There is a power trio in Rochester New York that we have actually had plenty of occasions to see live locally. Its
members, Joe Dellaquila (guitar and vocals) and JB Rodgers (drums and vocals) and Amanda Rampe
(Bass/vocals) look rather unassuming as they get on stage, but when they start playing, it’s a little like a sneak
attack as they calmly kick ass. The biggest indication as to how good they are becomes evident when they finish
up their set, because when they are done, it’s usually before the audience is.
In this interview we talk to Joe Dellaquila of the band SAINTS AND WINOS.
How long has Saints and Winos been together? How long has
the band been playing together with the lineup you have now?
We've been a band for about 5 years now. The band was started by
Joe Dellaquila (guitar and vocals) and JB Rodgers (drums and vocals).
There were two previous bass players before Amanda Rampe, who
joined 3 years ago and solidified the lineup that continues to the current
Tell us about your latest EP release.
This group of songs is very representative of our sound and our
influences. We draw heavily from the classic era of heavy metal, heavy
rock, classic rock and NWOBHM (New wave of British heavy metal) as
well as being heavily influenced by the US Doom scene with particular
attention being paid to the "Maryland" sound and attitude of bands like
The Obsessed, Pentagram, Unorthodox, Internal Void etc. Add Saint
Vitus to that list and its a pretty good description of where we are
coming from. We try to make it heavy and melodic with interesting
grooves and song structures.
What can you tell about the song “Queen Sapphire“?
Queen Sapphire can be about a lot of thing. Its up to personal
perspective. It's actually just social commentary based on
recent and current world view. The rich get richer, the more get
poorer and more dispossessed. The gap between top and
bottom grows ever wider and the observation that power is all
that matters even if it means the rest of the world burns so the
ends and means of the worlds elite can be served.
Any plans for a music video?
Yes at some point we would like to do a music video. Maybe for the single or
another song to be chosen later. We are all pretty creative people so It would
be interesting to see what we could come up with collectively
How do you go about songwriting (individually as well as collectively in
Songwriting for us usually follows the pattern of I write a skeleton and then
bring the riffs/arrangements to rehearsal and then we all arrange it and work
out the lyrics and melodies. JB(drums) and Amanda(bass) are both great
singers so it usually doesn't take long to hammer out new songs.
Let's go back in time. How did you come about playing guitar? What
was the learning experience like for you? Can you remember a specific
time/event/circumstance that you realized hard rock/metal was the
path you wanted to take?
My first instrument was the drums when I was about 10. We moved from our
house into an apt building so the drums had to go. My older brother played
guitar so I just switched over and started playing guitar.
The learning experience wasn't bad and is still ongoing. You can never learn it all so I
try to push myself to learn new things often so my playing and songwriting don't
become stale. The specific event that made me realize that metal was all I was going to
play was seeing Metallica on the master of puppets tour from the third row. I think they
were opening for OZZY if I remember correctly. They were a finely tuned killing
machine by that point. James Hatfield just cutting wood with his right hand and that
white Explorer. That was the exact moment when I said "yeah this is what I want to
play" This is the kind of music I want to write and perform. So I played in thrash and
death metal bands in my youth. Then I started Saints and Winos about 5 years ago
because I met JB playing in another band. We both liked Doom so we started a Saint
Vitus, Pentagram, The Obsessed cover band. We played covers for the first year or
so as we got tight as a band. Then we slowly started writing our own stuff. Today we
are all original.
Who inspired you to get into playing music?
I got into music at an early age through my older brother who introduced me to stuff
like E.L.P, Johnny Winter, The Allmans, Skynyrd, etc. Then later as I got older I had a
male cousin also named Joe who introduced me to AC/DC, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest,
Def Leppard and that kind of stuff. That naturally progressed into thrash metal as
Metallica, Megadeth blew up which led to me playing instruments and the rest is
history. Pretty normal process when I was growing up.
Can you share with us the funniest gig experience you ever had?
Funniest gig experience we ever had. Back when JB and I first
started the band I answered a Craigslist ad looking for a band
for a Motorcycle club party.
I was like "great we play Black Sabbath type stuff so it will be a
great time." I'm picturing a club like the Hells Angels or
Outlaws. Well when we showed up it was a motorcycle club
alright. It was an African American women's motorcycle club.
They rode Japanese crotch rockets and were listening to rap
music when we pulled up I asked the president of the club if
they still wanted us to play. She said "yeah go ahead we want
to hear some music", Well now I know how the Rolling Stones
felt on stage at Altamont when the Hells Angels were killing
that dude in the audience.
We played our entire set of songs by Black Sabbath, Saint
Vitus, Pentagram etc. they never clapped once or made any
noise. Just silence. I thought we were gonna have to start
dodging bullets. We finished our set, they thanked us and we
split as fast as we could. I'm going to be telling that story for
the rest of my life.
|Interview by Rick Horton and Dave Henninger