Marc Rizzo Interview
Music Incider Magazine
MI: What is your birthday?
Marc: August 2nd, 1977.
MI: Is the new CD all you or are there other people on it?
Marc: My drummer Teddy Gibbons, my percussionist Roger Baxtor, and the bass player Ben Wright are all on it.
MI: What made you decide to come up with a solo album?
Marc: It’s something I’ve always wanted to do my whole life… I listened to a lot of instrumental shred guys so it’s something I’ve always wanted to do. The angle that I do it on is that I combine Flamenco style music with metal shred. It was a perfect idea to me to try and mix the styles together.
MI: What age did you start playing at?
Marc: I started when I was 8.
MI: Do you play anything besides guitar?
Marc: It’s my main instrument. I mess around with drums a little bit.
MI: When you were growing up who were your influences?
Marc: Jimmy Page was the first guitar player that made me want to play guitar and after that it was all the thrash bands from the 80’s like Slayer, Metallica, Megadeath… That whole style of music had a huge influence on me.
MI: Do you see yourself back in a band in a few years or still going solo?
Marc: I’m going to be doing both. Right now I’m in Soulfly and we just finished our new record and it came out. I plan on being with Soulfly as long as they want me there.
MI: If you could grant three wishes for yourself what would they be?
Marc: To keep going full speed ahead with my instrumental stuff and have my own career with it and tour with it. With Soulfly it would be to keep going with them also.
MI: If you were on the G3 tour where would you like to play and how much money would you like to make?
Marc: I would like to play anywhere in America, I love playing in the states. Maybe in the House of Blues. I would ask for as much money as they’re willing to give me.
MI: How do your parents feel about your career?
Marc: They’re totally thrilled. I owe everything to them because they were so supportive when I was a kid. They would take me to guitar lessons and get me guitars for birthdays or Christmas. Everyone in my family are teachers so for me to go into Rock ‘n’ Roll was a shock to the family.
MI: Do you see your mom becoming the head of your street team for your solo record?
Marc. Yeah. She actually played on my record.
MI: What are your thoughts on the legalization of marijuana?
Marc: I don’t really smoke but I think marijuana is definitely not as lethal as some other drugs. I think people are better off just drinking rather than smoking weed.
MI: What do you think about hurricane Katrina?
Marc: It’s a horrible tragedy and hopefully they can get back on their feet soon and move back into New Orleans and start living again.
MI: What do you want people to know about you?
Marc: I just want people to check out my record. The one comment I hear from people is that they’re shocked because they didn’t know I could play like that.
MI: If you could be either Mickey Mouse or Donald Duck which would you be?
Marc: I would say Donald Duck because I do a good impression of him.
MI: Have you ever had a paranormal experience?
Marc: I haven’t had one yet but I’m looking forward to having one.
MI: What is you favorite song to play off of your new record?
Marc: Colossal Myopia which is also the name of the album. On that song I really got the style right with mixing Metal and Flamenco.
MI: Do you plan any videos?
Marc:No, but I would love to do a video. Hopefully that’s in the future. Not too many people do videos for instrumental music.
MI: Who do you think the greatest musician of all time is?
Marc: Paco De Lucia. He’s a genius.
MI: Who do you think was more important to music; Elvis, The Beetles, or Jim Morrison?
Marc: I guess The Beetles. They reinvented song writing and vocal harmonies. For their time they were one of the most experimental bands ever.
MI: Do you expect your next album to be all instrumental or are you going to add vocals?
Marc: I will have some guest vocals. It will still be more of an instrumental CD but I will have 2 or 3 songs with singers on them.
MI: What inspires your guitar playing and your writing?
Marc: All of the guys I grew up listening to. I’m a total guitar freak and I listen to guitar oriented music all day long. I listened to everything from Paco De Lucia to Zakk Wylde with Ozzy, Slayer, and Old Metallica.
MI: What’s your opinion on Bush and the war in Iraq?
Marc: I think we should definitely be at war I just don’t think Iraq was the place we should be in. We should have focused on Osama Bin Laden more and trying to get him.
MI: How did 9-11 affect you?
Marc: They affected me big time. I was home and I live about 20 minutes away from ground zero in New Jersey. It made me very angry. When it happened I was ready to quit music and join the Marines.
MI: If you could design a memorial for the victims of 9-11 what would it be?
Marc: I would make it a park with all the names of everybody that passed away. Let it be a place where people can go and mourn.
MI: What is your favorite song to play?
Marc: Right now it’s a song by Paco De Lucia.
MI: What do you love about being a musician?
Marc: Everyday is inspiring to play music. To be able to make a living off this is something a lot of people take for granted. I worked a full time day job after high school for 8 or 9 years before I got my first record deal.
MI: What would you warn any young bands or musicians about getting into the business?
Marc: Be prepared to put everything on the line. It’s tough. Whatever band you are the first 6 months to a year you don’t make any money. Have something to fall back on.
MI: What do you hate most about being a musician?
Marc: The things that people have at normal jobs like health insurance. I have it now but for a long time I had none. The paycheck once a week also. We don’t get that as musicians.
MI: What’s the worst job you’ve ever had?
Marc: When I was 15 years old I worked at an animal hospital as my first job. They paid me barely any money and it was a huge responsibility for a 15 year old kid. I had to help put animals to sleep, clean up animal crap, and things like that. I lasted about 2 months before I got out of there.
MI: What is the most fucked up dream you’ve ever had?
Marc: I don’t remember my dreams too often but they come back to me eventually.
MI: How did you feel when Dimebag got shot?
Marc: Pissed. I was pissed off. I was just as pissed off as when the Trade Center happened. It was the same kind of feeling. Dimebag was a huge influence on me because he reinvented Heavy Metal guitar playing. Everybody is doing what Dimebag invented. I wish that the guy who shot him wasn’t dead so we could torture him.
MI: Before Dime died did you ever have the chance to meet him?
Marc: No. One night, Soulfly, we did a drum jam and it was Max Cavalier to the left of me and Vinnie Paul and Dimebag came out and were jamming to the right of me. I felt like I was dreaming. That night I was packing up and hoping to meet them but I missed the chance.
MI: If you could design a memorial for Dimebag what would it be?
Marc: I would do something with his Dean guitar. Some sort of memorial, maybe in Texas, with his Dean guitar. He was known for that model guitar.
MI: Who in the world would you like the bury in wet cement?
Marc: Osama Bin Laden.
MI: If you could have lunch with any 3 people, living or dead, who would they be?
Marc: Zakk wylde. I never met him and I’m a huge fan. I would like to pick his brain on guitar playing. Jimmi Hendrix also and Dimebag Darrell. Soulfly was supposed to go on tour with Damage Plan in the US and I was so hoping to meet him and now that’s not going to happen.
MI: If you were stuck on an island and could bring one person, your favorite book, and some alcohol, what would they be?
Marc: I’d bring some cool comic books. I like the Punisher, Conan The Barbarian, and the old X-men comics. I would also bring my girlfriend with me. I would bring Tequila as well.
MI: If a movie was made of your life who would play you and what would the theme song be?
Marc: Whoever played me I would want to be taller so people don’t know how short I really am. The theme song would be Reign In Blood by Slayer.
MI: If you had a million dollars to donate to charity what charity would it be?
Marc: Right now I would want to donate it to New Orleans.
MI: Who do you think the worst band in the world is?
Marc: There’s a few out there but I’m too busy listening to the great stuff out there.
MI: Who would you say were the most influential bands?
Marc: Pantera, Slayer, and Black Sabbath.
MI: Do you cook?
Marc: Yes, I cook. I am good at Mexican and Italian food.
MI: Who is your favorite drummer?
Marc: Drums I would say Dave Lambardo. He doesn’t need any triggers and to watch him slam his kit like he does is unbelievable.
MI: If your fans could do anything for you what would you want it to be?
Marc: I would say to keep giving support. Keep coming to shows and buying records.
MI: Is your solo work going to be going on tour?
Marc: Yes. We’re looking to book a tour real soon. We’ve been talking to booking agents and we got the whole band ready. It’s going to be a trio and it’s going to be awesome. We’re holding out to maybe get on the G3 tour.
MI: What is your website?
Marc: http://www.MarcRizzo.com It’s not the best looking website but it gets the job done.
MI: Do you have a message for your fans?
Marc: I want to thank everyone for coming to all my shows and picking up the record and thank you for all the support.
MI: What is your favorite movie?
Marc: The Godfather.