Back in early 2000, there wasn’t much of a scene leftover in my area of South FL (Cape Coral/ Ft. Myers to be exact). So I joined/ started bands and began to book shows on my own. Around this time is how I met the TAB boys after booking them on one of their first treks through FL. Thereafter we played a couple shows together and then eventually they became one of my first sponsored bands back in 09. It’s been inspiring to watch these dudes go after their dreams for the last 10 years and on top of that remain so humble and appreciative. When I heard about their plans to disband I was a bit sad as it’s hard to find many (if any at all) that are still keeping the sentiment of FL hardcore alive and well. But as they say, all good things must come to an end. A big thank you to TAB for holding us down throughout the years and becoming more than just acquaintances, but friends. I was able to catch up with Gino & Randy one last time to reflect on their reign as well as to flesh out what the future holds for them, enjoy:
I got to start with the question that’s on everyone’s mind, after 9 years, why the split?
Gino: We’ve been a band for 9 years and we’ve had a cool run. We’ve been to a lot of cool places, met a lot of cool people and it’s just the right time for us to go out now as opposed to people just stop caring down the line.
Have you guys been planning to disband for some time, or was it a more recent decision?
Randy: It was a little bit of both. Things were just building up and we thought “It might be the right time for this” and we came to the conclusion and realized it in fact was the time to make that move.
How has the final tour been going? Have the reactions been crazier?
Gino: It’s been fun man, definitely a blast. It’s our last run and kids are coming out and very appreciative. We’re having fun too, which is what it’s all about.
What’s next for you guys?
Randy: Ya, Netflix ha! Me & Gino are into acting and that’s kind of been taking off. I’m going to be working on a new Netflix original series so keep an eye out for me on that. And we still have a bunch of final tours in the works coming up and we’re going to try and hit up a bunch of different countries. We’re going to try and do Japan, Cuba and hopefully sneak in South America too.
What about you Gino, are you still acting? Yep, we had both worked together on a show called Complications which comes out sometime this year and we’re both on the first 2 episodes of this show Graceland on USA which comes out in June. I’m also in a Jay Lo movie (laughs), James our bass player is playing bass for Bane now, Jerry’s a nuclear engineer and our current drummer Dylan’s playing in a new band called Engraved.
How did you get into acting?
Gino: For me I just found it through extra gigs. In between tours I was like, fuck, what am I going to do for money? Let me just look online, I already look like a freak so what am I going to do? So I found an open casting, they brought me in and both me & Randy worked it and we liked the atmosphere. It was very cool and fast with a good vibe so we both started with acting classes and got agents and it’s been rolling ever since.
Are there any other musical projects in the works?
Randy: Nothing set in stone but I’m sure something will eventually come up.
Gino: Ya if I do another band it’ll just be to jam but hey, you never know. I mean, I toured for a bit with Betrayal overseas and that kind of came out of nowhere, so who knows.
You’ve toured From South America to Japan & virtually everywhere in between, what’s been your favorite spot?
Gino: Honestly, one of my favorite countries to go back to has been Japan. Columbia’s also cool, I don’t know there’s just so many cool places we’ve been to to zero in on one.
Randy: Australia is awesome too. It’s expensive but it really is an amazing country and like he said with Japan, this will be our 3rd time going there so we’re definitely looking forward to that.
I’ve definitely heard Japan’s dope, as it’s a different kind of scene and more respectful.
Randy: It definitely is very respectful, everywhere you go. Stores, hotels, the shows, everyone’s silent in between songs and they actually want to hear what we have to say. Shouts to Tohru and Caboose records.
Looking back on all of your accomplishments, is there anything you would have done differently?
Gino: Done differently, not really. We got to do a lot of cool stuff, I mean there’s bands that I wish we would have been able to tour with but I’m ultimately happy with what we’ve accomplished altogether.
Randy: We started out with no plans at all. We were just a bunch of friends trying to make music and play shows, we never thought we’d be a full time band.
Gino: One thing I notice with younger bands today is that they start off trying to be successful. The only piece of advice I would give is to not do that, start a band with your friends, have fun and just see where it takes you.
Any other pieces of advice you’d give to aspiring musicians looking to accomplish all that you have over the years?
Randy: Don’t wait around to get a manager, start off DIY. Book your own tours and eventually promoters will notice that you draw people & they’ll put you on bigger shows etc.
Gino: Life doesn’t wait!
What about advice pertaining to record labels, Bc obviously when you get to a certain point most are looking to get signed?
Gino: Well we got on Eulogy from doing our own thing really. You know, they’re a FL label and they started taking notice and it was real cool because there were a lot of labels checking us out at the same time and we decided to drop two records with them and after felt like it was time to move on. We hit up Rise on our own which goes back to what Randy said, sometimes you just got to do it on your own. Even if you have a manager you just got to do it because only you truly know what the most beneficial thing is for your band. Just do it, like Nike!
If you had to pick one, what’s been your favorite moment in the band?
Gino: I don’t know man, we’ve been to so many crazy places and done so fucking much and there are so many favorite moments it’s too hard to sum it up to just one.
Randy: For me, we played this festival in Columbia the first time we went called Rock In Rio and it was a huge festival with like 2,000 people. There were camera cranes filming it; it was the biggest intl show we had played at that point and the whole crowd even sang Brandon(bass) happy birthday, it was just insane.
Gino: I bet you can find it online, just search Thick As Blood Columbia.
Favorite TAB record & why?
Gino: I mean they’re all good, know what I’m saying? ::laughs:: But no, I really like Living Proof not because it’s our newest one but because it just felt right. The recording process with Nick Jett was awesome. It was completely different than anything we had done bc we focused on just one song each day which gave me time to rest and write and I work better under pressure.
Randy: It’s a toss up between Embrace & Living Proof. Embrace is definitely the fan favorite but I like Living Proof bc we put a lot more focus into it and it felt more like our baby.
I would like to thank you guys for all of your support throughout the years. You’ve got the last word, what would you like to tell the world?
Gino: We really appreciate you having our back for a long time man. Raise Hell!
Randy: Support Still Proud for sure!
Follow Thick As Blood to keep up with their final dates here