I Am The Avalanche
'Tumblin' Into Ecstasy'
Touring in a band can be eye-opening, engendering a greater sense of self and the world. In the six years Vinnie Caruana sang with The Movielife, he learned how to write songs, win over audiences and survive living with the same guys for months at a time. But it was the 18 months after The Movielife’s 2003 breakup that prompted the greatest personal and creative growth.
“I went through some of the worst stuff I’ve ever had to deal with and some of the best stuff, too” Caruana says. “It really woke me up to a lot of things and it was humbling, too. The Movielife got off the stage in front of 3,000 kids, and then two days later I was working construction in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. So, my whole life and perspective changed dramatically.”
When Caruana finally decided to play music again, he had plenty of material from which to draw. 'I Am The Avalanche', the self-titled debut by his new band (Caruana, Brandon Swanson - guitar; Kellen Robson -bass; Michael Ireland - guitar; Brett Romnes - drums), is energized, melodic, turbulent, scathing and vulnerable, reflecting the frustration, instability and hope of its creator and resonating with the twists and turns of an artist coming to grips with the situations he has faced and overcome.
Catching up with Vinnie Caruana (vocals, guitar), I first wondered where their distinctive band name originated? "That’s what I was when I started writing. A natural disaster of a beast ready to explode."
What else could it so easily have been? "Nuggets."
And, while we're on the subject, why self-title it instead of naming it something different? "This is the first sha-bang. It just made sense this time around. I already have some good ideas on name for the next one."
Being an independent artist always has its risks, so what has been the biggest risk that you as a band have undertaken thus far? "This is all a risk in a business sense. You will be poor until people like you, and that’s if it that ever happens for you. But, I'm not a businessman. I'm a musician. F**k money. Play music."
This new album seems to carry a lot of lyrical fears and dreams, but are all the tracks really that personal or have some been created for the public's pleasure?! "I've never, ever wrote a song that isn’t an exact account of what really happened. It's all real. Imagine that. That’s how everyone should write. F**k being vague."
What cheesy '80s song would you love to cover if asked ... and why?! "It would be 'Talk Dirty To Me' by Poison. Great song. Perfect structure. Sucks though!"
If there were just 3 words that described I Am The Avalanche, what would they be? "Sexy, salty, pan-seared."
If you were asked to record a single for charity, and had to choose 3 other KNOWN musicians to aid you in the project (but no one from your own band!), who would they be, what instruments would they play, and what would the name of the NEW song be?! "I suppose I'm the singer, huh? OK, Stuart Copland (Police) on the skins, Daryl Palumbo (Head Auto, and Glassjaw) on guitars. He”s a very underrated guitarist, dude from Muse on keys, Kim Deal (Pixies, Breeders) on bass. Just so we can hang. Song would be calllllllllledddddddd………, “Say It Like You Have A Mustache”.
Finally, I like Penguins, ... do you? " They are cool. I don’t have penguin posters on my wall or anything."
Thank you for doing this for us today, and we wish you all the best for the future. "No, thank you. Awesome questions. I hope you like the answers. Thanks for the kind words. Much love, Vinnie - I am The Avalanche."
Interviewed by Russell A. Trunk
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