First, check out Agnostic Front’s new album My Life, My Way.
Then read the interview!
(EM!) Bob Ricca: Ok, lets kick off this interview like all our interviews. Can you say your name, what you play and the band you’re in?
(Agnostic Front) Vinnie Stigma: My name is Vinnie Stigma and I play guitar in Agnostic Front.
(EM!) Bob Ricca: Alright sweet. So, I’ve seen that a lot of retired hardcore bands have been coming back as of lately. I know H2O has been actively releasing albums again along with Maximum Penalty and Merauder had a new album come out not too long ago… are their any albums that have stuck out to you as “these guys never missed a beat”?
(Agnostic Front) Vinnie Stigma: Well I heard the Maximum Penalty record is really good. I heard the EP and that was really good. But I didn’t hear nothing else… I know H2O’s gonna put out a new one. I know it’ll be good, but I didn’t hear the Merauder one.
(EM!) Bob Ricca: Merauder’s new album is really awesome.
(Agnostic Front) Vinnie Stigma: But I do know what to expect from both. I know what to expect from all of them to tell the truth… but when you say older bands around me you better mean OLDER BANDS hahaha
(EM!) Bob Ricca: Hahahaha… yeah yeah yeah
(Agnostic Front) Vinnie Stigma: Like what was that band… Circle Of Shit? They’re from here.
He used to talk like the guy from River’s Edge… you know that crazy guy with the dead body. He’d talk just like that guy. Giving you guys a little history lesson while we’re at it haha
(EM!) Bob Ricca: Yeah, it’s really cool actually I’m gonna try to find their stuff. So what about some new bands that you are currently into? Any upcoming artists you’re stoked on?
(Agnostic Front) Vinnie Stigma: Well I’m really stoked on Naysayer, the band we’re playing with tonight. Everyone is also stoked on the new Trapped Under Ice… you know…
(EM!) Bob Ricca: Totally. So being in a band, is it your full time gig or do you also have another job as well?
(Agnostic Front) Vinnie Stigma: Well I’m currently in two bands and I also own New York Hardcore Tattoo with Lars Frederiksen from Rancid.
So, ya know… that keeps me really busy between the tattoo shop and the bands
(EM!) Bob Ricca: Yeah thats a lot going on… do you tattoo?
(Agnostic Front) Vinnie Stigma: No… I used to tattoo… I dunno. I can’t sit no more haha
(EM!) Bob Ricca: Ah word… you wouldn’t happen to know Damien Rodriguez who tattoos in New York would you?
(Agnostic Front) Vinnie Stigma: His name sounds real familiar. What shop is he out of?
(EM!) Bob Ricca: He’s now working at Invisible NYC out of Soho
(Agnostic Front) Vinnie Stigma: Soho? No… I’m on the Lower East Side. I’m in the BAD area hahahaha
(EM!) Dustin: Its not so bad
(Agnostic Front) Vinnie Stigma: Hahaha not anymore its getting better
(EM!) Bob Ricca: So being in a band thats played with everybody under the sun… what is a band that sticks out in your history as a musician that you were so excited to play with?
(Agnostic Front) Vinnie Stigma: Well, I’d have to say Iron Cross. Ummm we played with The Exploited, The Last Resort, The Business…
I mean I toured with all these bands too… so just to play one show with them was like eh whatever haha. We played with Minor Threat, Flag Of Democracy… we played with everybody. Oh boy, Oh boy… Flag Of Democracy we played with in Camden… another bad area. Even then… ya know.
(EM!) Dustin: Its getting a little better now.
(Agnostic Front) Vinnie Stigma: You’d go walking around Camden?
(EM!) Dustin: Well, no…
(Agnostic Front) Vinnie Stigma: Ahhh, I didn’t think so! haha
(EM!) Dustin: I made the mistake of asking for directions around Camden before and they were fucking with me trying to get me to pay them money
(Agnostic Front) Vinnie Stigma: Haha… forget about it…
(EM!) Bob Ricca: Haha, so what bands do you recall playing with that had the most energy… like you’d think shit we gotta play harder than these guys…
(Agnostic Front) Vinnie Stigma: Hmmm… I dunno. Lets see… The Mob had a lot of energy. A lot of bands back then, DRI. That speed they would play. There are different kinds of energies I guess. Urban Waste… all hardcore music has that energy.
(EM!) Bob Ricca: Thats why I love that you guys would play a smaller venue like The Barbary.
(Agnostic Front) Vinnie Stigma: Yeah, this is a nice size venue. This looks like a nice place… I like Joe Hardcore, he’s a great guy.
(EM!) Bob Ricca: Actually I was just gonna say that I love how he’ll book a band thats been around for a long time with a newer band like Trapped Under Ice so that people get to appreciate the roots of the music. Because of him I’ve been fortunate enough to see some of the bands that I was never able to see because either I was too young at the time or just didn’t know about them at all. But on top of that – him booking these older bands and putting them with newer bands not only guarantees there will be a crowd but it introduces people to these bands they may have never known about. For example when Gorilla Biscuits played This Is Hardcore a few years back… I would have never expected to ever get a chance to see them play…
(Agnostic Front) Vinnie Stigma: Right, right. I hear ya… I mean what am I 80 miles from here. We’re not THAT far away. I got a lot of Philly tattoo artists that actually have worked at my shop. Pat Crane, Hoodie…
(EM!) Bob Ricca: What about Eddie Kes?
(Agnostic Front) Vinnie Stigma: Eddie! I love Eddie… I was just about to mention his name. I hope he comes tonight. As a matter of fact I’m gonna call him as soon as we’re done.
(EM!) Bob Ricca: When I used to work at Tattooed Kingpin he rented a room in the building and he’d lend me old skate videos to watch… it was pretty awesome. He opened a shop right near us in the suburbs called Raw Power… all the guys he has there are really fucking good. Paul Marino is an awesome artist.
Alright so… what other music do you listen to that’s not punk rock or hardcore?
(Agnostic Front) Vinnie Stigma: To tell you the truth I listen to a lot of everything. I’m 56 years old… ya know what I mean? I like a lot of soft quiet jazz… I like having dinner parties with my girl. You know, all that stuff. I’m somewhat picky… even with that type of music. But, you can’t lift weights to that… you need some hardcore for that. Not that I lift weights anymore but… hahaha
(EM!) Bob Ricca: So what are three albums that you like that you might want to recommend that people check out?
(Agnostic Front) Vinnie Stigma: Well lets see… I’ll throw you a George Jones record… I’m a big George Jones fan.
Ummm, another album I’m a fan of is this compilation of 101.9 – its a soft jazz record. And I’ll throw a Monster Magnet record in there… just to get a little dirty rock music.
Three random all over the place albums… you get a country, a jazz and a dirty rock record.
(EM!) Dustin: Do you have any guilty pleasure bands? One that all your friends might bust your balls for liking?
(Agnostic Front) Vinnie Stigma: Oh yeah… I know what you’re saying… nah, nah, not really. Like I said, I listen to ALOT of George Jones. Everybody is like “Oh I like Johnny Cash”… No, I like George Jones. Johnny Cash is too commercial for me.
(EM!) Bob Ricca: Sort of like how people jock David Allan Coe?
(Agnostic Front) Vinnie Stigma: I don’t like him either… because it’s like the people who like him aren’t true country fans. Know what I mean? Its like THE HIPPIES AND THE RED NECKS… yeah I know the songs. And I like em, he’s good but if I pick only one… I gotta go with George Jones. (Later after the interview, Vinnie admitted he listens to Lady Gaga on occasion… in his words “the real singers”)
(EM!) Bob Ricca: Sort of like how people jock David Allan Coe?
(Agnostic Front) Vinnie Stigma: Its just not the real deal…
(EM!) Bob Ricca: Ok so next question, which I’m sure you’ve been asked 1,000 times. What’s your favorite city to play?
(Agnostic Front) Vinnie Stigma: Nah… don’t got one. I come here for a cheesesteak, I go to Japan for sushi, ya know…
(EM!) Bob Ricca: What about this… if you could plan a vacation with you and your family where would you go?
(Agnostic Front) Vinnie Stigma: Well I feel like I’m in Pennsylvania a lot… so…
(EM!) Dustin: No, like a vacation… a getaway somewhere
(Agnostic Front) Vinnie Stigma: Well, I went to Nags Head, North Carolina. Thats a nice place I could drive to. I like Canada too… it’s really nice. That’s hard for me because anywhere I go I’ll find the food. I’m really big into food.
(EM!) Bob Ricca: That leads me to a good question, what different cultural types of food are you into? For example, I’m huge into Mexican food.
(Agnostic Front) Vinnie Stigma: I really love Thai food and Mexican food, but I’m Italian. I really like Italian food. Philly is known for good italian food. I also cook a lot of Italian dishes so I’m eating it all the time. I also like Japanese food a lot.
(EM!) Bob Ricca: So what is a hidden gem in NYC that you would recommend to get Italian food?
(Agnostic Front) Vinnie Stigma: Angelos! Its on Mulberry Street in Little Italy… its a little expensive but… IT’S ANGELOS!!!
(EM!) Dustin: There is a little place around here that my Dad showed me called Villa Di Roma… it’s in South Philly.
(Agnostic Front) Vinnie Stigma: Sounds familiar… I think I know it.
(EM!) Dustin: It’s amazing. They make awesome pasta…
(Agnostic Front) Vinnie Stigma: A little pisan… yeah yeah that’s it… Vila Di Roma or nothin!
(EM!) Bob Ricca: We also have this one little Italian place hidden in a neighborhood in Bristol, PA called Mazzanti’s… the hoagies they make…
(Agnostic Front) Vinnie Stigma: It’s the bread right! Oh, the bread. That’s what I do… like I’ll go get some good cheese and some olives, I’ll go to a Panera and pick up some bread and make my own sandwiches. I’ll bring all the stuff to make my own sandwich thats gonna be so much better than what they have.
(EM!) Bob Ricca: The bread bowls they have there are awesome haha.
Alright, what about any other hobbies you have outside of playing in a band?
(Agnostic Front) Vinnie Stigma: I’m a really big beer guy.
(EM!) Bob Ricca: Beer guy huh?
(Agnostic Front) Vinnie Stigma: Well I stopped drinking on March 11th… it was at the Dropkick Murphy’s show. But I collect beer junk. Beer tins, beer steins… everything to do with beer I like.
(EM!) Bob Ricca: What kind of beers do you prefer? Are you an IPA drinker? A stout guy? Brown ale?
(Agnostic Front) Vinnie Stigma: I’m huge into premium German beers. More specifically I could really name any of them as my favorites, Warsteiner, Franziskaner… I can’t even get the words out… there are so many choices. Hefeweizen are my favorite.
(EM!) Bob Ricca: Are there any notable beer things in your collection you could share?
(Agnostic Front) Vinnie Stigma: I have these really old beer steins dated back to 1902. I also have lederhosen. They were very expensive. Somebody had a pair made for me and I bought the socks. Those alone were like $60 American, with the wooden shoes. What else… the hat cost me about $105.
Hahaha I put it on just the other day, I looked in the mirror for about ten minutes and then I took it off. That was it… ya know? It’s just really cool stuff to have.
Like my kilt, I have a kilt from Scotland. I went to Hecktor Russell and I bought myself a real kilt. It cost me altogether like $1800 total… with the wrap and all the buckles… all the crap to go with it.
So I’ll wear that somewhat more than the lederhosen.
(EM!) Bob Ricca: Haha thats really awesome.
So a few quick more random question, what was your first car and what are you driving now?
(Agnostic Front) Vinnie Stigma: 1969 Camaro… it was a 327. Now I drive a van haha.
(EM!) Dustin: I have something I wanted to bring up… so looking at your hat, I see you like the Steelers? What are some of your favorite sports players?
(Agnostic Front) Vinnie Stigma: Ok yeah… I’m big into the Yankees and big into the Steelers. I like Troy Polamalu on the Steelers.
and on the Yankee’s I like them all… but I gotta go with Derek Jeter
(EM!) Dustin: How come you like the Steelers when you’re from New York?!
(Agnostic Front) Vinnie Stigma: I don’t know… I think because they’re like the bad guys. They used to beat the Cowboys and they were the good guys… I hate them. And I think football should only be the Northeast… you know Giants. I’m a big Michael Vick fan, I don’t care.
If you don’t like it I’ll bite your head off haha.
(EM!) Bob Ricca: Alright I think we’ve got enough here. Thank you so much for doing this interview, I’m a huge fan of everything you’ve done as a musician.
(Agnostic Front) Vinnie Stigma: No problem, thanks guys!