Hardcore Superstar’s Vic Zino: what the guitar means to me

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(Image: © Michele Aldeghi)

WORLD GUITAR DAY 2018: Swedish rockers Hardcore Superstar have been going for over 20 years now. Current axe-slinger Vic Zino joined in 2008, just in time to record the band’s seventh studio album Beg For It. 

10 years and four albums later (including You Can’t Kill My Rock ‘N Roll, released last week) and Zino is in a reflective mood. Here he talks about his enduring relationship with the guitar, rock music and Randy Rhoads.

What does the guitar mean to you?

“Love, pain, freedom, anguish, possibilities, creativity, satisfaction, frustration.”

How has the guitar impacted or changed your life?

“It made it possible for me to make a living from a hobby. And that’s the holy grail!”

What was it about the guitar that resonated with you when you first started playing?

I think I needed to make the mistakes I did to get to where I am today

“To be honest, it wasn’t love at first sight. It took me a while to start playing for real. It was my friend that basically forced me to learn Metallica songs so we could be Hetfield and Hammett.”

Why did you gravitate towards playing rock music?  

“Have you ever seen Slash on stage?! There’s nothing cooler than playing guitar!"

Which guitar player has had the biggest impact on you as a musician and why?

“I have always been a huge Ozzy fan so I’ll have to go with Randy Rhoads. The simplicity in his playing is breathtaking. There’s something Scandinavian about it. Then there’s Dimebag, Slash, John Norum, Gary Moore, Yngwie Malmsteen…”

And which album had the biggest impact on you as a guitar player and why?

“After my Metallica period I got into more heavy music. Pantera’s Cowboys From Hell and Vulgar Display Of Power made a huge impact on me. The aggression mixed with great melodies just worked for me. To this day that’s what gets me going.”

What is your favourite guitar in your collection and why?

“Without a doubt my custom made Superbird from SGT Doom guitars. The most reliable guitar I’ve ever played! It fits me perfectly.”

If you could offer guitarists one tip to make them a better player on World Guitar Day, what would it be?

“Focus on what you want to achieve with your playing and go for it. I wish someone told me that when I started playing. On the other hand, maybe they did but I just didn’t give a fuck! I think I needed to make the mistakes I did to get to where I am today.”