Interview With Jordan Ziff
(Ratt, Marty Friedman)
Shannon Wilk - What are your earliest memories of rock music in your life?
Jordan Ziff - “I would have to say Elton John because my parents listened to a lot of his music among other things. He was actually the first concert I went to when I was around 5 or 6 years old. I also listened to a lot of the Beatles and Queen, that is like all my favorite stuff.”
Shannon - You wrote your first album when you were just 14 years old. What do you feel you learned most from doing that so young?
Jordan Ziff - “When you’re that young you think you’re better than you actually are. I think it was a great learning experience because we recorded that in a studio analog tape-style and there is a lot more pressure. We recorded all the rhythm and the drums live. It was a cool experience. Now I feel comfortable doing that but back then it was definitely really uncomfortable. Of course I’m not very happy with how my playing was on it but at the time I was pretty happy with it.”
Shannon - How did you get the gig with Ratt?
Jordan Ziff - “LIke how everything else is, you meet people over the years and when you play shows and through networking. You meet people who know people and then when a gig opportunity comes up, a friend of a friend says they know a guy who would fit well. It kind of came about like that.”
Shannon - Is there a new Ratt album in the works?
Jordan Ziff - “Yeah, right now we are just focused on individual songs, not a record per se. That will come when we have the time and feel all the songs are right. We don’t want to put out a record for the sake of putting out a record, we want it to be right. I’m new to playing with these guys so we are getting to feel out the dynamic of writing together. It’s a process. We are working to a point where it is totally natural.”
Shannon - How do you feel about being in a Geico commercial?
Jordan Ziff - “Well I thought it was really funny when we were asked to do that. It was fun. It was a long day, it was 9 hours of work for a thirty second commercial. That’s always how it goes. But it was cool, we re-recorded ‘Round and Round’ for the commercial and I did all the guitars on it.”
Shannon - What is your favorite part of playing with Marty Friedman?
Jordan Ziff - “Let me go back a little bit. When I first started playing guitar, it was right around the time when Santana’s record ‘Supernatural’ came out. That’s what really pushed me to play guitar. All I listened to back then was mostly pop-punk stuff like Blink-182 and Sum 41 and Green Day and I did like Backstreet Boys. Those were the bands that were huge when I first started playing guitar so I played a lot of punk rock stuff. It was good for learning how to play guitar because it’s not too hard to play but you want to play it perfectly. When you’re 6 or 7 years old and your favorite guitar player is Eddie Van Halen, it’s gonna be pretty hard to play anything like he does within even the first 5 years of playing. It’s a far shot. When I first started playing, I didn’t really care about guitar players. except Santana and a couple others, I cared about songs and jamming. That was so fun to me. Fast-forward to when I was around 13, that’s when I discovered that people played fast on guitar. Marty Friedman was one of the first people I discovered who played like that so he became one of my favorite guitar players and now I play in a band with him. My point is it’s really awesome to play in a band with him. With Ratt, I’m filling the shoes of a guitarist I loved growing up in high school. And with Marty, I get to play in a band with one of my favorite guitar players. I mean it really doesn’t get much cooler than that.”
Shannon - And you are also working on solo music, correct?
Jordan Ziff - “Yes, I am using this quarantine time to do so along with other goofy things. Everyone is bummed out because we all want to go play. Being in a studio is my second favorite thing to do but being onstage is really my favorite thing to do so I miss that. I miss going out with my friends but it’s all good. I’ve been able to be productive so it’s been fine for me.”
Shannon - How do you think this situation is going to affect the music industry?
Jordan Ziff - “It’s really anyone’s guess. I don’t know exactly when we are gonna start our tour, I mean I know it’s not gonna be cancelled but I couldn’t tell you when it’s gonna start back up. I couldn’t tell you if there are going to be government regulations put up on how big shows can be. I really don’t know. I have to be optimistic about it and hope that we can go back to everything fairly soon but I don’t want to have a guess.”