If you are unfamiliar with Igor and the Red Elvises, they are a Southern California-based group that plays a blend of rock, surf, rockabilly, and disco so stimulating that it could make a paraplegic boogie. I saw them open for the Reverend Horton Heat earlier this year. When I heard the group is returning to Charlotte in November, I put out my cigar and hula-hooped for joy. When I heard that aside from seeing them on November 3rd at the Double Door Inn, front man Igor Yuzov was going to let me interview him, I belly danced while frying up a half pound of bacon. Here’s how it went:
Thanks for taking the time to talk to me. I heard you were having some medical problems, are you doing okay?
Yeah, I’m getting better now. I’m ready to rock.
That’s great to hear. Okay, I gotta ask you, why is the Cosmonaut Petrov from Barnaul? Do a lot of cosmonauts come from there?
Because Barnaula rhymes with “be-bop-alulah”! A friend of mine, he’s from that city. He said, “A band’s playing a cover of your song, do you want to go there?” So I went. A lot of people had never heard of Barnaul. We couldn’t find anything better. It rhymes.
Well you definitely taught me about the place. It works. How do you choose your animal print? Do you find some animals are more comfortable than others?
I just like different animal prints and I have like forty different outfits, so I have probably the whole animal zoo collection. I go to Thailand a lot and there are very good tailors there so every time I go, I get a new one.
I’m going to have to do that. I hope you don’t mind.
They’re in style now.
You’re a trendsetter!
What’s your favorite thing to do while you’re on the road?
Actually I really love playing music. I really enjoy getting on the stage and when the crowd is into it and you got this exchange of energy and lights.
What’s the first thing you do when you get home from being on tour?
Go to the beach.
I actually just moved to Santa Monica. I go to Venice or Santa Monica. I’m a beach bum.
What was the first album that you added to your personal music library?
It was the Bee Gees before they became Bee Gees. It was actually my brother’s album that he had, but that’s something I remember the most from my childhood. Probably Grand Funk Railroad was one I got.
What was your most recent addition to your personal music library?
I don’t really buy CDs anymore. I listen mostly to public radio stations and I listen to Sirius XM. I don’t really like to listen to the same thing over and over. To me it’s like, hey, I listened to it once, I’m ready to move on. I’m kind of curious to see what other people are doing. Right now there’s so much music on the internet.
Definitely. It’s amazing how the internet has changed how we listen to music.
It’s amazing how the internet has changed our lives!
Yes. What was your first live music experience? Where did you go and who did you see?
My brother’s band and after that I started hanging out with them. I saw them before when they were practicing at home, but when I saw them live I was like, ‘I want to do that too!’ They were like ten years older than me but I was trying to find any excuse just to carry their equipment just to be around them. I was six or seven years old, and I wanted to be around them.
If you could perform with any musician or artist, who would it be?
Brian Setzer. I’m still very excited about his music and his guitar playing.
I can see you two together. In fact, I’m picturing it right now.
What artist do you wish more people had in their music library?
I think music is such a private thing, so I think people have to choose it for themselves. You know, people’s tastes are so different and I would be surprised if people listened to what I listen to. I think it’s a very subjective thing, so I wouldn’t recommend something to someone.
Finally, what is the best way to eat bacon?
I think on a burger. People started giving us bacon stuff. They gave us bacon candies and bacon chocolate and it’s interesting, but I think it is best on a burger.
I think so, too. Meat on sweet is not as good as meat on meat.
That’s all my questions, thanks again for taking the time to answer them. Спасибо!
If you haven’t added Igor and the Red Elvises to your music library yet, they have twelve studio albums, all fantastic. Join me in November when they return to Charlotte, you won’t want to miss the show!