Interview by Darren Smith for MPM
Last Wednesday, Metal Planet Music and myself were afforded a wonderful opportunity to talk to Jizzy Pearl, the lead singer of famed LA band Love/Hate and the current vocalist of Quiet Riot.
2021 has seen Jizzy reissue the three books he wrote, ‘I’ve Got More Crickets Than Friends, Angst For The Memories and Unhappy Endings’. So just under a week ago, I sat down, via the wonders of Zoom, albeit with an internet connection that decided to be awkward, to talk to Jizzy about the books and a few other things as well. Here below is the fully scripted interview that I conducted with the iconic vocalist and author. Please enjoy.
Metal Planet; Hey Jizzy, how you doing
Jizzy Pearl; Good, good, how are you?
Metal Planet; I’m good thankyou. Welcome to Metal Planet Music and on behalf of the team, on behalf of the site and on behalf of everybody in the UK, u thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule to sit and talk to us today.
Jizzy Pearl; It’s not that busy of a schedule
Metal Planet; I’ve seen you packing the boxes
Jizzy Pearl; I’m taking a break from being shipping clerk (MP chuckles).
Metal Planet; Did you not do something like that when you were younger?
Jizzy Pearl; What do you mean?
Metal Planet; Were you not working in mail?
Jizzy Pearl; Oh you mean a real job…I had a bunch of stupid real jobs back before I became a musician. Shipping clerks not too bad, there are worse ones.
Metal Planet; Oh definitely. So lets start off with how has life been for you over the last 15 months, covid restrictions, completely lifechanging.
Jizzy Pearl; Well you know, it’s been bad, but you know, honestly the UK has been far worse. I’ve talked to my friends that live over there and it’s just, it’s just been fucked. All these venues have been really suffering, so..yeah
Metal Planet; It’s been…no proper leadership either, but that’s a whole different story.
Jizzy Pearl; Let’s not bash Boris
Metal Planet; Not too much, but hopefully by the end of the year we’ll be back to normal, we’ll have live gigs and hopefully it will all be something we can just look back on.
Jizzy Pearl; Well yeah, I mean I have been coming to the UK almost every year for ever and ever, you know what I mean. It is a working vacation for me to go play music and you know, have the fans and that loyalty. So it’s been a pain in the ass, it’s been almost two years. I’ve had to reschedule my tour three times.
Metal Planet; Was your performance or the tour you did HRH in Wales, the last time you were over?
Jizzy Pearl; I don’t even remember, I don’t even remember
Metal Planet; You were supposed to be over the end of the summer weren’t you, the end of this summer
Jizzy Pearl; and then it got pushed and it was gonna be this February and it got pushed until next February. It’s been a logistical nightmare but you know what I mean, I wanna do it, I wanna get out there but you guys keep getting your lockdown extended, it’s just crazy.
Metal Planet; Hopefully this one will be the last, fingers crossed.
Jizzy Pearl; Indeed
Metal Planet; Definitely. Anyway I could talk to you for ever and a day about your music, your career, the stuff with Love/Hate, the L.A. Guns, the Ratt and all that stuff but what we are here to do today is talk about Jizzy Pearl the author and the books.
Jizzy Pearl; You mean these (shows the three different books)
Metal Planet; Those books..they look..aah I’ve got to get them, they look gorgeous.
Jizzy Pearl; The trilogy….the trilogy, it compels you
Metal Planet; So for people that don’t….I’m guessing that there is going to be an element of people that don’t actually know that you are an author, that you have written three books. So the first one was ‘I’ve Got More Crickets Than Friends’, then ‘Angst For The Memories’ and then ‘Unhappy Endings’ or have I got those two round the wrong way.
Jizzy Pearl; Yeah, this is the first one (Jizzy shows I’ve Got More Crickets than friends). We’re gonna do show and tell. Second, (shows Angst For The Memories), third (shows Unhappy Endings).
Metal Planet; So, going back, going back all those years ago when you wrote those, as this is obviously a reissue, what initially gave you the idea to put pen to paper and write the books and who were your influences and who were your inspirations?
Jizzy Pearl; Well it started out when the Love/Hate guys, when it broke up around 1997-1998, everyone sort of went their separate ways and we used to live in this building downtown, in the loft, in a bad part of downtown Los Angeles and everyone left. Some people had jobs, some people had wives and kids, some people just went crazy, off by themselves and I was stuck in this building and I just started to write. I mean I always have in the past but never with the distinct intention of being an author. I always thought that being an author was a lofty thing, well you’re not good enough to be a writer, well actually if you write you are a writer, you just have to make it happen, you know what I mean.
Metal Planet; Yep
Jizzy Pearl; That’s how it started and I’ve had several influences. Bukowski is a big influence, Hunter Thompson, William Burrows, even Henry Rollins a little bit, but yeah, it’s Hollywood stories, it’s Sunset Strip trash talking and it’s also fiction. You know, in a dark Black Mirror-ish sort of way.
Metal Planet; So they’re not directly autobiographical?
Jizzy Pearl; Well it’s not like a Gene Simmons tell all, if that’s what you’re trying to say. It’s not like I chronicle all the shags of 30 years because that would actually be more than this (Metal Planet chuckles). It’s stories that I use in my past, my musical past and my musical experiences and stuff like that. Names are changed, you know what I mean. It’s a rock ‘n’ roll book, it’s short stories but it’s rock ‘n’ roll. When you read it, if you’re a rocker you’re gonna get it.
Metal Planet; I do, there’s a book that I read many years ago now called Fargo Rock City which is based out in America and it’s a guy, it’s his story as a fan from when he first picked up, I think it was his brothers copy of Shout at the Devil and how that got in his head and how he moved on from that. Is it that sort of story but with a bit of fiction twisted in?
Jizzy Pearl; Well you see, you said this guy was a fan and he wrote a book about rock from a fans viewpoint. Well I’m in it!. I’m actually in the dressing room so to speak so a lot of my stories are written from the experience of being on stage, backstage or dressing room.
All the shenanigans that happen on tour, of which people always ask me in interviews, what’s your most crazy road story, I mean, every night is a crazy road story. Not so much anymore because I’m older now and married, I’m not the same guy that I was. I was like Attila The Hun 20 years ago, but nowadays it’s not….it’s all in the books, you know what I’m saying. It’s honest and it’s pretty graphic, that’s the kind of harshness of being a writer, I don’t sugar coat what went down in Hollywood, at the Rainbow or at the Whiskey or on tour and stuff like that. Some people, probably will be a little shocked when they read it cos it isn’t like that movie, that dumb movie, the Rockstar movie. Remember that dumb movie? I always said that the Rockstar movie is to what I do, is like what Pretty Woman is to prostitution.
Metal Planet; Ok, just glams it up, sugar coats it and a nice rose petal look and everything.
Jizzy Pearl; Well, the prostitute doesn’t fall in love with the rich guy at the end of a week, you know what I mean. So that’s the point I’m making, my writing is very honest, it’s a bit graphic at times and it’s interesting if you’re into that stuff. If you’re into The Dirt and into that kind of writing then you’ll dig it.
Metal Planet; Excellent. I know the first book has been out for about a month, six weeks now. What has been the feedback that you have received from the people that have bought it, read it. I know that you asked for people to give you some feedback at one point on social media.
Jizzy Pearl; Like for example, you know who Gilby Clarke is, he’s a musician guy who was in Guns ‘n’ Roses. He’s a reader like I am, so I gave him my books and he just went home and read the whole thing in a few hours and he called me the next day and said “it was really good, I loved it, when are you gonna write you’re next one”. That’s how I am, if I am reading a book, I will devour it. People all read at different speeds, so regarding the feedback, some people have come back to me but I don’t think they’ve really read the whole book yet to come back and give me an honest appraisal
Metal Planet; I also saw today that you have announced the ‘Trilogy of Terror’ which is it not the three together?
Jizzy Pearl; Indeed yeah.
Metal Planet; So is that all being packaged as three books as one item?
Jizzy Pearl; No no no. You can buy them separately, you can buy them all. Some people are buying all three at once, some people are just filling in the blanks of what they don’t have, some people bought the book years ago and lost it, you know what I mean. Others are just rebuying it, so it doesn’t matter, do what you want.
Metal Planet; I must admit I missed them first time around, young family, paying the mortgage so it is definitely something I’ve got to invest in myself because I definitely definitely want to read them.
Jizzy Pearl; You know, it’s a different thing. I’ve been doing music my whole life and writing, but books are a different thing. Some people really like to read you know, like me, and they really enjoy it. (zoom call buffered briefly). When you write a lyric, verse, chorus, verse, chorus, bridge, solo, chorus, you know what I mean. There’s a structure to it that you pretty much have to adhere to as a songwriter, unless your Rush. But, in a book you can do whatever you want, you can make a 10 page, a 20 page, there’s no boundaries and that’s what I enjoy about being a writer. I’m actually writing my fourth book right now and I’m about 200 pages into that and so, you know, it’s just a way to be creative outside of the standard (zoom call buffered again).
Metal Planet; So, the fourth book, has that got a title yet, has that got a release date yet, are you looking at next year?
Jizzy Pearl; Probably next year, yeah
Metal Planet; I’m presuming that’s a whole fresh load of stories? Is that stories that maybe you didn’t think you could write when you wrote the original three back in the day?
Jizzy Pearl; No, its umm, I’ll tell ya. The thing about it is that when I had to re-read all these books to sort of proof read them. They needed a bit of overhaul because they were written on word document, but they were written on word document so long ago, it’s almost like Egyptian hieroglyphics, you know what I mean, so I had to redo everything and I had to reread everything and in doing that I realised how gnarly the writing was and how crazy, how Caligula-esque some of the stuff is, so when I’m writing my fourth book, I’m grown up now and I’m married but I still have to make sure that people don’t think that I lost my edge. I still have to write in the vein of how I do so I don’t look like a grown up., you know what I’m saying.
Metal Planet; I do. So part of the process in going back, rereading the books and overhauling them slightly, was that to get you back in the vein of this is how I wrote, to get you kind of thinking that way?
Jizzy Pearl; No, it was to, like I said, the word documents are so old they they’re corrupted. They’re not good anymore, so I actually had to go back and fix them. Even the pictures had to be redone and fixed and stuff because…all those files are…they needed to be fixed. That’s where I went and reread and did that, that’s why.
Metal Planet; Excellent. So did you have a specific reason for reissuing the books now? I mean, was it fan pressure, people clamouring for them, was it just due to lockdown or did you just think, no, this is the right time. Was it because you were going to write the fourth book, was there any specific reason?
Jizzy Pearl; Covid really for sure. I’ve been sitting on my ass for a year and a half and basically people are saying this lockdown, how long is this lockdown gonna last, is it gonna last forever, oh it’s never gonna last forever, it’s only gonna be three weeks and here we are a year and a half later, so I guess what I’m saying is, the smart thing to do for everyone that’s a musician or in the music business is to start thinking about options, you know, supplemental income, that’s why I decided to reissue the books, because it’s just the smart thing to do, in this kind of Covid age.
Metal Planet; I don’t think you ever got into the live stream thing did you through lockdown?
Jizzy Pearl; I did one for a friend of mine or one or two for some friends of mine but the thing about live streaming is….people are very comfortable on their couch and the idea of…I really wanna see L.A. Guns, they are playing live stream so I’m gonna pay money to see them and I just think that is a slippery slope, that pretty soon, instead of hassling going out, driving and buying tickets and having to buy beer, I’ll just sit home and watch AC/DC at home, you know what I mean.
Metal Planet; Yeah, which is, it’s just like buying a DVD really isn’t it. I went and did it last week. There was a Bon Jovi cinema thing just for something to do, at the end of the day it was about going out, but there’s nothing like actually being at a live gig. The atmosphere, it’s just…
Jizzy Pearl; I’ve been doing live shows my whole life as have all my musician friends.
Metal Planet; Yeah I saw you in 92, 91 or 92 on the Skid Row tour at the Docklands Arena
Jizzy Pearl; Yeah, that was me. Right, yeah, yeah, that was a crazy night. We were supposed to play Wembley.
Metal Planet; They got banned from Wembley didn’t they.
Jizzy Pearl; You know, I was supposed to play Wembley, opening up for Guns ‘n’ Roses. Wembley Stadium with Skid Row and Guns ‘n’ Roses, I was supposed to be but Nine Inch Nails ended up getting the gig, It was supposed to be us but Axl was having a war with Kerrang magazine at the time and we were on the cover of Kerrang a lot and so it was kind of a thing of, well you know we are not gonna let the Kerrang band…..
Metal Planet; Sorry the screen froze for a bit there and I didn’t hear the end of that bit
Jizzy Pearl; I got screwed out of playing Wembley Stadium, opening for Guns ‘n’ Roses, that’s the story.
Metal Planet; Right, ok, going back to the books, getting ready for this I just had a quick scan through your social media earlier and I saw that, certainly at least one person has already put a book up on Ebay. That must irk you surely as I have seen it over here with an album recently as well that somebody had issued, that must get under your skin, that people are just buying them for profit themselves.
Jizzy Pearl; I guess that people buy them expressly to do that, I guess it’s annoying but all my records are on Ebay and all my stuff, there are old pictures on Ebay. People sell shit and so its…I’ll put out a record, someone will download it and put it up for sale. I mean that’s just the way it is.
My books have been on sale on Amazon for like $200 for years and years and years. $200 bucks and that was another reason why I decided to reissue them. Yeah the Ebay thing, yeah, you know, I put up that when I was in Ratt, that Warren DeMartini stopped signing guitars because after a show, people would give him a guitar and he would sign it and then a week later it would be up on Ebay for $500 or $1000 or something like that so he just stopped doing that. I mean, that’s pretty cheesy, but what are you gonna do.
Metal Planet; I suppose there’s not a lot you can do, I just wondered about your feelings, seeing it so quickly after the book had come out.
Jizzy Pearl; Hey man, there’s nothing you can fucking do, it’s the internet man. What you gonna do.
Metal Planet; Isn’t it just. So next question, was writing the book, writing the books, sorry, something you found easy? As you’ve said, it’s different to songwriting, was it something, the whole process, was it something you found easy, was it something you had to learn new skills to do?
Jizzy Pearl; Well, I was….I wanna say it’s easy, in the sense that when I sit down and write, it usually just comes out, you know what I mean, sort of automatic and if it isn’t automatic….here’s a good analogy. Elton John said that if he’s working on a new song and it takes longer than 45 minutes he just walks away. Elton John wrote most of his songs in about half an hour, how amazing is that. So for me, it’s the same thing, if I’m sitting down and I have an idea, it starts with an idea, you know, what if you go to the store and somebody pulls a gun on you, what happens next. You sit down and you write it and it usually just comes out and I don’t know where it’s going. Usually it ends with some violence and that’s how it works for me. I mean, maybe some people are different but that’s how it works for me.
Metal Planet; So the books themselves, you say an idea comes to your head, so part of it is going to be stuff that you’ve pulled from your own life, but are there also stories in the books that are also complete fiction?
Jizzy Pearl; Of course, of course, a lot of it is fiction. A lot of it is just imagination. Stuff that isn’t real, picture Black Mirror, picture Twilight Zone, there are little novella’s.
Metal Planet; You’ve said you’re writing the fourth book, did you find it easy to switch back into the writing mode after all the time away.
Jizzy Pearl; Yeah, yeah, I’ve been sitting on my ass, it was that or watch Netflix, so yeah, once I had decided that I was going to reissue the books and start writing again, like all these musicians I got plenty of time on my hands.
Metal Planet; You certainly have, which leads me on to the final points that I have got here. Obviously you are writing the book but going back to Jizzy Pearl the musician, you’ve got a new record deal with Golden Robot, you’ve just released Soul Mama, which I thought was a fantastic single, up there with, from my own point of view, anything I’ve heard you release. I think it’s as good as anything, going all the way back to Blackout and you’ve got the new album coming next year which is ‘Hell California’, am I right?
Jizzy Pearl; Yeah
Metal Planet; So what does the rest of 2021 hold for you and then going forward into 2022?
Jizzy Pearl; I’ve got a lot of umm, you know I sing for Quiet Riot here in America, so I’m doing a lot of those gigs hopefully, in the summer. Doing a lot of Quiet Riot shows and I’ll be writing on my fourth book, that’s about it. Just working, hopefully and hopefully next year, in the UK, this tour in February will happen. I have a few weeks scheduled so hopefully that will happen, just fingers crossed.
Metal Planet; Well hope so as I for one will definitely be looking forward to seeing you somewhere in the UK next year.
Jizzy Pearl; Indeed, we got a lot of shows planned. It’s always a lot of fun to come back and play. I’ve got a lot of good relationships with people over there, over the years so it’s all good.
Metal Planet; Do you have a good bond with the fans and the venues? You’ve got a band that is based in the UK as well haven’t you?
Jizzy Pearl; Yeah, that makes it easier for me, because then it’s just me coming over. It’s also financially better for me, so it works out good, plus I get along with Brits and I have had the same UK band for 5 years so it’s all good with those guys.
Metal Planet; And are they helping you record the new album?
Jizzy Pearl; They did help, they contributed. We, through the magic of Facetime, we were able to get them to play some guitar and bass on some of these new songs, yeah.
Metal Planet; I did read somewhere that Steve Pearce said that it was quite surreal, that they’d be playing and then they’d see you on a computer screen, just sort of waving your hands at them.
Jizzy Pearl; Well yeah, it was a bit daunting. Facetime, it’s the first time I’ve ever had to do this sort of distance recording and so yeah it was daunting, but I got what I needed and yeah, it sounds great.
Metal Planet; Thank you for your time today, thank you for the chat and I hope that the book sales go exceptionally well. I know there is 250 or 270 of each copy.
Jizzy Pearl; Yeah, a couple of hundred of each.
Metal Planet; Which I am sure they wont hang around long
Jizzy Pearl; Autographed, personally autographed (Jizzy shows the first page autographed)
Metal Planet; So where can people buy them
Jizzy Pearl; Jizzypearl.net is the website and I’m pimping it on social media all the time but that’s the actual website to get the books.
Metal Planet; Thank you very much for your time today Jizzy
Jizzy Pearl; Cheers mate
Metal Planet; Thank you very much
Jizzy Pearl; Alright