DIZZY REED Says Solo Album Title Sums Up Being A Professional Musician: 'It's Always Work'
June 3, 2018
GUNS N' ROSES keyboardist Dizzy Reed was recently interviewed by Ornella Carlone of Comebackstage. The full conversation can be streamed below. A few excerpts follow (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On his decision to sing on his new solo album, "Rock 'N Roll Ain't Easy":
Dizzy: "It seemed like a good idea at the time, like many ideas. It was hell. I started my first band when I was 12 years old, and I was always the singer in that band, for, like, eight years. I just kind of got tired of it. It's always something that I knew that I could do — not necessarily that I wanted to do, but it's always kind of been there."
On the album's origins:
Dizzy: "I had some ideas kicking around in my head, and I decided to go ahead and record them by myself — just demo stuff. One of my favorite activities is to get drunk and play demo tapes for friends. A lot of people liked it, and they sort of convinced me that I should go and record that stuff for real. We just kind of worked it out in the studio with whoever was playing. We didn't go play it in clubs or anything; we just went in and recorded it."
On the album's title:
Dizzy: "We got it from the song, the title track. We figured that was the right name for the record, because it's not easy. It seems like it's a lot of fun, and it is, and it can be — and thank god I'm not working in a coal mine, and I appreciate all the hard work that people do everywhere around the world every day. I had a job like that at one point in time in my life, and it's hard. But I got into music because I didn't want to have a nine-to-five job, really. I just wanted to have fun and play music. I realized pretty early on that if you want to do this for a living, you have to stay on top of it. Basically, I'm working more than I ever would have if I'd done something else. It's always work. We are constantly, constantly working. It never stops. There's no end — there's no breaks, really. But there's also another aspect to it, and that is what it was like on the way there, building up, trying to get to where you're going in this business, trying to live out the dream. Looking back at what it was like in the '80s when I was an aspiring young musician, you had to go 'all-in' back then. There was a lot of nights where there was no place to sleep, looking for someone's couch to sleep on and things like that. It was tough, and I I think I'd found I'd gone full circle when I wrote that song. I was sort of back [living] out of my truck and squatting in a place. It was raining outside and I had my acoustic guitar, and we knew that we needed a song like that for the record, and that's what I came up with."
On going from playing arenas with GUNS N' ROSES to touring clubs with his side band, HOOKERS & BLOW:
Dizzy: "I don't mind it, actually. I think it's kind of cool to get back into clubs once in a while and play — to have that audience reaction right there, and to be able to talk to people and hear what they have to say. Sometimes it's not good; sometimes it's cool. But I've been doing that most of my life, playing bars and stuff. It's also pretty cool to play big arenas and stadiums. I'd probably take that over the clubs, but you do what you have to do."
On the advice he'd give up-and-coming musicians:
Dizzy: "It's very easy to get sucked into what we have in the realm of our home studio and our computer and just making music that way. You have to get in front of people and play. You have to take that rejection; you have to take the good with the bad. That's how you get better; that's how you grow as a musician and as a performer. My advice would be to get out there and play – take it out of your bedroom, take it out of your garage, go out and play in front of people. If you have a bad show, that's what you learn from. You correct your mistakes and you get better."
Reed's debut solo album, "Rock 'N Roll Ain't Easy", was released February 16 by Golden Robot Records.
Reed is the longest-serving member of GN'R after singer Axl Rose. He joined the band as a touring member in 1990, during the "Use Your Illusion" era, and has played with most of the original members as well as in all the later editions of the group and the current "reunion" lineup.