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A Dirty Dozen with VINNY from BELUSHI SPEED BALL – July 2021

| 13 July 2021 | Reply

We get guitarist / vocalist Vinny to discuss new music, influences, and more…

1. Tell us a little about your latest release.  What might a fan or listener not grab the first or second time they listen through?  Are there any hidden nuggets you put in the material or that only diehard fans might find?

Our latest release is a double EP (instead of double LP) the album was released on two discs because we couldn’t find Dunkaroos. However, we found Dunkaroos and have re-released the double EP as a glow in the dark vinyl LP. Also the album was released on tapestry. Listeners might not have grabbed that Daniel Neel is the best damn drummer alive. They need to listen to the entire album again to really take in the reality. Also “We are Not Thrashers, We are Hipster Posers” was a response to a mean youtube comment, but majority of the lyrics are a response to an individual in the punk scene here in Louisville who constantly fed us backhanded compliments.

2. What got you into music, and can you tell us about the moment you realized you wanted to be a musician?

Honestly, my father had this Gibson thunderbird bass, and I decided one day (I was 9) I wanted to learn how to play. Ever since then all I ever wanted to do is play in front of people.

3. Building on that, is there a specific song, album, performer, or live show that guided your musical taste?

Belushi Speed Ball is all about the live performance and the theatrics involved. Every show is different and contains several live comedy bits. We have a never ending rotation of characters and actors being a part of the show. For example, we shot 150 beanie babies out of a t-shirt cannon, threw out a bale of hay, and tore up Jonny Cutrer’s life time collection of car magazines. We focus a great deal on our theatrical skits in between songs. It’s not uncommon for King Kong to fight a giant Pikachu at one of our shows, or for Captain Planet to try to stop our pollution (he can’t by the way). Our main goal is to always have fun with the crowd. With this being stated, any musician who goes above and beyond for their performance is near and dear to our heart. This included Gwar, Ghoul, Alice Cooper, Motley Crue, and the Insane Clown Posse (say what you will but their performances are spectacular). As far as what really guided our musical taste Toxic Holocaust, Municipal Waste, Anthrax, and DRI.

4. Who would be your main five musical influences?

As previously stated, we are influenced by theatrical performers. But looking solely from a musical standpoint. Toxic Holocaust is for sure Number 1. Joel Grind even mastered our latest release. It’s not just from a musical stand point that he influenced us. Joel taught me that you can have musicians for studio purposes, and other musicians to go on tour/play live. The band is the music not necessarily the lineup; Municipal Waste, DRI, Anthrax, and Hookers (from Lexington, KY,  Adam Neal is a legend).

5. If you could call in any one collaborator to do a song with, who would it be, and why?

Well we asked two people to collaborate with us on our new album. Hopefully we can work it out! They seemed game. We really love the local Louisville scene, and try to honor the local legends. We have asked Jamison Land (former Gwar Bassist) and Chris Maggio (High on Fire, Mutoid Man) to guest on our album. We also plan to work with Evan Fowler of Mommy’s Cigarettes and Amy Yabao of DTBP.

6. How would you describe your music to someone who’d never listened to you before? What is the one comparison a reviewer or fan has made that made you cringe or you disagreed with?

Crossover Thrash at its dumbest!! We are always honored to be compared to anyone. I get told a lot that vocally I sound like Sick of it All. A lot of people compare us to Municipal Waste. Again, this doesn’t make me cringe because it’s an honor to be compared to them. However, I do disagree, they are WAAAAAY better than us. We actually wrote a new song for the next album called “We Are Ripping Off Municipal Waste.”

7. When your band is hanging out together, who cooks, who gets the drinks in, and who is first to crack out the acoustic guitars for a singalong?

Senor Diablo usually is doing the cooking or presenting us with snacks. Jazzy for sure can cook also. Kyle is our pocket shot king, and the first to pull out the acoustic guitar, but Chase Palmer will bring it out also.

8. When was the last time you were starstruck and who was it?

I try my hardest to not fan boy people. We went to Nashville in 2019 to go see Gwar and Toxic Holocaust. When in Nashville its tradition to eat at Hattie B’s which is easily the best chicken I’ve ever had. Standing in front of us in line was Robert Gray (Toxic Holocaust and ToxicDose) and Jordan Smith (Drude). Jordan’s band actually has played Louisville a few times, and apparently he was the driver for Toxic Holocaust this particular tour. We ended up all sitting together and eating, and still message on Facebook. It was really surreal how this all lined up.

9. What is the best part of being a musician? If you could no longer be a musician for whatever reason, what would be your dream job?

Playing live. I just love the fans, the crowd, and the energy. It’s really cool to have people know your music, and yell your lyrics back at you. As far as a dream job, three of the members in Belushi (myself included) are teachers. Which we absolutely love.

10. What is one question you have always wanted an interviewer to ask – and what is the answer? Conversely, what question are you tired of answering?

We’ve always wanted this question to be asked. And this is the answer! We are not sick of any questions, we are thrilled that anyone takes interest in us!

11. Looking back over your career, is there a single moment or situation you feel was a misstep or you would like to have a “do over,” even if it didn’t change your current situation?

As mentioned before we trash the venues. There have been  A LOT of, “ohhhh we went to far” moments. The bale of hay was an awful idea. Apparently there is straw and then there is Hay. Straw does not cause the allergic reaction like actual hay does. Also we threw out like 10 lbs. of candy and seltzer water at a show once. We always clean up after our sets, but that set in particular, there was no cleaning. We wouldn’t change any of these events because they are really funny to look back on. However, there is one thing we wish we never did. At headliners in Louisville, we were playing for over 500 people, and invited them all to get on stage at once. In my head, when I tell people to get on stage, its usually one or two people. But a crowd of hundreds tried to all at once, and I will NEVER do that again. Terrifying.

12. If you could magically go back in time and be a part of the recording sessions for any one record in history, which would you choose – and what does that record mean to you?

I’d love to record with DTBP, I played bass for them several times live, and it would have been cool to be on their album. Hang in There is one of my favorites of all time by any band.




Category: Interviews

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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