Through lineup changes, full-time jobs, and even a heart attack, unsigned, New York talent Scottish Widows have forged ahead. Now, the band tells The Aquarian how they made that possible.
Where are you all from?
Scottish Widows hail from Staten Island, NY. We have a good fan base in both New Jersey and New York.
How long have you been a band and how did you get started?
Scottish Widows started out in 2010 as a classic rock cover band playing the bars in New Jersey and Staten Island. Guitarist Carl Rizzo and drummer Mikey Vee are the original members. After going through various members, bass player Al Russo came on board. Over the course of four years and various singers we decided to go original (songs) in 2014. Vocalist Rick Cabrera filled out the final piece of the puzzle in Oct. 2016.All four members hold full-time jobs but continue to burn the midnight oil doing what they love. Each member brings over 35 years of experience to the project.
How would you describe your music to someone who has never heard you before?
Our music is best described as guitar-driven hard rock. Some say they hear a little Zeppelin, some say Bad Company, others early Aerosmith: heavy and bluesy.
What was your latest release of music and can you talk about that a bit?
Unfortunately, our EP was recorded in 2015 with our previous singer. The song, “Drive Me Crazy,” was our first single. We were so thrilled when it was picked up and broadcasted over many internet indie radio stations in Europe, some having listeners vote weekly on their favorites. We were thrilled to have been voted number one for a few weeks and for two different songs. The new stuff is presently being recorded but the process is slow because the funds are low.
What is your writing and recording process like?
Writing begins with Rizzo bringing the idea down. Through the creative process the different parts of the song come together. Sometimes it works, other times it might not. Some writing sessions get heated but it’s all because everyone has the band’s best interest at hand and strive for perfection. We have been fortunate to walk away with some really good stuff. With the addition of Rick we have taken the writing to another level. We do our recording at Shorefire Recording Studio in Long Branch, NJ. Owner/Engineer Joey DeMaio works magic.
What are current projects you are working on?
As mentioned, we are presently working on the new record. Most tracks are recorded already. We are laying the guitar and vocal tracks this month and then mixing. We are hoping for a Dec./Jan. release. Once again, the new tracks are some of our best stuff. We are extremely excited to get them done.
Is there any significance behind your band name?
Our name happened by chance. When the band first started back in 2010 we kicked around hundreds of names. Nothing worked. Out of frustration Vee said, “Scottish Widows,” as a joke. Something he saw reading a finance article about a bank in the UK. The rest was history. Scottish Widows was born.
What is your favorite memory as a band?
2014, doing direct support for Almost Queen at Starland Ballroom, playing to over 2,000 people was definitely a highlight and favorite memory. But it was the night of Rick’s first show with us I guess you can say, what started out as one of the best nights almost ended in tragedy. We were playing at Blackthorne 51 in Queens. Six songs into our set Rizzo fell ill. We cut the set short to get him home but we never made it. We detoured to a hospital in NYC. He was having a heart attack. We got him there in time, but as we stood around waiting for word on his condition we grew closer. Not just closer as a band, but closer as a family. It brought us closer together even more than we already were. We sit around and have a good laugh about it now, but it was a crazy night. Something I’m sure all four of us will never forget.
What are your goals for the future as a band?
As a band we are hoping to finish up the new record and continue playing live shows and growing our fan-base. The goal is to regularly play out and not have to worry about how many tickets we might have to eat because we are selling out the venue.
What are your plans for the rest of 2017? 2018?
Finish the record, play out and keep writing good hard rock-and-roll. We would love to do some traveling and take our show on the road, maybe some shows down south.
Where can readers find your music?
Our music is available on our website, scottishwidowsband.net.
For more information on Scottish Widows, visit scottishwidowsband.net.