Interview with Vic Zino of Hardcore Superstar

Hardcore Superstar is a Swedish sleaze-trash band formed back in 1997, the same year they released the EP "It's only rock 'n' roll" and two years later, in 1999, the band released their first full length album "Bad Sneakers And A Pina Colada". Since then the band have released four more albums, most recently "Dreamin' in a Casket" which they won the Swedish Metal Awards for best hard rock album of the year 2007. Until last spring the band consisted of Joakim Berggren (also known as Jocke Berg) on vocals, Thomas Silver on guitar, Martin Sandvik on bass and Magnus "Adde" Andreasson on drums. But in January 2008 Silver announced that he was going to quit as the guitarist in Hardcore Superstar, and the search for a new guitars begun. On February 20th of 2008, one month after Silver's departure, the band announced they've found the new guitarist in Vic Zino from Crazy Lixx.
Hardcore Superstar works for the moment with the new album "Beg for it" which is to be released later this year. I gave Vic Zino a call to ask him about the new album, how it was to take over after Silver and the hard decision to leave Crazy Lixx.

Q1. Hi Vic! How have the recordings of the new album "Beg for it" come along?

It's been going great, we are done now and we are working on the mixing of the album, so another week or so it's going to take, and then it is completely finished. So it has really worked out fine.

Q2. What can we expect of it?

You can expect a lot of attitude and lots of joy, and also humor, and much mean things and such. All and all, it's a lot of nice things. If you take the black album (Hardcore Superstar - s/t) and Dreamin' in a casket and mix the two of them, you will get the new album, that's the way it's going to sound.

Q3. Have you been involved in the working process?

Yes, we've been working a lot together. We have been spending very much time in the rehearsal room and Adde have been coming up with many ideas, so we have been sitting and working with these, writing, brainstorming with each other, which worked good as hell.

Q4. Have you been treated like "the new guy" and felt like you have to match up to Silver? Or how has that been working?

It's been working really well, I haven't thought of it at all. The only thing I've been thinking of is to grow and learn as much as possible of the other guys since they have been in the game for such a time, and I'm pretty new at this. So that's what I've been doing. I actually haven't thought about that with Silver at all actually.

Q5. Do you feel like you have developed a lot?

Yeah, definitely. I've grown a lot, not just when it comes to playing, but also in my mind and in the studio. I've learned what I should take it easier with and what to think about, you know, a little of this and a little of that. And also, I've learned a lot about this business. How the music business really works, which is useful.

Q6. You still got your fan, how appreciated was it from the rest of the band?

Well, actually I don't have that fan anymore, it's sadly enough broken. But in the beginning they complained a bit, but as soon as it got a too hot on stage, suddenly everyone was standing on my side of the stage. But it was very practical to have a fan, it blew away the hair from the face when I play, so I don't have to get it in my mouth all the time, so that's one of the big reasons why I started having a fan from the first place.

Q7. What is the most exciting thing that's happened to you during the last year of touring?

Wow, it's so much that's happened. A lot of fun things, and I've got many great memories, and I've been able to travel a lot, and play a lot, in Australia and Japan and of course Europe. And now to the summer, we're going to play in the US. So a lot of great things happen all the time, so it's very exciting.

Q8. How did you feel about leaving Crazy Lixx?

That was so very, very hard. I would guess that was one of the absolute hardest things I've done in my entire life. I've been hanging with these guys all my life, and I've been in bands with them even before Crazy Lixx. So it was very a very tough decision to make, but I don't regret it. We're still very good friends, and they understand my decision, I really couldn't say no to such an offer. But that time wasn't fun, I had to go through a lot, and really think everything through before I made up my mind.

Q9. So you actually still have good contact with Crazy Lixx?

Yes, I really have, and also I have good contact with their new guitarist Andy (Dawson, ex-SHARP).

Q10. What is your personal goal with the music you're playing?

Good question! Well, I want to have really fun, and I've had it so far. And also writing good music and release it, and meet fans. But also I would like to inspire people to have the courage to chase after the music, because it's actually possible to succeed.

Q11. Which of your musical achievements are you most proud of?

I don't know. But I'm very proud over the 'Loud Minority' album (Crazy Lixx, released 2007) and 'Beg for it' (The new Hardcore Superstar album which will be released later this year). Also I have been fighting hard for the opportunity to develop, and to nail the stuff in the studio, and in the end that have turned out well, and I'm proud of it. But the albums mean most.

Q12. Is this what you want to do for the rest of your life?

Absolutely, there is no doubt about it. And I've known that for a long time now.

Q13. When did you start to play guitar?

I didn't start for real until 1998. I did own a guitar but I never played on it, but then a friend of mine bought an electric guitar and by that we started to play a lot, and he asked me: 'Can't you start playing some Metallica with me?' and I said 'Yeah, sure'. And then I bought my own electric guitar and then we started to play for real. That's when I meet Jylle (Joey Cirera), the drummer in Crazy Lixx, and that's when we started to play together.

Q14. In other words, you put a lot of time and effort into it?

Yes, a lot. I guess, of course it's been hard from time to time, but it's been so obvious that this is what I'm going to do. There were nothing, and that could be hard, and someone had to pay for everything, but there was never a doubt that this wasn't worth investing in. It was destined since a long time ago.

Q15. If you're allowed to dream, what does the future look like?

Hardcore Superstar will grow as a band, I'm going to grow as a guitar player and a band member, and we will grow bigger and bigger, and get more fans, and we get to sell more albums and people appreciate what we are doing, you know, just positive success and the possibility to inspire people.

Q16. And have fun maybe?

Haha, good said. But yes, of course that too.

Q17. Some quick questions:

Beer or vodka? Beer
Club or arena gig? I think I have to say arena actually, but it's nice to play on clubs as well.
Meat or fish? Meat
Guitar hero or World of Warcraft? Uh, nothing of it really, but if I have to choose I'd say guitar hero.
Hard rock or metal? Hard rock, is kind of used for all kind of hard music, so hard rock it is.
Is the glass half full or half empty? Unfortunately it's half empty.

Interviewed by Johanna Salo

Visit the Hardcore Superstar Website