"Thirsty Thursday" Featuring Izzie's Caravan
Thank you for talking with us! So how was the last year for you? What were your highlights? Despite the strange times we’re experiencing across the world, I do have to find the positive in my life, and for me that has to be both the EPs that I’ve released, ’Leo’s Guitar’ in December 2019 and the follow-up record to that called ‘Zephyrs’ in February 2020. It’s absolutely surreal seeing those ideas that play in your mind, ultimately materialise into complete songs and then making their way on to the digital platforms. They all have a story to tell, and they all follow their journey, ultimately making their way to the audience…and it's a phenomenal feeling knowing that you as the artist know the journey of each song, from an embryonic idea to finally ending up being a video on youtube or something. It’s an unbelievable feeling!
How do you drink your coffee? Wow! This is the perfect question to start with since I’m having a cup right now. I’m a coffee addict! It’s literally the first thing I do when I wake up. Black, a couple of sugars, brewed hot! That’s the only way I’ll drink my coffee, all my 5-6 cups a day!
What is your favorite sandwich? A lot of answers you’ll get are going to very very blue-collar. Believe it or not, a well-toasted grilled cheese sandwich, a side of fries with mayo. That perfect blend of melted cheese, butter and mayo. I love mayo, with a bit of black pepper and you have the perfect meal to get by. I guess the best things in life are the simple things. I was just mentioning to a friend the other day how being in the lockdown era has reawakened my nostalgic passion for things like butter and jelly toast.
If you could only eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be? My instant reaction was going to be shrimp on the barbie. But I think I’ll take a U-turn on that and go towards homestyle spicy spaghetti. Yup, it’s got to have a spicy tangy taste to it. Spaghetti is so evergreen, it never loses its appeal and its doesn’t get boring for me at all. And it's the ultimate tour food as well.
Have you ever eaten two meals at the same restaurant in the same day? Yeah absolutely! It was an amazing little Thai joint in Windsor, Ontario called ‘Eros’. It was a small family-run place and they made the most amazing Thai Curry there. I was absolutely addicted to it. Oh, and they made this really phenomenal Kimchi as well. I guess it was their version of it in spicy rice. So yeah, lunchtime was custom there and on a lot of days, so was supper.
For newer fans, how did your passion for music and career come about? It’s got to be the first time that I heard rock-n-roll. Specifically when I heard "Money for Nothing" by Dire Straits as a young kid. So to me that has to be the origin point of when I knew the guitar would have a central role in my life. But it was rediscovery of the blues that really gave me that jolt, so to speak, to really pursue music as the central activity in my life. Putting into context, for this new record that’s coming out in June, I really tapped into the Johnny Winter catalogue for inspiration and its still so exciting and exhilarating listening to that raw energy. So that passion for rock and the blues is lifelong…and it was only organic to make a career of it.
Since every project has a story, what's the story behind your debut EP? To be very honest, I had actually given up music after my last band ended which was around 2006-2007. Fast forward a decade or so, ended up jamming with a couple of friends and it was like being transported back to seeing the guitar through the eyes of a child. So, I got back into it but this time with the rationale that as a solo artist, it had be a conscious endeavour of exploration of the blues. And within that journey, I actually fell in love with Fenders…the collection stands at 22 Strats and teles…and so to honour Leo Fender and his historical and timeless contribution to rock and blues. I titled my debut EP, ‘Leo’s Guitar’.
What’s your advice for young artists trying to establish a name for themselves? Especially young people that may see you as a role model. To be very, very strong and develop a very thick skin, particularly for the introverts. Being a severe introvert, it was very, very challenging for me to take the steps that I have in releasing this music. You have these inner hurdles that have to be negotiated, and I personally haven’t overcome all of them. But I slowly keep chipping away at all the obstacles that hold me back. So for young artists, be strong and be true to yourself. Don’t do this for ‘likes’ but for the inherent art of it, and you’ll automatically overcome the negative opinions of people online.
Is there any news for the forthcoming album? Sometime in mid-June! The record is titled ‘On The Pull’ and it's an absolutely raw and fast-paced, full-throttle blues-rock record. I’m absolutely buzzing as the songs near finality…cant believe they’ll be done and out there in a very short while. For all the updates, I welcome you to join the ‘Caravan’ at www.izziescaravan.com.
Finally, if you could be sponsored by one food/drink brand who would it be and why? That’s easy, any beer brand! I love beer! One of my favourite beer is a Canadian brand called Keiths. Just an absolutely brilliant brew. Maybe Corona…the Beer…had to clarify that…or Stella.