Interview With Vic Zino
Shannon Wilk - What made you want to play guitar?
Vic Zino - “Basically, one of my friends wanted to be James Hetfield (of Metallica) and he needed Kirk Hammett. He asked me and I said, sure, not a problem. But there was a problem: I couldn’t play and I had no electric guitar. I did have a piece of shit acoustic that was untunable, so I went to the store and got my first cheap electric guitar and started practicing.”
Shannon - How did you get the gig with Hardcore Superstar?
Vic Zino - “It was back in January 2008 when my former band Crazy Lixx got asked to support HCSS in their U.K. run. It was 7 days, 7 gigs, and it was an exciting time for me because it was our first tour and everything was new. It was like everyone was dreaming. On the last day of the tour, just outside of London, we were sitting on the bus and I was practicing guitar and all of the sudden Jocke (Berg) called me to come and join them. I was worried because I didn’t know what was going on, but I didn’t think about it that much, I just went down and sat with the band. Thomas (Silver) looked at me and said straight away, “I’m quitting the band, are you interested in filling in the spot until they find a permanent member?” I was very shocked that he decided to quit, actually, because I thought the band was really on its way up. Of course I was interested so I said yes. It has just worked out really well between us. While touring in Australia and Japan, they had asked me to become a permanent member. After that we were headed to Finland and on the boat ride over, I accepted their offer.”
Shannon - What is the writing process like for Hardcore Superstar?
Vic Zino - “Well, it is a very creative process. Basically Adde comes up with the core ideas for the songs, a chorus or a verse, and then sends it to us and we discuss what direction it should go and if it fits the rest of the album. The process is very rewarding. There are no boundaries, everything is up for discussion. We turn into kids everytime we start writing a new album because it's so exciting and I think that’s our strength. We still have the spark needed to make it.”
Shannon - What songs do you feel really define the HCSS sound?
Vic Zino - “It’s easiest to choose from the latest album, “You Can’t Kill My Rock N Roll”. The song I would choose would be “Electric Rider” because I think it has every component that a really cool Hardcore Superstar song has: cool lyrics, hard riffs that are real catchy, and a larger than life chorus. I think that defines us, but you also have “My Good Reputation” that’s a rock n roll, noble shit, kind of thing but also has gang vocals. Then, of course, there is “We Don’t Celebrate Sundays” which also has all those components. Hard riff, cool lyrics, and the biggest chorus in the world, it’s not harder than that. It’s all about being creative.”
Shannon - You’ve cited Randy Rhoads as your biggest musical influence. What is your favorite song he played on?
Vic Zino - “I love both of the first two Ozzy albums, but I would have to pick “Mr Crowley” because both solos on that song are just absolutely fantastic. The way he does it is he records one solo and pans it left then records the exact same solo and pans it to the right. Doing the same solo on both sides is fantastic. It’s something I tried to do on “Electric Rider”, if you listen to the song, the left and right is the same solo played twice, just panned.”
Shannon - You recently played on the Monsters Of Rock Cruise. How was that?
Vic Zino - “It was absolutely fantastic. I really enjoyed the gigs, very much. But for me that cruise was all about experiences: walking around, seeing loads of my favorite bands, talking to people, relaxing, all the kind words from fans, and the people who haven’t seen us before. It was all just breathtaking. I hope we come back next year, or the year after, as long as it doesn’t take four years for us to come back again.”
Shannon - What is one philosophy you live by?
Vic Zino - “I have a tattoo on my arm that says ‘do or die’ and I was very young when I got it, but it still means a lot to me. It doesn’t have to be about music, it can apply to whatever you want, as long as you do it whole-heartedly and believe in it. It doesn’t even matter if you fail or not, as long as you do it all the way and as good as you possibly can, you can’t go wrong. Everyday I remind myself about that and that is how I push myself.”
Shannon - What is your favorite horror movie?
Vic Zino - “I’m not that into horror movies, actually. If I had to choose one, it would be one from when I was kid back in the 80’s. I guess I’m more into other kinds of movies.”
Shannon - Outside of music, what else do you enjoy doing?
Vic Zino - “I love making short, tour diary videos of us traveling and I post them on my Youtube channel that has like 5 subscribers. It’s still a lot of fun though, so if you’re interested in going and checking them out, it’s cool.”
Shannon - What is coming up for you in the future?
Vic Zino - “We are currently finishing the upcoming Hardcore Superstar album. I guess it’s about 90% written, so we’re trying to figure out the last 10% to push us and make it even better. I’m writing the solos as we speak, trying to challenge myself creatively. Then when the album gets released we will conquer the world. Everytime we release an album, we plan to conquer the world.”
Shannon - Any last words for your fans?
Vic Zino - “Thank you everyone for the support and dedication you guys have shown, we are working harder than ever to make better albums and be a better live band. Tell a friend, as well, because there are a lot of people out there who haven’t seen us or heard of us, so spread the word! We will see you all soon!”