Izzie’s Caravan is busier than ever these days. After releasing two EPs in a 3 month span, the blues rockers have just unleashed their latest EP, On The Pull. The single, “Drownin’ Man’s Blues” reached the top of the iTunes charts in South Africa, while earning a place on college radio playlists across North America. The enigmatic frontman, known only as Izzie, sat down for an exclusive interview…enjoy!
Congratulations on your latest EP release, On The Pull. It seems to be doing very well around the globe. Tell us about the songs, the production, the recording process.
A.) Hey there. Thanks so much. It’s always such a fulfilling sense of reinforcement when we hear about the record in such a positive tone. Frankly speaking, ‘On The Pull’ is what I classify as my ‘identity record’ in the sense it defines us as who we are as a band and who our influences are. Its a straight no-frills, in-your-face, absolutely unapologetic blues-rock record… so whether its the complex arrangements of ‘Drownin’ Man’s Blues’ or the groove of ‘Whiskey Alley Blues’, I think this record was an opportunity for me to write the songs that set the pathway for us as a band.
Who are your biggest influences? Who are you listening to these days?
A.) Well, growing up the early Aerosmith records were a huge influence on me…listening to ‘Rocks’ was a life changing experience for me and the dynamics between Brad Whitford and Joe Perry was a great learning experience. Later on, of course the influence of the blues greats from Johnny Winter, Lightnin Hopkins, Buddy Guy, John Lee Hooker and Clapton have been instrumental in shaping our sound. Honestly, today my playlist has been everything from R.L Burnside to Charlie Patton so its been blues…blues… and a bit more blues.
Tell us about the blues. What do you love most about it? Is there anything you don’t like?
A.) To me personally the blues is not simply a category of music, but rather an experience bound in a deep sense of history and then captured in a format that relays human stories. What I love about the blues is that its honest…and its authentic. To me, it becomes a vehicle through which I can express what I’m experiencing at an introspective level and in a way its self-induced therapy, so to speak. Plus, digging deep in the rich history of American culture and listening and reading stories of the great blues musicians, the legends, their stories has been a fascinating journey.
You are known for being a philosophical person. Who do you look to for your philosophies?
A.) Well, for me personally engaging with philosophical texts is a lot like the blues. It keeps me grounded in reality and equally so reading the great and fertile minds that came before us is also such an exercise in humility. From a philosophical standpoint, I am an ardent believer of the preservation of objective truth. We are mired in a very complex time where the purity of truth is under threat and I fear that objectivity may suffer as consequence of this clash between identity politics and radical populism. I’m not quite so optimistic that we’ll come out of a post-covid world a ‘better and more rational’ society… I’m very reserved in my predictions where we’ll end up…but that’s for another day…although don’t say I didn’t tell you so…
What are your goals/hopes/dreams/fears for your music?
A.) Oh that’s a great question. I see my music and this band as being true underdogs…in the sense we’re pretty adamant in sticking to our sound which is grounded in traditional blues-rock music. Yeah, we did release ‘Zephyrs’ which had a more commercial feel to it, but we recognise that the challenge for us to break the hegemony of the current trends in music is going to be a very challenging task. The way, and with the rapidity, that content is being produced and distributed now, I’ve often been told that our type of traditional blues-rock doesn’t have much of an audience left anymore. So for us to expose ourselves to blues-rock fans is like I said going to be a challenge but its one that were okay with…we’re content with our identity and we’re not going to reconcile our sound and identity to gain a few more subscribers or ‘likes’ or whatever…
Beyond “On The Pull,” what else does Izzie’s Caravan have planned for music lovers in 2020?
A.) We’ve actually started to slowly ease ourselves into rehearsing the music. So it’s all keeping in mind that we want to be on the road next Summer. But the great thing is that as we’ve started jamming, a whole new set of ideas are popping up and I’m pretty certain we’re going to be releasing another record for a Christmas release.
A lot of people were disappointed by the cancellation of many festivals this year due to the CoronaVirus. What are your thoughts on the cancellations? Were you personally affected by any cancellations?
A.) Oh yeah absolutely. Having released ‘On The Pull’, I was really hoping that this Summer could’ve been one where we could have played some clubs and tested these tunes on the stage. But we have to take these setbacks in our stride and hope for the best for next Summer. Hopefully next year we’re all healthy, safe and ready to rock with the audience and have a ton of fun.
Any more single releases or music videos planned for 2020?
A.) Yeah absolutely. We released the video for ‘Drownin’ Man’s Blues’ which came out pretty awesome and now I’m working on some ideas for a follow-up video. In fact just last night we were debating and deciding which song to release the video for. All the songs mean so much to us so its a tricky decision.
Thanks so much for taking the time. Any last thoughts you’d like to share with our readers?
A.) I’d just like to thank everyone who has supported us through this journey so far. We wouldn’t be here without Michael Stover so a huge shoutout to him. To all the fans who are digging the music, we really appreciate your support. Head on out to http://www.izziescaravan.com and we welcome you to the Caravan!
Learn more about Izzie’s Caravan at https://izziescaravan.com/
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