsigned band in America that I'm fond of called Big Jim Slade...check them out!!! I also like Ryan Roxie's band Roxie 77...Very Cheap Trick-ish.


NI Rocks -   The other question I always tend to ask relates to your music listening habits. Presuming that you have an iPod or MP3 player, if I were to lift it and hit play what artists would I be likely to hear?

JohnYou'd hear a bit of everything really. But the majority of my collection is just Classic rock. I love new stuff, but nobody, myself included is doing anything that wasn't done before.. I love The Beatles, Stones, Zep, etc...All of my music is from the late 60's and the 70's..To me that was probably the most eclectic, creative period for music. But, that’s just my humble opinion....


NI Rocks – Once again, many thanks for taking the time to answer a few questions for Rock Radio NI. Good luck with the tour and hopefully we’ll catch up with you in Belfast in a few weeks.

John - No worries!!! I'm just happy somebody still wants to chat with me...hahaha...See you in Ireland!!!!


You can find out more about what John is up to on his website

or on the Rat Pak Records website



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Last Updated (Monday, 22 October 2012 20:07)