Ex-Babylon A.D. guitarist Danny De La Rosa speaks about leaving the band and upcoming solo album

Photo by Neil A. Lim Sang

Ex-Babylon A.D. guitarist Danny De La Rosa speaks about leaving the band and upcoming solo album

Former Babylon A.D. guitarist Danny De La Rosa has opened up to Sleaze Roxx about his departure from the iconic band and the status of his upcoming new solo album.

Photo by Neil A. Lim Sang

In terms of his forthcoming debut solo album, De La Rosa stated: “The producer will be Marc Kapetan. Marc produced Tesla guitarist Dave Rude‘s solo recording The Key from 2013. For now, I will be playing most instruments with the exception of drums. My plan is to have my high school buddy Rich Carlson play drums. Rich was the drummer in Badd Boyz with Paul Shortino and currently has a book out titled Twisted Drums. I’m sure Marc can also contribute as he is an accomplished musician in his own right. I am told my music resembles Cheap Trick, the poppy side of Stone Temple Pilots, The Beatles and Beck of all things. However, until the songs are chosen and recorded, it is difficult to say what they will sound like. I do have a clear picture of how I want to sound. I want The Beatles, Queen and Sweet but that remains to be seen. I don’t plan on this necessarily being a “guitar” project but more of a song oriented, melodic effort with different sounding guitars.

With respect to the big change in music direction compared to Babylon A.D., De La Rosa advised: “Well… first and foremost, my voice is nowhere near Derek [Davis‘] voice. I wish I had that Steven Tyler, James Brown, Eric Martin kind of voice but I barely have my own voice! I think it lends itself to ’70s rock I grew up on like the The Raspberries, Glen Campbell, Bread, Beach Boys, Badfinger, The Beatles, etc. In addition, my personal outlook on what to write songs about is much different than Babylon A.D. I like tongue in cheek humor and am a very positive person. I’m not pissed off enough to write lyrics with angst. Derek is great at that. I can write music like that, and play like that, but I don’t have a lot of lyrics like that in me. My demos are my first ever attempt at singing and writing lyrics. I still can’t believe I sang on recordings and let people hear it. I just paid attention over the years on vocal dynamics and was tired of relying on different singers trying to execute my ideas.

In regard to when De La Rosa anticipates finishing and releasing his debut solo album, he stated: “I wrote and demoed at least 25 songs for this solo effort. We are currently choosing songs to record now. I’m hoping to have it completed this winter / early spring.”

It was previously reported that De La Rosa left Babylon A.D. because he wanted to work on his own new solo music. It was pointed to De La Rosa though that Babylon A.D. frontman Derek Davis has been recording solo albums for years while still staying in the band.

With respect to why De La Rosa ended up leaving Babylon A.D. after 28 years with the band, he advised: “Derek is the king of Babylon A.D. [laughs] and he is a doer. He has a studio at his home so it’s pretty easy for him to record what and when he wants. After all my years of playing, I could never really grasp being good enough to engineer a quality recording. I don’t want to put out a garage studio recording that sounds like a demo. I want my music to sound the best it can with a producer’s input. When I’m writing songs, I have no idea if it’s perceived as good or not. When people heard it — professional people — they said it was worth re-recording in a quality studio, so I am. I now have myself to rely on and I don’t have to compromise with anyone else except for the producer whom I will give total trust as he is investing his time to record me. [I have] full musical expression with the freedom to do what I want. If 100 people respond they like some of my music, I will be a happy man. Add a few zeros and I would be ecstatic!

I left Babylon A.D. for several reasons. Basically, the band had an underlying urge to be The Persuaders again — their former name before I joined — and I didn’t want to be in the way of that. I am happy for them to go full circle. I knew it was just a matter of time. They are living their dream and more power to them but that dream is not mine. I also had a position that if we were to record a new album, I preferred a third party to choose songs, engineer and produce. That wasn’t going to happen in this regimen… [laughs] but Derek was very supportive of me recording and releasing my music. I wouldn’t write off playing a show in the future with Babylon A.D. playing those classic songs. I loved playing those songs with Ron [Freschi]. We always got along great for a dual lead situation.

I didn’t make it easy for them when shows and rehearsals came up because more importantly I am a father of three teenage boys and they need me at this point in their lives and I need them. I couldn’t go anywhere at a drop of a hat and frankly, I feel I experienced everything the band had to offer. The main thing I will miss is the Monster Of Rock Cruises. It is so much fun to meet the fans and great musicians and see bands I like and just the whole positive vibe made possible by the awesome staff. I would like to thank all the promoters that treated me so well and the fans that made the effort to come talk to me sharing their memories of our music and how it affected them. I went on the road as a musician out of high school; auditioned for KISS when Ace [Frehley] left; hung out with Clive Davis, Tom Werman, RoboCop and Sam Kinison; jammed with some great musicians; and, now I can continue to express myself musically without the “burden” of being a rich and famous person that can’t go out anywhere [laughs]. I have the best of both worlds. What a great thing to be musically active at this point in my life.”