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Interview with Scozzy Valentine


Interviewed by Brian Rademacher
Date: February 2008

Brian Rademacher: Hey Scozz, and welcome to

You were originally in the band BACKSEAT SUPERSTARS; can you tell us anything about that band?

Scozzy Valentine: Actually, ASPHALT is derived from that. A couple years ago we changed the name to ASPHALT VALENTINE because we wanted a fresh new name, because of marketing, and people could not pronounce the name a la BACKSEAT SUPERSTARS and it got annoying. We would roll into a club and the marquee would have our name spelled wrong and it just got frustrating. I wrote a song called “Dirty Little Secret” and there’s a line in there: " your ASPHALT VALENTINE," just a quickie little thing that flowed and I sent it to our singer Joe; he said that would be a great name for the band. It kinda stuck.

Brian Rademacher: What kind of music did you listen to?

Scozzy Valentine: Actually, my mom was a huge Elvis fan, so that was always playing. She always liked the ROLLING STONES, Donovan, DEREK AND THE DOMINO’S... our record player was always going. It was my stepfather who got me into rock n roll; he gave me BLACK SABBATH on cassette and after that I explored rock n roll. When I was younger I used to cut grass and paper route and the first record albums I bought were QUEENNight at the Opera” and “Day at the Races” the same day, and I was off to the races after that. I love old hard rock, late seventies stuff. I love AEROSMITH; AC/DC is my favorite band of all time.

Brian Rademacher: Did you start with drums first?

Scozzy Valentine: In third grade my mother made me take piano lessons in school. I really don’t know why because we really weren’t financially well off and I knew we could never get a piano. After that my younger brother played guitar and I messed around on that. I have been playing drums now for thirty years.

Brian Rademacher: Have you tried singing?

Scozzy Valentine: Yeah, in the shower, but I have been in bands that I sang background vocals. In the late nineties I was in a southern rock young country band and sang lead, doing some Joe Diffy and stuff like that. I primarily like to smash things but if needed I can jump in there and help out with backups.

Brian Rademacher: Tell me what you were like as a young kid?

Scozzy Valentine: I was pretty normal; go outside, get dirty, throw rocks at my brothers. I always loved music. What really got me wanting to start in music was the 1976 Paul Lynne Halloween special [that] KISS was on. I remember sitting on the couch and KISS were playing and my mother came in the room and asked me, "What are you watching?" I told her they were so cool! I wanted to grow my hair out; she turned and said they were wearing wigs! (laughing) That night I was hooked on rock and roll.

My mom was always supportive and she bought my first drum kit as a 16th birthday present; (laughing) a crap Ludwig three piece mixed matched kit, but it was enough to get me going. I loved that kit, because I knew the sacrifices my mom and dad had to make to buy it for me. God only knows how long they had to save to buy it. We always practiced in the basement at our house in Tonawanda, New York. All the kids would come over and hang out and my mom was fine with that. When the neighbors complained she would say, "At least I know where my kids are." She supported me all this time and she still does.

Brian Rademacher: What is your mother the most proud of you for?

Scozzy Valentine: Regardless of all the hardship of wanting to be a musician, I always stuck to my guns to keep trying to do what I love to do and I think she respects that. She says she’s proud of me and it means a lot to me that my mom supports me.

Brian Rademacher: Did you have anything on your walls at home when you were a kid?

Scozzy Valentine: You mean other then the Farrah Fawcett poster on my wall? (Laughs) The main poster I had on my wall came out of Circus magazine and was of David Lee Roth, but my favorite was Peter Criss who I always loved and would clip pictures of making a collage, and some of other bands I liked. I couldn’t wait for the next issue of Circus or Creem magazine to paste another picture on my wall.

Brian Rademacher: Have you ever met Peter Criss?

Scozzy Valentine: No, never met him. I would love to meet Peter Criss one day; maybe that will happen. That would be awesome.

Brian Rademacher: You were mentioning about your wife on your MySpace site and the Friends of Scozz Foundation. Can you tell us about that?

Scozzy Valentine: Yeah! It was set up by some friends of ours to offset the medical cost. My wife has arterial sclerosis, which is premature hardening of the arteries. She’s been in a lot of pain over the last ten years. It is something that doesn’t happen usually with people at that young of an age; it usually happens to people over sixty. Some of the musicians and promoters in the area do benefit shows to help us and it’s humbling. I have always been a person who would donate when I can. If I pull up to a red light and a homeless person is there, I will pull out what change I have and give it to them. The band itself has been involved with the Cruefest charity and over the years played different areas of the country for Cruefest. This year we will be playing the Crüefest here in Atlanta coming up in April. Crüefest raises money for MÖTLEY CRÜE’S Vince Neil who has a charity called the Skyler Neil Foundation.

Brian Rademacher: When is the album coming out?

Scozzy Valentine: We were shooting towards Valentine's Day but it looks to be later in the month of February, possibly the 1st week of March. Seems we are always battling the delay demons.

Brian Rademacher: I see you're playing dates in PA; will you be playing NY and NJ?

Scozzy Valentine: I submitted those states to our booking people. I have not been home in a long time and we are looking forward to getting up there, possibly in May so keep a lookout for us!

Brian Rademacher: How does it feel getting quotes from Jizzy Pearl (RATT/ LOVE HATE) and Tracii Guns (L.A. GUNS) that was posted on your MySpace, saying you’re the next big thing?

Scozzy Valentine: That is really cool. You always want impress your peers. Tracii is totally a cool guy and we had a great time playing with him. It means a lot. We recently played in Tennessee and Eric Brittingham (CINDERELLA / NAKED BEGGARS) and his wife Inga (NAKED BEGGARS) came out and he took me aside and said, "I love you guys, you rock." That was something awesome and we hung out for awhile before the show and afterwards.

Brian Rademacher: How many tracks are going to be on the album?

Scozzy Valentine: There will be eleven tracks and possibly one bonus track that will be a download. I think eleven is enough to get you satisfied. We wanted to keep it less than fifty minutes.

Brian Rademacher: Do you have a personal favorite on the album?

Scozzy Valentine: “It’s Not Me Baby, It's You”. It’s like AEROSMITH meets AC/DC. It has an old school rock n roll feel with big guitars that will put the cock back in rock

Brian Rademacher: Your shows, how have they gone over?

Scozzy Valentine: Really good so far, no one has thrown any bottles at us. We put on a high energy show and that’s what we built our reputation on. We go about forty-five minutes. We just added a new guitar player named Chris Meyer (formerly of SOUL BREAD) who compliments our other guitar player Brett "Beretta" Ciaramella really well. Brett’s an old school Jimmy Page, Joe Perry, Keith Richards kinda of guitar player and Chris kind of has that heavy guitar player thing going on. They mesh very well together.

Brian Rademacher: Do you have any new endorsements?

Scozzy Valentine: Yeah, we just got a custom guitar string endorsement. We got that through Chris. It's through Carl Mangin who is a bad ass custom strings guy. I am endorsed by Jackson Drums and Custom Drumsticks. We have others in the works but nothing set in stone yet. We also have a endorsement by a custom jean company called Pimp My Jeans. You can check them out on our MySpace.

Brian Rademacher: So how did you get signed to

Chavis Records?

Scozzy Valentine: I approached Bill a couple years ago and sent him some demo stuff and we wrote back to each other for awhile and became good friends. We were actually signed to Chavis when we were BACKSEAT SUPERSTARS but we were released because the label was going through some growing pains. No hard feelings. We drifted around for a while and got an e-mail from Bill Chavis a year later and he wanted us to come back. I trust his judgment; he’s working on some really big stuff. He will be posting a press release and you will be seeing some huge news from Bill very soon. I can’t spill the beans on this one just yet, but it is HUGE!

Brian Rademacher: Tell us about the album cover for AV?

Scozzy Valentine: The girl who is on the cover I found by accident on MySpace. Her name is Animal (laughing) how cool is that? She’s from the UK (Scotland). I saw her portfolio and I went to the photographer who took the shots and was blown away. The picture that you see, a light bulb went off and I downloaded the picture and brought it to the band and they all said, "This is it." I contacted him and he turned out to be a really cool guy and gave us a good deal. It was everything we were looking for. Check him out @

Brian Rademacher: Are you getting any radio airplay?

Scozzy Valentine: Yes, we are starting to catch on in a few FM markets as well as internet radio. We are currently getting airplay 104.7 The Rocket out of Oklahoma,,, XM-Satellite Radio's "The Boneyard" has been a huge help for sure and huge kudos to Kevin Kash, the program director there, for believing in the single. There are a bunch of others that I just can't recall at the moment. Thanks to all that are spinning “Strip Rock Roll”!

Brian Rademacher: Are you guys playing Rocklahoma this year?

Scozzy Valentine: I can neither confirm nor deny that. (Laughing) That would be sweet.

Brian Rademacher: Our site is planning to attend and give that show as much press as possible. We have been in contact with the promoters and it looks like a go for us. We have a lot of friends playing and we hope to work with them. What are you expectations once the record is released?

Scozzy Valentine: Hopefully it will catch on and people will buy it. If it sells 50,000 copies I will be very happy, above that will be special. It will get all the push that it needs from Chavis and it’s up to us to do our part to promote the record. We need to bust our ass with shows and any means to make people purchase it. There’s a market for hard rock. We may pay homage to our past rock n roll roots, but our sound is a bit more updated. We are just a rock band. Plain and simple. We have shades of bands we get compared to like MÖTLEY CRÜE even though I don’t think we sound anything like MÖTLEY CRÜE, but it’s nice being compared to them.

Brian Rademacher: Scozz, it was great talking to you and I wish you guys success, the new record kicks ass, and I wish you guys the best on Chavis Records. Would you like to say anything in conclusion?

Scozzy Valentine: I appreciate the opportunity talking to you! Everyone, please support the band and send email and call in requests to your local FM Radio as well as XM Radio for our single “Strip Rock Roll”. The more support from your readers we get will give us the opportunity to come to your town and kick your ass. Remember to check us out at and at Thanks, Brian!

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