Jizzy Pearl - Summer 2018

Hollywood rocker Jizzy Pearl is perhaps best known for his huge success as front man of Love/Hate in the 90s, but his achievements over a career spanning 35 years go far beyond this. Fronting and releasing records with bands such as Ratt, Quiet Riot and Adler’s Appetite, as well as a solo artist, collectively massively reinforce what a truly gifted and legendary performer Jizzy really. And it’s as a solo artist that Jizzy has just released his latest album All You Need Is Soul. An absolutely incredible record that presents a commitment to releasing the highest quality of rock. This is not a rushed affair nor has it been hastily put together. The investment in time and in the right musicians has ensured that this is a record to be proud of. Despite just turning 60 years old, Jizzy clearly has no intentions of slowing down. All You Need Is Soul is full steam-ahead classic rock played with power and passion. We catch up with the man himself at one of the UK’s newest and most exciting rock venues, the Waterloo Music Bar in Blackpool, as he nears completion of a mammoth 19 date tour of the UK.

I’d like to start by talking about your new album All You Need Is Soul which was released on 11th May. You’ve created an absolutely fantastic a record here and it’s one which we have already described as potentially the album of your career – the album is that strong. 

I would say that that’s probably the strongest thing going is that this record, it competes with the early Love/Hate stuff. Basically I tried to recreate the energy of the Black Out In The Red Room era which was a long time ago when we were all kids and certainly had a lot more energy so I’m happy that I was able to that.

The album was preceded by the new single You’re Gonna Miss Me When I’m Gone, a fantastic high-energy track, also the album opener, which brilliantly reflects for the album is all about. Does the title suggest that you actually have plans to leave? 

You know what, it’s just a chorus. It’s just a very good hook. It can mean anything. I think lot of people can identify with that phrase when it comes to say a relationship or a band or something like that so that’s what that’s about.

A favourite track of ours is Comin’ Home To The Bone, a story about an insatiable woman who won’t leave you alone – perhaps a problem we would all like to have! How autobiographical is this track?    

That track is sort of me channelling my inner AC/DC, you know what I mean? It’s probably the most low-brow song lyrically but I like it. It’s kind of a tongue-in-cheek tribute to my wife ‘she’s drinking all my wine…’ blah blah blah. She isn’t really but it’s kind of a homage.

Let’s pick up on the title of the record which is also the title of one of the tracks on the record – All You Need Is Soul. How did you decide upon this title? Is it perhaps a life lesson learned about how to be successful in rock?

Again, the title All You Need Is Soul is tongue-in-cheek, like ‘all you need is soul’, ‘all you need is a million dollar pair of legs to play in the World Cup’, you know what I mean? It’s a sort of play on words. I think soul is an intangible, it’s a passion for music, it’s a passion to spend the time in the years that it takes to be good. These days in this sort of American Idol, X Factor generation where people maybe think they don’t need to take the time to get their shit together - they can just win. So soul is accumulated years of struggle, perseverance and hard work which reflects in your music and in your voice. 

Let’s take a moment to focus on the artwork for the album. I think this is an example of true art and it’s very visually striking. Clearly how the album is presented visually is of huge importance to you. The body on the cover also reflects one of your tattoos. What requirements did you have for the design and how did this come together?

There’s a guy named Stan Decker who works for Frontiers and he was a huge Love/Hate fan and a big fan of the original art of our covers from the first couple of records, and I basically sent him a photo of the tattoo and said ‘what can we do with this?’. He turned it into this sort of Picasso/Salvador Dali thing and I couldn’t be more pleased with it. It’s very striking!

Let’s pick up on Frontiers because for this album you’ve signed with Frontiers SRL. So many artists are turning to Frontiers. What is it about Frontiers that creates such successful partnerships?

They have money (laughs)! It’s as simple as that. I mean, I think they are big fans of our genre of rock but I’m not a Pledge (Pledge Music) guy. I’m not a big fan of begging for money from people to make music, so when they called me up and said ‘we’d like to make a record with you’, I thought that was great. 

You’re approaching the end of your 19 date UK tour. What does it mean to be back in the UK and doing such an extensive tour?

I try and come back every year because this is where the love is. I’ve been coming here since 1990 to different places: big, small, tiny, huge, you know what I mean? The English fans have embraced my music and still do. You’ll hear singalongs tonight just like you did in 1990. There were several thousand mores singers then but it’s a pleasure for me to come here. More of a paid vacation really!

You will have been playing some tracks from the new album. What’s the audiences’ reaction been to the new material?

Well, because of the You Tube thing they recognise some of the songs, especially Gonna Miss Me… because I did a video for that one, and the record’s out and it’s gotten really good reviews. I mean, I haven’t read a negative one so it’s all good!

Tonight is show number 15 and the last of your full electric shows. The last 4 dates are all acoustic "Songs & Stories" shows – very different shows. How important is it to show this different side to your performance and what do you personally get from these shows?

You know what it is? I lot of guys do this - Ginger comes to mind -  guys that break it down and just come out with an acoustic guitar and start busking, and I can play guitar but I’m not a guitar player. It’s a little bit harder for me to do both but I always wanted to. But the main focus in not only the music, it’s to tell these stories. The stories aren’t stories about chicks or me channelling my Gene Simmons sexual… it’s not none of that stuff. It’s interesting, funny anecdotal stories that happened on the Ozzy Osbourne tour, on the Skid Row tour, me hanging on the Hollywood sign - you would be like a fly on the wall in 1992 with me and Ozzy Osbourne in the room. That’s what these stories are kind of like and I think people will dig that. It is intimate and it’s real. I’m not making any of this shit up.

You’ve had a full and incredibly successful career in rock. Of course most people will know you from Love/Hate but you’ve also worked with bands such as LA Guns, Adler’s Appetite and Quiet Riot, as well as having a successful solo career. Looking in the rearview mirror what would you hold up as particular highlights of your 35 year career?

The success of Love/Hate here. I mean, who’d have thought I’d be playing arenas and the NEC and selling out the Barrowlands for 3,000 people. Who’d have thought that? We were just a club band in Hollywood and no one really liked us. We were weird and we didn’t have the cool tattoos. We were a little unusual but people embraced us and we were able to achieve incredible success. So that is cool. Playing in Ratt was great, you know, being on stage with Warren DiMartini, and Tracy Guns as well – he’s a great guitar player and a really good friend. So there’s many, many awesome moments, you know, and a lot of crummy ones as well (laughs!) but I would say our achievement of the Love/Hate Guys here in England would be the highlight.

You’ve been in bands and you’ve been a solo artist – what gives you the most satisfaction?

Solo artist gives you control and if you’re a control freak like I am and a micro-manager it’s good to be able to have it your way but if you’re in a band there’s less heavy-lifting on my part. So in different times and different ways, being in a band is great but when you’re a solo artist you get to pick the set list and you get to tell people what to play and there’s joy in having it your way.