Don’t let their name fool you. PISSGHETTI means business. They are in the business of spreading good vibes, and so far, the business is good. Formed in late 2013 by guitarist/vocalist Vincent Castellano, the rest of the band currently includes guitarist Nick Stone and drummer Zach Wallace. Since then, the band has become one of the most respected pop punk bands in the Virginia Beach punk scene, and they have been doing their best to inspire positivity throughout the Virginia music scene and into the general community.

We spoke with Castellano about how PISSGHETTI began and their hopes to be a band for everyone, their music video for their song “Surf’s Up”, which is featured on their latest album So Much For My Happy Ending, as well as their thoughts on how DIY can continue to improve the local music scene.

First off, can you tell me why you chose to name your band PISSGHETTI?

There is no real story to it. It just came to me, and I thought that it would be a good band name. It could be a noun or adjective or a verb. It sticks in people’s head.

Does it mean anything?

When we say “PISSGHETTI on dudes”, it basically means party on. Keep vibing and being positive.

At the top of your Tumblr page, it says, “PISSGHETTI goes hard for every citizen of the world because we ain’t got no boundaries.” What do you mean by that exactly?

We wanted to just make it clear that we make music for everyone. It’s not for a specific genre or scene. We try to break down all boundaries with how we define ourselves as people. We will play hardcore shows, pop punk shows, or any other genre. We are also really big supporters of all-ages shows. I book most of the shows for our band, and if we are going to have an all-ages show, I try to get all ages in by booking a younger band and a band whose members are like 28 or older. I will invite anyone to a PISSGHETTI show, even my 4o-year-old coworker who doesn’t listen to punk, or even my parents. We don’t exclude anyone, and we want to be that band for everybody.

I saw that your bassist Stephanie Hague recently left the band to pursue a career in acting. Have you found a new bassist yet?

Currently, we are still looking, and we have a few people in mind but none to announce yet. She was in film school, and she is going to California to try to start a career in film, either in front of the camera or behind it, or editing. We are stoked to see what she accomplishes.

Did she help film your music video for “Surf’s Up”?

She and I shot some of it, and my friend PJ Wallace edited it. We played at MACROCK earlier this year, which is a very cool DIY fest in Harrisonburg, and we filmed everything while we were there. It took four nights for PJ and I to go through all the footage, but I think it came out pretty cool.

What is that song about?

We called it “Surf’s Up” because we are a Virginia Beach band, and we thought it went well with our vibe. The idea for it started from how we start the song saying “1, 2, 3, Woo!”, and we associate it with surfing like we are all on a big party wave. They lyrics are about meeting a cool person and feeling insecure because they are so cool.

For your new album So Much For My Happy Ending, you will be accepting donations of $5 or more to benefit the Virginia Beach Seton Youth Shelters. Why did you decide to contribute to this organization?

When I was younger, I looked up to older bands, and that helped me formulate what I wanted to be. We knew that we wanted to give back to a charity because we didn’t really need the money. We all have jobs, and the cassettes didn’t cost too much to make. At this point, we don’t have plans to go on a big tour, so we don’t need it for gas money either. We chose the Seton Youth Shelters because it’s associated with the youth and a feeling that our band captures. The cassettes are a minimum donation of $5, and you can contact us at [email protected] to order one.

Can you tell me about your song “Good Old Virginia Beach” and how it has helped you cope with loving and hating it simultaneously?

I used to play in a band called BABY CLOTHES, which broke up, and I spent a year planning a new band but it never took off. After I graduated college, I moved back to Virginia Beach, and when I wrote this song, it was so different than any BABY CLOTHES song. I knew I had to start a new band. It captures that part of my life ending and a rebirth with PISSGHETTI.


What is your favorite part about living in Virginia Beach, other than the beach itself?

Honestly, the beach isn’t even my top five. I’d say it’s both good and bad, but I like the small town vibes. It’s easy to form tight pockets of people, especially at shows. You know that if you go to a certain show or to see a certain band, you will know what to expect, and it’s kinda cool.

Do you think the DIY mindset is improving the local music scene in Virginia Beach?

That’s are real important question. I went to JMU, and there were not a whole lot of venues there so we would have shows in people’s basements. There was an etiquette that everyone respected that you don’t see too much in Virginia Beach. Everybody donates. You don’t punch holes in the wall; you respect the space. In Virginia Beach and the whole Hampton Roads area, the club and bar owners don’t understand it. They treat us like a nuisance. Bands have so much power, and the local bands here don’t even realize it. Bands from DC like MINOR THREAT and FUGAZI used to tour the world, and they wouldn’t play if the show cost more than $7. I’ve seen some Virginia Beach shows that cost up to $12.

The hardcore scene is really the only local scene that I respect, and they are the only one consistently bringing in out of town bands and treating them well. They are always looking for new venues too. Right now the only decent venue in Virginia Beach is Hooked Up at the Oceanfront, but it’s only 21 and up since it’s a bar.

In your opinion, what can be done to make things better?

I’ve been trying to get Harkeys Pizza in Virginia Beach off Laskin Road by Captain George’s to start doing shows again. I used to go there all the time to see THE NO TALENT SHOW, AUDIOSTROBELIGHT, and a bunch of other punk rock bands perform there. I have also been really involved with my friend Charlie Rasputin of Alchemy NFK who is working with the City of Norfolk to build an arts district from the ground up, but he has faced so much opposition from the surrounding conservative community members.

In Richmond, hardcore has a home, but in Virginia Beach, there are no bars that want it. The city needs more of a support system for music and to take pride in all the cool local bands—especially the ones that don’t just play covers. That’s why a bunch of kids had to start their own venue called That’s How I Beat Shaq. They rented their own warehouse and had shows there because there was nowhere else to go. The big thing for kids in the music scene in Virginia Beach is to stay positive because this city will try to tear you down. The Virginia Beach music scene is more punk rock and real that way.

For more updates on PISSGHETTI, be sure to “like” their Facebook page, follow them on Tumblr and Twitter, and check out their music on Bandcamp.

Joe Fitzpatrick

Joe Fitzpatrick

As editor-in-chief, Joe is very passionate about promoting music and culture in Virginia and DC. A resident of Falls Church, Joe enjoys going to shows, checking out local breweries, and trying new foods with friends.

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