Agnostic Front - Vinnie Stigma

Interview Date: May 30, 2009

Associated bands: Agnostic Front, Stigma


Vinnie Stigma: Godfather of New York hardcore. This year marks his band Agnostic Front's 25th anniversary of putting out their heralded Victim In Pain album. He also released an album called New York Blood this year for his sideproject called Stigma. As he becomes better known for fronting his band Stigma, he still has the ongoing trek with Agnostic Front which continues this year with a possible 25th anniversary tour. We sat down with him at the Black N Blue Bowl in Brooklyn this year to talk about what's next for Agnostic Front, Stigma, and New York hardcore.rn

Can you introduce yourself?

VINNIE STIGMA: I’m Vinnie Stigma. New York hardcore.

When I saw your band Stigma in MA not too long ago, you had a CD release tour. Do you have any new material you’ve been working on?rn

STIGMA: Yeah, I’ve got an EP recorded. That Stigma album was a couple months ago, and we’re still touring off the Warriors for AF. This actually marks the 25th year since Victim In Pain. We recorded that on Tax Day, what is that, April 16th? I think it was April 16th, 1984. We’re going to do up an old school anniversary tour. I want to put together like Urban Waste, Antidote, Murphy’s Law, and Agnostic Front.

Who are you excited to see today at the Black N Blue Bowl?rn

STIGMA: Well, Discipline. They are the guest band as far as I’m concerned. They’re staying at my house, and I hooked them up with guitars and everything. Urban Waste definitely. To tell you the truth, I’m dying to see Bold too. I haven’t seen them in I don’t know how long. I just want to see how fat they got. That’s why I come. When I come see these old guys, I want to see how fat they got so I can feel better about myself *laugh*.

Black N Blue Bowl has been around for five years. You have any shout-outs to the people who put this together?rn

STIGMA: I say thank god we have this New York scene. I support it, and everyone should support it. It’s a safe environment for everyone to come to here. That’s another thing. We run it, but the kids run it too. It’s fun, it’s safe, and everyone is okay. I like that. I’m a father, and sending your own kids to a show, it makes you feel better.

Was it tough to figure out what would happen next in New York hardcore after CGBGs closed?rn

STIGMA: The impact is still hitting us. It was such an iconic place. It really sucks. You can thank the fucking homeless people for that one.

Having places like Studio B doing shows is allowing you to get bigger shows happening again. Are you noticing younger kids getting into it more than usual?rn

STIGMA: Yeah, a lot of older people, a lot of younger people. It doesn’t matter to me. I’m friendly with everyone, and it’s all good fun. Watching bands play, having fun, laughing with them. Those guys in Discipline are really good friends of mine. They are great guys.

As far as Agnostic Front, are you working on new material?rn

STIGMA: Well, we have such a huge catalog of music. We have like fifteen recorded albums, at least. Plus Live at CGBGs, which I’m really glad we have. It’s like a slice of a day at CGBGs, and a slice of Agnostic Front. That was a very special day. The whole time of Agnostic Front has a lot from my life. My birthday’s in there. Breaking my finger’s in there. Busted my ankle. Bloody nose. Chipped tooth. Stubbed toe. Hangnail. *laugh*

You have any other projects coming up at all?rn

STIGMA: That’s pretty much it. Well, we also had the movie [New York Blood]. It went well, and we got a New York film festival award. It was really cool. We just showed up to it, didn’t really know what would happen. I had done video shoots and photo shoots so I had a basic idea, but before the night was over, I was giving away awards and receiving awards and stuff. It was fun. It was definitely something different.

Today you were in a Skarhead video as well.rn

STIGMA: Yeah yeah, I’m always stuck with those guys anyway *laugh*

Have you done guest vocals at all for bands?rn

STIGMA: You know, not really. I’m not really known as a singer. When people hear Stigma, they are like…. Wait, that’s you singing? That’s you?! I got great reviews with that too, like I should have put my guitar down 25 years ago *laugh*. That’s my favorite review. I’m still a musician, and I’m always a guy in the band. I don’t consider myself a singer. I’m in the band with the fellas. I don’t sing to the band; I sing with the band. Some singers don’t get that. I understand myself now after being in a band for all these years.

Got any shout-outs to friends?rn

STIGMA: Oh god. *huge breath* Tons. Roger just had a baby boy so huge shout-out to him. Lou [Subzero] had a baby girl so shout-out to Lou, my pal. Monkey of Darkness and Skam, Freddy Madball, Cousin Joe. All my friends. Terminators. Love ‘em all. All my new brothers, the west coast. All of them. Boston. You know who you are. I hate mentioning all the names because I’ll accidentally leave someone out. Most of all, I’d like to thank myself *laugh*. Thank you very much!