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APPETITE FOR DISCUSSION
Welcome to Appetite for Discussion -- a Guns N' Roses fan forum!

Please feel free to look around the forum as a guest, I hope you will find something of interest. If you want to join the discussions or contribute in other ways then you need to become a member. We especially welcome anyone who wants to share documents for our archive or would be interested in translating or transcribing articles and interviews.

Registering is free and easy.

Cheers!
SoulMonster

2018.06.10 - Rock Talk With Mitch Lafon (and Alan Niven) - Interview with Dizzy

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2018.06.10 - Rock Talk With Mitch Lafon (and Alan Niven) - Interview with Dizzy Empty 2018.06.10 - Rock Talk With Mitch Lafon (and Alan Niven) - Interview with Dizzy

Post by Blackstar Sat Feb 10, 2024 12:34 am

A Flock Of Seagulls, Kofi Baker & Guns N' Roses on this episode of Westwood One's Rock Talk With Mitch Lafon. Former GNR/ Great White manager, Alan Niven, co-hosts.
In our first interview, A Flock Of Seagulls' Mike Score talks about the upcoming Lost '80s Live Tour, their new album Ascension, the band's image, the importance of music television & videos, working again with the 'classic lineup' of the band, his brother, VH1's Bands Reunited, ubiquitous his single I Ran, and much more.  
In our second interview, drummer Kofi Baker talks about The Music Of Cream 50th Anniversary World Tour, paying homage to the band and the music, 'balls-to-the-wall' jamming, his playing styles compared to his father's, making a new studio and or live album, keeping the music of 'our family' going, Eric Clapton, and much more.
Our final interview is with GUNS N' ROSES's DIZZY REED. Topics include new music, Not In This Lifetime Tour, a live album, AC/DC, why it took so long to get the album out, Richard Fortus, playing the Chinese Democracy songs live, the Troubadour show, Steven Adler and more. Was Steven Adler replaced on the Appetite Box set tracks? Alan Niven chimes in...


The conversation with Alan Niven starts at 1:25:00 minute mark and then the interview with Dizzy follows.



Transcript:

Mitch Lafon: But Alan, welcome back. We are into our Radiohead portion of the show, right? I mean that's what we're going to talk about. You like that band by any chance?

Alan Niven: Everybody has their opinions and I've got a pretty wide and eclectic and accepting case. But I gotta tell you, Radiohead, I don't get them. And Coldplay are two bands that I know they're trying hard.But sometimes you need to succeed at what you're doing rather than just try hard. I can't connect with either of them.

ML: Yeah, in fact, you know, not Radiohead, Coldplay, when they first got there start years and years ago I had a chance of interviewing them and at the time that the record company like, "Oh, you have to interview this new band blah blah blah." And of course they they went on to become this big, big thing. But I'm with you. I would rather talk about some other band. Any suggestions on who we could maybe talk about?

AN: I mean, you know, here we are 30 years on and I'm getting emails from interview requests to talk about a band I used to work with in a different millennia, it's amazing that they're still in people's consciousness and they're still out there. Says something about the power of their music from way back when. But we could talk about Guns N' Roses again if you want to [laughs].

ML: Well, we could. So let's get caught up on all the GN'R stuff. First of all, I do have an interview with the band coming up and well, however long this is going to take. So 5 minutes, 10 minutes. But Steven Adler has been out and about finishing - or out an "aboot", as we say in Canada - finished a tour in Australia which from-

AN: A friend of mine went to see the last rehearsal before he did a show in LA and my friend told me that the vibe was fabulous, that Stevie played his ass off and so he was thoroughly enjoying himself and that the singer that he got was credible. So power to you Stevie. Go out there and have some fun.

ML: Yeah, knock them dead. But no, the Australia shows though the reviews are, are exactly what your friend described. Folks seem to have had a great time. Folks seem to have loved it. Folks seem to have thought he's playing as good as you can expect him to play and I know that this sounded like a backhanded compliment, that's not what I meant. But he's yeah. So hopefully he will come back to North America and do some few dates here. I'm going to ask you about this. They have this-

AN: Stevie is a joyful puppy. And if he's out there bouncing around it with a smile on his face, I'm really happy for him.

ML: Yeah, so am I. But I'm going to ask you about this and maybe you can clarify because I don't have any proof. But they have this Appetite for Destruction: Locked N' Loaded edition that cost $87,000 or something like that. But they have a single out there, Shadow of Your Love. Stevie-

AN: By the way, it's gonna cost more because Canada's gonna put a tariff on it and Trump is going to put a tariff on it. So don't be surprised if instead of $1000 it's suddenly shoots up to being $1500.

ML: Well, they were talking about a soft lumber tariff being slapped on. It is in a wood box, you might actually not be so wrong about that. But Shadow of Your Love came out as as the first single... is it really a single? I mean the first song that people got to sample, I guess. Stevie, or Steven, went on record saying, "Nah, I don't think that's me playing drums on it." I've talked to a couple of other people who said, "Yeeeah, you know, we changed the drums." Is that just rumor?

AN: Well, according to Tom Zutaut, who's heard the track, he thinks Steven was replaced, too.

ML: Now you were there for those... or you know you heard these tapes back in the day, would you know why? Was the playing... was it sonically just not ready for 2018? Was the playing, you know, misguided and terrible? Like, why do you think that would happen, if it did happen? Because we're sort of playing on while we heard somebody say that, right, we can't go out-

AN: Let's get a clear perception.

ML: Right.

AN: The box set is basically historical. And I think the whole point of putting a box set of the past together is to present the past as it was. And, you know, as far as, was it perfect or not? Stevie dropped a clunker in Paradise City and no one notices. In 30 years, no one notices. You know, it's not about perfection, it's about the feel, it's about the moment, here's that word again. The moment that was there at that time. And if you're going to put out the past, then put out the past as it actually was.

ML: I agree with that and I have to say I did pre-order the box set. I'm still going to let the order go through. But I do have to admit that if if that's true, it's taken a little bit of the shine off for me, for me personally, not as rock reporter, as Mitch Lafon, GN'R fan for 30 years. I want the songs but I want them the way they were because that really is to me the point.

AN: The other thing you is this. You know, I am not a fan of the concept of the box set as presented by GN'R. I'm really uncomfortable about the pricing of it. I think that suggests that somebody's lost the plot somewhere because in my book Guns N' Roses were definitely a blue collar and working class entity. And that was part of their power and beauty. So to be pricing something at Rodeo Drive prices tells me that somebody's kind of lost sight of how they managed to end up in Malibu in the first place. You know, which is a shame. But it's all good and well to gripe, you know, we can all have a good gripe. How about suggesting something positive? My positive suggestion is, you know what guys? This is what you might have done. You played in Harlem, in a theatre, why didn't you reconvene the original and actual Appetite band play Appetite from top to bottom and release that? And then if you wanted to make it a a bigger release add the Marquee shows from 1987 that were recorded on the RAT mobile. And there's something that honors the past but does it in a contemporary way.

ML: I agree, but maybe on the Marquee shows they just didn't have time to go and redo all the parts because apparently they're redoing parts right. But yeah, joking aside though, that to me would have been a great package what you're suggesting and I'm going to go a step further and say, I do want this package, I am buying it, I'm not bitching about that, but I think it should have been sort of the [?] the point at the end of the sentence where the sentence starts with, "We did a tour, we did a new album, and now you've stuck around with us for 2-3 years on this cycle, here's a little gift of all this old stuff." And I just don't like that they did reunion tour or reconvening tour, whatever the people want to call it, and then old stuff. Right? Should there not have been a new at least, or at least one or two new songs recorded for the package?

AN: That would have been sweet and it would have been even sweeter if they maybe worked on... you know, Izzy and Duff were in the studio together, I'm fairly certain that at a certain point that Curly went down to see what they were doing and maybe played with them. You know from there, even if you're not going to invite Izzy to be a part of his band, at least use his writing and come up with something cool. Lots of missed opportunities here. Lots of missed opportunity.

ML: Incredible [?]. I would have even been satisfied - and this is like the poor man's version of satisfied - take a couple of the Velvet Revolver songs and get Axl to put his voice on him. Take a couple of Chinese Democracy and bring Izzy and Steven and and Duff in and recut them as the original band would have sounded doing, you know, Better or Sorry and just.... I don't know. But again, I'm buying the box set. I'm going to be more than happy to have it. I'm going to be more than happy to listen to it. But I just think there were some opportunity there that should have, could have, would have, you know.

AN: You know, instead of spending $1,000 on a box set of very questionable content and purpose. I mean, do you really want disposable tattoos? I mean, come on. But instead of spending $1000 on that, why don't you send $1,000 to a needy charity and really do something for the world?

ML: That I can, I can do both. But I'm not spending $1,000 cuz I got the $183 sort of cheapy expensive version. Listen, knick knacks and Chatzky's[?], that ain't me. I have a lot of that stuff.

AN: And and while you're paying $180 I want you to keep one thing in mind, that you can print with a minimal cover, a CD, for 80 cents, and if you're pressing vinyl, a vinyl is always a smallish run these days, if somebody prints 1,000 units that quite a big run for vinyl these days. A vinyl pressing is only about a dollar. So just keep that in mind when you're looking at the price of these things.

ML: No, I know, I know. And I'm looking at the stuff here, it says 5 GN'R logo buttons, 12 illustrations, lithos visualizing each song. Yeah, my closet is already full. And I don't want to poo poo the thing because I'm excited. I'm excited about Guns. The three shows I saw in the last two years were three of the best shows I've seen in my entire life. There's absolutely nothing I can complain about. But anyway, so we do have a member of GN'R. He does talk... Oh, see, I said "he" so already you know it's not Melissa. But he does talk about the possibility of new music. He does talk about AC/DC moving forward. He does talk about the possibility of a live album from the Not In This Lifetime tour. So that's kind of exciting. I would like to see it.

AN: Well, let's move on to the interview because that will be cool for the fans.

ML: It will be. But I'm gonna ask you one last thing. Before we recorded this, a little video clip of GN'R, I believe it was in Berlin, sound checking Slither from Velvet Revolver with Axl on vocals appeared on the Internet and of course the Internet broke and went batshit over it. What do you think of the possibility of this GN'R lineup pulling out 1-2-3 Velvet Revolver songs and performing them?

AN: Well, I think it would be appropriate because, you know, in certain respects - and I know there are those who don't enjoy me saying this - but in certain respects I look at this reconvening as Velvet Roses. Because it's not Guns N' Roses for me. Foe me, the last showed that Guns N' Roses played was April the 7th in 1990 at Farm Aid. And fundamentally, Guns N' Roses as it is built today is absolutely living off what was created in '86 and '87 and '88. And if you're doing that and if you've Duff up there and you've got Slash up there, I think it's only cool and good manners to play one or two things that they did in the interim.

ML: Yeah, and by the way, I was just thinking about this. My entire episode today are on the music that was created 30 or 40 or 50 years ago. So that's the theme for this episode. But I'll just quickly say this about the Slither thing. I think it balances the scales because when as a fan when you look at it and you say Duff and Slash has to play the Chinese stuff, it seemed a little bit like, well, that doesn't seem fair. But the other thing that I thought was amazing is for years Axl hasn't done soundcheck. In fact, did he ever do sound check back in the day? It was always the band that rehearses and he comes in for the gig, right? Or am I completely off base with that?

AN: No, you're pretty much on base.

ML: So that too was remarkable that-

AN: Yeah.

ML: Right. I mean, as a team they were on stage doing what bands have always meant to do is hang out and right, that was cool too.

AN: Well, yeah, and let's not lose sight of something. When this whole project was announced the conventional wisdom was, "Well, let's see if they actually play both Coachellos and they'll probably have an argument and fall apart by the time they get to Mexico." I gotta an e-mail from one of the band members saying, "18 months, who would have believed it?" You know, I'm just gonna take my hat off and go, "Hey guys, well done, because you've exceeded expectation. You've gone out there and you've really delivered." And whatever I think of that Ax on a personal level, on a professional level I am very impressed with the fact that he's gone through an amazing workload for anybody of any age, let alone somebody in his 50s. And the fact that he's prepared to go out there and do a three hour show is just to me mindboggling. I don't know how he does it.

ML: Yeah, no, I agree. There's no complaint. And let's just hope that the 18 months becomes 36 months and then 72 months. I mean, just keep it going with a lot of the bands retiring from the Slayers and all that. GN'R is perfect to fill those voids and fill those arena dates and fill those stadium dates. And keep it going. I mean, just keep it going. So here we are without further ado, from Guns N' Roses, it is the one, the only... You'll just have to listen. We are speaking with Guns N' Roses keyboardist, Dizzy Reed. The new solo album is called Rock'n'roll Ain't Easy, Dizzy an absolute pleasure to talk to you.

Dizzy: Well, thank you. Thanks for having me, Mitch.

ML: Yeah, it's been a while actually. It's been probably like four years, five years since we last talked about anything. So it's good to have you back.

Dizzy: Lots of stuff can happen in five years.

ML: Right. I mean we went from Dead Daisies to one of the most successful reunion tours or you know, reformations, ever. But let me get right into this album and of course you do have that Hookers & Blow tour coming up with the Dead Daisies, which will bring you through to Ottawa and Montreal and my part of the world and I will go see that. But Rock'n'Roll Ain't Easy. It has been... What? 10-12 year? Do we want to call it a struggle? What do you want to call it? Work of passion? Talk about the album and sort of the time that it took to get it out.

Dizzy: Oh well, it's definitely a labor of love if nothing else. And yes, it did take a long time for a lot of reasons. And I would have loved to have it come out, you know, a long time ago, much sooner. But I think everything happened the way it did for a reason. You know, we ended up getting the right people, ended up with the right label. And you know, sometimes things work out that way.

ML: Yeah, they really do sometime. So talking about where these songs come from, were they always intended for a solo project? Or were you writing these songs intending them to get them to GN'R or intend to get over to Slash's stuff or or some other outlet or where these always, "No, these are Dizzy songs and I will get them together and put them out eventually", you know?

Dizzy: I think they were kind of in my head and I needed to get them out, get them out of my head. More than anything. I think certainly when I have an idea, the first thing I think of is Guns N' Roses, because I'd be foolish not to. But in this case, you know I had some some lyrical and vocal melody ideas that I put down and it started to shape up more and more, "Maybe I should go record it?" And that's kind of what we did.

ML: So talk to me about who's on the album. I know you've got Mike Duda, who of course has spent time with WASP. I'm assuming Alex Grossi from Quiet Riot has been on it. Del James helped out. Who are sort of the players on this album?

Dizzy: Well, I mean, it's a a long list of people. We went in to do this without without band, which is a lot harder than I thought it would be. But Del was really good at - Del James, who co-produced the record with me - was very good at... he was sort of a Frankenstein of just putting, you know, different people together from different bands. And a lot of it had to do with when we could get them and and all that. So, but yeah, Alex is on the record. Mike Duda, along with my good friend Richard Fortus. They were two of the people that were sort of, I guess I want to say motivational along with Del as far as like doing this record. So I had some stuff demoed up, some demo tapes of stuff where I'm singing and just stay at my home studio. And one of my favorite activities, I say this lot, is to, you know, get drunk and play demo tapes for my friends and that's kind of what I did. And they they sort of convinced me to maybe go record this, and they played a big part in the recording. Richard's guitar work is stellar, Mike played on a lot of songs. But you know not to take anything away from everybody else, all the people that played on the record did amazing. Really. It's just a great, so lucky to have, you know, friends like that, that are that talented, that can all come, you know, contribute to the record. It was great.

ML: Yeah, it really is. Talking a little bit about Richard Fortus, because he obviously has spent time with you in the Dead Daisies, he has spent time by himself with Psychedelic Furs and Thin Lizzy and all these other bands. What did he bring to this album and what does he bring also to what GN'R does? Because when I saw three shows on the tour and... spectacular, one was better than the other and my favorite being in Ottawa, you just got you guys nailed it that night. What what does he bring in terms of a player? Because a lot of times we sort of overlook him as a player.

Dizzy: I mean, I find it hard to overlook him really. And actually, I played with Psychedelic Furs as well, Richard got me into that gig.

ML: That's right.

Dizzy: [?] tours with them, which was great. And Mars Williams from The Psychedelic Furs play saxophone on two of the tracks on the record as well. But Richard just, he raises the bar man. He's extremely versatile. He's super talented. He looks cool as hell and you know, he's easy to get along with. So that's pretty much a win-win-win for everybody.

ML: Yeah, it really is. I mean, he really is. Now the Hookers & Blow tour that's coming up here with the Dead Daisies. Let me ask you about that. First of all, will you at any time join the Daisies on stage and is it going to be, you know, just sort of what the Hookers & Blow does or is it going to be a lot of the Dizzy Reed Rock'n'Roll Ain't Easy solo stuff coming through?

Dizzy: Oh well, we are definitely gonna play some stuff off off my record. We have been lately. We started incorporating some of the songs into the set. I tried to keep the two things separate for a while, but you know, now that the records out, it's like, you know, might as well just go ahead and play some of the songs. I don't know if I'm gonna join the Dead Daisies on stage or not. We'll have to discuss that and I don't know. I'm kind of like a dog, you know? If you put a bone out there, I'll probably go out and play.

ML: In terms of Hookers & Blow though, will there be an album coming out as well? Because you know, you've been in the public eye since, you know, really for me, since the 1990s, and there hasn't been that many releases that you've been part of. Do you want to get out there more and maybe have a Hookers & Blow album come out as well?

Dizzy: One of the things when when we started Hookers & Blow some 15 years ago, our main objective was to do everything opposite of what we've been doing as far as our musical careers: to not get a deal, to not really care. I think at some point maybe we, you know, started to care a little bit and we became a bit more of a viable entertainment commodity, so to speak. But I don't see it in the cards for us doing a record, but you never know. I mean, anything could happen.

ML: They really could. If I may, I'll ask you just a couple of GN'R questions just for my own edification, having seen three shows and I saw what you guys did with Slash and Duff on the Chinese Democracy songs. Talking a little bit about what they bring to those songs, because you know, the album is certainly overlooked, but when you get those guys playing on it live, it seems to add an extra dimension. It really makes them GN'R songs. Is that how you sort of feel as well?

Dizzy: Well, I think first of all, Chinese Democracy, I poured my guts into that record for a long time, and I'm very proud of it, very proud to have been a part of it, I should say. But you know, with the Slash and Duff, they just, they make the songs like it sounds like Guns N' Roses, man. And they, I think, maybe in a lot of cases they were always, I guess, intended to sound that way and I think what they bring to those songs is great and it's really cool that we're doing those and I know the people are digging it and, yeah, so it feels right, to put it that way.

ML: Yeah, it really does. And it sounds right, too. And that's what I think is spectacular because you go there wanting, of course, to hear, you know, Welcome To The Jungle and You Could Be Mine and stuff and then you hear Chinese Democracy or Better or, you know, This I Love and then you hear Slash is playing on it and you go, "Yeah, that's the way it should be." And it's just spectacular. And that's not, of course, to to put down the people that played on the album, but it's just gives it that little extra edge. With all the shows and all the stuff that's been recorded over the the last year, year and a half, do you think we, at some point, see a GN'R live album or we see something come out from the band?

Dizzy: You'll know before I do for sure.

ML: It's amazing that, yeah, the Internet seems to know a lot of this stuff first. So going back to the album then, the sound is is very old school, sort of rock'n'roll, old school sort of like Rolling Stones kind of vibe to it. Talk to me a little bit about your influences and what you were trying to put into this album.

Dizzy: Well, you definitely name one, Rolling Stones for sure. I think, you know, as one single entity, they're probably the biggest influence on me, just from a production standpoint, just the fact that, you know, when I discovered - very young, I started playing rock music when I was like 12 years old in front of people so I spent a long time - but when I accidentally bought Get Your Ya-Ya's Out, and I realized that those songs that they did in the studio, my band could play them live because they were stripped down versions and a good song is a good song, I think. I kind of always carry that with me, whatever I'm doing, you know? So, the Stones, certainly, most of the classic bands, but, you know, also I can't you know just being in Guns N' Roses for so long and being around them and what they did and how they did it and learning from them over the years. That certainly had a lot to do with how we made the record too. Just been very fortunate, very lucky to have worked with those guys over the years and, you know, got to see it first hand and, you know, I take notes.

ML: Well and you're taking great notes. So again you mentioned GN'R, so let me just ask you about that. You got into the band, you know, after they hit with the original five and you added to the Use Your Illusion albums and of course tour. Talk to me about a little bit about that time and what it was like to to be part of that and to be part of that sort of craziness and and monster of a production that it was, because you went basically from bars to stadiums around the world?

Dizzy: And then back to bars. Yeah. It was amazing. It was an amazing experience. I can't.... It's hard to describe it, I don't think you know, it's anything like that too many people would go through that. But you know, it kind of felt like it was meant to be in a lot of ways for me. I think I'd known the guys for a long time and I know I remember the first time I saw them at the Troubadour, I just said to myself... I mean, a lot of people were, you know, jealous or hating on the band cuz they were doing something different. I saw them play, I went, "I need to join that band. I gotta get out of the band I'm in, I gotta join that band." And, you know, eventually it happened. And, you know, Axl had an idea in his head, he had a plan and that to add a keyword player at some point in time and he told me very early on that was going to be me. And he stuck to his work. So I was really just kind of doing what I thought I was supposed to be doing and doing what I had to be doing and enjoying the hell out of it.

ML: Then what compels you... Because you're going off to this summer, of course you're gonna do stadiums and festivals across the world. What sort of compels you to hop sort of in a van, if I can say that, and join the Dead Daisies on the road with Hookers & Blow and play, like, in Montreal you're playing the Fun[?] Electric, which is a tiny club. It's sort of this, you know, back club. Why not just sort of stay home and enjoy the the sort of the fruits of your laborers with with GN'R?

Dizzy: Well, you know, my wife asked me that question too [laughs]. So I just take her on the road with me now. But you know what? I love playing music, man. I really do. And my kids are all grown up and off to school now, or off to college or doing whatever. So I mean, what else am I going to do? I love playing music. I love traveling. I love talking to people and just having a good time, man, to me there's nothing cooler than that. And whether it's in a band on a bus or a jet, doesn't matter to me. I think I was born to do this and I love doing it.

ML: And your story is certainly very much a Cinderella story. I can actually see your story being put into a movie now. Now you did mention the Troubadour. If we can just for a second talk to me about that first gig with GN'R at the Troubadour on April 1st. Everybody thought it was an April Fool's joke because of the date. But it really was something unique and special. What was that like going into it? Was there a lot of nerves? Like, "Oh my God, if we screw this up, we screw up the entire..." I mean, talk to me about the pressure and the joy and then sort of the sense of triumph, if there was one, after it was done.

Dizzy: Oh, you know there's always a little bit of pressure I guess, you know, at the level that the band plays at and what people expect, I suppose. Not so much for me, more for the other guys I guess. It was it was a little bit emotional, I think for me, I'd spent so many nights at the Troub, I used to sleep upstairs at the Troubadour when I didn't have a place to stay, you know. So a lot of history in that place. First gig I ever did in LA was at the Troubadour. So that was amazing. But there was, you know, so many [?] just people I hadn't seen in a long time. And you know, there was, there was TV and and everything there. So it was a big deal. It was kind of a whirlwind, you know, just kind of flew by, but, man, it felt right. It really did it. It was a great way to kick things off, that's for sure, you know? So yeah, it was great.

ML: And it also felt right from the fans' perspective. You know, over the years where the band, GN'R, changed musicians and stuff. You stuck it out, you stayed there side by side with Axl. What sort of compelled you to stay even though there were sometimes where there were lean years and there was no action, there was nothing going on. Why don't you sort of say, "OK, I'm going to go join XYZ band and we're done"? What sort of kept you in line or kept you there?

Dizzy: Well, I mean as far as like, you know, leaving and joining something else-

ML: And you did do the Dead Daisies, of course.

Dizzy: Sure. But you know, that was always just, I wanna say temporary, but it was something that, you know, we did for fun. And we did some great one... We made some great music. We played some great shows. I got to play with some great musicians. But it was always sort of a, it wasn't, you know, a permanent thing, really. It was great, but it wasn't something that I was going to necessarily put all my eggs in that basket. I mean, as far as Guns N' Roses go, what else am I going to do really, that's better than that? What's beyond the horizon after Guns N' Roses? There's not much, if anything really.

ML: You could join The Stones, I mean that's that's pretty much it, right?

Dizzy: Well, that would be a tough decision but they have...[laughs] my phone wasn't ringing so. You know, Axl, he gave me this opportunity and I'm forever grateful for it. You know, when it came down to it I was going to stick by my man and we had a lot of business that we had to finish and that's how I am, that's how I... You know, I believe that, you know, when someone does something like that for you, you know, loyalty sometimes is the best thing.

ML: It really is, and it's got to be exceptionally rewarding now to see the sort of what's happening with the band because, you know, listening, what was it, 2014? I think it was. I saw you at the Metropolis in Montreal with GN'R, it was, you know, 2,300 people, and then the next time you roll into town, it's at Park Jean Drapeau with 50,000 people. There's gotta be just this great reward of like, "Yep, this was right, it was the right thing to stick around," right? I mean-

Dizzy: Yeah, you know, for sure. I don't regret it at all. I think it's fantastic. You know, and it's great for the fans really too. I mean, it's just... All these shows have been so, so awesome that fans have been so great. And yeah, you know, I'm happy as hell to be here.

ML: Let me know if you get bored with the GN'R questions, because I do want to talk of course about the Hookers & Blow and stuff too, but everybody keeps saying that GN'R should make a new album. But do you think that's really necessary? I mean, you look at the crowds, you look at the ticket sales, you look at the excitement over the upcoming box set. Is new music really something that that's necessary for a band like GN'R at this point?

Dizzy: I don't know if it's ever necessary for anybody really. I mean, you know, if there's some good ideas, then you know, why not record them and put them out? I mean, but I can't say that it's necessary or not, I don't know. I think it'd be awesome. But we'll see.

ML: Well, yeah, it would be awesome and hopefully we'll see something. Now, in terms of you, of course, since the Rock'n'roll Ain't Easy took 10 years, as we said before, I'm assuming that in 10 years you didn't write just, you know, 12 or 13 tracks. There's probably a whole bunch of other ones. Is there a timetable to get a second Dizzy Reed album out in the next year? Or two years? Or was this like, "No, this is my one shot. It's done. Move on"?

Dizzy: I would certainly love to put out some more music. Definitely. You know, that's definitely going to happen and it's not going to take 10 years this time because you know in that 10 years I learned a lot. I learned a lot about what to do and what not to do, and how to do it. And you know, the best thing about this record, I should say, is that I just wanted to put it out. It took so long. There was so many obstacles and barriers and then, you know, I had to put it on the back burner a lot because of you know like Guns N' Roses is my main priority. So if we're working you know I wasn't worrying about that, and, you know, I did the Dead Daisies these things for a while and stuff. So once it came out I was just... I just wanted to get it out. I was relieved. So the best thing is, I had no expectations. So it's, you know, it's kind of that's kind of all right. But you know a lot of the feedback and comments and everything I've heard has been positive. So that's all just icing on the cake. But regardless of any of that, for sure. I have a lot of songs that I want to put out, so there'll be another record for sure.

ML: And getting behind the mic and handling the vocals, how was that for you? Because you know, we've known you as the keyboardist who does some backing vocals, but putting yourself front and center, how was that for you?

Dizzy: Oh, singing is hard as hell. For everybody out there that wants to be a singer, man, you know what, just think about it. Take some time. It's flipping hard, man. So I have so much respect for anyone who does it you know, full time. Especially, you know, people like Axl on that level. It's pretty amazing what he can do every night. But, you know, for me, I just I... When I was young... I said I started my first band when I was 12 years old and we started touring around playing for money, and I did that, I was with that band till I was 20 and I was the singer for that band. And I kind of became the singer for that band by default because no one else really sing. So I had a bit of a voice and I kind of worked on it. I just, I got tired of it. At one point the band broke up and I thought, "Maybe I'll try my luck as a keyboard player. You know, better opportunities might come my way." The pressure was starting to get to me singing and stuff. So I think I made the right choice by the way of choosing the keyboards. So, you know, as far as singing it's kind of natural to me in some ways, it's not, well, I guess, it's not totally foreign to me as I don't feel completely out of place up there. So yeah, but it's hard and I'm trying to get better.

ML: Well, it turned out pretty good actually. I got to say the Rock'n'roll Ain't Easy, like I said before, it has that sort of dirty Rolling Stones kind of kind of vibe to it and definitely recommended. I'm going to go back and forth here. Last year Steven Adler joined you for five shows. What was it like to be on stage and have those guys, you know, Duff and Slash, Axl and now Steven now for those five shows. Tell me a little bit about the emotion of that and the feeling of that? And of course the crowd reaction was phenomenal. What was that like for you?

Dizzy: I was really happy for Steven and really happy for the fans and I think it was wonderful, I really do.

ML: It really was, right? And, you know, good on the band for letting that happen because I think it really made a a point to say that, [?]. After the after the GN'R tour is over and the Dead Daisies stuff is done, where do you see sort of you and your different projects going in 2019?

Dizzy: That's a good question. You know, I definitely would like to continue to go out and push this record, you know, try to give it my whole attention for a little bit at least. But we'll see what's on the horizon. You know, if GN'R comes calling, that's it. You know, that's my number one thing. But you know, I mean, you said the Stones might call, so I could do that I suppose, but we'll see. I would love to to continue to promote this record and and we'll see how it goes.

ML: And who knows, maybe AC/DC can add a keyboardist for their tour. That would be spectacular, wouldn't it?

Dizzy: What? I think I'm the right guy. For sure.

ML: You are the right guy. One fact, let me just quickly ask you about that. When Axl went off and joined AC/DC, I raised my hand up with, "Yeah, that's gonna be fantastic." And it turned out it was. But a lot of folks said, "Ooh, what is that?" Were you happy for him when he went and joined the band? Because he really, when you look at the video footage, his face is really like a kid in a candy store.

Dizzy: Of course. You know what? Seriously, him singing with AC/DC is cool as fuck, dude. That is so incredible and I couldn't be happier and there's no one better for that gig. So I think it's extremely cool, extremely kickass and rock'n'roll as hell, man. Really is.

ML: It really is and you know there's word that there might be an album coming so let's, you know, pray to the rock gods. on. And course, the Rock'n'Roll Ain't Easy, you worked a little bit with Black Star Riders frontman Ricky Warwick, who to me is one of the greatest rock'n'roll singers currently. What was it like working with Ricky? And so talk to me a little bit about that relationship. Obviously Richard knew him from the Thin Lizzy days. Talk to me about Ricky.

Dizzy: You know what? I've known Ricky for a very long time. I met him through Del James back in the early 90s. We were up to all kinds of shenanigans back then, the three of us. And he's just a great guy, great songwriter, you know, I love the Almighty. And when he got the Thin Lizzy gig, I was totally stoked for him. And of course, you know, he was perfect for that. And I did some work with him when he pre-produced a band called A Confederacy of Horsepower and I played on that record, he produced it. So, you know, we've kept in touch over the years through Del James especially. Del said, "Hey, you know, bring in Ricky, we got this song idea," which ended up being This Don't Look Like Vegas. So it was perfect for the record. And then he helped me out with the song called Mystery In Exile. He had this twisted cordon[?] version that just made the song, it gave that song that boost that it needed. So he's awesome to work with. Great to hang out with, can drink anybody under the table, except for me, maybe. And he's, you know, he's fantastic. He's a good friend.

ML: Yeah. And you're right, The Almighty is one of those bands that slipped under the radar in North America. In Europe they got it. But over here we sort of didn't get it. And then Black Star Riders, again in Europe they're getting it, here people are like, "What is that?" And yet Ricky just delivers time after time after time again. Dizzy, it's always a pleasure to talk to you. I know that I might have gone a little heavy on GN'R questions, but you have to understand it, huge fan from the beginning and you know-

Dizzy: It's all good man. All good.

ML: And hopefully we'll see the band in in Montreal again soon. And of course you are here on August 26 at the Fufu[?] Electric with the Daisies, August 25th in Ottawa at the Brass Monkey and the day after I will be turning 50. So you are going to be at my 50th anniversary celebration so I can't wait.

Dizzy: That's awesome. I can't wait to be part of that.

ML: Yeah, it's going, it's going to be a lot of fun. And just thank you for all the memories and all the music over the time. And I know rock'n'roll ain't easy, but hopefully the next album will be easier and you will get it out in the next, you know, year and we can do this again very soon.

Dizzy: For sure, man, thank you so much Mitch for your support over the years and to all the fans out there, thank you too, and I'm looking forward to seeing each and everyone of you very soon.

ML: Thank you, thank you, Dizzy, always a pleasure.

Dizzy: Rock on, man.

ML: Cheers, bye bye.


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2018.06.10 - Rock Talk With Mitch Lafon (and Alan Niven) - Interview with Dizzy Empty Re: 2018.06.10 - Rock Talk With Mitch Lafon (and Alan Niven) - Interview with Dizzy

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