Massimo Izzizzari

Italian guitar virtuoso goes solo and has just released a very solid guitar instrumental CD on Lion Music. Massimo Izzizzari found time to chat with Metal Express on the new project and how he plans to support it!

Metal Express Radio: How about introducing yourself to our readers. Tell us a little about your musical background, your musical influences, etc.

Massimo Izzizzari: When I was twelve, I began to play the classical guitar that my father (who was passionate of music and played drums for a hobby) gave me. I started studying guitar frequenting for two years in private lessons, but then I continued as self-taught. In that period I began listening to Deep Purple, Van Halen, Scorpions, reproducing all the guitar riffs. When my brother Azeglio, who was already a drummer, got me to listen to the Yngwie Malmsteen album, it was Marching Out, I was astonished! I’d never heard anything like that. I spent my time trying to reproduce his solos, but there was always too much speed! So I started to listen to all the Shrapnel albums. Then I discovered another world listening to Introspection by Greg Howe, and, after some years later, John Scofield. For me, these artists are milestones, but my musical training and practice are quite versatile. I listen to and play many styles, such as Blues, Fusion, Pop, Rock, and Jazz.

MER: You just released your first solo CD and it turns out to be a guitar instrumental. How did you decide on doing an instrumental release and how did you know that the time was right to do one now?

Massimo: I always thought to make an instrumental album, but I have for a long time been engaged in a Pop-Rock band called Misturafina. In the meantime, I collected ideas and suggestions. I have now elaborated them into an instrumental album and I tenaciously looked for contacts, finding finally the interest and dependability of Lion Music.

MER: Was there any precautions taken so as not to put out a guitar instrumental that sounded too close to something one of your influences might have done?

Massimo: I tried to make a CD that contained instrumental songs characterized by a good groove and a strong melody. These are, for me, the most important aspects. I tried to elaborate all the influences that I’ve accumulated in the years playing my music, that I like and that I enjoy.

MER: How does one sit down, write, and approach an instrumental release?

Massimo: Unstable Balance is my first work in which I wanted to care about every single detail, so I dedicated myself very much in the draft of songs and the realization of the album. I often started from a groove on which I insert a theme; other times instead around a melody. I constructed all the rest.

MER: How did you choose the oxymoron title of Unstable Balance for this release?

Massimo: I believe that life, with its little and big, positive and negative things, is a continuous search of balance. Naturally and luckily it’s unstable, otherwise what boredom there would be! All music requires that some balance exists between all the parts. In sum, I wanted to refer to the positive instability that is the presence of variety, of melting opposites, which finally can create harmony.

MER: How did you hook up with Lion Music?

Massimo: I knew [keyboardist] Mistheria who, listening to my demos, was astonished and so he worked very much for my project almost like a real manager to promote me to Lasse at Lion Music. I am very grateful to him and I will always be very much grateful to him as a friend and great musician.

MER: On drums is another Izzizzari (Azeglio) and then a guest bassist is Giuliano Izzizzari … is it safe to assume these are relatives?

Massimo: Yes, they are my two brothers. I wanted them to take part on this album, due to the love and esteem that I feel for them. Together they have a good groove!

MER: With Azeglio playing drums, Giuliano playing bass, and you on guitar, it sounds like the makings of a wonderful Izzizzari three-piece band. Has this ever come up?

Massimo: Why not? My brother Giuliano is very busy with his job, but with Azeglio, I professionally collaborate from years on the artistic and didactic field.

MER: Will there be or are there any videos to promote this release?

Massimo: I don’t know yet, but I would like that very much!

MER: Are you happy with how Unstable Balance came out? If you could do anything over again, what would you do differently?

Massimo: I’m very satisfied with Unstable Balance. In terms of the music, I believe I have exactly achieved what I wanted. I’ve taken care of all of it myself — the mixing and mastering too, and I can say I am fully satisfied by the result. Now, I can only hope that others like it 🙂

MER: Are there any plans to promote Unstable Balance by playing live? If so, who would be in your touring band?

Massimo: Yes, I’m going to promote the album with concerts and a tour together with the same band on the album.

MER: What plans are in place to distribute Unstable Balance to other countries? Do you guys see a North American distribution coming?

Massimo: I’m very happy with the promotion and distribution. The CD is in every country, thanks to Lion Music working very hard. For buying my CD, I’d like to point out the following Web sites:, or

MER: Has there been any work, plans, or ideas thrown around regarding a second solo album? Would it be another instrumental?

Massimo: Yes, of course. I have many songs, instrumental, ready to be recorded and I think I’ll do that next summer … soon I will start the new album!!

MER: Any last words for your fans?

Massimo: This is a good question! I’ve already got some fans! I hope that they appreciate my product and that my music has been a beautiful discovery for them, so I hope to spur them to know more and more about my music and me. I thank them sincerely for their remarks and compliments received on the Web and I hope they become more and more numerous.

MER: Massimo thanks for taking some time out for Metal Express Radio and your fans!

Massimo: Thank you!


  • Scott Jeslis

    Scott is one of the partners at Metal Express Radio. He handles a lot of Metal Express Radio's public relations, screening of new music and radio scheduling. On occasion, he also does reviews and interviews. He has been a proud member of the Metal Express Radio crew since 2004.

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