Legendary Guns N’ Roses keys man, Dizzy Reed has never been shy about filling out his CV with various projects to keep himself occupied whenever Gunners isn’t touring. Rock N’ Roll Ain’t Easy is Dizzy’s first solo outing, and he is marking the occasion with a one-off gig at Frankie’s Pizza in Sydney, on Sunday the 18th of February. The album, which is being released by Golden Robots Records, is full of concrete-hard chunks of beautifully dirty classic rock ‘n’ roll. We caught up with Dizzy ahead of his show to chat about the making of the record, and the message behind it, along with his views on today’s music industry, and his affinity for a classic club gig.

TEO: The title of your solo album is Rock n’ Roll Ain’t Easy, is that intended as a message to those people who think that it’s all just fun and games?
Dizzy: Just letting people know that it’s a lot of work. To keep going and to stay on top is more work than most people imagine. Ironically, a lot of us get into this because we don’t want to work [laughs]. I work now a lot more than I probably ever would have otherwise.

Has this album been brewing in your mind for a long time, or did it come together fairly quickly?
It all came about at once. But once it did, it took 10 years to get it out. Which was for a lot of reasons: financial, logistic, and mainly because I was doing other things—my main gig especially. I had some ideas in my head and some demos, and had [been] playing with some friends of mine. Del James in particular said ‘I really think you should put this out.’ So I said, ‘cool, find me a studio and we’ll do it.’ He did, and we went from there.

You’ve got great players on this album, guys from WASP and Thin Lizzy. What was the process for putting the musicians together for the record?
Going in, we decided we didn’t want to have a set band to record. We knew a lot of great players and made a list. A few of them I knew I wanted for certain songs. For example, I really wanted Frankie Banali to play on ‘Rock N’ Roll Ain’t Easy,’ and he actually wanted to play on ‘Forgotten Cases.’ I wanted some big Led Zeppelin sounding drums on those tracks and he was perfect for that.

Is the solo album a one-off project, or can we expect more in the future?
I’d like to do more—I’ve got more ideas and we’ve talked about it with Golden Robots. So, time permitting, we’ll make another one.

What do you see as being the big differences with the industry when comparing now to your early days?
I think the whole business model has shifted. We don’t really sell records anymore, which used to be the main part of it. You toured to support the record. Now you just tour to support what you’re doing, and if you have something to go along with that, you sell it. It’s flip-flopped. Things have changed and will continue to change, but luckily, nothing can replace the live performance.

Speaking of live performance, you’ve got a gig coming up at Frankie’s. Are you looking forward to the different vibe a venue like Frankie’s can provide, do you like the club gig intimacy?
I love it. That’s where we get our start, and I think it’s important to go back there when you can. I like getting that immediate reaction, and I especially like talking to the crowd [and] telling them to put their iPhones down.

Rock N’ Roll Ain’t Easy is out today and available via JB Hi-Fi, SANITY and Social Family Records.


Sunday, 18th February | Frankie’s Pizza | Sydney
Doors 4pm | Free Entry
Supported by: The Velvet Addiction, The Kids (single launch), The Desert Sea, Two Headed Dog, Junior Danger, A Basket of Mammoths

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Photos: Supplied