Back Against The Wall With James “Slimedog” Vacca

Slimedog is one of the key cogs in the underground Boston music scene. He’s at any, if not all, shows that are happening. He’s a huge supporter of dirty rock and roll (as long as it’s loud and fast). He also writes for the zine Thrash and Bang” which covers any and all Punk Rock from New England. I sent Slimedog a bunch of questions and here’s what he had to say…..

Slimedog It’s been way too long my friend.How are you holding up?

I’m holding up a limp dick and staring at it. It has nothing to say that interests me.

You pretty much have your ear to the ground on any band in New England. Who would you consider some of your favorites at
the moment?

The Ratz and The Lost Riots- bands I feel you might be unfamiliar with. The Grommets I really like. I’m a traditional
punk guy so only about a half dozen bands I’ve reviewed in the last ten years fully fit that description for me.

Give The Grommets a “Like” on Facebook

You write for a zine called “Thrash and Bang” which is widely popular with punk rockers across the Northeast. But for
the people outside of our little corner of the country what exactly is Thrash and Bang?

Check out the Thrash and Bang webpage

We’re an obscure website that started ten years ago by Andy Bang, my best friend, and webmaster. We cover New England/ New
York punk, metal and hardcore with music releases, live shows, interviews, classic album and punk song reviews. The deal
with Andy was- I write and he manages the website. We also perform live puppet shows for the afflicted and blind that has,
mostly been met with public derision and lawsuits.

Boston has a long history of producing some absolutely incredible bands. In your opinion what would you say are some of
the best bands to ever come out of Boston?

Well, my favorites are bands we followed in the seventies, eighties like Human Sexual Response, Mission Of Burma, La
Peste, The Girls, The Dark, Young Snakes, The Titanics, Bullet LaVolta, The Bags, The Pixies. That being said we both
agree that current bands are of a much higher caliber and we don’t believe in living in the past. We feel that if many
current local bands could be transported to some of the early shows we attended that we would have left with shit-stained pants.

If you can narrow it down what would you consider your top five favorite records of all time?

I’m gonna go with top five punk records- The Avengers. Richard Hell & The Voidoids “Blank Generataion”. The Clash’s first
album. Iggy & The Stooges “Funhouse” and a surprise and a favorite of Andy and I- “Ha! Ha! Ha!” by Ultravox.

Listen to that Ultravox album right here

What are some of your favorite clubs to see bands at in or around Boston?

My favorite three all time clubs in 44 years are The Midway Cafe, The Rat and The Abbey Lounge. I pretty much only go to The Midway
now as I don’t travel much.

What got you into punk rock?

I could say Iggy or The Ramones but honestly, I feel The Carpenters, Barry Manilow, The Bee Gees and Tony Orlando & Dawn
are the real reasons I got into punk rock and deserve more credit for creating the atmosphere for this music to erupt in.

If you could front one band from any time period What band would that be?

I’m a bass player so pop me into The Doors, Jimi Hendrix Experience or The Stooges- all would be okay with me.

Modern Lovers or the Undertones?

Oh, I never liked The Undertones but The Modern Lovers are one of the best proto-punk bands. Hey, they had future
members of Talking Heads and The Cars both of whom I really like.

Outside of Boston What area of New England would you say has been producing the best bands the past few years?

You gotta understand, every week I become fully engrossed with a local release. But no matter how much I like it, after
that week I toss it aside because I’m onto the next release. I have little time for other music. I have as much awareness
of any other current punk music as I do of current Indian music.

Okay it’s Friday evening there are no shows happening and you have friends coming in from out of town. What 5 places are
you bringing them to?

1) The Midway 2) The Midway 3) The Midway 4) The Midway 5) The Midway.

Yeah The Midway is great and you should check it out

If you were a Subway sandwich what would you be?

I’d walk pass the Subway and go to the next Mexican restaurant and get cheese enchiladas with verde sauce. I’ve decided
this will be my last meal when I’m eventually, sentenced to the electric chair. A perfect day for me has always involved punk
rock, beer and Mexican food. That should happen next Sunday.



You’re booking a show. 4 bands from any time period. What 4 bands are playing?

John Coltrane Quartet, The Velvet Underground, Kraftwerk and James Brown.

Why are The Clash the “only band that matters”?

Because their first album beats out The Ramones and The Sex Pistols album as the early defining best and the one I never get tired of hearing.
Also, my favorite concert was seeing them in 79′ or 80′. Even with The Undertones being one of the opening acts.

As covid restrictions are lifted what are you looking forward to doing in the new normal?

I only go to small punk shows as that is pretty much all I want to do. So I’m very glad to do that again. And doing the puppet shows
despite the many restrictive injunctions facing us.

Okay one last question is there anything you wished I had asked?

I was disappointed you didn’t ask how I maintained my youthful, beautiful appearance. For an answer I would direct you to Oscar Wilde’s
book “The Picture Of Dorian Gray”.



If you were a Subway sandwich what would you be?

I’d walk pass the Subway and go to the next Mexican restaurant and get cheese enchiladas with verde sauce. I’ve decided
this will be my last meal when I’m eventually, sentenced to the electric chair. A perfect day for me has always involved punk
rock, beer and Mexican food. That should happen next Sunday.

What are you currently listening to?

The McGunks latest release which I’m reviewing this week and is one of the best I’ve heard this year. I only listen
to cd’s while driving and it’s always fifties rock’n’roll- it puts me in a good mood.

Check out The Mcgunks. One of the best bands New England bands out there today.

You’re booking a show. 4 bands from any time period. What 4 bands are playing?

John Coltrane Quartet, The Velvet Underground, Kraftwerk and James Brown.


Why are The Clash the “only band that matters”?

Because their first album beats out The Ramones and The Sex Pistols album as the early defining best and the one I never get tired of hearing.
Also, my favorite concert was seeing them in 79′ or 80′. Even with The Undertones being one of the opening acts.

As covid restrictions are lifted what are you looking forward to doing in the new normal?

I only go to small punk shows as that is pretty much all I want to do. So I’m very glad to do that again. And doing the puppet shows
despite the many restrictive injunctions facing us.

Okay one last question is there anything you wished I had asked?

I was disappointed you didn’t ask how I maintained my youthful, beautiful appearance. For an answer I would direct you to Oscar Wilde’s
book “The Picture Of Dorian Gray”.

Give Connecticut Garage Punk a follow on Instagram

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