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Hope everything is ok with you and thanks for taking your time and answering my questions on Intice which just released a CD with archive material. Check out my review of the Intice release here (Intice – The Legacy Album Review) including some history on the band from
1. Your former band Intice just got a full CD of 1980’s and early 1990’s material released by Demon Doll Records. How does it feel to see that the songs you created and played on so long ago are now being repackaged and reissued?
It’s definitely a great feeling to see all those songs we did from ’85-90 still living on to this day. We were all just a bunch of young guys going after our rock n roll dreams writing our own songs and doing whatever it took to try to “make it” in the music business. All those songs we wrote back then were all just a soundtrack to the lifestyle we were all living. There were so many people that were into the same thing all over, I’m sure that’s why so many people still dig that music from back then from many bands. It’s real cool to have a label like Demon Doll release it too because they’re really fans of the music they release and on Demon Doll we’re amongst some great bands from back in the day that I was a fan of too.
2. Can you tell us a little about why and when you decided to become a guitar player? What inspired you to pick up the guitar in the first place?
I was always playing my parents albums like Elvis and all the cool 50’s rock n roll stuff as a little kid. I had a little acoustic guitar but as a young teenager it was Kiss that made me want to rock and roll all night, and at 12 years old I got my first electric guitar and I haven’t stopped yet!
3. What was your first band that you joined? Were you in any bands prior to Intice?
My first band in High School was called Tyrant and I was in a few other garage bands that kicked ass but Intice was the first all original band I was ever in.
4. Can you tell us a little about how Intice came to be in 1985?
I met Patrick St. Michael and he played me some great songs that he wrote and I knew from the first song just from hearing his voice and his guitar playing that he was a force to be reckoned with plus he also had the same do or die attitude I had too. After starting with bass player Rob Wilkerson and drummer Bobby Dee we brought in Jimmy Slevin on drums and Michael Allen on bass. Then about a year before we recorded the “Taste The Night” album Vinnie Granese took over on bass.
5. The original line-up had Rob Wilkerson on bass guitar. Did you ever record anything with him? (He is not credited on any of the songs on The Legacy).
Yes we did record with Rob and we recorded the songs at Morrisound Studios too so they initially sounded great but unfortunately, there were issues with the master tapes either lost or the tape was bad. There were some cool songs we did with Rob & Bobby and Rob did initially play on a couple of those songs on “The Legacy” but when we brought in Michael Allen he recut the bass tracks.
6. Did you record anything besides the 19 songs that make up The Legacy?
Yes but the masters were either lost or the tapes were too deteriorated to use on the new release, I think we had 5 or 6 more songs that we also recorded early on. Hopefully, some copies of those will pop up soon, maybe I should check e-bay! Lol!
7. Which bands/musicians were the major influences on the music of Intice?
We all had a lot of influences growing up but I think getting together it was a mix of early Motley, Kiss, & Van Halen influence then around 1987 Guns N Roses too.
8. Do you have a memory you could share with us from the many shows you played with Intice? Something unexpected that happened or something else that stuck over the years…
HaHa! Like many bands from back then, there are way too many unbelievable memories to even remember, but the best thing I look back on is that we were very lucky to be a part of a special time in music. Call it what the want now but the 80’s rock/metal scene was a way of life for many people back then and I so glad I was a part of it, lots of great memories and performances!
9. Reading the songwriting credits it seems to me most of the songs were written either by lead vocalist Patrick St. Michael or by you. What was the songwriting process like in the band? Did you write together or separately?
Patrick was the main songwriter but he was always open to letting us other guys put our mojo and stuff into his songs. He’s the one that I really learned how to write songs from and he was always open to collaborate or even help me with my songs. We all benefited from each others strengths and Patrick brought a lot to the table with his songwriting.
10. In 1989 Intice recorded and released the album Taste the Night which sells for big bucks nowadays. Do you know how many copies were pressed?
Yeah, it does go for a pretty penny on the internet and really we didn’t press that many of them so yeah I guess it is a collector item for those to may want it, which is cool by us. We released it on our own independent label at the time and we were trying to get it picked up by a major label for distribution so we really only pressed around 3 or 4,000 units but they were all right away pick up by two Florida distributors that supplied our CD’s and cassettes to Peaches, Camalot Music, Specs Music and stores like that in our popular areas of Florida that we performed in.
11. What can you remember from the recording process of Taste the Night? Was the recording smooth? How long did it take to wrap up the recording from start to finish?
Well from the very beginning we recorded at Morrisound Studios in Tampa, Florida in the “A” room which was very expensive for us so we learned early on to do all our pre-production before we got there, so by the time we recorded the “Taste The Night” album we were very fast and proficient and all about capturing the vibe in two to three takes. I think all in all from start to finish it took us about 8 to 10 days.
12. Were you ever approached by any record label during your run with Intice? Did you come close to scoring a major label deal?
Yes, we showcased for many labels back then plus we had our manager Warren Wyatt shopping our demos around and had some major label interest for Intice but by the time 1990 came around the industry changed and the labels were done with 80’s rock/metal.
13. In 1990 the band unfortunately split and the members all went their separate ways. What were the forces behind this drastic decision?
Well by 1990 between the changing trends and lack of record company interest all bands from the 80’s were done. Like many musicians from back then it was a big learning experience and an eye opener like “What the F$%k do we do now?” LOL!
14. A few years later you reunited with Vinnie Granese in Roxx Gang. What’s Vinnie doing today? Are you still in touch with each other?
Yes, I still keep in touch with my brother Vinnie! Soon after I joined Roxx Gang we needed a new bass player so I suggested Vinnie and it all worked out great. It was another great accomplishment for me joining Roxx Gang and shortly after Kevin Steele came up with the idea for us to do The Mojo Gurus so between Roxx Gang and The Mojo Gurus I did nine years with that and got to record a handful of cool albums too. One of the Mojo Gurus albums titled “Shakin’ In The Barn” was distributed by Universal Records and we also got to work with legendary producer Jack Douglas on that one too which was very very cool in itself. Going back to Vinnie, he’s still in The Mojo Gurus and I think they just recorded a new album so he’s still in the game too.
15. Recently two songs were included in the soundtrack for the movie Vicious Thunder, What’s the story behind that? How come they picked two Intice songs for the soundtrack?
That’s a great story, my cousin Josh and his buddies from film school up north were working on their first independent film, an action/thriller set in the ’80’s called “Vicious Thunder” so Josh called me up and asked if they could use some Intice music in the movie and on the soundtrack release so I said “Sure Cuz use whatever you want!” Literally, two days later with no connection and out of the blue Shane Martin, an A&R Rep from Demon Doll Records sent me a message saying that they wanted to re-release our Intice music. That’s how all this new Intice love came to be and I can’t say enough what a great feeling we all have that this music we made so long ago still live on.
16. Do you know what Patrick and Jimmy Slevin are doing these days? Are they still in the music business?
Patrick lives in Auburn, Alabama and owns a sandwich/coffee shop up there and still plays some from time to time when he can, plus he did release some solo stuff too since Intice. Jimmy Slevin has a pool business in Tampa and was in various bands since Intice and also still plays around town from time to time. Michael Allen also joined me again in 2003 in a band I put together called The Dive Bar Stalker and we had a great seven-year run and released two albums and we had a lot of good success with that too.
We figured we’d just knock the dust off these old songs and see how it goes. Demon Doll Records seems to really like it so we’ll see what happens anything is possible and I’m always up for anything, I would love to do a reunion gig with my old rock and roll brothers. Like I said before we’re all stoked about this new release and we really appreciate Demon Doll Records for making it happen for us.
18. I have one final question and that is what you’re current plans are? I know you have your rockabilly band Jeff Vitolo & The Quarter Mile Rebels….
Yeah with what I’ve been doing for the last four years with my band now is going back to the roots of rock and roll with originals music and some covers too. I have Mike Murphy on drums and Kenny Donahue on upright bass and it’s a mix of Rockabilly, Psychobilly, Rock N Roll, Blues and Punk Rock with a high energy approach sang and played by a guy that started off in 80’s rock/metal bands. LOL! It’s very fun we do that whole retro vibe thing sometime performing with Burlesque Troupes and Pin-Up Models doing cool classic car shows, bike events and all kinds of other events and festivals. We did around 100 shows last year all over Florida and we’re off to another great start this year too. I’m still releasing new music that is available all over, my website is www.jeffvitolo.com and has links to all our social media and music link stuff too. Thanks so much to everybody that has supported me and my music that I was able to create and play over the years with a lot of cool people that I still have a lot of love for and great memories with. And last but not least all of us Intice guys are very excited that our music we made so long ago still lives on today someway.
Thanks a lot for taking your time to answer my questions and good luck in your future ventures in the music business whatever they may be!
It was my honor, thanks so much Mikael I really appreciate you doing this interview with me! Keep up the great work you do too Brother, and thanks to everybody at Decibel Geek too! Keep on rockin’ everybody!