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1992.MM.DD - RAW Magazine - Interview with Izzy

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1992.MM.DD - RAW Magazine - Interview with Izzy Empty 1992.MM.DD - RAW Magazine - Interview with Izzy

Post by Blackstar on Wed Jan 23, 2019 2:43 pm


"Yeah, music is partially my saving grace. It's been part of my life every day of the week since I was a kid. It doesn't have to be a specific type of music, it can be any type because the whole of it takes you away from the mundane, every day sort of thing.

"Being on tour, I find it like a luxury item because when I'm on tour I don't have a big stereo, I have a Sony player that cost 50 bucks, it's mono and it has this tiny speaker. For the first couple of days I only had my walkman which is fine for airplanes, but otherwise they're a drag. I found myself looking in the window of these shops at these stereos and there was this one in Chicago which was four and a half feet long and three feet tall. It was this boom box with neon lights inside it. It was really freaky looking, but I ended up getting this small Sony because it would fit in my bag, it plays cassettes and it records so I can write songs on it too. I find that if I hear a stereo now, even if it's a PA at gigs and they're playing a tape, it's a luxury and I really enjoy it."


"Indian food and pizza are my favourites. I stopped eating meat a few years ago. I don't eat red meat or chicken, but I eat fish. I stopped eating meat shortly after I stopped drinking and using drugs. I think it was a case of wanting to heal myself a little quicker rather than objecting to meat, plus there were some cases on the West Coast where people were dying after they'd eaten bad meat. I'm big on salads. Salads in America are just a couple of bits of dead lettuce, but over here people are a bit more conscientious.

But Indian food and pizza are my favourites and that's why Chicago is like heaven to me because you can get a pizza delivered at 5am and it's damn good pizza. There's a place there called Mama Mia and they deliver all night long. They've got pizzas that are two inches thick with like a cracker crust with fresh tomatoes on top. "


"I like mango lassi and sweet lassi from Indian restaurants. My second would be fresh squeezed orange juice. Those are the only things I drink. I gave up drinking because I just had enough of waking up in my own vomit and not remembering who I was hanging out with the night before, getting arrested and all that stuff. Waking up in jail, and that sort of thing became old for me and I finally realised that I had to stop this and figure it all out. It wasn't easy and it took a while. I feel a lot better for not doing it."


"It's destructive in nature. Sometimes you can get angry, but it usually doesn't help fix anything. If I hate something I just get hung up on it and dwell on it. I find it easier to try and dismiss it. Otherwise it's extra baggage to be carrying around. You see hatred every day on the TV and some other places and that's enough for me, I don't need to live with it anymore."

Rock 'N' Roll

"It's that life blood. You can't put your finger on it. For me it's that other thing that only people who listen to it or love it know what it is. To the rest of the world though it probably doesn't mean shit!(laughs)

" The funniest thing I ever heard in Guns N Roses was from this guy in Canada called Gabe. God, he was hilarious! He said he saw something on English TV once that said no matter how many records Elton John sold in 1976, there were still 40 billion Chinese people that don't give a fuck and that rang so true to me- this was back in '86 so I've always kept it in mind. It's true. If you look at the globe and spin it and put your finger wherever it lands there's people there who don't know what Rock 'N' Roll is. For people who do love it, though, it's their whole life. For me it's very special.

" We used to have Rock 'N' Roll bands come to play at our house when I was a real young kid. My dad used to have these parties and me and my brothers were beer runners. The bands were always downstairs and I always hung out with them. When you're a kid and these guys would show to play stuff on the drums, it was great. They'd play stuff like (Credence Clearwater Revival's) 'Proud Mary'. I was lucky 'cos I got to grow up with that. I've been hooked on that ever since."


"It's up to each person. It doesn't do any good to tell people not to do it. If people want to do 'em then they're gonna do 'em. All I can say is for myself they stopped being a good thing. It became a complete pain in the ass. It was destroying me as a person and I got to the point where I decided to give up. It wasn't like I didn't know 'cos you go through a peroid where you know you're tearing yourself up. I knew I had to stop or everything was gonna go down the tubes."


"It's pretty important, but to a lot of people it's hard to understand that it doesn't mean much unless you care about the person you're with. I'm lucky, 'cos I do."


"It's a great thing. Everybody needs it and wants it. Life can be pretty bleak without it. I've got a German shepherd and I've had him since he was a puppy, ya' know. I bought him when he was just a twerp. He's three years old, he's healthy, he's big and he can run 40 miles an hour and he's great. I love my dog!

"I've had a steady girl for a few years and it's a great thing. Love makes life a lot easier."


" I worked in a car wash when I was 15. I worked where the cars come out and you have to dry the cars off. In the winter time with the wind chill it can be 10 or 20 below zero, and that was real work getting up at five or six in the morning. It was cold and you've got these towels that are freezing and you're washing these fuckers off. Music is more something that you love to do so it doesn't seem like work. The thought of having to get a real job is difficult. I was never that good at keeping a straight job and getting enough money to do what I wanted to do. At the same time I had to work as a kid. If you gotta do it you do it.

" I've had different jobs. I worked in pizzerias and I actually enjoyed that. That was one job that didn't feel like work unless there was a gig or concert that I wanted to go to. In that case I'd leave work early anyway. I actually liked cooking pizzas, flipping the dough and stuff was cool.

"If I had to get another real job I would probably work in a pizzeria, or I'd work in the car wash and I'd be on the front end. The front end is where the guys would pump gas and vacuum the cars, and these guys were always the envy of everyone else who had it rough. This was back in the '70s when people would drive around with big joints in their cars. They'd smoke half a joint and leave the rest so that when one guy pulls up with half a joint in his ashtray, what happens to the joint? It ends up in the pocket of the guys who are up front who'd smoke them! I think I'd rather work in a pizza place though where it's warm and there's music."

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