"It comes across a bit assholish" was how Vic described Double Cross. Let me first preface this interview by saying that I've known Vic since his early days of living in the Philadelphia temple and playing for Shelter. Although we've never been good friends, we've definitely seen quite a bit of each other over the past 18 years and he's never been anything but cool to me. Gordo did the interview, and while Vic came across as maybe a bit grumpy, we didn't take it too seriously and certainly didn't hold it against him. Everyone has their off days. Vic did mention that he answered our questions on an airplane, returning from South America, hungry and tired. I think that might explain some of what you are about to read. He did write the riff to Burning Fight, so I guess it all balances out. -DCXX
What was the first Inside Out show with you on guitar and what are the details?
That's easy! It was Spanky's Cafe. That's the place where this one guy ran a Persian restaurant and started doing hardcore shows and later sold the restaurant and started the Showcase Theatre. It was the first show at Spanky's. I think it was with Chain Of Strength or something. The guy spazzed out as soon as the first note hit (we played first) and people started slamming. He wanted to cancel the show. I think it was Zack who convinced him to let the show finish with everyone sitting on the floor. It was great.
I have heard that originally Zack was to "sing" on the EP with more of a DC feel...and ended up with what we hear on the recording. True? (ED. Note: Ryan Hoffman told us this only a couple months back and it was news to the both of us).
Umm, no. The DC feel was not about the vocals, it was about the subject matter and the musical sophistication. Zack and I had hated the guts of "youth crew" style music for a while by this point. DC ideas and sounds were a lot more in touch with where we were at. Of course for me there was also the New York connection.
When was the first time you heard Zack's voice? Did you instantly know he was meant to front a band upon hearing it?
First time I saw him was playing guitar in Hard Stance. I though he looked kinda wired. Skinny and stuff. Next time I saw him was when Inside Out played at a Hare Krishna organized show. I didn't think it was anything special, no. Maybe I was blind. But the first time we all got in a room and jammed together the explosions were obvious. Bands are not about single persons, they are about combinations.
Zack as a singer and bandmate...what was his off stage energy and how did that change by the end of the band?
His off stage energy? He was a good friend. A humorous guy. Passionate and felt things deeply. I don't think that really changed at all. In fact it probably hasn't changed to this day.
The EP recording is dark, metallic, and noisy - a far cry from Southern California straight edge kids. What do you recall about the Pendragon recording experience, doing your guitar tracks, etc.?
Well I don't want to disappoint your readers who, like, consider themselves vintage straight edge afficianados, but neither myself nor Zack nor Inside Out (nor even Beyond for that matter) ever made any indication whatsoever of being a part of anything "straight edge." We were and maybe are "straight edge" by our own estimation but that's about the extent of how far we ever wanted it to be a label associated with our identity. So of course it sounded different than that straight edge music. Which I didn't even like. Chain Of Strength is utter fucking crap music. What else? Bold or whatever? Please. I hate that shit. So yeah naturally I wouldn't make a record sounding like stuff I thought was fucking dumb. Pendragon...I remember we were psyched because supposedly Dag Nasty had recorded something there. I rember I had every guitar part mapped out in a notebook. I did three tracks, not two. But the brilliant idiots Don Fury and or Walter Schreifels took it upon themselves to mix one if them out from the Revelation mix. Thanks, retards. I remember the bass amp pointing into a corner with a blanket over it. I remember turning off all the lights for doing the vocal tracks. I remember Chris Bratton overdubbing one of the highhat thingies at the beginning of Burning Fight. I remember discovering how fucking awesome an echo machine could be. I remember holding the final mix on a cassette and listening to it in a car and just feeling completely transcendant about it.
Similarly, your guitar playing on the EP...what were the key influences? I have always heard Bad Brains, Sabbath, Cro-Mags, and Slayer. But what do you think was in your subconscious when the BC Rich was in your hands crafting those tunes?
Since it's "subconscious," how am I supposed to know? I mean if you're that conscious of your influences, you're probably not that wonderful of a musician. You probably lack self esteem. I always thought of what I played as my own style. I have a big ego. I can do my own thing and not need to validate every self-doubt by reference to scriptural archivers of punk and hardcore and (god forbid), straight edge. (ED. Note: What??? Umm...)
Playing with Alex versus Bratton...what did each bring to the table on drums and what do you remember about playing with each?
They are both amazing drummers. Alex brought a good east sense of songcrafting. Chris brought a lot of showmanship.
A powerful and guitar oriented four-piece, Inside Out could have sounded sonically crushing as a five-piece. Why did this never happen?
Five pieces are for retards. Haha. Unless you're doing dueling guitar leads. Seriously, 80s thrash metal left a message on the machine and wants all its extra guitar players back.
Shelter, Quicksand, and Inside Out summer 1990 tour. 12 hardcore kids all headed in different directions, on the same Hare Krishna fueled bus across the country. Please share some interesting stories, I know there are some yet undocumented.
I don't know what's been documented and what has not. 108 just got done playing South America with Alan Cage. He said something like he thought Inside Out was really good even though he had already been tired of listening to hardcore at that point. Also, our bassist Trivikrama said that he came to some of the shows. Those are undocumented. I'm sure. Also...we weren't all on the same bus.
The 1993 reunion and your knowledge of it at the time?
I was insulted and hurt that they did a reunion without me. Supposedly they called the temple I was living at and found out I was on tour was 108. Still, that's bogus. You could fucking wait. That hurt.
What Inside Out show stands out the most to you as your favorite?
Memorable... They were all memorable. I liked talking down the white powers at an SDSU show. I like the first Spanky's show. I loved playing The Anthrax and City Gardens on the tour. I loved playing in Del Mars garage. Every show was memorable.
Inside Out leaves behind 6 recorded songs, some great live and radio sets, various bootlegs, and tons of high energy photos and videos. What does it all mean to you today?
Hmmmm...it's not something I've asked myself. I guess...I don't know. That question makes it sound like the band is dead and my answer will be some kind of eulogy. But Inside Out songs and lyrics and experiences are still a living part of a living being named Vic DiCara. It all makes me who I am at this moment. It's something I am very proud of and feel lucky about.