Exclusive Interview: Jizzy Pearl


Jizzy Pearl is kicking off a revamped and rejuvenated Love/Hate in 2013, starting with a run of dates in the UK for the “Blackout 13” tour.

Joining Pearl will be guitarist Keri Kelli (Alice Cooper, Slash’s Snakepit), bassist Robbie Crane (Ratt, Lynch Mob) and drummer Matt Starr (Ace Frehley).

Reminiscing about a previous trip to the UK Pearl stated, “Love/Hate first went to Ireland in 1991 with Skid Row. Northern Ireland was at that time still an unstable place and most bands would not go there but we did. Sebastian (Bach) was told not to say anything remotely political on stage but of course he did. Next time was with Adler’s Appetite and the barbed wire and machine gun nests were replaced with organic coffee bars and red-headed lovelies. All of us are looking forward to going back there again.”

This year also finds Love/Hate on the bill for the M3 Music Festival for the very first time. A string of US gigs have also been confirmed.

I caught up with Jizzy to talk about playing live and touring with Love/Hate, of course. But, as I’ve learned over the years, the best part of interviewing Jizzy Pearl is going in with no prepared questions and just seeing where the conversation goes…like this:

I recently got an iPhone and almost hung up on Jizzy because I’ve not completely mastered the amazing Apple device. I wasn’t sure how to dial in to the recording software I use for these interviews. Just as I figured out what I was doing Jizzy jumped in for a little mechanic motivation.

I’ve got an iPhone. I finally joined the modern age. It’s a samurai sword. It’s a Jedi lightsaber. There are so many nonsensical things you can do with it. I record songs on my phone. I have an eight track studio in my phone. After I got over the initial amusement of playing my guitar into my phone and speaking into my phone as a recording outlet – it’s pretty fucking cool! It’s just for me personally. It’s not something I would play for anybody. I’m not that much of a tweeker! Those guys that spend 18 hours searching for a guitar sound – c’mon, let’s admit it. That’s all meth induced!

While we’re talking about technology, I’ve gotta tell you about a conversation I had the other day with this young kid. He thinks it’s perfectly acceptable to download music, movies, whatever – just because the artists, studios and labels either have money or have made “too much” money in the past. And he’s not alone. I can’t believe people actually think that way.

The internet has negative and positive aspects to it. It does bring everything to your living room – concerts, email, websites, shopping, Facebook. Hell, with Facebook you don’t even have to have real friends anymore! There’s bizarre, imaginary relationships with people – I have almost 5,000 friends I barely even know! I used to get on my high horse about downloading music years ago. Essentially, we all know it’s stealing. People will rationalize a hundred different reasons why your music should be free. Then, if you call ’em out on it they’ll get shitty and say, ‘You should feel lucky I want to download your shitty music!’ Talk about reverse psychology. I’m supposed to like the fact that someone likes me so much that they would steal from me. I don’t care about it as much because there is nothing I can do about it. It’s kinda like automatic transmissions. At first everyone had to drive a stick. Then came automatic transmissions and if you don’t have to drive a stick then why learn? Downloading music is here to stay. That’s why bands like us don’t put out music as regularly as we used to. A) We lose money. B) People always compare it to the quarter of a million dollar budget album you did for a major label. It can never measure up sonically. Comparing my solo record that I made for $5000.00 to Blackout In The Red Room which cost a quarter of a million dollars just isn’t fair. Of course it’s not as good. What are you gonna do?

My latest rant is about people bringing these pads to concerts and recording. They’re not even really watching. They’re recording everything to put it on YouTube. I compare it to taking me home in a doggy bag!

The drunk headbanger whipping his hair and pounding his fists into the air used to be the most annoying thing at concerts. Now EVERYBODY has to hold up their phone and record part of the show or snap pictures – even if they’re in the back of the room!

Again, there’s nothing you can do about it. YouTube is also here to stay. Every time I go on stage I assume I’m being filmed. I always try to do my best. The live experience of people playing music hasn’t changed. Everything else has changed. Recording. Record company, no record company. Records, no records. Playing live music is the same and it’s an experience for the musician and for the person watching. It’s a precious thing and I think people ruin it sometimes. Especially people that record the entire show. It’s different if you hold up your phone and record one song. I get it. If you’re recording the whole show you’re not really watching it. You’re bringing me home in a doggy bag. What’s the fucking point?

I like having an emotional attachment to my music. I like the camaraderie at live shows. I promise there’s an entire generation that doesn’t get it. I was – for the first time ever – called a “codger” and “pops” because of my attitude towards music and belief that downloading is stealing.

You and I are old enough to remember records, CDs, pre-internet. There’s been a technological revolution in the music industry that had an unfortunate consequence of destroying the music industry at the same time. There aren’t record labels. There’s not rock radio so there doesn’t have to be a marketing department and a promotions department. There’s only so many places your music can be. MTV plays reality shows. They don’t play music the way they used to. All the different facets of the machine I grew up with have vanished. People moan about the record companies having all the money and enslaving musicians. Yeah, they did. But it sure was fun riding in that half a million dollar bus for ten months out of the year and drinking that free beer and being on MTV. It was a payoff. The musician got what he always wanted. The record label got the money, which is pretty much what the always wanted. The audience got their favorite musicians larger than life. Now it’s all changed. Thanks to Wikipedia you can’t even lie about your age anymore!

Young people have the attention span of a ferret on a double expresso. They treat bands like Kleenex. They listen to them a couple of times, blow their nose, throw it in the garbage and move on to the next band. One thing I’ve got to say for the “80s audience” is they are a very loyal audience. If not there wouldn’t be a Poison tour every year or a Rock Never Stops tour. Bands like us are able to play year after year because of the emotional resonance music has with us, with you and with me. I still love Led Zeppelin the way I did when I was a kid. I don’t care that Jimmy Page has white hair now! We grew up differently. Now kids have shit handed to them. They don’t have to line up at a record store at midnight because they’re excited about a Use Your Illusion record or the new Metallica. They just click a couple of keys on their keyboard and they get it for nothing.

Kerry King said just the other day that a lot of younger bands show up at different gear manufacturers and expect things just to be given to them. He said Slayer had a Camaro and an RV when they first started out and thought they were on top of the world.

On the other hand, those newer bands aren’t going to experience what I experienced – playing with the people you grew up with: AC/DC, Dio, Ozzy. I got to play with these people and hang out with these people and I got to tour on a grandeur that most of these young bands won’t understand. They think they’re entitled to a bunch of free shit and maybe they will get some free shit. You never really appreciate the shit you get for free. It’s the stuff you earn and work for that you really appreciate in the end.

They sign bands so young now. Could you imagine being washed up at 22? Washed up. Yesterday’s news. Whaddya do? That’s where you come in, dude. You get into porn!

I have yet to be editor of an extreme anal magazine like someone else in this conversation.

I did an interview the other day and people were asking why I wasn’t writing new books and coming out with a new record every year. Here I am, doing OK financially. I want to do music when I want to. I want to tour when I want to. I’m doing a UK tour later this month with some friends of mine, Love/Hate. I’m at the point in my life where I don’t have to bust my ass and tour in a van for eight months out of the year so I can pay the gas bill. A lot of these guys didn’t budget their dough. There’s no 401k for guys like us at the end of the day. If you’re like me and made a lot of money, lost it and made it back – you should be a lot smarter the second time around so you don’t end up washing dishes.

And it’s got to be more fun that way.

I want it to be fun. Music has always been fun, let’s face it. You can go back and forth about some people calling it a job. I’ve been very lucky and very successful doing it – not only in Love/Hate but also in Ratt and L.A. Guns. I stayed busy for 20 years and paid the rent playing music. It’s a killer thing. It is a blessing to go out and play – and play here in town. In Vegas I have my solo band and can play whatever I want. I don’t have to play “Pour Some Sugar On Me” in some horrible casino at 3AM. In Tracii’s version of L.A. Guns I spent two years in a van, bro. Two years. That was a lot of traveling, a lot of work. I enjoy being at home and sleeping in my own bed.

It’s cool to see Love/Hate on the bill for the M3 Festival this year.

Yeah – it’s the first time we’ve got to play M3. Hopefully we’ll play a few other festivals as well. People have expressed that it’s nice to see a band that hasn’t played several times before at these festivals. It’s good to see some new blood. We’re really excited about that.

Love/Hate Blackout ’13 Dates:
22 – The Starline – Fresno, CA
23 – tba – Los Angeles, CA
25 – The Underworld – London, UK
26 – The Yardbids – Grimsby, UK
27 – Bannermans – Edinburgh, UK
28 – Trillians – Newcastle, UK
29 – The Gasworks – Bradford , UK
30 – The Diamond – Sutton, UK
31 – The Snooty Fox – West Yorkshire, UK

1 – The Patriot – Crumlin, UK
3 – The Slade Rooms – Wolverhampton, UK
4 – Bogiez -Cardiff, UK
5 – The Diamond Rock Club – Belfast, IE
6 – The Vault – Rugby, UK

1 – The Deadhorse Music Hall – McKees Rocks, PA
2 – The Tap House – Akron, OH
3 – TBA
4 – M3 Festival (day)
4 – The Revolution – Amityville, NY (evening)
5 – Dewey’s – Seymour, CT