Born Mark Lizotte, Diesel has lived his dream, playing a huge part in the Australian music industry. With a career spanning several successful records, the five-time ARIA Award winner has just released his latest album Let It Fly and PEARL had an interesting chat with him about his different aliases.   

PEARL: How does Let It Fly compare to your many other records?
DIESEL: It’s as different as any one record to the other. There are things that I tend to try, with the songs sometimes asking me to do something entirely different. For the most part, the songs tend to bind into what instrumentation I want to do; the sound is mixed along with my DNA. This one is a good combination of all the records I have done with new flavourings on top (laughs).

PEARL: What’s great about being Diesel for you right now?
DIESEL: It’s great working with people that are talented. I’ve gotten a lot out of working in the studio whether it is doing solo material or collaborating with others, and I like being a solo artist, but it is also really important for me to work with other people. Solo means that I am very much alone, so it’s great to team up with other people and get that musician camaraderie.

PEARL: Was there much of a decision behind changing from Johnny Diesel to Diesel, back in the day?
DIESEL: It really wasn’t a big deal to me. The ‘Johnny Diesel’ name originally came as a joke, named after our bass player John Dalzell. It had nothing to do with me, but because I’m in the middle of the stage I had to go along with the whole idea of being Johnny Diesel, when it was all just a joke (laughs). People then started to recognize me as Diesel, so when I went solo I just decided to continue it. It felt natural by that stage anyway.

PEARL: Why did you feel the need to put out a record under your own birth name?
DIESEL: When I put a record out as Mark Lizotte people thought it was strange. It came about cause I wanted to put my label’s mind at ease in the US by not getting mixed up with the clothing label Diesel. When people heard the song, Dig, they were thinking ‘who is Mark Lizotte? It sounds a lot like Diesel’, which is hilarious.

PEARL: What can we expect to hear on your upcoming tour?
DIESEL: It is going to be a combination of everything from the first record right up to Let it Fly. There’s gonna be thirteen records that I will be trying plug from the history. When it’s all put in the basket, it is quite a lot of fruit to pick from.

 Let It Fly is out now. Catch Diesel on the Velvet Curtain Tour with special guest Owen Campbell performing at The Geelong Performing Arts Centre on September 14, Frankston Arts Centre on September 21 and the Drum Theatre in Dandenong on September 27. For more info, visit www.dieselmusic.com

ALEX CHISHOLM

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