Carlo Caprio would certainly forgive you if you thought his rock band’s name was Scivoloso Quando Bagnato. After all, that’s how Slippery When Wet translates into Italian. And the Oak Lawn native Ñ aside from being a formidable frontman and lead singer Ñ is also a first-generation Italian American who speaks the mother tongue with a Napoletano twist.
Aside from his immediate kin, “Most of my family still lives in Italia,” says Caprio, who turned 41 in November. “Growing up in an Italian household was a great influence, just knowing my parents came to America from another country. I remember many times for parties and holidays singing old Napoletano classics, because as every Italiano knows, the Naples region has great singers and songwriters.”
Still, a musician has to blaze his own trail. Caprio’s artistic path took an unlikely turn at age 15, when he joined a Polish wedding band. “I was a drummer and singer, just enjoying my time,” he recalls. “Then I started to get in on the rock scene, knowing I had more to give.” That meant leaving the drummer’s throne for a perch at center stage Ñ not that Caprio has any regrets.
Today Caprio sings the best of Kiss, Bon Jovi, Boston, Styx, Kid Rock and other classic rock acts. “My influences have always been showmen as well as great performers,” he says. “These bands helped me to gain an understanding of great vocal control.”
Caprio comes to Slipper When Wet straight from the Leftovers, where he worked with his brother Luigi. Getting on stage offers a great outlet for this rocker who works by day as director of operations for MC Property Management Corp in southwest suburban Lemont.
But Caprio is no mere weekend warrior. For starters, no one’s tougher on his performance than he is. “I’ve made it a point to never stop growing through new generations of music, and to always take suggestions in stride,” he says. ” Not every show is the best or the greatest, but I strive to make myself better than the last.”
He adds: “I’ve played many great venues, from community festivals to casinos to basically every tavern and bar in the south and southwest suburbs,” Caprio says. “If I had to choose my favorite gig, it was playing Toyota Park in Bridgeview… I also enjoyed opening for Eddie Money and Hilary Duff at Chicago Ridge Fest a few years back.”
Outside music, Caprio is a dedicated Chicago Blackhawks fan, and works with UNICO and the Sons of Italy on philanthropic projects, and enjoys his time with family. Still, music finds a way to seep in, as he’s working on a new band, the Krazy Uncles Project, with his wife, Lisa, and his three kids, Carli, Dominic and Dylan.
His spouse and children, he adds, fill his life with song in other ways. “I’m proud to be an American Italian, with a great family and support system in my life,” Caprio says. “I could not ask for a greater thing.”