I only bought this yesterday so Im just getting used to it (the tape recorder)
Frank Vicario isnt it?
Yes, Do you wanna move over a little bit? (Referring to the spot next to the street light)
(Me) Uh sure thatd be cool
I notice people are milling about outside the back entrance hurriedly moving the merch from the trailer into the venue
Must be quite hectic have you had your sound check?
We actually didnt even sound check its quite hectic weve just got all plugged inn and everything
(Me) Thats quite crazy
Would you like to talk about the tour? Snapcase are a band that have broken grounds I think in every area of hardcore as one of the most furious and passionate punk bands Ive ever known and a lot of people would agree with that, how would you describe a live show?
Frank- Um I dont know every single one is different its just basically getting up there its a complete release and um being so into what your doing and just losing yourself and uh just kinda letting the music I dont know its kind of difficult to explain. Unless your actually (on stage doing it?) well its not one of those things thats easy to put into words, I mean when I get up there its just basically play the songs and go nuts
I saw you guys um and Ive only seen you once I must admit which is unfortunate because I would obviously like to see you a lot more and I missed the tour last year, was it last year?
Frank- last year we were supposed to come over and do some dates with the Mad Caddies. I dont know if we were supposed to come to the UK or not but we were in the middle of writing the new album and we decided like I think it was a month or so that we were going to come over to Europe that we cancelled the tour. Just because we needed to concentrate on working on the album and that sort of thing.
Before that we were over in November of 2000 with Avail
I think that was the dates I must have missed, I saw you at deconstruction though I think I had seen quite a few hardcore bands up to that point 25 ta Life, Shutdown that was the first thing that opened my eyes in the sense of seeing a live performance and from that going off to shows.
Ten years ago did you ever think hey tens year from now Im still going to be doing this?
Was it is it hard to envisage what you are going to do in a year let alone a decade?
Frank- exactly ten years ago I wasnt even in the band. I didnt join until 1995 Id never have thought we would be playing shows in Europe and being able
to still do music, I mean it is what I would wanna do. I still love doing it so if I had a choice I would still be doing it but with us its like its basically we dont plan that far ahead. We just basically (it just happens?) yea just happens
Do you guys organise your own tours or do you have any
We have some people help us Destiny are responsible for the booking of the shows like over here but we kinda decided when and where we wanna tour we work with them we also have a booking agent in the states that kind of does all the phone calls for example.
How have the last 7 years changed your life & how did you come to join Snapcase?
I had always been friends with those guys Buffalos not a very big place / city and then they
(Me being the fool) is it on the outskirts of New York?
No its actually the west end of New York its almost in Canada an hour south of Toronto just right by the Great Lakes its actually about seven or eight hours away from New York City (oh right)
(Whilst stating the blindingly obvious) I completely dont know my geography!
Its the opposite end of the state! No we get that a lot actually a lot of people that dont realise (cause I always thought that Buffalo was quite near?) no I mean we had all kind of grown up going to shows and hardcore shows together metal shows and what not. I was friends with those guys and they started the band before Snapcase with Daryl and his cousin Scott and a couple of other guys called Solid State they did that for a few years and changed the name. I was in a band before Snapcase from Buffalo that was called Fade Away, We had played shows together with all our friends and stuff and after we broke up I roadied for Snapcase (really?) yea for a while Scott left to go to graduate school. They werent sure they were going to continue on as a band and then eventually they were like this is what we wanna do and weve got to continue doing this and they just asked me they knew that I played guitar and I was just like cool!
When you head out on tour what sort of things cant leave is there like one thing for example you cannot leave home without?
(Apart from your instruments)
Frank- One thing I cant leave home without? Probably like some sort of music headphones CD player anything any sort of use to shut myself off to other people for a while
Its a complete lack of privacy on the tour but, isnt it?
Its more or less to drown every one out and I also dont go very many places without my laptop computer
Do you have access to the Internet on your computer at all?
Frank- Over here I have not as much but when Im over in the states Im usually online once or twice a day I do all the emails and website for the band
You do the website?
Frank- the current version I didnt design we had a little help from the guy who designed the layout for the new album, hes kind of a friend of ours for the last ten / twelve years um he did that stuff but before that I did most of the designing
Out of interest did you design the Progression for Unlearning cover because it is quite a dynamic cover?
Frank- I actually didnt have anything to do with that either I was actually out playing guitar for another band. But worked on Designs (for Automation) layout-I didnt really do too much with the design but I took all the artwork and all the text and everything and put the whole thing together at the end. Sent the finals off to Victory. I design mostly the merchandise / shirts.
Do you bring someone along to run the merchandise tables?
Frank- Actually Daryls wife comes out with us and she like works (was that who I point to the female helping to unload boxes from the trailer) yea and she sells the merch. She actually also works the lights for us and shes like a really big help to us. I answer all the email & do all that sort of thing so Im always like trying to keep in contact
Are any of you guys married apart from Daryl?
Daryls married our tour manager like sound engineer is married and he like has a kid um our other guitar player John will be married very shortly and thats pretty much it. Most of us every one except the drummer are involved in a serious relationship.
Tim Redmond the drummer?
Frank- um no not any more (there have been quite a few changes havent there? Line up wise I think the new album sleeve doesnt give the current line-up) Actually the new drummer is Ben he has been working with us for the past two years. Tim has been working on his PhD in Political Science. He also does a lot of teaching and hes doing graduate work and completing his dissertation.
What happened is he substitute teaches and works on courses working for his PhD for the past couple of years so whenever he was teaching and couldnt come out on tour our friend Ben who had teched for Sick Of It All in the past would come up fill in and play drums for us.
Have you always had people around do that fill in parts?
He wouldnt (Ben) do the entire touring he would do it when it was like a spring or fall semester and Tim was teaching. We would then take Ben with us off and on for two years and then Ben oh not Ben, Tim
Im trying hard to keep the drummers straight Tim got offered a really good job teaching high school history in a really good school district in Buffalo. He has one more chapter left on his dissertation for his PhD and was planning on arguing that early next year (thats really cool/positive). So Hell be Dr Redmond and teaching history in a high school in Buffalo and thats what he loves to do he told us that he wouldnt be able to do both 100% and so took the teaching job and having Ben will let us continue as a band who called up and said hey and thats where we stand right now
What was the original goal of the not say the lyrics but the music through it do you hope to empower people?
Frank Its great just to get people to take control of their own lives (self-control?). Basically not even subscribing to any sort of belief system or anything but to the point where whatever that it is you hope for & believe in & doing it because that is what you believe in and not because its what other people are telling you to be into. Remaining true to yourself is basically the message behind everything that we do is dont do something because we do it do it because you want to.
What have been your favourite moments in the band?
Frank- favourite moments?
Yea like one or two that stick out, a favourite tour for example?
Frank- one of my favourite moments that really sticks in my memory is the day that we packed everything up and went home from recording this last album, because it was like a year of like extremely hard work almost excruciatingly painful work at times. (Did you tour at all in that time?) We took a year off from touring anywhere and worked like worked diligently on this new record. We put so much of ourselves into it, two months in the studio writing, making and producing. Once it was like thats it its done it was monumental and then the day we got the master CD when it was finished completely mastered and we had like an actual pre mastered CD and were able to sit and listen to it. (Are you proud of the outcome?) Extremely (its moved completely the opposite way its still the Snapcase sound but its it is a concept album isnt it?) yea we spent a lot of time and hard hours working on the tracks and kind of reinvented ourselves to still remain true to like what we have been doing but also to do something new without becoming stagnant.
How do the UK crowds compare to the ones back home that you have experienced?
Frank-honestly crowds are really similar everywhere.
Are the people similar as well? & Are there any real huge culture changes when you go from one country ton the next?
Theres not for the most part, theres I mean the people are different and like um the actual personal attitudes
everybodys a little different wherever you go but as far as like the crowd collectively and the reactions and stuff like that they are pretty similar.
Are there many language barriers at all?
Frank- in some places, but honestly people are pretty much the same everybody is there to have a good time and see the band and hear some music. They may look and talk different but deep down everybodys pretty much the same.
What is your working relationship with Tony Brummel and Victory Records and what makes them / it a good relationship? because the band have been on Victory your entire career pretty much apart from the Boy Sets Fire Split on Equal Visions Records
Weve always been friends with Steve Reddy and Equal Visions it was just we were at a point (hes been there from the start Steve Reddy
Totally even though he isnt on the label were on; he has totally helped us out. Equal Visions screens all of our T-shirts in the states (really) and hes actually handling our new web-store and its like we were at a point where we figured things out with Victory and had the opportunity to do something with him and we went for it at the time we had been doing a lot of touring with Boy Sets Fire.
Well with Victory I dont really deal with Tony all that much on a business level, (is there any member of the band that does deal with him on business aspects?)
Frank- Daryl pretty much handles most of like dealing with Victory and the label and stuff like that the business but hes a great guy and has gone out on a limb countless times to help out us. Like all of his bands there are some people that like to talk some smack every now and again but for the most part he really cares about what he does. Some people have had some brushes with him and problems but as far as what we have dealt with hes been steller.
What he has done
the labels like Steve Reddy/Equal Visions, Tony / Victory & Asian Man (Mike Park) Edward (Goodlife) for example all the punk labels (I know there are many more) its just a complete insurgence at the moment I think where you have the labels, the independents is the best it has ever been in the past punk has been available, but there are more opportunities arising for bands its made it a lot easier
Random Tour Pass guy with around twenty passes strolls over, me and Lisa (my girlfriend) watch jealously at the access all area passes draped around him swaying almost poetically in the wind
Oh Im sorry youre doing an interview
No mate Im just standing here like a twat with a pile of questions in one hand and a tape recorder in the other whilst holding your guitarist for the past half hour in conversation about the arbitrary state of whatever did I really speak my mind no because a) his job of handing tour passes out means he is on part of this European leg with one of the coolest bands in the world and b) I wish I was him.
Frank- do you wanna pause that?
(Muffled pause and a brief second later the tape roars back into conversation)
Is that your tour manager Whats his name
Yea Andy Tinsley he actually used to uh he used to tour manage in with a band called Endpoint and then again with uh Elliot hes from (sounded like wolaboo) Kentucky
Did you guys have a hand in choosing who would be your tour support?
Time in Malta I got to meet them recently because a really good friend of mine from Buffalo who moved out to San Francisco got a job working with them tour managing them and selling merch and stuff like that and they came through Buffalo and shes like oh you got to meet the band come out to the show I had heard there music and had always like them. It was really good when Steve sent us a copy last week - I just got it last week a second Engine we were like whoa this is awesome Id head from (incoherent) oh thats cool they came to Buffalo and I went up to see them we basically were looking for support for our American tour and we were like hey they came out with us in the states & we decided to bring them over here.
Was there any particular record or album or band, which really did change your perspectives of music?
There are so many different ways various bands have influenced me I had always been like I mean I can remember the first time being eight years old and watching the Woodstock movie with my dad and watching the footage of the Who at Dawn and watching them completely destroy everything.
Musically and then physically at the end of their set when the just wrecked there stuff and just being like that (mouth agasp with shock) and thinking that was the coolest thing ever! And getting lots of perspective
Would you say the rebellion aspect of it that kind of
It was just kind of the sheer
YEA! Obnoxious any other thing adjective you can think of to describe that I remember that and like seeing Pete Townsend play guitar and swing it around his head, thats not really an album but I remember being particularly thinking that would be really cool to do. The Who have always remained like one of my favourite bands of all time. But I think one band and one album that probably would have was a big turning point was for me actually not really one album the Minor Threat Out Of Step was defiantly one I can remember the first time I heard that
You guys are all straightedge / band?
Um were all straightedge people but were not really singing about it or really promote it its, that was a big influence on me and was always like at that point it was like Did you ever drink (alcohol) or anything?
Not really I mean I was a recreational 14 year old it was like Hey Lets have a sip of beer (Best deep American accent) were really punk but it was like that record and always being into it mid to late eighties & being in high school the cool thing to do on Friday night was just to head out and like party and get shit faced and all that stuff. Going back to that album and going hey you know this (drinking) isnt really rebelling and being like kind of everybodys doing this and it was at that point where I was like everybodys striving to be different (form an identity) and going to punk shows and stuff like that was typical to see like everybody just snotty punks getting drunk.
It was like trying to rebel and getting further and further away and then getting into the whole straightedge thing and I think um even before that.
I was into Minor Threat and like Youth Of Today and all that other stuff and straightedge bands of that era.
Before that I can remember like basically listening to metal and even punk stuff and being into punk and hearing Bad Religions Suffer that record and just reading the lyrics and realising hey you can actually play music and theres music out there that can actually say something than like (prime example this week I was telling someone at work that I listen to punk and they were like hey the Sex Pistols and they did the sort of air guitar thing thats soo clique and its like you go out everywhere and get drunk and its actually (adamant tone in my voice) NO I DONT
I like to go to shows The Exploted GBH and all that stuff theres a place for that (the bin possibly?) and its like even back then listening to Metallica and Slayer and stuff its like theres a place for Slayer but then being so young I was exposed to a lot of music and stuff I had that particular record and was like wow that was really awesome!
Powerful like heavy sounds like metal its punk and its heavy and its punk but hes actually saying something he has a message it actually seems poignant so its like.
Was it the fact that they were actually sort of trying to promote a message rather than just saying
Frank- not even, you had you know the metal bands singing about either like death or sex which ever end of the spectrum your considering then you had the punk bands singing about being insubordinate and that sort of thing and obnoxious. All of a sudden Im hearing heavy music thats not actually necessarily just saying anything thats meaning something but something thats sounding intelligent was I think a big thing for me just lots of big words I was always a nerd at heart, the kid that played D & D (Took a while but then thinking back to my own high school days I played games similar to Dungeons and Dragons, although I was the sort of misunderstood geeky skater alteno metal/punk kid
Whats the Buffalo scene like at the moment?
Frank At the moment?
Are there any up-and-coming bands?
Actually yea theres this band on Ferret um Every Time I Die that are defiantly worth checking pout there from Buffalo (right) theres this other band called The Control that have an album that came out recently or soon on Go Kart, those two bands are defiantly like I can see like making a big impact and being there, showing off and having people actually hearing about them.
The shows and the scene is kind of divided right now theres a lot of
(Positively / negativity/ sort of arena shows
In Buffalo right now theres the group of kids that will only go and see basement bands going to play in basements and then theres venues that a whole different group of kids come out to and theres a lot of kids who kind of cross over between the two but like the basement kids wont go to the other shows because its actually in a venue and not DIY
(Its probably the same thing here actually)
And that happens with every scene its like you get the kids who are like OH Im Not Going To That Show or club cause the bouncers are like assholes
Ive had disputes like that but then Ive weighed up the fact that I dont go there to admire to floor tilling or whatever in the venue or whos doing security I go there to support bands and friends who put them on
Frank- Exactly and a lot of times its like we go to a lot of cities we dont really know like the hip things about certain clubs or whatever like that we just know like "hey theres a club then were playing a club and then when were talking to people outside and there like oh you shouldnt of played this club and you should really play this club and its kind of like well were not from here we dont know this stuff and the bands not necessarily us but all of the bands can go up and why do you play that club and (why you on that label) exactly we just try not to worry about it
I think the most sort of obvious point is Drive Thru Records & the MCA Shares buyout (Stephanie and Richard somethings label brother and sister have finch, New Found Glory & Rx Bandits amongst others)
Frank that seems to be the trend at the moment major labels arent looking for bands there looking to try and buy the independent labels because there doing all the hard work for them and they dont realise its the same thing in all aspects of business you know like Nike shoes arent cool and hip anymore there are underground clothing manufacturers that are so they go out and buy the clothing manufacturer and keep the Nike logo off all of they brand naming. Its like you know you see someone walking around with a Hurley top on but they dont really realise its a Nike shirt because its hip. Hurley is actually owned by Nike yes it is (So glad Blink 182 put me off there shitty clothing line) they also own this skate shoe company called Saviour are owned by Nike (oh right I didnt know that I have learnt something new) and see its the same thing with labels its like they have stuff going down with Victory recently where um MCA was like buying a 25% controlling interest in the label it didnt go through but its like that seems to be what is happening like labels are seeing drive thru records & MCA is a little more
Obvious about owning drive thru but its like; major labels are looking around for smaller labels and buying into them and basically this way they can be the same way
Its funny you say about Hurley because Blink 182 are like the biggest hey look at us we are sponsored by hurley and you saying about kids not buying things because of that like I wouldnt because they wear it go out and buy it in fact I try to at least wear band related gear and try to choose from companies who have a reputable service who actually pay a minimum at least wage to their staff
Ive always worn DC shoes son if Adidas bought the company I would still buy dc shoes cause there the most comfortable things in the world I have preferences but as long as I hold my own and have a style thats me I dont care
Frank-I have a Hurley belt
I dont understand why any band / label should get backlash
Frank-exactly (methinks Im progressively turning Frank into Mr Burns)
I think some peoples opinions are wrong and or misguided but then who are we to judge this is the way you should dress / listen to
Frank Exactly (twiddles thumbs in evil manner with a crouched back only kidding) and thats why like we dont do something or not dont not do something cause Im saying to do it or not to do it
I dont want you to get to cold (nearly ¾ hr has passed)
Do you want me to wrap this up?
Frank Umm I dont want your tape to be long winded and (its soo not at all) Are there any sort of last things you want to say or points you want to get across?
Frank- no um not really Thankyou, Thanks ah um Im horrible at this at closing statements
Its not really something you prepare for it? Its like ask me some questions and then its not one of those things you spend time thinking about but can you conclude um havent I just told you everything?
Frank- Yea Exactly two words Thank You
Well Thank You Frank It really has been an honour. I headed to the Cardiff show the next day also my fondness for the Rise was growing and it was nice to chat to Daryl (whom was conducting an interview with someone else when I approached Frank) & Ben the drummer, it had been an amazing week for me I was planning on going to the Brighton show on the Friday but as fate would have it mid week I was to ill to leave bed (all the screaming for Time in Maltas set thanks Todd for handing me the mike so frequently though?)