LIZZY BORDEN On His Longevity: 'It's Desire That's Really Kept Me In The Game'

July 21, 2018

Theatrical rock frontman Lizzy Borden recently spoke with Brian Rademacher of RockEyez. The full conversation can be streamed below. A few excerpts follow (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET):

On the 11-year gap between 2007's "Appointment With Death" and new album "My Midnight Things":

Lizzy: "The reason I stopped making records [was] because we were touring, and we were having fun touring all over the world, playing different countries that we'd never played before. It was amazing, but I did miss being a recording artist. I stopped recording because the industry collapsed, and all we had was the old record deals. The old record deal that I had was worthless — it didn't mean anything; it was impossible to even do. I did two records that way, 'Deal With The Devil' and 'Appointment With Death', with the old style of record deal, and then the industry completely imploded, and then it was just, 'Okay, I can't function this way.' I just resigned myself to playing the back catalog live, but Brian Slagel from Metal Blade Records had a meeting with me and convinced me that they had changed the game. The success that they've had has been amazing for an independent label. The proof was in the pudding on how they figured out how to rise above the ashes of the industry. There's a whole different system in place, and he talked me into making records again."

On his songwriting goals:

Lizzy: "I've always tried to write hooks and write catchy songs, even from the first song, 'Give 'Em The Axe'. That arrangement was verse-bridge-chorus. It's always been that way with me. I've experimented and colored outside the lines on a lot of different things, but really, my focus has always been on writing catchy songs. It's always been that way. There's nothing different there [on 'My Midnight Things']. The only difference on this record that changed the game for me and that I expanded out on was, I felt on the last record, I was showcasing musicians. [I was] writing these songs and I was just showcasing guitar players. I had George Lynch, Dave Meniketti and all these people coming in, and I'm, like, 'Why am I writing these songs just to showcase musicians?' It didn't make any sense. It kind of cheapened the songs, even though their contribution was amazing — it was awesome, and I was proud to have them on the record, I just think the songs should speak for themselves, and that was a conscious effort on my part. I didn't write 'heavy metal songs'; I wrote songs, and sometimes they're heavy and sometimes they're not."

On "Me Against The World":

Lizzy: "Any country in the world, when we start that song, they go crazy. Everybody's written that one song that sticks around for a while, and that one's mine, but I still think that there's more in there and I still think that I can be synonymous for other songs."

On the live production he's planning for his upcoming tour in support of "My Midnight Things":

Lizzy: "We're planning this pretty over-the-top thing that we can play in clubs, theaters, arenas or festivals. That's kind of the schematic that we're working off of. I want to be able to play it in every venue and every type of venue, so we can make it as big as possible. I'm building the whole show around the '[My] Midnight Things' theme and creating the characters and the whole thing. It's going to be a big production. It's just [in] the beginning stages, because I wanted the album to come out and breathe for a while before I started touring."

On the inspirations for his live shows:

Lizzy: "My favorite performers are KISS and [Alice] Cooper and [David] Bowie and THE TUBES — all those theatrical bands. Some of those guys left it [on the] stage, where the audience is watching the band, the performance. Some of them broke that barrier down, like KISS, and that's what I always wanted to try and do. Even beyond that, you have to break it down even further... Every time you go out there and you're doing something for the first time, it's awesome. I love the routine of theater, but I also love the danger in it failing. When you're doing something that you don't know if it's going to work or not, it's just exhilarating. I constantly love putting new shows together."

On the key to his longevity:

Lizzy: "I think it's desire. I never looked at it like a job. It's a challenge to try to write a good song that can connect with people all around the world. It's a challenge to put together a show that will work in every place that you play, and it will still connect. Those are all challenges, and they're very hard challenges. It's never boring. I always want to be better. I never want to live in the status quo – 'That works; let's just keep doing that.' I just never thought of that. I always want to try and be better – try to write a better song, try to connect with more people. It's desire that's really kept me in the game."

On having "discovered" notable guitarists such as Joe Holmes (OZZY OSBOURNE) and Dario Lorina (BLACK LABEL SOCIETY):

Lizzy: "I have an eye for that talent, because I look for multi-dimensional guitar players. I've had some that were very one-dimensional, and I've had some that really could do anything. Take Dario — if you heard him play the blues, you'd just be blown away. The way he was able to adapt LIZZY BORDEN songs was just amazing. Those are guys who can play anything – they're not stuck playing the same sweeps and the same thing as everybody else. He's not stuck in that world — he can do anything. Those are the kind of guitar players I look for, and when they're able to adapt LIZZY BORDEN songs and come in and fit in, then people realize their talent. It comes forward. I plan on doing the same thing [now]. I've got my eye out for some amazing guitar players, bass players, the whole thing. We'll see, but I'm sure that I'll find some amazing guys."

"My Midnight Things" was released on June 15 via Metal Blade Records. The record was mixed by Greg Fidelman (METALLICA, BLACK SABBATH, ADELE, U2) and mastered by Tom Baker (DAVID BOWIE, ROB ZOMBIE, MARILYN MANSON, TOM PETTY).

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