September 22 2014 – Very few things are as exciting as finding something new you love. Much like archeologists that dig to find hidden treasures, we here at T-Mak World really enjoy trying to find new bands that we love. Once we find such bands, we approach our favorites to request interviews for our Emerging Artist Spotlight series where we have featured over 100 artists so far. Today we set our focus on a band from California named VHF. All bands we talked to are asked similar questions to each other so we can get to know them better. The description on VHF’s website reads:
“Groove oriented trippy rock, built from the drums up.”
Just what we like! Here is what they had to say to us:
Hey Vinny, thanks for taking the time out to talk to us. Let’s start off with the obligatory introductions. Who’s in the band and what instrument does everyone rock?
Todd “Vinny” Vinciguerra – Drums and percussion
Joel Hoekstra – Guitars and vocals
Tony Franklin – bass
How about the history of the band, when did you get started and how did it happen?
Vinny: VHF got together on April 2013 however the seeds were planted many years ago. Joel and I were roommates in Hollywood, CA when we were at MI together, and the three of us had collaborated on a small project 10 or so years ago. When I decided to put VHF together I reached out to Tony for the bass, and hoped Joel would be available for the guitars as he is a super busy guy….At that time he was in Night Ranger, (now with Whitesnake), in addition to being on Broadway in the play Rock of Ages, and in Trans Siberian Orchestra. Tony tours with Kenny Wayne Shepherd and the Experience Hendrix group, in addition to countless recording sessions, so his calendar can be tight also. However, since all songs are written and recorded independently, scheduling really was not an issue. Everyone could write and record their parts around their other projects.
I recorded all the rough drum tracks in my home studio, arranged the songs and handed them off to Tony. Tony would send me his bass tracks in Pro Tools session files. I took his tracks, then recorded my final drum tracks in a bigger professional studio. Next, the rhythm tracks were mixed and sent off to Joel for his guitar parts. Both guys were given free reign to write and record with no real set guidelines except the basic structure of the song (ababcab, etc)….it is pretty much as creative of a band as possible.
Who are some of your musical influences?
Vinny: I grew up listening to Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Queen, The Doors, The Beatles, Black Sabbath, Rush, Kiss, AC/DC, however as far as drumming influences go, I would have to include Zigaboo Modeliste from the Meters/Neville Brothers, Buddy Rich, Gene Krupa and Tony Williams as well as all the rock and roll drumming legends , (Bonzo & Keith Moon). Also try to find Vinnie Ludovico….Masters of Reality Blue Garden CD…. super solid drumming, he is a former drum teacher/friend of mine.
So based on the above how would you describe your music to someone that has never heard it?
Vinny: Psychedelic hard rock, with driving rhythms and groove. The grooves inspired by Zeppelin and the trippiness of Pink Floyd, driving bass by Tony – the Fretless Monster, with a modern day guitar virtuoso (Joel).
Have you ever played Toronto or intend to?
Vinny: We would love to play Toronto, however sorting out everyone’s schedule is a bit of a task. But we are working on it!
What is your favorite single line of lyrics the band has written and why?
Vinny: We are a predominantly instrumental band so currently our lyrics are limited, but, “Backside of your Eyes” has the following line, “The backside of your eyes can be like tiny spies”. Nice idea of rolling your eyes back to look into your brain and see your thoughts…..
What does the rest of 2014 hold for you ideally as musicians?
Vinny: The last few months of 2014 will have Joel on the east coast winter tour with Trans Siberian Orchestra, and you can see him in Toronto Dec. 3rd! Tony will be out with both Kenny Wayne Shepherd and the Experience Hendrix tour. You can check their websites for tour dates and info. I am writing and recording with Tony Morabito (Moore) former singer from Riot (Thundersteel lineup) and guitarist Joe Floyd of Warrior. I am also tweaking my home recording studio and will be shooting videos on some of my drum grooves and lessons.
Imagine that you were asked to be the opener for any band’s world tour (both current and historical). Which band and tour would be your dream opening gig – one historical and one current.
Vinny: Pink Floyd is my dream opening gig and Rival Sons is my favorite “new” band that I would love to share the stage with.
Ya we love Rival Sons and have seen them many times! What is the future of the music industry? With the concept of the album and physical CD’s facing extinction, how will we be consuming music in 10 years? Are the economics feasible for emerging artists?
Vinny: I think the future of the music industry is wide open for a big comeback of Rock music, despite what has been reported online recently. There are too many fans and way too many musicians that love playing rock for it to go away. I think downloading and more direct interaction with bands on some levels will become the norm. I enjoy interacting with our fans and answering questions. The economics are not like what they were like 25 years ago for rock musicians. I am not into the Country scene, but there seems to be money in it…and labels are supporting these acts like rock in the 80’s. Hopefully the labels will go back to supporting rock in a big way.
Interesting! I had no idea that Country was getting support. Where can people purchase or listen to your music?
At the end of 2013 we published our picks for top 10 albums of 2013 (can check out our picks on the link). Lists like those are always a reflection of personal tastes so take a look at our pics and tell us if you were making the list what are some albums you would you have had on it?
Black Sabbath 13
Pearl Jam Lightning Bolt
Night Ranger High Road
Rival Sons Great Western Valkyrie
Jack White Lazaretto
Galactic Dolla Diva
Trombone Shorty & Orleans
Any closing remarks for our readers?
Vinny: Thanks for giving me the opportunity to introduce your readers to VHF and give a little insight to our unique song writing process. Check out our Facebook page, website and individual pages as well. Feel free to reach out to me via Facebook, or Twitter @todd_vinny and I will do my best to answer your questions!
Thanks so much to Vinny/VHF. We hope that you can see them live at some point and if they ever play Toronto we will be sure to be front and center! The band’s website is www.vhfband.com and as you would expect they are on Twitter@todd_vinny, @JoelHoekstra13, @FretlessMonster and Facebook.
In the meantime check out their video below from YouTube.