Photo by LibraSnake Photography for Rebellion Festivals 2016
Interview by Christopher Kubick
CK: Hello Phil.
The first time I met you was at The Continental. It was 1990 or 1991. You were in a band called New Rose,mutual friends of ours introduced me to you; Seamus and Frankie to be exact. You have been in band,s before that, and after that- When was it that you realized in life looking back that music was your love. That a song or album touched your life?
Phil: Wow, you go back a ways. Thanks for the interest and support! First time I realized? That would have to be around '78 or '79 when I was about 13 or 14. I snuck out of the house and came home from seeing The Plasmatics at CBGB. My father was waiting for me when I got home and I got my ass beat. As I sat there crying, I thought to myself that it was worth it and I'd do it again. And did! I had seen The Clash and a few other bands before that, but that was the night I realized. So it wasn't a song or an album, there were quite a few of those. It was a beating.
CK: So what is The Blame up to right now... can we expect a new release anytime soon or in the near future?
Phil: The Blame has always had drummer issues. We're in the process, again, of working in someone new. And yes, can't wait to put out a new release. Hopefully soon!
CK: Do you think Trump is going to get reelected?
Phil: Don't care. It's deeper than the puppet they dangle before us.
CK: Where is your favorite local joint to get a slice of pizza?
Phil: Not really a pizza guy, believe it or not. Being Sicilian and born in NYC it may be hard to believe. It's bread and sauce. Some make it better than others. It is all about the sauce to me though.
CK: The Blame has been overseas before- in the plural sense. Where have you had the most fun and where would you consider never ever going back- because that shit was wack... is there any place that you haven't played yet that you would specifically be enthusiastic about playing if you had the opportunity?
Phil: We haven't been to enough places yet, but,I'd have to say Ireland has been the most fun. The UK, coming in second. Fortunately, we haven't had any noteworthy bad experiences. I'd love to play Japan for the experience. But, anywhere there are like minded people that get the gist of where we're coming from. When you play to a room full of people that get what you're saying and enjoy what you're playing, the country and place in general is irrelevant.
CK: If Alfred E. Neuman was on the ballot in the next presidential election would you consider voting for him?
Phil: What me worry? Sure, why not!
CK: What's the last two vinyl albums that you listened to?
Phil: Sadly, I haven't had a turntable in some time, so couldn't say.
CK: In New York currently, do you hear politics in the music from the bands? Is the political mentality in the scene any different, or similar, from when you first fell in love with punk rock?
Phil: I think it's very different. A lot of bands are yelling and screaming, but yet have no substance. And the ones that do, get categorized. The Anarcho Punk bands, say a lot, but again, have one sided agendas in my opinion. Overseas bands are a different story. Which is why I feel more comfortable with our music there.
CK: Do prefer to eat pie or cake- or does ice cream take the cake so to speak over all of them?
Phil: Cake! All the way. Yellow cake with chocalate icing. Or German chocalate cake.
CK: How did all the guys in Rapid Deployment Force first meet?
Phil: I auditioned for them when I heard my friend Matty, the singer was involved. Don't think they were established just yet. So we got it rolling. I showed up late for the audition and Paul the guitarist, who is with me now in The Blame decided to have them give me a shot. He would know better.
CK: Hands down if you had to live with only one strain of the sacred reefer for the rest of your life... which one fill would you pick?
Phil: Sativa! Hands down. No question. I'm always on the move, so it helps me get shit done!
CK: Do you have any favorite comic books or cartoons?
Phil: Cry For Dawn was the last comic that was a favorite and that I collected. Cartoons? Yeah, the old Bugs Bunny ones and black and whites as well as the typical Family Guy and South Park.
CK: If you had any advice to give to a Young musician right now what would it be?
Phil: Don't believe the hype. If you have an actual gift, don't waste it, stick with it. Just put a 110 percent into whatever you do and learn from your disappointments. Don't nurture them.
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