Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Vic DiCara on Inside Out

"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.


Marcus said...

What a letdown this was. I wish I hadnt read it.

But to be honest, what else is to be expected from this guy. While I always have admired Vic for his musical skills and had nothing but the deepest respect for the music he created over the years, in my eyes he always seemed to be somewhat arrogant, childish and constantly riding on a high horse. I may be wrong, but thats the view I got of his person.

Seeing him taking shots at the youth crew, some of the most respected bands and people of the genre and straight edge, seems to me like the old standard "im gonna try and piss off as many people as i can by entering this forum and talk shit about everything the audience here hold dear"-scam. Its just childish and really lame.

He may be grumpy for not getting food and sleep, maybe im overreacting. But I still feel like he is the only one on this page who "comes across a bit assholish".

To this I would like to add my gratitude towards Tim and Gordo for doing this. Since this blog came into existence, its been hell of a lot easier to "wake up and live" just to see what has been posted on Double Cross today. Keep up the awesome work.

Peace Out



I like these interviews where truth destroys myth but I'm not suprised. I'm under suprised. Talk to the CHARGE guys.

Likewise... CHAIN OF STRENGTH alone has spent more time on my turntable than INSIDE OUT, BEYOND, and 108 combined. Must be my bad taste in music.

Hari bol bitches !


Mickey Nolan said...

This dude is crazy in a good way. I thought this was good.

The reason I can see some folks scrating their heads at is because this dude, I think, is in a totally different mindset than most of the folks who're gonna be stoked to read this.

One of the things I've always thought was funny about the Livewire label/board/community is how fetishistic it is. By that I mean that people are so insane about this one specific sub-set of the hardcore punk scene that it's taken to an almost illogical level.

I am waiting for the day when some breathless dude will ask some old head about the socks their wearing or perhaps even their underpants. Then we're really gonna be getting down to the nuts and bolts of things. Pun intended.

Great read, keep up the good work.

Los Jacklos said...

I wish he would have taken your questions a bit more seriously. I get that he wanted to make his feelings known about Straight Edge / Double Cross, but he didn't have to answer some of your questions so half assed.

Ben Edge said...

He talks shit on Chain and Bold. Cool. He doesn't like those bands. Right on. I don't agree with him, but so what.

THEN, he denies that his songwriting/guitar playing has any influences? Come on! He told me once that I Against I is his favorite album ever, and you can totally hear it in his music. That was a bullshit answer that he gave.

Scott Frosch said...

Well, at least he had nice things to say about Walter & Don Fury. Or did I read it wrong?

Grandnagus69 said...

Well, questions were asked and answers were given...Vic started in bands from a musical era (1989-1991) which I felt killed the hardcore scene at the time. I never considered any of his bands (present one included) "hardcore", so I can't complain of his comments, they are his...

have to agree with him on the Chain comment... :)

Dave K.

Vic said...

you guys are retarded. chill out.

1. first of all "assholish" was a word i used to describe MY ANSWERS, not your website, Tim.

2. I don't like youth crew straightedge, and I haven't since about 1989. In fact I think it sucks and makes me disgusted. Go ahead and hate me for it, since apparently you love it like it was your personal lord and savior.

Thats not to say that at times I haven't liked or supported bands associated with youth crew straightedge. Life has more than one dimension. Maybe there's something else I like about the band.

3. About my guitar playing, I was asked what my subconsious influences where and I replied that I have no idea. That I just play. I'm not busy analysing what my influences are. I'm busy playing the music that I play. Yes, Obviously I do have influences. What I am saying is that I don't think about them.

4. I didn't write the riff to Burning Fight. Zack did.


chad said...

"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."

this is why i'm still looking for a copy of the original demo, so i can hear the OG mix vs. the revelation one. someone out there has to have this...

Anonymous said...

I actually enjoyed this interview. There is a lot of very interesting reading on here, however there is just as much self-aggrandizing and historic recounts through "rose colored" glasses. I'm glad Vic didn't fall into that trap. If it hurt of the hearts of the "Youth Crew" fanboys, even better.

Anonymous said...

vic is just another faggot whos been high on himself for years... there were way better men in hardcore around his time that have since passed away that would love to take a shit on this dude.
fuck him.

Head2Wall said...

Look out someone has their own opinion! Not everyone is the same, has had the same experiences and likes the same things. Woah how about a big FUCK YOU to everyone who doesn't like mainstream pop music and popular ideas too. Grow the fuck up, at least the dude is still involved in hardcore in some ways. How many of your hardcore heroes are gone living their own lives not giving a fuck about hardcore and you most likely will all be just like them If you aren't already. How many people read/post on here for nostalgic reasons but don't go to shows anymore?

Steven said...

Little doubt, the dude is completely just.
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