The dude behind the mic—Vince Deliberato, obviously a Cleveland underground culture connoisseur—was a great host. He let Erba do what he does best—be himself. You know, all wrestling and music non-sequiturs mixed with pain, joy and wisdom. The marks of a Rust Belt life well-lived (despite the challenges).
So I dug a bit deeper into older SUB-CLE episodes. Damn—Vince is not fooling around, man!
He seems to be laser-guided to the real Northeast Ohio raconteurs. The doers and rebels. The food and drink makers.
Besides Erba, SUB-CLE has featured Rob Stevens (the man behind the legendary pop culture / graffiti phenom 100,000 Leagues Under My Nutsack), Frank Cavanaugh (of classic bands Outface and Filter), Aaron Dallison (Keelhaul) and of course the inimitable icon of Parma noise / metal / conceptual stuntman—Jim Konya’s best buddy and U.S. Rocker cover star (as “Pile Of Eggs”)—Schnauzer’s Steveggs.
And that’s just naming a few of the illustrious underground personas who have dropped by Vince’s podcast. (Vince also makes a delicious-looking Chicken Paprikash.)
It’s not easy to get such iconic enigmas to talk openly. Vince is methodically tracking important Cleveland voices down and documenting them. This is important work. Bravo, sir.
Actually a rather large number of these folks were featured in U.S. Rocker back in the day and—look at this!—your truly got the SUB-CLE treatment in the newest installment. It was an honor to be a part of the show.
After my grilling, I thought, hey, I need to know exactly what Vince and SUB-CLE are about.
Vince was kind enough to answer some Jane Scott-type questions…
What’s your name?
Vincent Rocco Deliberato.
What neighborhood of Cleveland are you from?
I was born at Marymount hospital in Garfield Heights. I grew up between Garfield and Maple Heights. I ended up graduating from Maple Heights High School.
What do you do in Cleveland?
I’ve been with Continental/United airlines for over twenty years. I was furloughed after United removed the hub from Hopkins. I decided to go back to school while bartending. I started school when I was eighteen working towards a design degree. When I went back twenty years later. I ended up receiving a Bachelors in Environmental Science. I tended bar at the Ritz Carlton while attending Cleveland state.
When and why did you start SUB-CLE?
I run into many interesting people with fantastic stories about their time living in and around Cleveland. One thing about many artists and musicians is that the level of conversation seems heightened in some way. Maybe heightened isn’t the word—”deep” seems like a word that is more in the direction of what I am trying to express. So, not only documenting the life and work of these interesting humans, but to get a deeper level of understanding into what it is they do.
I know he is “cancelled” now but I take a lot of inspiration from Charlie Rose. I am not necessarily interested in the interviewer as much as hearing the answers that the guest give. Charlie Rose seemed to get his guests to respond in a seemingly authentic way. I wanted to experience something like that but on a local level.
The people I talk to aren’t hiring publicists or marketing agencies. They are real artists. For whatever reason they are doing it, they are not mainly doing it for monetary gain. And I believe their story is important.
How would you describe what the show’s about?
Heavy focus on Cleveland subculture and the people that color that culture.
Cleveland cuisine is also a focus. So, You will see some cooking videos on the channel as well.
The podcast started about three years ago. That was a simpler time pre-Pandemic. The idea was similar only with a panel instead of one-on-one.
What’s your connection to the Cleveland music scene?
I played guitar and sang for many years in a band called Calo. It was a three-piece experimental heavy metal kind of thing. We put out one album, De Liberato, and countless demos from the late ’90s until about 2010. I played bass in Battle for Westpark from around 2016 until 2019. I have recorded various bands throughout the years and have put together and promoted shows around town. I am currently playing guitar with Studbull’s Disco Biscuit.
Who have been your favorite guests and why?
I never pick favorites. Everything genuine has its own beauty and I believe it’s my responsibility to understand rather than judge.
That being said, I will tell you the first time I had someone on that I was a true fan of and did not know him prior to the video. I followed Aaron Dallison’s career throughout the years and have always appreciated the various bands he played with. The style aligned with what I always thought was interesting about music.
Tony Erba was someone that stands out because I didn’t know him prior to having him on the show and to hear the responses from that show and realize just how many people that man has touched and has commanded respect from was very eye opening to me.
Who’s your dream interview?
I often think of The Beer Guy or Super Pimp, that would be super iconic Cleveland. I could probably rattle off a bunch of popular stars from Cleveland but, is that sub-culture?
I would never turn anyone down or limit it in any way. But I am interested in people that are genuinely interesting and talented. People that fly under the radar because they don’t have 20 million followers on Instagram or TikTok.
What podcasts do you listen to?
I really wish Sean Carroll would have more podcasts because I would listen to him more. Mindscape with Sean Carroll is slightly over my head at times so it keeps me on my toes. I look forward to his “Ask Me Anything” episodes. I almost never miss a Lex Fridman episode. Under the Skin with Russell Brand is great.
You asked about guests that I would like to have on, Lawrence Krauss was a professor at Case Western University [He was my physics professor way back when! -SC]. He has a podcast called The Origins Podcast which I have to be honest is what I think about when I talk to people. He focuses on the origin of whatever guest he has on and follows their career. Its mainly scientists on his cast and I like that.
What’s next for Sub-Cle?
Moving forward with SUB-CLE means more of the same. And when I say more I mean MORE. The same thing, just more of it. Maybe there will be a SUB-USA someday.
Until then, creating shorter more engaging content because I understand not everyone wants to sit through a 3 hour conversation. People shouldn’t have to do the work to get the info. Making it easier to access information about the interesting guests, places and food on SUB-CLE is something that interests me.
What’s your favorite thing about Cleveland right now?
Here we go with the favorites thing again. My favorite thing about Cleveland is the same now as it was the first time I travelled to another country and came back. I realized that Cleveland has everything any major city in the world has, world class art, music, museums, food and sports. You get all of this and an amazing park system with none of the crazy traffic.
Cleveland has the best three seasons (fuck winter). Cleveland also sits next to one of the largest fresh water supplies in the world. I would say that is very essential in recent times.