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Interview with Edward Pursino by Naughty Kuntz

Everyone who is familiar with the band Virgin Steele knows that guitarist Ed Pursino is one of the reasons for the bands big success. Playing in Virgin Steele for over 18 (!) years, Ed is a very interesting person to talk to. Especially when it comes to the bands history. That's why I tortured him with a handful of questions. Ready? Let's go!

Was there a life before VS? What did you do before you started playing with the band?
Before VIRGIN STEELE, I played in numerous cover bands, doing songs by Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, Aerosmith, etc. I used to often jam with David before he formed VIRGIN STEELE, and during the early years of VIRGIN STEELE'S existence. It used to be me, David my brother Fred on drums and a keyboard player named Tony Demarzo. We would often jam in the house that David lived in at the time. We would play and we'd invite all the local girls down. It was great!

How did you join VS? Did you know David before?
Yes, as I said I knew David from about the age of 15 or so. We met when his band VENUS, was auditioning for a Junior High School dance. They played War Pigs by Sabbath, and Dream On by Aerosmith, and I thought they were great! I went up to Dave after they played and introduced myself. I remember I really liked the guitar player too, a guy named Louie Demaro. Incidentally the drummer of VENUS was Felice Demarzo, the brother of the Tony I mentioned earlier. Anyway getting back to my joining VS. In 1984 David and the rest of the band were not at all happy with their former guitarist Jack, so I came down to jam with David as I usually did and I basically never left. I don't think he actually ever asked me to join the band, it was just assumed, because they had had a Canadian Tour booked so I learned all the early stuff and we went out and did it. I remember we played 3 Nights in Toronto, Canada, at a place called the GASWORKS. I was quite excited about this as this was one of the early stomping grounds of RUSH, a band that me and my brother Fred both loved! It was easy to fit in the band, as I had already been playing with Dave, and I knew the other guys. We used to all get drunk at the local Rock Clubs like Cheers, The Stage Door, and Hammerheads. The other guys used to wear tons of leather usually black or sometimes white, and would get lots of interest from the ladies at these Clubs! I certainly fit right in and grabbed my share as well!!!

Can you remember which song you played first?
Probably something by Zeppelin, in terms of Rock/Metal music, but I think it might have been "MY GREEN TAMBOURINE", as the first ever song.

What's your favourite guitar?
I've had many over the years. In the early days it was a Les Paul, but I had to retire it after the frets wore out. Also in the early days I loved this Washburn guitar I had. Dave and I both loved it as it had this sound like glass we used to say! It unfortunately got stolen out of our truck during that Tour of Canada that I mentioned earlier. You can hear it though, as it lives on in the NOBLE SAVAGE Album. I played the solo to EVIL IN HER EYES on this guitar!!! At this moment I am very fond of my white Gibson SG!!! That can be heard on almost all our records from THE MARRIAGE PART I forward.

You are a quite good guitarist, are there other instruments that you play sometimes?
Thank you very much! Ahhh ... I sometimes dabble on the piano. I have this one chord sequence that I taught myself a long time ago, that I just love to play. It sounds quite sophisticated!

Every VS fan knows and respects your work. Do you get fan letters?
THANKS AGAIN! Yes, I do get Fan letters. It is really nice to know that people all over the World appreciate what I am doing musically!

Doesn't it drive you mad that you have thousands of fans around the world, but just a handful of people knows VS in the states?
Yes & no, as it doesn't really matter where the people are, so long as people are out there digging what we do!

How did you prepare yourself for a concert?
Pound down the Wine!!! Ha! No seriously I like to play for awhile to loosen up my fingers, have a nice dinner and then plug in and go!

What was your most impressing gig with VS?
They've all been great! I think on the current tour I really enjoyed Lichtenfels, Germany and Rome, Italy. Italy is always nice because the people love us and the food is really to my liking!!

Did you ever try or thought of starting a solo career?
Sure if time and energy provide it, why not!!! An album of non-stop guitar!!!

Let's guess VS would split up for some reason,
can you imagine a life after VS? What would you do?

I have an active life both inside and outside of VIRGIN STEELE, so yeah I can imagine life without VS, but why would I want to??? It's like Dave always says, "it is not a career so much as it is an alternate lifestyle that we have really grown accustomed to". It has been a way of life for me for 18 years and for David for 20 years. We hope to continue in some capacity until the "Mountains crumble into the sea", to quote Robert Plant, and of course ..... Beyond!

Ciao,
Edward Van Dorian Pursino


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