Marc Rizzo is a guitarist for both Soulfly and Cavalera Conspiracy (formed by Sepultura co-founders Igor and Max Cavalera). His solo work demonstrates a wider range of styles than the metal he is best known for including classical, flamenco, and jazz. His new solo album, “Legionaire” was recorded over a two year period while touring with both bands.
Maximum Ink: Your playing style varies widely. What are some of your main influences in those various genres?
Marc Rizzo: I like any style of music that has virtuoso guitar playing. That can be jazz, flamenco, death metal… whatever. I just love the guitar and like to hear music played on the guitar in all styles. I really listen to a lot of instrumental guitar music. My favorites are Paco de Lucia, Al Dimeola, Slayer, Dimebag, Zakk Wylde, Van Halen. I could go on and on.
MI: When did you first learn to play guitar and which style was it?
MR: I started playing when I was eight and started with metal. But I think Jimmy Paige was my first guitar hero. That being said everyone knows he always played so many different styles so that really opened me up to all styles of guitar music early on.
MI: You are an amateur boxer as well as a former standout athlete in Baseball and Football. What was it like to compete in the New Jersey Golden Gloves Boxing Tournament? And what made you decided you’d rather be a musician instead?
MR: It was a lot of fun and boxing and working out is just something I love to do and is more than a hobby to me. Most musicians get really into drugs and I’ve always really been into extreme sports - no drugs. But I’m a better guitar player than at sports.
MI: Is it hard to find time to train while on the road?
MR: It’s not hard to fine time to train cause like I said most bands are partyin’ but on tour you have so much time to during the day to work out and practice so I spend most of my day doin’ that.
MI: What was it like to work on the newest solo album while at the same time touring with two bands?
MR: I love staying busy with music and spend my whole day before the show practicing and writing. Legionnaire was written while on tour with Soulfly and Cavalera conspiracy over the last two and half years.
MI: What do you like to do in your spare time other than music and athletic pursuits?
MR: I’m always working and my whole day is spent around music so I don’t have any down time ever and I don’t feel right if I’m not working everyday.
MI: What was it like to create Phlamencore Records along with your brother Luke? What led you to do that?
MR: Phlamencore records was started just because of the reason to get my solo records out there. My solo records are to weird for any label I think to want to put out. That being said I love putting out my own records and having my own team of my brother and friends to help. I like knowing that when we make a record sale, it stays in house to the people that care about these records instead of someone at a label that you don’t know and doesn’t really care about your career or the music. I think more people should put their record out themselves. iTunes is amazing cause you get rid of the middle man and fans have a direct link to the artist there buying music from! I personally like to know when I buy a record the money is going directly to my favorite musician and not some record company who had nothing to do with the making of music.
MI: Do you have a preference when it comes to working in a band or solo?
MR: I like working in both situations. I like having total freedom with my solo band but I also like collaborating with my other bands too.
MI: What do you enjoy most about being a musician?
MR: I love the fact that I can do what I love to do and put my whole day into playing guitar and improving. While making a living doing it! This is my biggest inspiration knowing that fans support this and I have an obligation to them to put out a great performance live and on record. I take that very seriously and really I’m always striving to better myself for the fans. Plus, I love hanging out with all the fans after the shows and just kick it and talk. All their support just really inspires me!! I consider all those fans my friends.
MI: What can your fan look forward to in the near future? And where can they go for the latest information on all your projects?
MR: The future is going to bring more tours and more records!! I plan on continuing doing this for ever!! I’m always on tour with one of my bands. Fans can keep updated on my myspace page and face book and www.marcrizzo.net .
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CD: Legionaire Record Label: Phlamencore Records
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