Hi Izzie! Thank you so much for taking the time to speak with us. First off, tell us about Izzie’s Caravan. How did the band come about, and what are your main goals as the frontman?
Thanks for having me here. Well, the roots of Izzie’s Caravan actually go back to early 2000’s when Sim and I met in Southern Ontario and formed a band then. We released a couple of records; however, life got in the way and we disbanded. Fast forward to 2019 and after a long hiatus from music, I got back into the guitar and ended up recording my first EP called ‘Leo’s Guitar’. It was such an exhilarating feeling and I got back in the studio and released my second EP ’Zephyrs’ in March 2020. With Covid in full swing, I knew I had to keep myself active and ended up recording and releasing my pride and joy EP called ‘On The Pull’. The success of that made me realise that I now needed support and so Sim is back in the band and I’ve assembled a great bunch of musicians with Roque on bass and Robbie Maclean on keys.
Take us behind the scenes of an Izzie’s Caravan studio session. How does it all come together?
Oh it’s quite a trip. Normally I come up with a whole bunch of ideas when I’m practicing guitar and just jamming on riffs and suddenly something magical will happen and I know I have a song. It’s at that moment I can hear the song play in my head I guess being immersed in music all my life it comes to me quite naturally. That’s when I’ll add the parts and develop the structure of the song which I’m quite particular about. It has to tell a story…it has to flow…it has to have variations in it musically. Lyrically, I could be inspired on the spot while watching the news, or based on personal anecdotes, and the words come to me in such obscure moments…when i’m sleeping or driving. I’ve literally come up with guitar parts when driving and rushed home to record them before I forget.
“Roadkill Rita” is your brand new single, coming out this week. Tell us about it.
This is part of a special experiment that we’re working on now. With Covid slowing things down, I realized we couldn’t get together and do shows. So it was back to the studio for me and I figured this time I would go beyond EPs and release a full length album. So ‘Roadkill Rita’ is the first single of our next album called ‘BLOW THE LID’ which will actually release in the Summer of 2021. However, we’re going Ten for Ten which means we’ll be releasing a new song of the album every month for the next ten months after which we’ll release the full album in multiple formats. The listeners can just head over to www.izziescaravan.com, become a member and download the songs for free as they get released.
On The Pull is your latest EP, and it’s been doing well on the college radio stations. what do you attribute the EP’s success to, and was it surprising to you?
Personally, ‘On The Pull’ is my identity record…my breakthrough record. It’s what I affectionately call my ‘Johnny Winter record’. This is the album that defines me as a musician and what I want this band to be. I’m still stunned that in a matter of a few months of this project’s inception, I have an EP that’s sitting pretty on the Jamband Radio Charts, had a song that reached #1 on iTunes (South Africa), reached both the EuroIndie Charts and the World Indie Charts. It’s come as massive surprise and of course none of this would have been possible without Michael at MTS who believes in me and supports everything I work on.
What has been the best thing that’s happened to you, since the COVID outbreak? What has been the worst thing about the virus?
Well, making the best of a bad situation, I guess the positive thing has been this outburst of creativity being in isolation. Getting to know myself a musician, pushing the boundaries while accepting my limitations has been refreshing as well. I now know what I can do as a musician and what I can’t do and that keeps me comfortable in my skin. Of course, the hardest thing has been not being able to reconnect with Sim and the band, and working remotely. I know we can take this band to great heights, we have the spirit and the belief and kick-ass rock n roll to back it up.
Do you have any views on the political landscape in the US?
I do…plenty of views. Having done my academics in Philosophy and being a lecturer in Sociology at college, I have strong sentiments. I am an advocate of objective truth, and I’m sad that a world of bias and arbitrary opinions has defeated Truth. I’m sad to see what’s happening out there…I mean after I got into the blues, I’ve considered Mississippi my spiritual home. That’s what my song ‘Drownin’ Man’s Blues’ was about…one day travelling through the Delta and experiencing the region and exploring the human stories where blues originated. I hope to see reason and rationality prevail.
What is one song that’s on your personal listening playlist, that most people would be surprised to know?
‘You are my Sunshine’. Hey, I love old country folk music and sometimes Roque and myself get together and literally play everything from laments like ‘500 Miles’ to ‘Oh Holy Night’ when practicing vocal harmonies and guitar parts and stuff. It’s fun. It helps me expand my musical vocabulary.
Thank you Izzie! Any closing words for your fans?
Yeah. Thank you to everyone who has supported this band and appreciated our music. We look at ourselves at the underdogs and I know that for a blues-rock band like us, the battle to gain appreciation in the current music climate is extremely challenging. But we’re resilient and that’s why we’re moving full-throttle with our next album ‘Blow The Lid’. Visit us at www.izziescaravan.com, become a member and get our latest single ‘ROADKILL RITA’ for free!