We recently got the chance to catch up and chat with the very busy guitarist from My Darkest Day, Sal “Coz” Costa, on his day off. We talked about touring, pranks and working with legendary guitarist Zakk Wylde…
Inked Angels: How’s your days off going?
Sal: Very good man, just hanging out, relaxing. I have a few days off from the road and I’m actually getting a dog in a few months, so we’re going out to check out some breeders. We’re getting a Doberman. We just got a new house that’s being built, so when we move in we’re looking at getting a bigger dog.
Inked Angels: So you guys are on a small break right now?
Sal: Yeah, we just have a few days then we’re back on tour with Buckcherry. Then right after the Buckcherry tour, we’re on a North American headline run.
Inked Angels: Who’s opening for you guys on your headline tour?
Sal: I believe the band is called Otherwise, they’re a new band, we just played a festival in Michigan called Dirtfest and they were one of the openers for the festival.
Inked Angels: How was it working with the legendary Zakk Wylde and Nickelback frontman Chad Kroeger on ‘Porn Star Dancing’?
Sal: It was awesome, it was really, really cool. Obviously I grew up listening to them. Zakk Wylde is a legend and I’ve always been a huge Ozzy fan pretty much my entire life and Chad (Kroeger) obviously discovered us. He’s such a cool guy, took us on tour and helped develop our band. We also did another version of ‘Porn Star Dancing’ with Ludacris, which was also super cool as well. Our band keeps getting involved with all these older bands. I don’t know if the 80’s bands see us as a newer version of them? I just collaborated on a song with Bret Michaels and Phil Collen of Def Leppard, we both play guitar on Brett’s new single. It’s really cool to work with these older cats.
Inked Angels: How did you first meet Bret Michaels?
Sal: We opened for Bret Michaels on a random one off, it was a big Halloween show that was either in Calgary or Edmonton, Alberta. Right after the show, Bret came up to me and he was like “You’re a great (guitar) player, it was awesome playing with you”, then we parted ways. About a year later, I was in Toronto for two days off and Motely Crue and Poison were on tour together. I was literally putting together my new studio and I was at a music store down the street from my place in my pajamas when my cellphone rang and it was Bret Michaels. He got my number through his P.A. and he was like “Poison and Motley Crue are playing the Molson Amphitheater tonight and I’d love for you to come up on stage and play our encore with us. Just show up to the venue with your Flying V (guitar), no sound check, no rehearsal, just show up and play”. So I literally showed up to the amphitheater, which was sold out, and I walked on stage with my Flying V and jammed out with C.C. Deville and the whole band. We played ‘Nothing But a Good Time’ together. About 3 weeks after that, he called me and told me he was putting together a new album, every song was going to feature a different artist, kind of like what Slash did with his first record. Bret said the first single is going to be ‘Get Your Rock On’ and I want you and Phil Collen to play lead guitar on the song together. I recorded from my home studio in Toronto and Phil Collen recorded his part in the U.K., and we all collaborated together. The record and song just came out.
Inked Angels: What do you find is the best part of touring?
Sal: For me, it’s that you can be having the shittiest day ever and then you play a show and just to see everyone in the audience that showed up and paid for a ticket for your music, band and performance. It can completely change your mood. To hear them sing your songs is such a gratifying feeling to be a part of that. But aside from the show and playing, I’m a pretty adventurous person. I like to wake up in the morning and explore whatever city we happen to be in. To me, it’s kind of a shame to tour all these exciting places and to come back and not recall any great things about these cities.
Inked Angels: Do you have one place on the road that you have to eat at when you’re in that town?
Sal: There is one, it’s in South Bend Indiana, across the street from this venue called Club Fever, there is this Cambodian restaurant. I don’t think it even has a name, it’s just Cambodian restaurant. It’s a little Mom and Pop shop type deal and the food there is so great! Every time we play Club Fever I go across the street and eat at that place.
Inked Angels: Do you remember your first tat?
Sal: Yeah it’s kind of unforgettable. When I was 15 or 16, I was on a high school trip to New York City. We were told we weren’t allowed to leave too late at night from our hotel and I remember it was 2:30 or 3:00 in the morning and I was with a few friends. I always wanted a tattoo, but at the time I knew if my parents ever found out they would kill me. So, I convinced a few friends to sneak out of our hotel room, take a taxi in New York, where we have never been before, and we flagged down the first taxi we could find in the middle of the night. We were like ‘Listen, where could we get a tattoo at this time of the night?’ The guy took us to this ghetto neighborhood where this 24 hour tattoo shop was open. I remember we all had only $50 cash on us, so we went to the artist and said we only have $50, what can we get for $50 bucks? He said we could get something the size of the Loonie. We thought ‘Ok, let’s all get maple leafs on our asses, we’re all Canadian, why not?’ So we pulled down our pants and got tattooed together. I don’t know if I regret it but it was a fun first tattoo to get.
Inked Angels: Bands like to pull pranks on each other when on the road, Hinder got you guys and more recently Nickelback got you guys too, have you guys ever pulled off an epic prank on another band?
Sal: Actually yeah, the last headline tour we did, the Veer Union opened for us, and the last end of the tour they ordered a pizza before they went on stage. Their RV was locked at the time and we were like, we gotta do something to these guys. They also had an oven in their RV and we saw their pizza sitting on their table. I’m the skinniest one in the band and Douggie (Oliver) is kind of like the guy who can pick a lock and break into anything. Douggie somehow opened one of the tiny little windows, everyone picked me up and threw me through the window of the RV to get the pizza. I went in, got the pizza, came back out, then Reid (Henry) and Matt (Walst) took the biggest shit you could ever imagine on their pizza. We closed the pizza box back up, Douggie opened the window again, then they threw me back through the window, passed me the pizza and I put it in their oven. They didn’t notice for 10 hours, they just thought their RV smelled like shit. We were scared that they were going to get salmonella poisoning and if they didn’t realize soon, their oven would be contaminated. So we texted them and told them we shit on their pizza and put it in their oven. They were pretty upset!
Inked Angels: Do you have any pre-show rituals that you do before going on stage?
Sal: We all do different things before going on stage, some guys like to drink before, everybody likes to do something different. I just like to relax. I’ll find a room that’s completely vacant and I’ll take a guitar and sit there and jam and play by myself to get in the zone.
Inked Angels: Any plans for a third single off Sick and Twisted Affair?
Sal: We’re still riding ‘Sick and Twisted Affair’, we’ve discussed what could be the third single but nothing 100% confirmed yet. When it starts to die down a bit we’ll discuss what to do, whether it’s record another record or release another single.
To find out more about My Darkest Days, their upcoming tour or to purchase their albums or other merchandise, please check out their site… http://www.mydarkestdays.com/