Interviews

Cutting Steak: Matt Izzi (Homewrecker, Scorched)

Photo: Rick Beaulieu

Who are you?

Yo cat, my name is Matt Izzi. I’m a pawn of reality walking down the path of life, you hear and see, but until you accept life you can grow.

Where is your homebase?

I was born in New Mexico but grew up in a small lake town in Northeast Ohio called Ashtabula.

Who are you currently playing with?

Currently I’m in a band called Homewrecker and Scorched.

What originally sparked your interest in drumming?

I never wanted to play drums honestly. I joined band in 5th grade with the intentions of playing trumpet with my buddy who did the same, but unfortunately I had gotten braces and was told I couldn’t beep on that, so then placed me in percussion. I was pissed and didn’t take it seriously. When I was 9/10 my family went to a KISS concert and seeing that drum solo made me want to be a drummer. Shortly after I got a kit and it’s been a ride ever since.

Did you ever take lessons?

No, not really. My dad had shown me the AC/DC rock beat and that’s about it. I took Jazz Band for the four years of high school, and I would say that helped me with a lot of stuff I know now.

Who were some of your earliest influences?

The cat from KISS (Peter Criss), Scotty Turri, who played drums in a local punk band so long ago, Jason Bittner, Chris Adler, Joey Jordison, and Buddy Rich to name a few.

I’ve noticed that you play open-handed. Are you left-handed, or just one of those right-handed weirdos that plays differently?

First of all if you’re not weird you’re weird in my eyes. I’m left-handed, but when I started playing at age 10 my dad had set up my kit as a right-handed set up, so from then I just learned and got comfortable playing open hand.

Photo: Gabe Becerra

In all your years of touring, what drummers have you seen live that have made a lasting impression on you?

Tough question, but I find inspiration in drummers who play with heart. You can just tell watching them, that they’re up there slamming not worried about looking cool but just getting stoked on playing the drums and crushing!! I recently toured with this band from Portugal called The Ominous Circle and their drummer destroyed me. I couldn’t believe the shit I was seeing honestly. Matt from Vein is an insane and innovative drummer as well. Mitch from Cross Me/Loe End is an amazing drummer as well. There’s so many to name.

Out of all of the albums you have recorded over the years, which one are you most proud of and why?

Not in any order but I would say Worms and Dirt from Homewrecker. I’m very proud of that record because I was 18 when we recorded it, and still have people tell me how much that album helped them or how much they love it. It’s wild how it still held up over time. I was in a band called Crypt Rot that recorded a record that was short lasting, but those songs I’m very stoked on the outcome of them as well. Scorched’s Ecliptic Butchery is up there as well. I also recorded a 7” with In Cold Blood and not to say I’m proud but grateful to have been able to jam and write some songs with the Melnicks and Blaze from the band.

What involvement (if any) do you play in the songwriting process for your bands?

Like any band I would say the songs get written together, somebody has an idea and the other turns your idea into a riff. I’m all about transitions. I try to write lyrics and make up riffs on the voice memo in my phone, but it’s mainly—in my opinion—the whole band tossing ideas around and trying to flow with each other.

Tell me about your current drum kit and set up.

Lately I’ve been playing on an '80s Japanese Tama kit. 22” kick, 12” rack and 16” floor. I have a 13” rack I have set up when I just dink around but for the most part that’s it. Two crashes, China cymbal—I have set up to the left of my high hats—and an earth ride that I love forever.

Are you very particular about the drumstick brand and type you use, or do you use whatever?

Well for years I just would go through sticks so it didn’t matter, just never 5a. I would break the tops and always have to use the other side. When I started making a little money I would use Vater fatbacks but recently got a pro mark endorsement, so I’m still in the trial stages of testing out certain sticks to find one I really enjoy. I enjoy 5bs for the most part.

If you didn’t have to worry about money, what kind of drum set and cymbals would you use?

One day I would like to have a room that is basically a drum set, like padded walls in a nuthouse. I would want a room where you walk in and run around and hit shit all over haha. On the real I would really like a DW kit. I did a tour and that was back-lined and it just made me fall in love with them so much. I would have that, three rack toms(10”,12”,13”) and a 16” floor. Also, add a splash into my setup.  

Recommend to the readers some albums that you think have incredible drumming on them.

I was talking to a buddy a while back, but Immolation's Here In After has amazing drumming. It’s hard for me to listen to triggered drums so I don’t really fuck with bands that use them, even though I’m sure they’re crazy drummers (it’s not for me). I enjoy Suffering Hour's LP from a 2017 I believe [In Passing Ascension]. Suffocation's Effigy of the Forgotten and Pierced from Within. All Iron Maiden albums up until Seventh Son of a Seventh Son. Rush 2112, the list goes on. I would just suggest diving in blind and taking the chance on something you wouldn’t normally jam. I’ve been jamming Play by Moby for a month now and love it!

Tell me about something (non-music related) that you are genuinely excited about.

I usually use music as the cliche outlet to escape from the world around me, but I thrift hard and collect shirts like people collect albums. Usually I will thrift everyday...it’s a joke, but it helps me. I enjoy cooking and since weather will be getting nice I enjoy shooting hoops etc.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

The King 1970s

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Top 5 things that can "make your day"?

Water, thrift store, knowing my loved ones are doing well, DiBellas subs, and getting a notification that I sold something online.

What do you have coming up in the near future?

Homewrecker has a tour supporting Venom Inc. creeping up this month which I'm excited to start. We'lll also be doing a full US tour in the fall and ideally hitting up Europe as well. For the most part, I’m just working and grinding. We'll also eventually get Scorched on the road.

Homewrecker (Photo: Dale Nixon)

***

Venom Inc, Exmortus, Homewrecker remaining tour dates:
05/02 Quebec City, QC – L’Anti
05/03 Hartford, CT – Webster Underground
05/04 Brooklyn, NY – The Kingsland

Tagged: cutting steak, homewrecker, scorched

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