Vic Zino - Hardcore Superstar - Interview Exclusive Print E-mail
Written by Dom Daley   
Thursday, 23 December 2010 05:00



With Hardcore Superstar headlining the second stage at this year's Hard Rock Hell festival and, in fairness to them, turning out a very impressive and brave set which had plenty of new songs in the set as well as a few old classics, I had the pleasure of a quick chat with six string shredder Vic Zino who literally landed at Manchester Airport, was driven to the venue and then almost straight to the media room for interviews yet was very happy and looking forward to the evening ahead with a mad schedule and a gig to play. It was great for good guy Vic to chat with yours truly about the new album and being the six stringer in the self-proclaimed street metallers Hardcore Superstar. 
Hi Vic, thanks for taking the time to talk to us today on what must be a pretty hectic day.


No problem, thanks for hanging around waiting and wanting to talk about the band. Phew, we made it......just ha ha ha!

You got in late today because of the weather, it must have been touch and go if you'd make the gig with the adverse conditions?


Yeah, it was close. We arrived in the airport with only a few hours to spare. There were a few problems with the conditions but we're here. It was only a few hours away.

Manchester airport, was it? Gatwick and Heathrow had cancellations the last few days and we wondered how many bands wouldn't make it.


Yeah, that's the one. It was ok though and we're here and ready so all's good.

Have you had the chance to look around the site yet? Were you aware of what type of gig this was?


No, we literally got here and had some food and then I came here to meet you, but we know nothing of what kind of a place this is, it's a gig for us and a chance to play for the fans and make new fans too. Why, is it bad like a prison camp? ha ha. 

vic5So you've not had a chance to check your chalet out yet and put some money in the electric meters then?


Uh, ha ha, no - it's not that bad, right? Not had a look around yet.


I'm saying nothing....but make sure you have some change on you otherwise it might get cold.


You're kidding me? Maybe I should take more of an interest in our schedule ha ha.

You've just released the third album since you've been with the band. How have you found the transition from Crazy Lixx to being a fully fledged member of Hardcore Superstar?


It was a really tough decision at first [to leave Crazy Lixx] because those guys were firstly my buddies and we were friends forever. So it was hard to leave but they understood my choice and they would have done the same so in that way it was easy and, besides, we're still good friends anyway which was very important for me. Hardcore Superstar is such a great band and the rest of Crazy Lixx would have taken the place as well so it was with their blessing I joined. But it could only have been to join this band I'd have left. It all happened in what seemed like a second and then it was straight off on tour.

Was it tough having to learn all the old Hardcore Superstar songs because you pretty much went straight on tour of Australia with the band after you joined?


Well, we were on tour supporting and the chance came when Silver [former HCSS guitarist] said he was going so we finished the tour then went to Gothenburg to rehearse before heading off on tour and it went great. It gave me a chance to start working with the band and knowing all the songs really well and putting my own feel into the songs, but they were, or are, great songs to play and Silver was a great guitarist anyway so I put my take on his playing which I think worked well and as a band we are all on the same wavelength and ideas for songs flow really well.

Your sound is different to Silver's - who would you say are your guitar heroes and who you used as inspiration?


Oh players like Dimebag and Slash have been a big influence but I never tried to sound like those guys. But there are so many I admire. I hope I sound like myself anyway but I put everything into playing and love creating songs and making myself a better player.



The band has an amazing reception when playing on home soil and places like Japan - is it strange then going from being so recognised to playing places where you're not a household name?


We don't approach it any differently, that's just the way it is; fans are the same wherever. I don't really think about it like that I just think we do so well because it's where we're from, it's like that for a lot of bands who do so well in their home country. It would be nice if we could get some bigger tours in other countries and build our name which is what we try to do. We don't approach it any differently though, no we just give 100% and treat shows the same.

Do you have 2011 planned out? What about breaking the States?


That would be great but, like I said, getting on tours is the aim and going to the States is hopefully on the horizon. It would be good to make some inroads there because it's the place that's given us so many great bands and so much great music. There is a lot of work to be done wherever we go; you can always do better and make the band bigger but the States would be great.

Moving onto the new album, 'Split Your Lip' -  How pleased are you, firstly, with how the album turned out and, secondly, with the feedback you've gotten so far?


Oh, we're really pleased with how it turned out. We worked really hard on the songs.

There is more diversity on this album than the previous two. Is that something you set out to achieve from the start?


I don't know really if it was like a plan but we had about 60 songs we worked on and when we got to put the album together the songs that made it seemed to fit really well.

That's a lot of songs, were they all recorded? That's a lot of songs to get down to an album format.


vic4Ha ha yeah, I have a recorder I carry around and when I get an idea I like hum the tune or whatever which some people think is a little strange but I get a lot of ideas from that. I constantly have ideas and I don't want to miss any ideas I might get.

Do you get to have a lot of input into the writing process?


Oh yes sure, it works really well. When we get to rehearsals we bounce ideas around. Because we live in different towns we can bounce ideas around without being together which is great, then when we got to the studio it was fantastic. We really worked hard on the songs that made 'Split Your Lip'.

Will you use much of the other material, do you think?


Maybe, who knows? But we weren't pushed for time or rushed into the recording so it was a really good album to work on and Tobias [Lindell - producer] was fantastic to work with.

You're on a really big label with Nuclear Blast, was there much pressure from them to get the album out or did they just let you get on with it?


The label is really supportive and it's great being on such a good label. I wouldn't have any complaints, we get good tours and support from the label and it's probably the biggest metal label there is and they know what they're doing.

There is a bigger variety of songs on 'Split Your Lip' and you use a variety of guitarhcss176 sounds like the voice box. The album also ends with a piano ballad rather than a more up tempo song - a bit different, would you agree?


Yeah, I agree. I'm really happy with how the album turned out and we get to play quite a few new songs in the set at the minute which is great. Songs like 'Sadistic Girls' are going down really well and it's fun to do new songs for the band.

Will you be putting songs from 'Bad Sneakers And A Piña Colada' in the set these days?


Oh yes, we always put in songs from way back like 'Liberation' and songs from all the albums make it into the set. The band has a lot of music to choose from now, so we can play a lot of songs on tour and not need to just have the same set of songs.

The new album has had some great press - does it fill you with confidence that the band can move to the next level in 2011?


Sure. It's always nice to hear that people like the album but you can't let it affect you. It's also had some so-so reviews as well which is ok. Not everybody will like it but it's been pretty good so far and it's nice to know that you think it's varied and you enjoy it. Thanks.

To end the album with what is a piano ballad is also quite brave - will the next album be so brave and diverse, maybe some breakbeats and rap?


Who knows but maybe not breakdancing or rap, ha ha!! Never say never but I'd doubt it.



Vic was due onstage shortly and I thought he needed time to acclimatize himself with the delights of being in a holiday camp and all that came with such an experience. It was then that I let him go to check out his chalet and take in the sights of where 'Holiday On The Buses' was filmed....even if he didn't have the first clue of what the hell I was talking about. But it was great to speak to Vic who later went on to turn out one of the best sets and performances of the whole weekend. The band sounded on fine form and the new songs sounded pretty decent. The confidence of the band at the moment was obvious, playing four of the opening five songs from the 'Split Your Lip' album they had the enthusiastic audience eating out of the palm of their collective hand.