I Am The Avalanche - 09.15.11

Interviewed by
I Am The Avalanche - 09.15.11I Am The Avalanche is releasing its new record, Avalanche United, very soon and will be touring with Saves the Day, Bayside, Transit, Hostage Calm, and more to support it. I got to talk to Vinnie Caruana, the lead singer, in one of the most sincere interviews I've ever conducted. Thanks to Vinnie for taking time to talk to AP.net.

You guys are putting out Avalanche United on I Surrender Records. What made you choose I Surrender Records besides the fact that the owner, Rob Hitt, is a very good friend of yours?
Weíve been talking for a while, weíre buddies and he had some ideas to bring us back into the world and we werenít trying to sign a big deal or trying to sign to a big label for a really long time. He knows a lot about our band and us personally so we made a small deal with him so we keep it on a friend level and thatís kind of how we operate our band. Heís instrumental in bringing us back into the recording business and I think itís going to be really great for him as well as a small label putting out this record.

Is it a relief to finally get this record out after such a long time since your last record?
It feels amazing. It feels like this is the first record Iíve ever released. On top of all that, people starting to hear the record seem to love it. Itís one of those things where sometimes things get rough and really hard and itís hard to accomplish your goals and things stand in your way and life stands in your way. It actually feels like things are coming together. Things are happening and the things we set out to do are finally coming true. I think we wrote an amazing record on top of all of that.

Do you look back at some of the songs on the record and think that since some of them have been out there, theyíre already played out or are you excited just to play music again?
I wouldnít have put any songs I didnít like on the record or songs I didnít want to play. So, no but as far as that goes, a lot of the music we wrote 3 or 4 years ago arenít on the record. There are some songs that leaked that a lot of people know, which is fine because people got into the music and some of those songs are going on the record but for the most part we did go back in the last year and once we realized that we were going to re-tool everything and get back into business, we wrote a lot of music. A lot of the songs that are on the record that people havenít heard are brand new to them.

You guys are going out with Bayside, Saves the Day, and Transit. How did you guys get involved since it was put together a long time ago in the spring?
Anthony called me ďHey, do you guys want to do a tour weíre doing in the fall?Ē It was a really long time ago. We had already begun recording our record and I knew everything would be done and I knew that it would be the time we would get it out by. We didnít want to do any tour until we had the record out. We slightly used that as our deadline. ĎWe need to have this record out because weíre going to be on this tour and weíre going to use this tour as a way to re-introduce ourselves.í

Where do you see IATA fitting in now? Do you think itís with the new generation of kids and bands like Transit, Man Overboard, and Make Do and Mend or with the older crowd like Saves the Day and Bayside?
I think itís going to be a mixture of both. Itís not like we completely went away. Avalanche was still playing shows with all of these newer and younger bands even though we havenít released a record in 5 years we still toured and played a lot of shows. Even though weíre a part of that scene, we donít sound the same; I donít think any of those bands sound the same. Transit doesnít sound like Title Fight and Title Fight doesnít sound like Balance & Composure. Everybody sounds different. I donít think there is a distinct sound going on. Iíve never in my life been concerned with what other bands are doing. We didnít write this record thinking ĎWhere are we going to fit in and what type of songs should we write?í Itís more like ĎThis is our record; this is what we feel like playing right now.í

Iím sure youíre sitting on a lot of new material and itís probably preemptive, but any plans to release a split or new EP?
There are no plans in place but I think once we release the record and get on the road and things get cooking, weíll figure it out, but weíll get more music out to the people as weíre on tour and through the touring cycle. There is definitely more music to come before another full length comes. Weíre going to have a studio with us on the road at all times. I would imagine the next record will be written by next spring. We want to put out lots of records. We want to come back and be prolific. We want to be artists and professional musicians. Thatís exactly what weíre about to do; come back and be full time musicians again. Iíve already begun writing for a new I Am The Avalanche record. Our guitarist Mikey has been writing as well. Our new record will come a lot sooner than people realize.

Recording, it must have felt good to get back in the studio. Who worked on the record with you and are there any parts that you really feel attached or proud of that a casual listener might not pick up right away?
We recorded the drums at Brian McTernanís studio called Salad Days. In the Ratt Studios in New Jersey, which is the studio our drummer owns, the Ratt produced the rest of our record. We had help from a few engineers. Our friend Greg Altman, who weíve worked with on demos in the past, he assisted on some engineering in New Jersey. The whole New Jersey thing, and the whole brunt of the entire record being recorded, it was all of us kind of working and living our regular lives and working jobs and going to New Jersey whenever we could, it was a very long process. We were back and forth between New Jersey for 4 months. Halfway through on my vocals, I started to kind of have a bit of a mental collapse. I took a break for a little while and then I came back and started singing again and things went really well in the vocal booth after that. I had a lot of fire in my belly and I have a lot of shit in my head and a lot of weird shit happened to me and that had a lot to do with me in the studio. It got ugly in the studio because itís all real shit Iím singing about. I kind of freaked out and lost my mind for a little bit and I stepped back and when I came back in, I felt like an animal, in a good way, just ripping through the vocal tracks and my voice just doing exactly what I wanted it to do. We had friends in and out of the studio, hanging out, Anthony from Bayside was the first to sing on the record since he was going on this long tour so I brought him in and he sung his part and then I did my parts way after.

What song did he sing on?
He sung on a song called ďThe Grave Diggerís Argument.Ē Itís about a grave digger getting into it with his wife and digging a hole and putting her in the backyard.

Are there any songs you feel extremely attached to that say ĎThis song fits my life perfectly at this time?í
I re-wrote the lyrics to this one song a bunch of times and then after I kind of lost it and after I re-wrote after I got out of the hospital, itís kind of a song about anxiety and panicking and about mental anguish and a mental disorder and itís about persevering through shit like that and staying tough through stuff and sorting your life out. Itís called ďIíll Be Back Around.Ē

How did you balance The Movielife reunion shows and recording the new record?
Finishing up The Movielife didnít take much time out of my schedule. We played two shows, one at Bamboozle and our final one in New York City. The Movielife wasnít really a thing unless we were practicing or playing a show. We practiced once a week and go through the songs together to make sure the shows we were playing were going to be awesome. The Movielife didnít really take anything out of our lives; it was very, not even, part time. It didnít take anyoneís focus away. So as far as me recording the record, it didnít really have an effect at all on me.

I was at the Bamboozle show, and it was incredible.
Thanks man. Iím really stoked about Bamboozle, it went over really well. Iím really stoked to be done with it, to be honest, Iím sick of talking about it. Itís a really cool thing and a really special and amazing thing to me in my life. The Movielife is important to me and a lot of people and its legacy is important to me as well and Iím happy about the impact that it made. Iím happy that itís over. Iím happy I donít have to think about it anymore. Iím happy with what we left behind. Everything about The Movielife ending makes me even happier and about everything going on about Avalanche and releasing this record and showing people whatís up. Itís going to blow everyone away and I donít think people realize that yet. Some people do and some people feel the power behind Avalanche and the people within the band. Once the record comes out, people will probably talk less about The Movielife.

I didnít really want to talk about The Movielife, but I feel like I am kind of obligated to do soÖanyway, what new bands have you been listening to?
Weíre taking Hostage Calm on our UK tour. I had never heard them and I think they are doing very interesting stuff and theyíre cool and really easy to listen to. I think Balance and Composure is really good. I think they have the potential to be great. I hope they continue to write the way they write. Plus theyíre young as shit. The majority of music I listen to has nothing to do with the scene of music that Iím in.

Finally, anything else you want to say?
I go and read shit sometimes when there are posts about us and when we announce stuff through you guys. I try not to, but I do try and read what kids think because I try to keep my ear to the ground as far as what the vibe is out there regarding our band and I got to say ĎThanks.í I gotta say, every time there is a post about our band, all of the replies are positive and uplifting, so just thank you for supporting us and sticking with the band.
Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 20
06:46 AM on 09/29/11
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If Vinnie if not one of the nicest and most sincere people out there. I must admit, I was at that Bamboozle show and was completely blown away by The Movielife but on the flip side I am completely excited for the new I Am The Avalanche record. I am going to both philly dates of the tour and I'm beyond stoked for the new record.
07:03 AM on 09/29/11
Strong Island's Finest
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JacksColdSweat's Avatar
Hi Vinnie.
07:04 AM on 09/29/11
Christian Wagner
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If Vinnie if not one of the nicest and most sincere people out there. I must admit, I was at that Bamboozle show and was completely blown away by The Movielife but on the flip side I am completely excited for the new I Am The Avalanche record. I am going to both philly dates of the tour and I'm beyond stoked for the new record.
Dude is one of the nicest people out there.
07:09 AM on 09/29/11
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mikesmovielife's Avatar
I was in a band that played with IATA a few years ago and I got to hang with vinnie in backstage area. Dude is so nice and genuine.

Also, as someone who suffers from anxiety and panic attacks, I'm stoked to hear I'll be back around.

I'm expecting this record to take over my musical world.
07:17 AM on 09/29/11
Sic Transit Zeb
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Wow, I didn't know they were with STD-Bayside and Transit. That show is going to be fucking amazing.
07:32 AM on 09/29/11
Are you watching closely?
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Nolessthanblink's Avatar
Been waiting for this record for a long time! Hope it delivers!
07:38 AM on 09/29/11
Lessons learned from my mistakes...
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andyball2311's Avatar
I completely agree with the Movielife being over and now being able to move on with Avalanche.

Stoked for the new record, and stoked that there are plans for new material soon after.
08:03 AM on 09/29/11
I'll be back around
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phillycheese37's Avatar
Record is going to be amazing, I can't wait.
08:06 AM on 09/29/11
Holly HoX!
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Holly HoX!'s Avatar
Nice interview, dude. But you should really un-italicize Vinnie's responses - it's really annoying. The bolded questions are enough to distinguish who is speaking. Just my two cents.
08:07 AM on 09/29/11
Holly HoX!
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Holly HoX!'s Avatar
Dude is one of the nicest people out there.

08:07 AM on 09/29/11
Next Show: Jack's Mannequin NYC 2/3
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ACA's Avatar
I wonder if he regrets the band name.

Seems like he would prefer Avalanche or Avalanche United as his band name, now, in 2011.
08:19 AM on 09/29/11
Get in that ass, Larry!
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i saw IATA at a big pop punk fest in ct last summer, hostage calm opened up like 8 hours before IATA did haha. I was too afraid to say hi though, Vinnie you gotta take out With The Punches some time!!!!
08:52 AM on 09/29/11
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mycuban's Avatar
i just want to hear this fucking record already.
09:06 AM on 09/29/11
The Low-Cal Calzone Zone
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spiffa0's Avatar
Beyond excited that this album is out in October and they're already writing some stuff for a new record.

This is definitely AOTY potential.

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