First off Dario, how have you been doing lately?
DL: Hey Alex! Doing very well, thank you! Have some downtime from touring with BLS this year and am gearing up for my show at the Whisky in Hollywood on June 30th.
You just released your second solo album titled “Death Grip Tribulations” at the end of Feb. How was making that album? Any feedback from fans yet on the album as well?
DL: I always enjoy the making of albums, writing, recording, etc… Started recording in January/February of 2016 and finished it a few months after that. I began writing for it during downtime from BLS tours. It’s been well received and I greatly appreciate everyones support!
Where did you get the title for the album? What’s the story behind the album and what made you want to do another solo album?
DL: Death Grip Tribulations is a title that Zakk came up with when we were out on his Book of Shadows II tour and I was showing him some cover and title ideas for the album. I feel that the title strongly represents the musical vibe of the entire album. As for making another solo album, my first one released in 2013 and I was ready to make and share new music.
Who all played on the album other than yourself?
DL: On drums is Daniel DC Conway, my musical brother since high school. On bass is my BLS brother John JD DeServio. Jeff Fabb, also my BLS brother played on one song, “Waves of Nostalgia” which actually started as a riff that Jeff, JD, and I would jam on at soundchecks. I also had Marten Andersson who I played with during the Lizzy Borden years play bass on a couple of songs. Phil Campbell (from Motorhead and Phil Campbell and The Bastard Sons) joined me on the song “Two Fifty”.
Both solo albums have been released through “Shrapnel Records”. How is the relationship there and how did that partnership come to happen?
DL: I met Mike Varney when I was a teenager during my touring years with Jani Lane, and as a guitar player I of course respected Shrapnel Records immensely. We had talked about working together for several years and in 2013 when I was touring with Lizzy Borden, I sent him 3 songs of instrumental music I was working on and from there grew what became my first solo album with Shrapnel, which was self titled. The 3 songs I sent him were “My Heroine”, “Feels Good”, and “Sacksong” which are songs 3, 6, and 11 on my first solo album.
A little on your background in music, when did you get into guitar and what drew you to it? Who inspired you early on as well?
DL: I started playing guitar around 6 – 7 years old. My family was very musical, I got a guitar for Christmas one year and I just never put it down. My family definitely inspired me as well as the tapes in my dad’s glove box, which is where I “met” Van Halen for the first time. I knew then that I wanted to play guitar, and I wanted it to sound like that!
You’ve been in bands and touring since 16 correct? What was it like getting into it at such a young age?
DL: Yes, I started touring with Jani Lane at 16, then later with Lizzy Borden and now with Black Label Society. At that young age I just kept my mouth shut, my eyes and ears open, and I took everything and every experience in. I loved playing music and its all I wanted to do.
Being no stranger to playing in bigger bands, you started off by touring with Jani Lane of Warrant on his solo work. How did all that come along and looking back what are your fondest memories of it?
DL: Back in the MySpace days, I saw an ad posted on the Bulletin Board that Jani was looking for a guitar player, so I sent over a few emails, from there I sent over some recordings playing some Warrant songs, they had me come out to LA to meet and jam with Jani at a rehearsal studio, which Jani played drums while we jammed on some Warrant/Back Down to One songs. Things went really well and I started touring with him shortly after. The entire experience of those few short years is a fond memory.
You’ve also been in Lizzy Borden and are now in Black Label Society. Being part of big bands must have been a huge step to take. How did you acclimate yourself to playing huge festivals with both bands and touring constantly? During your time in Borden what helped make you a better musician?
DL: Its all a journey and as you grow so does your experience, so with each step taken you become ready for the next and learn how to adapt. As a musician, you grow with every new experience as each one brings something different to the table.
How has it been working and touring with Zakk and the BLS band and crew?
DL: Amazing! Zakk is a true inspiration in every aspect, the guys in the band are phenomenal musicians which I learn from daily, and the crew is as strong as the come.
Any news on BLS plans for 2017?
DL: We’ll be down for this year and will be back rollin’ again come 2018.
Do you have any plans on trying to play shows or make a tour for your solo material?
DL: Yes, we just played Vamp’d in Las Vegas, NV and will be playing the Whisky in Hollywood, CA on June 30th.
How do you feel the current state of music is? Both with releasing music and touring? With the rise of streaming becoming the go to for many fans do you feel like streaming ultimately hurts an artist who may depend on having good sale numbers to tour or possibly tour?
DL: As times change, artists adjust and adapt.
With the long list of artists and bands you’ve performed with, who is still on your bucket list?
DL: Maybe to sit and jam with Van Halen.
Anything else you’d like to put out there or say to the fans?
DL: Your continued support is sincerely appreciated!
Just want to thank you again for taking the time to chat and I wish you all the best in 2017.
DL: Thank you Alex! All the best to you!