Interview: Nick Passio of Victory in Numbers

After hearing the single, ‘The King is Dead’ I became very interested in a band that was from my home city, Victory in Numbers.  After dealing with tragedy in the loss of their lead vocalist and dear friend Vincent Green, the band moved around the roster, gained a new guitarist and made a name to remember their fallen brother. Now Victory in Numbers have signed to Bullet Tooth Records and awaiting the release of their first full length album, ‘Killing. Mourning. Love.’ I recently got the chance to ask lead vocalist/bass player, Nick Passio some questions.

I’m sure you’ve been asked this a million times, but where does the name, Victory In Numbers come from?

We had been playing the scene for a few years, and then we lost our lead singer, Vince Green, to a car accident in 2004. He wasn’t only our singer, but our best friend. In fact, we were all childhood friends and formed the band in elementary school. We kept the band going in Vin’s honor, and because we had a loyal following in Philly who convinced us to continue. When our bass player left last year, I switched over to bass and Bruce joined on guitar and we decided we needed a fresh start. A friend of ours came up with ‘Victory in Numbers’; its acronym – VIN. We couldn’t think of a better way to keep his memory alive than to name our band after our best friend who isn’t here with us.

I understand you guys played a few dates on the, Vans Warped Tour this past summer. How were you guys received across the country?

Warped tour was a dream comes true before we got to our first date, but the reception of the fans made it amazing.  Everywhere we went we made some awesome people who we are still in contact every day. It’s great when you can go out of your hometown and out of your comfort zone, and people are going nuts over you.

Do you guys still play any songs that were played by blue collar or did you try to re-invent yourself entirely?

We definitely have moved forward from our blue collar days, but we will occasionally throw in an oldie. That part of our past is something we look back on fondly, and when we play back home, we get yelled at if we don’t play the ‘classics’. the change in sound, in part, lead to our name change. We had some great new material that was a giant leap from our old stuff.

What do you want listeners to get out of ‘Killing. Mourning. Love.’?

That life is a journey. Life will pass you by if you aren’t looking at everything you have, and everything you hate, and everything you want. If there’s one thing we’ve learned from our loss and try to relate in our music, it’s that music can be truth, therapy, and fun all the same time.

While listening to your album for review (which I enjoyed very much by the way) I noticed that there really aren’t any songs that sound the same. Did you guys go out of the way to write sounds that sound different?

Thank you! We are fans of every type of music. We never write to sound like anything, we just write songs that we would like to hear. i guess you could say we didn’t try to do it, but we definitely wanted to show all sides of ourselves. i think that’s one of the best compliments someone can say.

Did you guys pick to work with Scott Stallone or did the label recommend it?

When we were writing the record we wanted an outside ear to help us push the envelope of our sound, and facilitate us in getting to the results we wanted. Our management knew of Scott from his work in hip hop and techno music and we thought that would make for a great mix.

Which studio did you guys record at?

Scott’s studio in Philadelphia. Found Sound Recordings. Dan Korneff from the house of loud mixed it and made Scott’s production really pop.

What was it like working with Scott Stallone?

Scott is amazing at composing and structuring songs. he was the perfect sounding board to bounce ideas off of, and when he had an idea to change a part of a song, it always turned out great. We had a great time with him, and he was a huge help in helping us finish and polish the record.

You guys have shared the stage with some pretty big bands (Fall Out Boy, Halifax, Alkaline Trio) how did it feel to be playing with some of the bigger names in pop punk?

It really is mind blowing. It makes us appreciate every opportunity we get. The fact that we’ve opened for some bands that we call influences is a great feeling, and since we have been working our asses off to get here, it’s validating to be able to stand on stage with some of the best bands around.

Which bands would you say are your biggest influences on the music you play today?

That’s a loaded question. I think you’d get four completely different answers depending on who you ask haha! I will say that when I write songs, I always go back to Jimmy Eat World, Weezer, or whatever phase I’m into at the time. I’ve always been a sucker for a great pop melody so I never let genre get in the way. If it’s good, I like it, and I will let it influence me in some way.

Are there any exciting tours coming up?

We are getting set to hit the road with Thieves & Villains for a brief stint. Then we join up with Phone Calls From Home, and For The Foxes. With the record coming out, we are looking forward to whatever opportunities come our way in the New Year.

Were you guys sought out by Bullet Tooth Records or did you submit a demo?

We hadn’t had any national touring experience until this year which made searching for labels really difficult. Our management went to Josh Grabelle and played him the record. He loved it, and had faith in it, and took a chance on us. Sort of a crazy way to get your career going, but we feel like all we needed was someone to give us a chance because we have what it takes to get where we want to.

So you guys are finally signed and touring. I know that you guys have been in the underground as blue collar for quite some time and Bruce has been in north farewell before victory in numbers came to be. How does it feel to finally be at this point in your career?

It’s crazy! After a long time of spinning our wheels, this all came together so perfectly, and so quickly that I can’t believe it. We have our future in our hands and I take that as a challenge that I’m so stoked to face.


About Dan Clark

I'm a student at the Kutztown University of Pennsylvania who is working on becoming a journalist. I have an interest in all genres of music but focus primarily on Metal, Punk, and Alternative Rock.

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