NI ROCKS Interview with JIZZY PEARL (Jan 2017)
This year marks the 25th anniversary of the release of the Love/Hate album “Wasted In America” and to commemorate that, front-man Jizzy Pearl is touring the UK to play some gigs. I arranged to speak to Jizzy on 10th January to talk about the tour, the album and future plans, including a new solo album. We actually did the interview twice due to issues with the more modern technology and ended up recording it over the phone, so many thanks to Jizzy for his patience! The interview was initially broadcast on the Friday NI Rocks Show on 13th January and this Show is now available on our MixCloud page – https://www.mixcloud.com/NIRocks/interview-with-jizzy-pearl-on-the-friday-ni-rocks-show-13th-jan-2017/
This was my third interview with the former Ratt, LA Guns and Quiet Riot singer, following an e-mail interview in January 2014 and an appearance on the Friday NI Rocks Show in September 2015 - http://www.rockradioni.co.uk/interviews/2223-ni-rocks-interview-with-jizzy-pearl.html
The interview has been transcribed and posted below.
GASOLINE OUTLAWS – Breathe Again
BLACK STAR RIDERS – Testify or Say Goodbye
BLACK OAK COUNTY – If Only You Knew
JIZZY PEARL – Too Late
Interview with JIZZY PEARL Part 1 (5 min)
LOVE/HATE – Wasted In America
Interview with JIZZY PEARL Part 2 (5 min)
LOVE/HATE – Don’t Fuck With Me
Interview with JIZZY PEARL Part 3 (7 min)
LOVE/HATE – Tranquilizer
L.A. GUNS – Dreamtime
MAVERICK – Beyond The Gates
AGE OF REFLECTION – Borderline
EMPIRE – Fool In Love
GOTTHARD – Stay With Me
TESLA – Song & Emotion / Changes
NI ROCKS – Hi Jizzy, thanks for taking some time to talk to Rock Radio NI. It’s been just over a year since we last spoke, but you’re back in the UK in March to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the release of “Wasted in America”. How many shows will you be doing and is the intention to play the album in full?
JIZZY – We’ll be doing 15 or 16 shows in the UK including Scotland, Hard Rock Hell and Northern Ireland. We’ll play the “Wasted In America” record from front to back. It’s the 25th anniversary – that little gem came out in 1992.
NI ROCKS – When you last toured here you had King Lot as your backing band and support band. What’s happening this time? Who have you got playing for you?
JIZZY – I’m continuing the tradition. I’m going to have three more Brits playing back-up for me for the Love/Hate music. It’s Mickey Richards who is in the Ryan Hamilton Band and Christian Kimmett and Stevie Pearce who play with my friend Kory Clarke in Warrior Soul.
NI ROCKS – Have you had a chance to rehearse with them yet? Are you doing it over the internet?
JIZZY – No, we’re just gonna wing it (laughs). They rehearse over there and get their shit together and we go back and forth on the internet with Dropbox and videos. I criticise and they fix, then I criticise and they fix and it all goes well.
NI ROCKS – When you the play the Diamond Rock Club on 25th March, the support comes from local band Maverick. Do you have one band supporting you on the UK mainland or are the venues having local bands at each gig?
JIZZY – The support on the tour, other than Northern Ireland is Knock Out Kaine. They played with us in either 2013 or 2014. Great band, good bunch of guys and very nice to get along with in closed quarters.
NI ROCKS – In chart terms, in the UK at least, “Wasted in America” did better than “Blackout in the Red Room” (reaching number 20 in the charts) and likewise with the singles from that album. However, “Blackout in the Red Room” is probably the band’s most recognised album now, or do you think “Wasted In America” is more recognised?
JIZZY - “Blackout in the Red Room” obviously was the stand-out record. That was the one that won Best Album of the Year from “Metal Hammer” and “Kerrang” and critical acclaim or whatever you want to call it. The “Wasted” record being our second record was still good. At the time we were touring with Ozzy and I’ll never forget we got a knock on the bus door from one of Ozzy’s roadies and he says ‘congratulations you’ve made the charts”. Even though “Wasted in America” got the numbers and acclaim, the “Blackout” record was the one that put that band on the map for sure.
NI ROCKS – During the writing and recording of “Wasted in America” and afterwards relationships with your label were pretty frayed. How difficult did that make things at the time?
JIZZY – Our relationship with the label started to disintegrate after the record was done. Actually, it started to disintegrate right after I hung on the Hollywood sign; I don’t know if there is a connection there (laughs). The thing about record labels is that they love you when you’re selling, and when you don’t sell, they don’t love you as much. It’s just simple corporate economics and has nothing to do with musical tastes or whatever. There are 10,000 records that have sold more than my records which are utterly horrible. If you’re going to put Right Said Fred up against what we did musically, what you gonna do!!
NI ROCKS – At this point we’re going to play a track from “Wasted in America”. Do you want to pick a track and tell us something about?
JIZZY – Title track “Wasted in America”. The song is our sarcastic, cynical look at the dumbing down of society and that is inherent in the lyrics. It’s also poignant because at the time we were getting wasted in America; and in the UK!
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NI ROCKS – Since we last spoke, you’ve left Quiet Riot after about 3 years fronting the band. I’m not looking for dirt or pushing for an answer, but was that a mutual decision?
JIZZY – The answer is that I just wanted to move on. I just wanted to do more work of my own, including my own record and wanted to explore other options in the musical sphere.
NI ROCKS – Quiet Riot obviously a big demand on your time, so have you got specific new plans for after the upcoming tour?
JIZZY – Basically, I’m in the midst of writing my record for Frontiers. I’m almost done writing. It’s a very anxiety filled experience for me. I don’t know how other people write, but when I do it I have to closet myself away and turn into the Unabomber (laughs). Right now we’re in the thick of it and I’m going to finish it, then do the tour in March. In April, we’ll commence recording the record, finish it and it’ll probably come out sometime later in the year.
NI ROCKS – Who has worked with you on that?
JIZZY – On drums, Blas Elias who used to be in Slaughter and now is in a group here in Las Vegas where I live. The guitar player is Mike Szuter who was in Magna-Fi and I think he played with Enuff Z’Nuff for ten minutes. And my buddy Marty (Mark) Dutton on bass and keyboards.
NI ROCKS – As part of the upcoming tour you’re playing the Hard Rock Hell AOR Festival in Wales on 10th March. In our last interview you talked about working with Tracii Guns – he and Phil Lewis are playing at the Festival with LA Guns the day after you. Have you had a chance to chat to him about the new stuff they’re working on?
JIZZY – Actually yeah. Tracii and I go back and forth. He helped me set up my home studio and he’s the go-to gadget guy! He knows all the tricks and all the bells and whistles. So with his help, I got my own studio here set up. It’s good for the fans and it’s good for them. L.A. Guns basically is Phil singing and Tracii playing guitar, so it’s time.
NI ROCKS – You released the album “Shrinking Violet” with Tracii and LA Guns back in 1999. I was listening to the re-issued version from 2010 recently and there are some great tracks on it. What are your memories of those years and do you have your own favourites from that album?
JIZZY – The interesting thing about writing and recording that record was that we were on tour at the time; just playing clubs and whatever; and basically the record was written during soundcheck. We would take extended soundchecks and the majority of songs were put together playing live at soundcheck. It was very organic the way that it came together and that’s the best memory I can take away from that record. There are some really good songs on it.
NI ROCKS – We’ll play a track from that album later in the Show. Which one would you like to play and why?
JIZZY – We should play “Dreamtime” which is a bit of a departure; it’s not your typical hard rock song. It just kinda came together - a little Beach Boys mellow deal and we experimented a bit and it came out good. So play that one.
NI ROCKS – Getting back to “Wasted in America”. We’ll play another track now. Again, I’ll ask you to pick one and tell us something about it or why you’ve picked it.
JIZZY – Let’s play a song called “Don’t Fuck With Me” – it’s probably the closest thing we had to putting out a ballad. And also a bit of a shot in the foot, because it couldn’t be played on radio (laughs). We were very non-compromising in certain ways and keeping the ‘Fucks’ in was intrinsic to the song and something that we stood by.
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NI ROCKS – You’ve quite a loyal following, not just here in N Ireland, but across the UK. Why do you think it was that Love/Hate seemed to make that connection here in the 90s?
JIZZY – I think because people in Europe and the UK tend to listen to their music a little bit more. It’s not such a throw away thing. We were a little different and not your typical leather pants, videos, you know what I mean! That kinda Sunset Strip template that a lot of bands attached themselves to. We were a little bit different and maybe that is why. We had some drinking songs in there and those always went over well with the punters.
NI ROCKS – I see you’ve just joined the world of Instagram. Do you see social media as a necessary evil for artists these days or is it something you enjoy?
JIZZY – I do see it as a necessary evil. I don’t really participate in the whole Instagram thing but I think it’s important to have all the different outlets for net-working and to keep abreast of what is going on. I think some people live their lives a little bit too much on these social media outlets and that’s not for me.
NI ROCKS – Vinyl sales took a big jump in the UK last year, though CD and download sales were down. Are you one of those vinyl junkies that loves collecting stuff and if possible would you like to see the Love/Hate albums re-released on vinyl at some stage?
JIZZY – I don’t have any control over whether the old Love/Hate records get released on vinyl or not. I think the thing with vinyl is that it is a protest against digital and harks back to when people listened to records and bought records. People enjoyed the experience of playback and not just clicking on their iPod and stuff. I think it’s great.
NI ROCKS – We’ve talked before about the music scene these days. Are there any younger bands around that you think can lay claim to maintaining that classic rock tradition or do you not listen to much newer stuff?
JIZZY – I get asked this question a lot, and I guess guys my age tend to dig the songs that we grew up with – Led Zeppelin, The Who and Deep Purple! I don’t think you can get any better than those bands and those records – it’s a generation thing. The kids listen to something different and we listen to what we listen to what we listen to. That makes me old!
NI ROCKS – Labels like Frontiers have a reputation for bringing together established rock artists to work together on an album – bands like Resurrection Kings or Revolution Saints. Would that be something that you’d be interested in if approached?
JIZZY – I actually have been approached; not by Frontiers, but a friend on the scene. They’ve got to get their shit together and there’s talk of putting together another in a long line of tiresome super-groups. (laughs).
NI ROCKS – You’d think about it then?
JIZZY – It depends! If I like the music. Bands have approached me in this kind of situation before. If it sounds like Slipknot it’s not really my thing – it’s not something I’d listen to or be really good at. I’m more of a classic Dio, Robert Plant style of singing and if it was something that lent itself to that musical style, then sure why not.
NI ROCKS - Final question. It’s the start of a new year. I’ll not ask about resolutions or anything, but do you have any hopes or aspirations for 2017? What would you have liked to have achieved by the end of the year?
JIZZY – I’d like to achieve the making of a good record. I’m in the thick of it. I’ve the long beard and look a lot like the Unabomber! I’m just sitting here and I’m in it. What I really want to do is raise the standard. I think this one will be my fifth solo record and I want to raise the bar – write better songs than I did. For me, as well as for the fans. I want to come out of this with better songs and better quality, that’s it.
NI ROCKS – Thanks for answering a few questions for Rock Radio NI. We’ll finish with another track from “Wasted In America”. Again I’ll let you pick one and say something about it.
JIZZY – Let’s play a song called “Tranquiliser”. It was a song we used to do in the early 80’s when we were young boys making the transition and finding ourselves. It was dark and it was cool. When we started doing the “Wasted” record we brought it into the 90’s and gave it more of a modern feel. It’s a great song.
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Last Updated (Saturday, 11 March 2017 04:53)