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1992.10.15 - Unknown Japanese publication - Interview with Izzy by Osamu Masui and Steve Harris

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1992.10.15 - Unknown Japanese publication - Interview with Izzy by Osamu Masui and Steve Harris Empty 1992.10.15 - Unknown Japanese publication - Interview with Izzy by Osamu Masui and Steve Harris

Post by Blackstar on Sat Dec 01, 2018 6:16 am


Steve Harris: The song Train Tracks...

Izzy: Do you have lyrics?

Steve Harris: Yeah. Somebody transcribed them. I don’t know if they’re correct (?), but he was wondering about the significance of that song. Is it about your departure from the band and your return to something?

Izzy: Train Tracks?

Steve Harris: Yeah.

Izzy: This song is about Indiana, when we used to smoke pot. Me and all my friends were standing by the train tracks, and that was sort of... Wait, I got to – does this come with the record?

Steve Harris: Yeah, what happens is that the record company here will hire somebody to transcribe it, and often it’s really a mess.

Izzy: I see. I should just do it myself.

Steve Harris:  Yeah. (?)  like have the manager do it or something.

Izzy: I wish someone would have told me. I would have done it.

Steve Harris:  Yeah. I don’t know why they don’t do it. It’s really strange.

Izzy: It’s close. That’s alright, you know. Yeah, so that song is all about that time period back then and it’s just one of those reflection songs.

Steve Harris: Not necessarily anything about your departure from Guns and moving on or something?

Izzy: No, no. No, not really. For [the] readers, I’m gonna – tonight I’ll go back and write up the lyrics to the record.


Steve Harris: (?) It may endorse the record companies.

Izzy: Yes, yes.

Steve Harris:  Cuz I was actually (?)

[Talk in Japanese]

Steve Harris: He wants to confirm something. He read an interview with you in Burrrn! Magazine here, where you were saying that when it came time to sign your solo deal, you went back to your old Guns N’ Roses contract where that was already stipulated.

Izzy: Well, yeah. I was looking over it and it said that Geffen had an option to pick me up as a solo artist, and things had been really - you know, things had always gone well for me at that label, so I figured [to] keep with them.

Steve Harris: Then I guess that they were (?) first.

Izzy: Yeah. First bids, yeah, I suppose. I didn’t wanna go to another label.

Steve Harris: Yeah. So you had possession of a copy of your contract and you said “on page 2...” How exactly...?

Izzy: Um, how did that happen? Yeah, I had a copy of it in my file and - Yeah. I mean, after I left the band, then I started thinking, “Well, what happens now”, you know, what I do? You know, do I owe them records? I wanted to find out the legalities of it all.    

Steve Harris: I guess it was sort of – for us it is funny to associate you with, like, high-powered lawyers who with one phone call would have told you all that stuff. (?)

Izzy: Yeah, well, at the time my attorney was the band attorney, who, I think, is David Geffen’s attorney, and I never really had a relationship with him. The attorney we had before that was moved.

[Talk in Japanese]

Steve Harris: Given the fact that you decided to pursue a solo career in December, it seems like the actual recording itself came to its release very quickly, which is obviously the result of having worked. Is that your personal approach to making music?

Izzy: Yeah. That’s how I would always prefer to do it. Yeah, definitely, because it’s real expensive, you know, when you’re in the studio. And it seems, always, that the best stuff is the stuff that you don’t pick apart, you don’t analyze it, you just record it and get the best out of three – say, three or four - tracks of the same song, and move right on. Again, you know, it’s expensive, and you don’t need to take a year to do a record - you can, but it’s not necessary.

Steve Harris: (?)

Izzy: Huh?

Steve Harris: (?) It works or it doesn’t.

Izzy: Yeah, exactly.

Steve Harris: In the process of recording the music, of writing the music, was there any time at all when you were thinking, “Well, this is okay, but will it appeal to the Guns N’ Roses fans?” Did that cross your mind?

Izzy: No. No, it didn’t. I didn’t think about that. I was supposed to thinking more about just writing, period; just writing music – that’s all I was thinking about. I didn’t about who would like it, who it would appeal to. I didn’t think about that. You hope somebody will like it.

Steve Harris: Thank you. He was hoping for a prompt for me. I get your drift. You just basically write – was this stuff that you had welled up in you for a while, or it was just a matter of your hanging at home frustrated and then just said, “Well (?),” and you sat to write all this stuff?

Izzy: It was a case of, you know, that I was sitting in Indiana and I had no plans at all - no plans to do anything. And I was like, now I’m out of Guns N’ Roses, what I’m gonna do? I wrote 12 songs, took them with me to L.A. and we ended up writing another eight – six, eight songs. We tracked 22-23 songs for this album. So the whole time we worked on it, all I really focused on was writing more lyrics for this and that, more songs, guitar riffs and that sort of thing - you know, the actual recording of it all. That’s the only thing I’m really focused on.

[Talk in Japanese]

Steve Harris: One last question before we get to the photo shoot. When somebody leaves something and goes into something new, you kind of look back, a bit more objectively, to size up what exactly happened. I’m sure that when you were with Guns, having to work with Axl, who seems to be a very obsessive type of person - a person that goes as far as he possibly can – may have led you to a direction that you didn’t want to go. Looking back on your experience with Guns, have you discovered anything new about it that you hadn’t noticed at the time? How do you size up that experience?

Izzy: A lot of it is a big blur. A lot of it. Well, I used a lot of drugs during a lot of those years, so some of it is kind of blurry. The initial band – I remember being – it was tight, it was a unit. It was sort of that “one for all – all for one” sort of thing. To sum up the whole thing is difficult, but it turned into a monster, basically, that was just uncontrollable.

Steve Harris: When you say “uncontrollable,” do you mean losing control of, like, your life, what do you want to do?

Izzy: Everything. Yeah. Personal life and musically, too. It became quite a – that last record, the Illusions records, were just so many songs. I could probably remember ten of them that were on there. There’s a lot of music and it was no cohesive, sort of. Nothing really held it together.

Steve Harris: I guess it’s hard for you now to look back on that, it’s still too recent. It’s got to be a few more years before you can really look back on that experience and analyze what happened.

Izzy: Yeah. Well, I mean, I just know it got to the point where it didn’t feel like a band. It didn’t feel right to me anymore.

Steve Harris: It’s interesting, because all the press accounts of the time had you, sort of, isolated, travelling separately from the band. I guess you were making your own effort to kind of keep things normal.

Izzy: Yeah, to a point. The press side was just a case of – I never knew what I was doing from day to day. For the last year, I never knew if we were gonna have a record come out, so I figured maybe I just better lay low. I mean, I don’t want to say we have a record coming up November if I don’t know. It was a case of that. You know? Cuz I didn’t put my foot in my mouth.

Steve Harris: Alright. We’re good enough. We’d better get our photos.

Izzy: Okay.

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