- We’re thrilled to have you for an interview, Izzie! How has 2021 been treating you so far, all things considered?
A.) Hi there. Really glad to be here. In all honesty, it’s been a bit of a roller-coaster livin’ in the Covid world. Musically, though there’s been a very productive spillover from last year and we’re neck-deep in the recording and production of our upcoming album called ‘Blow The Lid’. Its on track for a June 15th release so we’re really excited about that. All in all, it’s been challenging but you gotta have a thick-skin to get through these times and making music sure helps at therapeutic level.
2. Your single “Return To Midway” is really heating up. I’ve heard it on several spotify playlists already. Are you surprised that it’s being so well received?
A.) Yeah this track in particular means a lot to me personally. We’ve actually had this song in the catalogue since 2006 but decided to bring it back in revamped version and associate it very proudly with the #restorethesnyderverse movement. Being a childhood DC fan, growing up with these iconic characters, and seeing them come to life on the screen with Zack Snyder’s Justice League was a surreal experience. At a more political level, whats more important to me is the preservation of artistic integrity and the vision of the artist should stand above corporate hijacking.
3. Do you feel like people “get” what you’re trying to do with your music?
A.) Honestly, from the inception of this project, I knew our backs were always going to be against the wall with how we approach music and what we create in this current musical climate. I tend to be very traditionalist in the sense that rock n’ roll and the blues were grounded in reality and there was a certain sense of, to use that word again, integrity about it where the entire song, the entire album, the entire process of it was the life-blood of the band…not some tik-tok clip that goes viral. Currently, we’re substituting music as an art form for the commercialised gimmick that needs to be sold and I’ve never bought into that mentality nor will I ever do so. I can’t subscribe to these pseudo-intellectual postmodern narratives that we’re held hostage by. To me I’d rather have a 100 people genuinely appreciate the music I make rather than having a million superficial ‘views’ or ‘likes’. I mean that sincerely. And the fact that record companies do their ‘head-hunting’ based on algorithms is in my estimation bloody lazy. Most of our songs hit the 5-minute mark with ease, including some of the ballads, that we’ve done, and I don’t really care whether thats not the acceptable standard. In ‘Blow The Lid’ we have an 18-minute song…yeah, that’s right…18-minutes, called ‘Curse of Anastasia’ and frankly speaking if that’s how long it takes to capture the spirit of the song, then that’s what we’ll do.
4. Growing up, who did you listen to? Do you still listen to those artists, or have your tastes changed as you’ve gotten older?
A.) Growing up I was really fortunate that my dad would be playing records by Dire Straits and Pink Floyd, and then of course listening to The Stones, Zeppelin, getting absolutely floored by the early Aerosmith records…Guns N Roses became the biggest thing and that was a fun era. So, rock n’ roll was always in my blood. But youthful naïveté obscured the fact that there was something way more powerful behind all these bands and that was the blues. Once I got into the blues, that changed my life. Buddy Guy, Johnny Winter, Lightnin’ Hopkins, Clapton, Stevie Ray…the list goes on and on. Absolutely life changing. I literally have Rory Gallagher cranked up right now and there’s just nothing better. This is life!
5. You took about a 6 month hiatus between releases, where we rarely heard anything from you. Where did you go?
A.) Let’s just say Covid hit home. Roque (bass) actually contracted it, quarantining, keeping low on the music front, keeping the day job alive. It’s tough being in this business and important to balance the rigours of real life with artistic pursuits.
6. What is one song that you never change when it comes on?
A.) That’s easy enough. ‘Dream On’ by Aerosmith, which to me personally is my greatest rock n’ roll song ever. Those early Aerosmith records mean everything to me…that power, raw energy of the blues. Absolutely fantastic stuff. I’d throw in Tom Petty’s ‘Runnin’ Down A Dream’ as well.
7. Tell us one thing about you that most people would be surprised to know.
A.) That I pursued my academic work in Philosophy and that’s still my other passion in life.
8. Tell us what’s next for you, on the music front.
A.) At this point of time, my entire focus is on getting this album done and getting it out there on June 15th. We’ve already released a bunch of these songs and it’s been awesome so far. ‘Return to Midway’ and ‘Blow The Lid’ – the title-track – both debuted really well on iTunes Blues. We’re also releasing lyrics videos for each song, possibly a couple of official videos if the situation allows, and spreading the good word out to the rock and blues fans who are looking for some new music in the traditional vein. Honestly though, with the way things are, I don’t see ourselves sitting idle for long and chances are right after the release of ‘Blow The Lid’, we’ll probably be back in the studio not long after that.
9. What do you hope that people will think of when they hear the name Izzie’s Caravan?
A.) I just hope people see us for holding true to our beliefs and the fact that we take real pride in our ability to create our art the way we want to. Like I said, we’re not here to smash any records or attend lame award shows that don’t even have any respect for the kind of music we play anymore. Often when someone comes to me and says “Man, this is really awesome…I cranked this up in the car” is the ultimate sense of satisfaction for me!