Rock Eyez Webzine
Rock Eyez
Rock Eyez Webzine


 

Interview with Sal Scoca
(Lead Vocals, Guitar - Crashbox)

Sal Scoca

Interviewed by Brian Rademacher
Date: June 11th, 2006

How’s everything going today?
Its beautiful today after all that rain we had. Where you at? Jersey?

Yeah
So we’re neighbors!! I’ve been stuck in the Bronx my whole life but it could be worse. I’m a Mets fan so unfortunately, I don’t go to Yankee stadium very often!

Let’s go back to the early days of Salvatore Scoca. Were the Kinks the first band you ever saw live?
Yeah, my older brother took me to see them at the Capitol Theatre in Jersey. I was like seven. I had a vague idea of who the Kinks were but I was totally blown away when I finally saw them live. Ray Davies was an awesome front-man. That concert turned me on to guitar playing. But I didn’t take my playing seriously until I hit my early teens… I knew at that point I wanted to do something musical.

What was the first album you owned?
My older brother bought me Billy JoelThe Nylon Curtain”. I was a huge Billy Joel fan. I guess when you’re younger, you tend to like the pop oriented stuff and that’s what was all over the radio at the time. I’m still a huge fan though.

Did you get to see Billy at all?
I got to see him years later. I missed that whole period when he was really rocking!!

Tell me about the Bronx life?
I love it.  Musically, you get a lot of influences out here. As far back I can remember living on Belmont Avenue in the Bronx, you had a lot of that dance music going on(the guidos) and then you had the opposite side with hard rock/heavy metal(the metalheads). I wouldn’t change anything about growing up in the Bronx, except for a few bad decisions in my early love-life, I feel living here makes you a stronger person. You have to stick-up for yourself or be a fast runner…they used to call me “Flash”!

Did you hop over to L’Amours a lot?
No I was too young when that was happening. I wish I could of because I love a lot of the 80’s bands. I remember my brother and cousin going to see White Lion all the time. I was too young to get into those places.

What was the first band you were in?
It was called Sweet Cyanide and we did record some cool songs. We just recorded demos. That whole band started with my drummer Peter and I. We were huge Saigon Kick fans. We started that band as a Saigon Kick rip-off, lots of vocal harmonies and heavy riffs. We performed and recorded straight through high school. Sweet Cyanide put down about 20 songs on tape. I still have them somewhere. There not any good but it may be fun to listen to in the years to come.

From there did you start a new band with Pinwheel or just change the name?
We originally just changed the name. I wasn’t always a lead singer. Back then, I was a bad-ass lead guitarist. But a year or 2 later, we began to change members; I took over vocal duties just because we couldn’t find a singer!

Were there any bands between Sweet Cyanide and Pinwheel?
Yeah there was a couple. One was a punk rock band and one was a Sabbath influence band.

Was Billy Childs of Britny Fox actually a part of Pinwheel?
Billy Childs came near the last days of Pinwheel. We met Billy at Kenny’s Castaway one night after a gig.  He introduced himself, and we recognized him right away. We were huge Britny Fox fans. These are guys you idolized in your youth. I have a cool story about Billy; I went to Nassau Coliseum to see Britny, Kix, and Tesla. We had floor seats and I remember that towards the end of their set, Billy threw his pick out to the audience and I caught it. I held onto this green Billy Childs pick and years later when I met him I showed it to him. It had his signature on it and a Britny logo! He was pretty bugged out by that. I call him the rock guru. He’s a great person to ask for music biz advice or to bounce ideas off of.

Dear Blue” was released in 2001 on Indi-Arts Entertainment how was that received?
It went over well; we sold about 5000 copies which is a good accomplishment for us since the only way we could get that CD into stores was to bring it in ourselves and leave it there!!. We were gigging a lot so many of the discs were being sold at shows. We had one song off there which received a fair amount of airplay on 92.7; the song was called Dear Blue.

Your next release was “Rock Hard” in 2004. Was that a Pinwheel release?
No that was a collection of Crashbox demos. It had an earlier version of “Radio” on there. We also had a song called “Story of a Girl” which is on the new Crashbox CD totally revamped. It’s now called “Prom Queen”. That release was actually the demo’s that became part of the New Record.

How did you get a deal with Core/Koch Records?
Roger Probert was one of the managers over at Kenny’s Castaways at the time we met him. We used to play there a lot and Roger used to watch the band from the back of the room and see a room full of people rock out for 2 hours straight to originals. He loved the band from day one. He was a VP of A&R over at East/West and retired in the 90’s. Roger and his good friend Mike Pascuzzi, another music biz vet, decided to form Core Records. Crashbox was the first band they decided to sign. I guess we pulled them out of retirement.

“Radio” was on Rock Hard and now again on the new Crashbox. Did you re-record it?
Re-recorded, re-arranged, you name it, we did it! “Radio” is the first single from the new record.

What’s going to be the next single?
Maybe “Life of the Party,” that’s a cool song. It’s got a real raw vibe to it. Very garage yet still pop!

Do you have a favorite track on the new CD?
I think “Saturday” is my favorite. It’s a song that a lot of people can relate to and it’s got a very personal meaning to me.

Can you tell me anything about the recording process?
Yeah, we recorded in Yonkers at Prime-Time studios. Our Producer, Tarik Solangi, was the captain of the ship. He planned out our recording schedule and what needed to be done. Most of all brought it all together for us.

How have Carol Kaye and Mike Greenblatt help in the push for success?
They have the experience and the knowledge. Carol is great. For a new band, there is nothing more important than having experienced people around you, steering you in the right direction!

Tell me your feelings about each member of the band:
Pete Santagada
Pete has always been there; we grew up together; he’s like my brother and can do no wrong in my eyes. He’s also a sex machine. The girls love him. He does this thing with his eyes we call “the look”. It hypnotizes the chicks instantly. We’re all envious of “the look”!

Chris Petro
Chris is a cool and interesting bird. His guitar playing can sound like three guitars at once. Very creative, I can bring in a song idea and Chris will always take it and turn it into something rocking.

Vic Pena
Vic was the bass player we worked with for years; He was a great arranger and had an awesome production sense! Also, he is a great friend too.

Angelo Fariello the new bass player who joined in Sept. 2005
He is the youth. He is the un-harnessed energy of the band. He rocks pretty hard. He’s another Girl-magnet! It’s actually all he thinks about sometimes, I’m convinced. He reminds me of me. When Angelo joined, he was an instant mesh with the band. It feels like he’s been here forever!

Will you tour?
Yes, we are in talks right now. We hope that by the fall, we will be out there.

If you had a chance to tour with someone who would that be?
I love this question. If it could be a dream tour it would be with Guns N Roses. Axl is the man.

If you donated money to a cause, what would that cause be?
The Charity for wayward strippers. A charity we’ve donated to quite a bit lately!

So what are your plans for the future?
Endless possibilities, I hope this record does great. I’m looking forward to hitting the road and promoting the record…. meeting the fans, and getting back in the studio to start recording album number two. I write a lot so I’ve got a ton of songs I’m dying to try out!

Did Elvis Costello have a big influence on you?
Yeah, I picked up on Elvis later on in life. When I started singing, people would say I sounded like Elvis Costello, so I was interested in hearing him. After the first time I heard him, I was hooked; Elvis rules! He is THE greatest songwriter in music today.

My daughter Ashley asks Sal a question: Mr. Sal I am one of your youngest fans. Do you have many young fans?
Yeah we do, I have my nieces and nephews who are young fans too. I have a five-year-old nephew and two nieces, nine and twelve.

The CD cover was a back to school theme. Whose idea was that?
We always had those marble type notebooks in school and every song I ever wrote was done in those notebooks. We were looking for something cool for the cover and I had three or four of these notebooks with lyrics lying around and Pete pointed out that it would be a cool cover idea to use the notebooks. From there, it just took off.

How did you come up with the name Crashbox?
It was a group effort. There were a few names we were debating on.  I think one was, Crashgods and it just transformed into Crashbox.

Would you like to say anything in conclusion?
Yeah, I just want to thank our fans and all the people who have helped and supported us. And thanks to Rockeyez for taking the time to talk with us. You guys truly RULE!!

 

 
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