On tour with hardcore heavyweights, Terror, Faye caught up with James Vitalo, frontman of New York’s Backtrack, following their set at The Underworld in Camden, London. The pair got talking about all sorts, including: gambling, making ends meet in-between tours, the infamous motorcycle mosh at Sound and Fury, and find out why they hate a man by the name of Thomas Smalley…
Faye: How are you today? How did you find your set?
James: It was cool. Right around the time we were about to play at 6.30pm, there were probably around 10-people inside and it started filling out during our second song, so I was excited. I know there was a lot of people out in line and they started opening doors late, so I was definitely very happy, it was cool. We’ve been playing first every night for the most part and sometimes they’ll advertise the doors opening at 8pm, but it really starts at 7pm, so people miss us a lot of the time, but it’s part of the game I guess.
Faye: Can you tell me a little bit of history about Backtrack?
James: We’ve been a band for little less than three years, we’ve put out a demo and a 7”. We’re working on an LP right now, it’s really overdue now, we just keep getting offered cool tours. We were supposed to write during the fall, but we got offered a tour with Cruel Hand, so we did that, because they’re one of our favourite bands and the same thing with this tour, we can’t turn down a tour with Terror, but once we get home we’re going to be working on the LP. We’ve been touring on our 7” for little over a year, we figured that’s a good way to get our name out there, so when our LP comes out, they’ll check it out.
Faye: When do you think the LP will be released?
James: Probably in the summer, hopefully. We’ll try get to back to Europe in the fall or this time next year, we’ll see.
Faye: The last time you were in the UK, things didn’t really go so well, can you tell us about that?
James: The shows here definitely did better than the mainland, but the dude who brought us over, Thomas Smalley, fucked us over real bad with money and stuff, but the shows were cool, I was excited. The shows in the mainland did well in terms of us getting paid enough to pay our driver and everything, but the reaction was definitely way better in the UK for the most part. We just played too many shows, we played 15 shows in the UK, I think, and that’s too many, because the UK is like the size of New York state, it’s pretty small. But he fucked us over pretty bad, we were supposed to go to Ireland and we didn’t, so I was kind of bummed out about that, but we went there last night and it was cool. I heard he hasn’t done anything since, we stayed at his house and we made it pretty uncomfortable for him. He basically went over with us in the mainland and got to drive with us for free, and then when we got over to the UK, he said he got in a fight with his girlfriend and couldn’t go, so he stayed at home and all the shows started falling through and he wouldn’t answer his phone to communicate with us, it was pretty fucked up, but it’s in the past, we’re over it. We took a gamble – we’re a gambling band – so, we took a gamble and I’m happy with the way it turned out, we met a lot of cool people, we just lost a lot of money, but I lose a lot of money gambling, so whatever. [laughs]