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Interview with Lizzy Borden
(Vocals - Lizzy Borden)

Interviewed by Brian Rademacher
Date: December 2006

Hello, Lizzy and welcome to!
How you doing, man?

As a child, what was Lizzy like growing up?
(Laughing) I was really into sports-football, baseball, hockey, everything. I did that for awhile, but I was a pretty shy kid. I played after school with my friends and was on the school team. In football I was a wide receiver, because I was pretty fast and I could catch anything. I played a little baseball, too, but I wasn’t that great.

What was the name of the first garage band you were in?
I had a couple, but the first one was a band that only played “2112” by RUSH and a few LED ZEPPELIN tunes: we never got out of the basement. Another band I was in was called HURRICANE where we played backyard parties and played only UFO songs.

Who was more of an influence on you-ALICE COOPER or KISS? And why?
They both were; I gravitated towards bands that were doing anything theatrical. If I even heard of a band that was doing something theatrical, I wanted to know more. Those were the bands that did it for me. I was too young to see COOPER, but KISS was a prime target for me and that was the first concert I saw. They blew my mind when I saw them live in 1976, and I said “That’s what I want to do.” I saw them again on the “Destroyer” tour. I heard COOPER first, and heard “Billion Dollar Babies” years before I heard KISS. So, COOPER started me off and KISS took over.

How did you come about the image you portray on stage, and did you do a lot of research on Lizzy Borden?
I did no research at all. I did not want to use any of those images-the only thing I did use was the axe. Even the concepts I came up with have nothing to do with the real story. I veered away from that because I was already pigeonholing myself by using the name and the axe. I did not want to go any further, because I had so much more to offer.

I saw you on the “Visual Lies” tour at the Cat Club in New York City. You put on one hell of a show.
I remember that show. You got to see some vintage LIZZY BORDEN, but you didn’t get to see the full show because there was no room to move. We actually spent a lot of money on that show and did the best we could with the room we had. When I first put out ads looking for members, I put “Theatrical band looking for musicians.” It was all about mixing music with theater. KISS, ALICE COOPER, THE TUBES and various other bands-that’s what we wanted to do to bring the songs to life on stage.

Tell me; what are the differences between the new LIZZY BORDEN and your earlier incarnations, besides the personal stuff?
I guess we learned a lot. Back then, we released four records in fourteen months-and we didn’t look back. I was like the ‘Ed Wood’ of music-we didn’t even think twice about it. There wasn’t a second take; it was all first takes-bam, bam, bam. The more I thought about it, the more I got dissatisfied with the way we were doing it and I thought there could be more. So, I would say that now I do things completely different.

It seems the music of the 80’s is making a comeback. Why do you think that’s happening?
I think it’s because the kids missed some of the greats back then. Take KISS: in their early days, maybe you didn’t get to see them, but now they’re back so you have a chance to see them again. That’s the thing with the 80’s music; there was whole giant movement and it went away so fast, but young kids are discovering it for the first time today. I think in the mid-90’s, kids weren’t thinking about being musicians. You go to the Guitar Center around here and it’s jam-packed. If you went there in the mid-90’s it was like a ghost town. We just played the summer tour with W.A.S.P. , and I would say more than half the crowd was under twenty-years-old. It was really something to see. I haven’t seen that kind of crowd in some time: it was like coming back from the dead. There was magic about the 80’s movement.

Were there any bands of the past that you never saw that you would like to see make a comeback?
When I was a kid I saw every band you can imagine. I decided since I didn’t go to college, my college would be to go see every band I could. I wanted to learn everything I could from seeing progressive bands to theatrical bands. But I guess I would have liked to see the “Welcome To My Nightmare” tour from ALICE COOPER.

Tell me about the new CD.
It’s amazing; it’s different but the same. It has a little piece of every project we’ve ever done. Its conceptual-which I’m still working out- but I got some pretty cool ideas. We filmed some of the recording, and I just finished making “Master of Disguise,” which contains footage from the Roxy and a lot of great footage from all over the world.

What was the wildest thing that happened on any LIZZY BORDEN tour?
I can go down a list that would never end. I guess it would be dodging piss bottles at the Reading Festival, where we opened for ALICE COOPER. Donnington Festival was a week before and in the paper Blackie was quoted as saying, “Bring on the piss bottles.” I was backstage at Donnington and I saw him, and he was covered in piss. I said “Oh my god.” So, when we played Reading and I walked out in my silver outfit, I was expecting it again, but we didn’t get it for the first half of the show. During the second half of our show my tech tripped over one of our wireless mics and disconnected it. My mic went out and we were losing the crowd and they started to get pissed off and piss bottles started flying. We won them back which was a great end to the story.

When you go home and relax, what is a typical day for LIZZY BORDEN?
I’m never relaxed, but I’m a movie buff and would like to eventually make my own films. So I like to watch good films: it’s one of my passions.

What are some of the things LIZZY BORDEN have on their rider?
Now, since we have Ira in the band, he’s a vegan-something we had to experience. We’ll usually eat anything they give us. I guess we all want Jagermeister, but we did have some fun riders which we never got (laughing). When we played the Bang Your Head show they sent us a message that read “We’re glad your part of the show and we’ll give you anything you want.” We wrote up this most ridiculous rider where we put four German hookers, five star hotels… and you know, we got no response to it.

We recently went to dinner with Bobby Rock from CARNIVAL OF SOULS and he’s a vegan, too. He had to have the chef come out to make sure no cheese was on the food, and he asked a lot of questions about the food.
I know exactly what you’re saying. We just went thought all that, and it was a nightmare. Every single place we went to, Ira would to talk with someone personally and eventually we would have to go. Sometimes he would not eat for like 30 hours because there was nothing for him to eat. We had a barbeque over here and he wouldn’t even put his soy burgers on the grill because it had meat on it before.

Is LIZZY BORDEN a family man?
No! not at all.

Is it disappointing to be playing smaller venues now, when in the past you have played arenas and larger stadiums?
Oh yeah, that was ultimately where I want to take this, and yes, it was discouraging. I thought we had pretty good music and a good stage show, and could have broken through. But, we were on an independent label, and they don’t spend a lot of money on anything. You get what you get if anything. We go over the top to deliver something and I think if we were on a major label I think it could have gone over different. For the show we played with W.A.S.P. we did our full production, which is over an hour set, and it went over great. If you liked the show before, it’s ten times what it was then.

So will you tour next year and come to the east coast?
We are actually in the midst of booking a tour to start in Europe on January 25th. It will be like a “best of” show. In February, “Master of Disguise” will come out and then we will probably hit the east coast in the summer.

If Lizzy could donate a large sum of money to any cause, what would it be?
If I could make it happen, education: without that, we have nothing.

Lizzy, let’s get into your mind a little for fans to see. I am going to mention some words. Tell me your feeling about each word.
Success - laughing, pleading
Visuals – Necessary
War - Necessary
USA – The best place on earth
President Bush – No comment
Touring - Heaven
Wish - Success
L.A Strip – Mother of invention

Lizzy, it’s been fun. We appreciate your time and wish you continued success. Would you like to say anything in conclusion?
I’m glad you liked that Cat Club show and I can’t wait until people get to see the new tour. The response we got from the last summer tour we have not gotten in years. It’s pretty cool to have that atmosphere once again and we hope to be on the east coast in March. It was good talking to ya.


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