TMG is pleased to present another introspective artist interview, this time with the guitarist, singer-songwriter from New York, Johnny Vitulli!
Johnny Vitulli, born and raised in New York, is a guitarist singer and songwriter.
After playing in bands for fifteen years, he branched off as a solo artist. Today, following long trips to Australia, California, Fiji Islands and New Zealand, he has returned to his New York roots.
Writing music, playing the guitar and fine-tuning lyrics are not only a form of therapy, but also a full-time and rewarding venture for him.
Using the guitar as a platform to process feelings and emotions and constantly embracing the struggles and obstacles of living in NYC and abroad, Johnny’s lyrics and tunes seek to peacefully unite as many people as possible through relatable lyrics and mellow tunes.
Let’s check out some of his music below!
Here’s his music video for “Please Don’t Stop”, a soothing rock tune with tons of memorable hooks!
Here’s his song “All I Need”, an uplifting rock song for the summer!
**NOW HERE’S OUR EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH JOHNNY VITULLI**
1. What’s your bands name? Where did the name come from?
My parents gave me my name. I don’t have a stage name or a band name because I want to stay true to myself.
2. The Yellow Collar Collective is all about the daily grind musicians go through to perfect their craft, what has been your biggest struggle and accomplishment as a musician?
Trying to find success after 15 years of playing in bands is pretty tedious. Although, playing at this level can be great! I call all my own shots. These are the days successful artists always long for.
3. What other instruments can you and your fellow band members play?
I play piano, bass, drums, and guitar
4. Why’d you start making music and why specifically did you choose your genre?
I started playing music about 20 years ago. I don’t think I belong to one single genre. I just play music that makes me feel good, whatever the genre may be. My main objective is to epitomize the melting pot that is NYC.
5. Do you have any memorable musical experiences that have shaped who you guys are?
Every day I live and play shapes who I am. I think getting so close to success so many times has really built a lot of character, perseverance, and resilience. If I ever do become successful it will be well earned, nobody has given me shit. Most of my friends have given up, I’m still out here on the front line embracing the struggle. The last man standing is the one who finds success, or so I hope.
6. Have you ever released any albums or are working on any now? Any special projects?
I released a record last year produced by Grammy Award winning producer Fran Cathcart. I funded the whole record from working as a bartender. No crowd funding or asking my parents for money, no that my parents have any money to ask for. I have a really hard time asking anybody for anything. It’s a huge accomplishment for me since I’ve been homeless at different points in my life. Once in Australia and here in NYC. You can listen to most of it on my website and souncloud.
7. Do you collaborate with other artists? Inside and outside your genre?
Not at the moment, but I’m always looking to jam and learn from new and interesting people.
8. What venues and events have you performed at in the past five years? Which has been your favorite?
Bitter End, Arlene’s Grocery, Leftfield, Trash Bar, The Delancey, Sullivan Hall, Bar East, Alphabet Lounge, The Village Lantern.
Arelene’s, Trash Bar, and Leftfield are definitely my favorites. Mainly cuz the sound guys are so nice and easy to work with. Sound guys literally set the tone of your whole performance and a lot of times they don’t give a shit about you. So when you’re working with somebody who is sincere and earnest you will always have a better show.
9. How do you acquire shows and promote yourself? Do you have any recommendations for other artists?
My manager takes care of that now, which is pretty awesome. But, working with you guys is absolutely amazing. You make it so easy for the artist, I would recommend Turnstyle to everyone. I would also recommend to play out as much as possible. I play the subways, clubs, gigs upstate, play everywhere and anywhere. Just get the music out there and do whatever it takes to be heard at any capacity. People are most responsive when you’re actively performing. If you want to be discovered doing something you simply have to do it! If you want results action is imperative.
10. Do you have any mottos?
“Never let the fear of striking out get in your way,” Babe Ruth
Be strong, be smart, be swift, and be sweet- My own personal motto
Be impeccable with your word, don’t take things personally, never make assumptions, and always do your best- The 4 agreements
11. What artists inspire you?
The Beatles, RHCP, Bob Marley, Toh Kay from Streetlight Manifesto.
12. What’s next for your band?
Hopefully to get signed and make this a full time gig. But in the more immediate future I hope I get a slot in CMJ!
13. What do you do when you’re not listening to or making music?
Read, play sports, and work a lot. I wish I had more time to devote to music, but I have a full time job as a bartender. Which is fun, but it can be tedious. Every bartender has a shelf life. Family is also very important to me so I always make time for them first and foremost.
14. What’s your favorite song right now?
“Heartland,” by Stickfigure