Has it really been 25 years since the release of the classic debut Love/Hate album, 'Blackout In The Red Room'? It would seem so, and to celebrate this landmark the frontman with the raspy vocals is taking to the road playing the album in its entirety.
Uber Rock caught up with Jizzy Pearl to get one more round on all things Love/Hate-shaped. So if you want to know what influenced the band or exactly why he ended up getting crucified on the Hollywood sign, get your straight jacket on and read on...
Hey Jizzy, so it's been 25 years since the release of 'Blackout In The Red Room'. How does this landmark make you feel?
Makes me feel old! Seriously it's a good thing, it shows good music endures.
With well publicised problems with your original band mates and attempts to reform in the past failing miserably, did you consider reaching out to them to tour in the lead up to this anniversary?
You answered your own question - when something fails miserably why try it again?
Original guitarist Jon E Love threatened legal action if you used the Love/Hate name for your last album, 'Crucified', yet he still gets away with using the name in his new band Jon E Love & The Haters, that's a bit of a piss take really, isn't it?
Of all the late '80s/early '90s rock albums 'Blackout...' still sounds vital and fresh today. Why do you think it stands the test of time compared to a lot of its contemporaries?
Good records, like good movies, are forever. They capture a moment in time.
What do you remember about the recording of that debut album?
No arguing. Excitement. Accomplishment. Vindication.
Love/Hate signed to Columbia for a six figure sum. With the amount of exposure and money that was thrown around at rock bands back then was there a time when you thought you had made it and your future was secured?
Of course, I thought we were all going to be rich. But everyone who gets a record deal believes that; everyone thinks they're destined. In retrospect I have found the true meaning of success is being able to work for 25 years doing what I love.
Bassist Skid is credited as sole songwriter, yet I take it you all had some input in the songwriting process?
Skid wrote the songs; period. We all helped make them better but he was the guy. That's the truth.
Lyrically it veers from sleazy tongue-in-cheek to downright poetic. The line "Mama takes the strings off your bass, so you won't hang yourself" from 'She's An Angel' always resonated with me. What a lyric for any aspiring teenage musician to take on board, right?
That song is about an actual person we knew named Angel whose parents put her in a psych ward 'cause they couldn't deal with her. She and the girl who inspired the song 'My Michelle' should start a band together, call themselves The Fuck-ups.
I believe a lot of the songs were inspired by the Mickey Rourke film 'Barfly' (the semi-autobiographical film about Bukowski's time drinking in LA), as it was a film you were watching at the time. Was the protagonist someone you all related to?
Bukowski was someone I emulated in my book writing, that's for sure. But I don't want to BE him anymore. I did then because I thought I needed that lifestyle to be a writer. But guess what? There's nothing cool about being an old bitter drunk.
You pretty much broke the UK with 'Blackout...'. With a great live reputation, Love/Hate were THE band to see amongst my friends. I saw you on several occasions supporting and headlining. Why do you think the UK took to you and the US didn't?
To say we weren't popular in the States isn't true. We sold a lot of records in the US, in fact I still sign Love/Hate records almost every night I'm out playing. Why were we more popular as far as magazine covers etc. in the UK? I don't know, maybe they have better taste in music, haha!
You toured opening for AC/DC, Ozzy and Skid Row. Was it a challenge trying to win those audiences over every night?
Sometimes it was a challenge and sometimes it was war. We held our own.
What did you learn from touring with those bands?
We learned how to play consecutively night after night, we learned some business sense. Mostly it was just fun.
Legend has it you had a bit of a spat with Sebastian Bach on the Skid Row tour and were nearly kicked off it, what was that about?
Yeah, I was kicked off the tour for a day but we kissed and made up later on. Skid Row were good to us.
You still tour the UK on a regular basis. How do the shows and the fans here compare to the US?
I don't tour the US with L/H because the Love just isn't there. And the distances make it too costly to tour.
You will be playing 'Blackout...' in its entirety, what else are we likely to hear, any rarities. I always thought 'Castles From Sand' was a great 'lost' song?
People will hear the 'Blackout...' record which is the most popular record along with a few classic songs from the 'Wasted' record. Maybe a few surprises.
I believe you are still the only person to have been crucified on the Hollywood sign. Whose idea was that and did you get in more trouble from the police or the record label?
It was my idea, it started as a joke but Skid decided we needed to do a movie and that was going to be the finale, me hanging on the Sign. I got into a little trouble, not much. Of course that was in 1992; in 2015 I would have been tazed off the sign and put into a mental institution.
It's been two years since the release of 'Crucified', are there any plans for a follow-up?
If Frontiers wants to give me some money to do a record then yes. But I won't be self-financing my own records any more and I think we all know why... the state of the so-called 'industry'.
As well as keeping the Love/Hate name going you have fronted LA Guns, Ratt and most recently Quiet Riot. Has fronting these other bands just been a means to an end, a way to pay the bills or something more to you?
It's been work so, yes, it 'pays the bills' but it's also what I do. There's nothing wrong with working, in fact I know a lot of broke musicians that would give their right arm to have had my gigs.
Apart from Love/Hate which band have you had the most fun fronting?
The music is always fun, the experience of playing live is the greatest. So all the bands have been good in that respect.
I managed to get hold of a promo cassette of 'Wasted In America' sometime before it was released. I remember the songs being different from the released album and a different running order. Was there a different recorded version of it before release, or would this maybe have been just different mixes, I always wondered?
Frankie Banali just played me a Led Zeppelin bootleg of them rehearsing and there were several unfinished versions of 'Trampled Under Foot ' and 'The Wanton Song', quite different from the finished product. It shows songs sometimes need a little fine tuning before they're good enough to present.
And finally Jizzy, with the benefit of hindsight, would you have changed anything over the last 25 years since the release of 'Blackout...' and do you have any regrets with the way things went with Love/Hate?
No regrets. Things have turned out good for me, I'm not broke and I'm still singing. And I still have my hair. So all's good.