Cycle of Pain
An interview with Singer/Guitarist Gregg LoCascio
by Tina Hall
Cycle of Pain
Cycle of Pain was formed by John “Jd” DeServio of Black Label Society. Along with members Gregg LoCascio and Joe Taylor the band has been working together since DeServio was 15, a very impressive record these days. The band has a heavy sound that is pure rock at it’s finest. The single “Do My Work High” from the self titled debut, featuring Zakk Wylde(Black Label Society) and Sen Dog(Cypress Hill) took the award for Best Pot Song at High Times Magazine in 2010. I was honored to sit down with Gregg to find out more about one of the best upcoming acts in the business.
Maximum Ink:Since there isn’t much about you out there, can you tell us a little about your background? Where are you from and what makes you tick?
Gregg LoCascio: Well I’m born and raised in Old Bridge, New Jersey. Started playing drums at 4 1/2 years old up til the present day, started singing in about 1990-1991. I love most kinds of music, mostly classic rock and metal! Love Jazz! All kinds of shit! Sports, Baseball, football and Major hockey fan! What makes me tick? Good friends and family and I’ve been busting ass as a plumber pretty much all my life.
MI:Do you remember when you first met Jd? What was he like back then?
GL: The first time with John was on the phone, someone I jammed with knew two dudes, a guitar player and bass player (JD) that needed a drummer so he gave em my number. John called me and we were into all the same shit so they headed over and I believe the 1st tune we played was Wrathchid ( from Iron Maiden) then Mr. Crowley (Ozzy) and it was awesome! We just became brothers
off the bat! He (John) was just a rambunctious little dude who blew me away the way he played! Little Steve we called him (Steve Harris) we were big Maiden Heads! He’s still the same just more cultured in music and life as we all are.
MI:He has said he was 15 when the band formed. Are all of you roughly the same age? Do you ever miss those early days?What where they like if you don’t mind my asking?
GL: Yeah we were 14 then when Joe joined we were 15. All the same age give or take a few months. Sure I miss them, they were awesome! Just carefree partying and jammin. We always had a lot of friends around, there was always a party somewhere, and we’d play at one here and there. Awesome!
MI: Any amusing stories from back then you might not mind sharing?
GL: Oh Jeez! Ha Ha Ha that’s a long time ago! I remember we took a break from jammin one day, got stoned and went down to the local pizza joint where we laughed our asses off at John shoving a wide slice of pizza in his mouth and we got kicked out for that! We were 15 then. I’m sure there’s more but my brain is shot ( laughs).
MI:Do you find it is easier to work with people you have known for so long? Is it comforting to have such familiar faces by your side on stage?
GL: I guess easier cause we know each other so well and yes its great having your brothers with ya! I’ve worked with strangers as well and its always been good, but to be with these guys is amazing!
MI: Who were some of your influences early on?
GL: My earliest influences when I was 4, my dads 8 track stuff like Beatles, Stones, Cream & CCr, ETC. But my biggest when I turned 8 years old I heard Sabbath and Kiss and that was it! And there was lets see, Yes, Tull, Zepp, 80’s hit and it was Maiden and Priest, Old Scorp’s, and UFO and the list goes on. All the underground metal like Angelwith, Holocaust, Saxon, shit I don’t have enough paper! Well you get the idea.
MI: Do you remember when you first realized you wanted to be a musician? What was that like?
GL: Hell I was young, think I was in my own world! I guess Kiss really did it for me. I knew I wanted to play but Kiss etched it in stone for me! Oh yeah I played in a fife and drum corp when I was 8 years old. Thought I’d throw that in.
MI: Did you ever want to be anything else? What do you think you’d be doing right now if not for the music?
GL: No! Never wanted to do anything other than play music. Well I’m doin it, I’m a plumber. I work 2 jobs and have a 4 year old son with my wife so I’m still waiting for that big break.
MI: Who do you consider to be some of the greatest musicians of our time?
GL:Wow! Thats a great question, that has a lot of answers and these barely break the ice. Rhandy Roads! Beatles, Jimmy Page, Hendrix, and the bands they played with, Sabbath, Priest, Maiden. Then of course bands like Steeley Dan, Doobie Brothers etc. Buddy Rich greatest drummer! Love him. Rich Monica (laughs) he played on some C.O.P. tunes. Amazing drummer, the original
C.O.P. drummer, and of course I’ll add JD and Joe Taylor to that list.
MI:What do you think about Do My Work High winning Best Pot Song over at HighTimes?
GL: I think thats the most amazing thing that has happened to me musically so far. I’m very proud of that tune. Thanks to Zack and Sen Dog for their parts! Awesome! Love High Times.
MI: What do you love most about touring? How do you pass the time on the road?
GL: Haven’t done much of it but I love going on tour so far, best thing I love is sleeping! Big crowds are nice too! I pretty much just smoke my herb and chill in hotels watchin TV or playin my guitar if I’m not sleeping or eating.
MI: How do you prepare for a show?
GL: Just drink some tea and honey, maybe a vocal exercise, maybe. I should but I rarely do. Smoke up and try not to talk too much I guess.
MI: Any little known things about you that fans might be surprised to learn?
GL: Umm? I love hockey! Been playin it for about 15 years or so. JD does as well, Love it! I’m a Devils fan and Johns a Rangers fan and other little things I’ll just keep to my self(laughs).
MI:What’s the latest with Cycle of Pain? I know fans are itching for the follow up release. Any idea when that might be?
GL: Can’t really say when it will be out but as if we got about 6 or 7 songs ready to go and a boat load on deck so as long as John is home to work on them. We’ll know on a date for release. Hopefully before 2013! We’ll see.
MI: Anything you’d like to say in closing?
GL: Just thanks to everyone who’s been supporting us since day one and to all the new and soon to be Painiacs! And thank you for the interest in doing this with me.Thanks! Rock & Roll 24/7.
Cycle of Pain
CD: Cycle of Pain Record Label: Reform
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