Interview- SNEW: Curtis Don Vito

Words: Matt D

What’re your highlights of the year so far?
CVD – First off we recorded our fourth album. We spent three months recording, then a couple months mixing and mastering. So that took us half way through the year. The album is called “You’ve Got Some Nerve” and it comes out September 17th. Right now we are in the process of getting ready to head to the UK for a tour that brings us to the Hard Rock Hell Festival Nov. 9 with a bunch of other dates after that. This has been a busy and exciting year for us.

What are your goals for the rest of the year?
CVD – Putting the new album out and heading to the UK for the first time ever. People have been asking us to play there for years and we’re finally making it happen.

Which new bands/artists are you into right now?
CVD – Every independent hard rock and metal band on the planet. Every artist that is playing this kind of music because they love it and the only reason is because it means everything to them and they just can’t live without it. There are lots of us out there and I support them all, we’re family.

What was the band or artist that got you into music or inspired you to be a musician?
CVD – There are so many bands and artists that have inspired and taught me what music is and how to create it. Kiss, Motörhead, Judas Priest, Sabbath, MC5, Maiden, UFO, Sweet, Dio I could go on and on and on. All the bands that make me crazy and fill me with that raw electrified unrelenting energy. The ones that no matter how many times I’ve heard them I still want more. Wanting more is what inspired me to make music and write more of those kinds of songs.

How best do you write; in a jam room or a studio?
CVD – You can’t force a good idea it just hits you all of a sudden. When it does I’ll usually write it down or sing it into a recording device then I’ll call Andy and say “Dude I got this idea let’s work on it while it’s fresh”. Then he and I will work out the basic parts then get together with the rest of the band and jam it out until it sounds right. Then we take that into the recording studio and the process begins again, refining it, finding the holes that need something or changing parts that sounded great in the jam room but somehow don’t come across in the recording. So, both the jam room and the studio are essential.

What was your wildest show so far, and why?

CVD – Then the last night of our “Thunderdog” tour in 2014 we got booked to play some concert hall in North Texas, some place we never heard of but that’s not unusual. So we drive and drive and drive and we can’t find where the hell this place is. We’re looking for the address but it’s not showing up on GPS and we can’t get anybody on the phone. We’re surrounded by trees and forest. We didn’t even know Texas had forests. We get to an area where it seems like it just has to be it but again, nothing there but trees. We’re thinking we may just have to forget it and go home.

Then we see someone walking along the roadside so we ask if they have any idea where this place is. They say “yeah, follow me”. So we are driving slowly following this guy on foot and it leads to a house. We see tons of people all everywhere but we’re looking at each other, WTF? Turns out it’s a house party that this person puts on every year where he turns his garage into a makeshift club. Half the band wanted to leave feeling like someone was playing some kind of  joke on us. But Lenny and I said “No were staying. This is the perfect way to end the tour”. We ended up having a blast. Hundreds of crazy Texans, drunk off their asses, cheering, screaming, dancing. They loved us and I gotta say we loved them. So what started off as what could have been the worst gig ever turned into one of the best nights of our lives.

Where is the furthest across the globe you’ve played so far?
CVD – We’ve played all across the United States from coast to coast. We’re from Los Angeles so the furthest point so far would have to be New York. We are finally about to head overseas for the first time. We are playing the Hard Rock Hell Festival in Wales on November 9th with a bunch of other UK dates to follow that. We cannot wait!