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Interview: I am the Avalanche - 09.12.08
 

I am the Avalanche - 09.12.08

Interviewed by
I am the Avalanche - 09.12.08Vinnie Caruana, the lead singer from I am the Avalanche answers some questions from the fans at AbsolutePunk.net. He talks about what plans are being made for a new album, a new DVD documenting the band’s adventure thus far, and who makes the band’s really cool shirts. For those fans who have been waiting for his responses, he says, “Thanks for your patience!.”

On the band’s Myspace page, Brandon mentioned that you started writing new songs at his parents house in Virginia Beach earlier this year. Will those songs be on a new record, and why has the band taken so long to release a new record?
Vinnie Caruana: Its actually Mike’s parents who live in Virginia Beach. We don't operate like a normal band. We don't practice every day and see each other every day. When we are not touring, Brandon goes to Minnesota and the Ratt goes to Florida. We are trying to change this arrangement, so we go on these writing retreats. We leave the city and buckle down and have intensive writing sessions usually a few weeks long, where we jam on tracks that me and Mike write while no one is around. There will definitely be songs from those sessions making the cut.

Many fans feel that it is your label’s decision to hold off on releasing a new album. How involved is your label in the band’s decision-making? What would you like fans to know about your label and how they have treated you?
Caruana: I suppose the time will come very soon. As for the fans, I wouldn't go on here and talk shit on Drive Thru so people can get some juicy gossip. The important thing is, we are working through it and will come out golden on the other side. We believe in us and there are people all around the world who believe in us. And we are doing our best to give you something new to listen too. It makes me feel amazing to know how many peeps are craving a new Avalanche record.

Many music writers called your debut record “balls-kicking.” What frame of mind was the band in when you were writing the songs for your self-titled record to make them that way, and are the new songs like that?
Caruana: I really love the songs on the debut record but one thing bothers me about it. We were very wet behind the ears and just happy to be in Seattle. We hadn't toured before we did the record and didn't get a good idea of what the tempos should be. It’s waaaayyyy to slow. Those of you who have seen our shows tend to see us play almost twice as fast. The record can be misleading. We won't make that mistake again. The new music is, for the most part, upbeat, anthemic and fun. But keep in mind this is all done in a very Avalanche way.

Would you like to work with record producer, Barrett Jones again if you make a new record, or do you have someone else in mind? What was it like working with Jones for the band‘s self-titled album?
Caruana: We haven't made any final decisions, but it is logical for a band to want to try new things and work with other people. Our experience working with Barrett on the debut was one of the best times of our lives.

While you were recording in Virginia Beach, what direction did the new material take and what influenced the band to go in that direction? Is the songwriting different this time around for the band?
Caruana: I touched on some of this on another question, but the main difference is, I wrote almost the entire debut record before I had assembled a band. It was a very low point in my life. I had just been left and cheated on by my main squeeze, and was forced to move back to Long Island to my parents house. Nowadays, there is heavy collaboration between band members and I'm happily married, no not to the demon-seed mentioned in songs off the debut.

On Brandon’s Myspace blog, he mentioned that you were using Garageband to record the new songs. Can you explain to fans what Garageband allows you to do, and why do you use Garageband instead of something else like Pro-Tools or Sibelius? Why does Garageband fit your needs?
Caruana: Garage Band is just what we use to lay down ideas. If you go nuts and dig deep you can get decent sounds, but its definitely a rough demo scenario. We have done demos on Pro Tools rigs with hired engineers as well.

This question is in reference to AbsolutePunk.net’s user AllHourCymbals who wanted to know if some new tracks posted on the band’s Purevolume.com site would make it onto a new record like “Mrs. Green” and “Brooklyn Dodgers”?
Caruana: Whenever we release music there is always the chance of licensing the music for TV, film or other outlets. I can’t say for certain what songs will make it to the record. “Brooklyn Dodgers” will for sure. It’s a banger straight up and down and people already know the words. We recorded those songs that day for PureVolume, because we felt like recording those songs on that day.

What was the inspiration for “Mrs. Green” and “Brooklyn Dodgers”?
Caruana: Mrs. Green is about hard times and what we all individually turn to as a crutch to help us through. Friends? Family? God? Drugs? Dr. Phil? Brooklyn Dodgers is written for my father and is partially written from his point of view. He's an old school Brooklyn Sicilian who was a Dodgers fan. Members of the team would walk around his hood and all the kids would follow them around. He's my Brooklyn Dodger. There's a line in there about how my relatives had to change their names to fit into the American vibe easier. Their last name was Macaroni and it became Maccone. My last name is Caruana and has not changed. And yes my last name is pronounced like weed - herb, trees, ganja except with a C. Go figure! Both songs will be more amplified.

How did you get involved with PunkRockVids.com, and why did you choose the live footage at the AVA Lounge of the band performing “New Disaster” for the online video channel? What do you think of online video channels like PunkRockVids? Do they mean as much for a band as being on MTV or FUSE-TV?
Caruana: I suppose they asked us to tape a set. I don't think we chose what went up. I'm not even sure what show you are mentioning. But yes, considering we don't have a music video that will change with the new record. Sites like that are vital for bands like us.

On the band’s Myspace site, you have posted a camera-phone video taken by one of your fans in the audience. Do you encourage fans to video your shows?
Caruana: A rad YouTube video is a rad YouTube video. If we find a clip that represents us well, we'll stick it up there. I'm so thankful for people recording songs on their phones and cameras, otherwise I would never see our shows.

Do you think that it has helped the band to have profile pages on different music sites like Myspace, Purevolume, Last.fm, and Bandnation.com, or is the Internet over-stuffed with sites like these? Would you recommend that other bands use these Internet outlets to set themselves up In the public eye?
Caruana: Every little bit helps. Myspace is huge for every band. PureVolume has showed us love as well. Yes, I'd say get your s--t out on as many things as possible.

Why did the band emphasize playing live so heavily in the beginning? How did playing all of those live shows benefit the band? Would you recommend that other bands to follow this path, or was it too much for you looking back?
Caruana: I think it’s only natural for a band to play a bunch of shows around home to build the fan base and build confidence before embarking on a journey around the world. It helped get the kinks out and get’s everyone on the same page. We actually played our 1st two shows in England. God, I love England.

Do you think that I am the Avalanche would consider hiring a filmmaker to tape entire concerts so you can post the footage on the band’s various sites? Is this an idea that the band is considering?
Caruana: Glad you asked. We definitely plan on having a filmaker document our recording process and touring for the next record. We also have tapes upon tapes of crazy shit from the past tours that we will also use. I guess you can say a really entertaining DVD is in the cards. One that will make you fall in love with all the wonderfully unique characters in our band.

How did the shows with Gym Class Heroes go? Does it still feel brand new when you come into town, or is touring beginning to feel mundane for you?
Caruana: GCH tour was great. It was a college tour, so shows were a bit different than normal club shows. Keep in mind this was a hip hop tour: GCH, Tyga, and Kidz in the Hall. We won over people that were def not planning on seeing anything like us. We proved to ourselves that we are versatile and a real deal band that can roll deep in any situation. Touring is always more fun when a new record is out. You feel a sense of motivation to push that record. We still have a blast, otherwise we wouldn't do it. But we really gotta make a record. It'll get done.

This question was provided by AbsolutePunk.net’s user, xXrunninglateXx who asked if IATA have more shows set up for the remainder of 2008, or do they have other plans to finish off the year with?
Caruana: We are going out on tour with 4 year strong, this is heck, and a loss for words in October. It'll be brotastic. All the bands are super down with each other. We have toured with 4 years and this is heck before. This is h.e. double hockey sticks and iata will do some shows on the way home as well.

Is there anxiety that what happened to Movielife will happen to I am the Avalanche, or is it different somehow this time?
Caruana: Brandon didn't play in Movielife, I did, and we lasted 6 years not 3. And no we feel no pressure or signs of stopping. In fact, (it’s) just the opposite. We have over 30 songs written and are f—king stooooked to put out (a) record and tour around the world again.

AbsolutePunk.net user GetUpKidd wanted to know: Why do you have the f--king best name ever and has having this name made you feel stronger?
Caruana: We love our name and so do most others. It paints a picture and most of all it means a lot. I hate when bands tell me their name means nothing. That's just sad. It’s an opportunity to make a statement and present yourself.

AbsolutePunk.net user UrTheAvalanche wanted to know: Will Ratt come back from Florida with his mustache?
Caruana: I hope the Ratt has a mustache when he shows up for rehearsals. He looks weird without one at this point. We are so used to the 'stache. I don't think his chick likes it, but if I had to kiss him, I'd prefer a thick mane of hair to be stylishly sitting on his upper lip.

UrTheAvalanche also wanted to know: Can we hear “Summertime Rivington Vibe” played live in the future?
Caruana: That's a possibility. We will revisit a lot of songs as our career goes on. We will never be one of those bands that abandons their old music that people love. Don't you hate when that happens?

AbsolutePunk.net user PillsAndAdvice wanted to know: When will we hear “Firestorm” played acoustically?
Caruana:. “Firestorm” is fine the way it is. It sounds weird to do chuggy mosh part without distortion. But anything goes in IATA world. So you may see a lightning-fast paced Lionel Ritchie cover album before we even think about recording our sophomore effort. I kid!

AbsolutePunk.net user BaseballKing wanted to know: Any possible collaborations with other bands or artists in the near future, or another split CD like the one you did with The Early November for Drive-Thru Records?
Caruana: The idea is to record more songs than we need, and use them for digital split EP's with our friends bands, that would be made available for free download. How's that for a slice of fried gold?

AbsolutePunk.net user LostInTheAir wanted to know: Who draws all of your killer T-shirts?
Caruana: Our designs have some from all over, but lately we've been dealing our Bud Colin, who Brandon knows from home. He's insanely good. Our newer merch had been beautiful and printed in higher quality, good fitting shit. Our good friend Jackie Papers has also done a fair share. This next tour will have more shit like underwear, girls cut tanks and tees, and handmade, hand numbered, silkscreened posters for you to frame and hang on your wall.
 
Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 23
01:52 PM on 09/12/08
#2
meliisssaaaa
love me or leave me alone.
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like this interview. can't wait for the new cd and their dvd whenever that will be.
02:00 PM on 09/12/08
#3
ohstumbleine
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He's amazing.
02:01 PM on 09/12/08
#4
panic!attheap
mega cool
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i love i am the avalanche
02:52 PM on 09/12/08
#5
jimjam32
www.myspace.com/withhonorsmusic
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Quote:

The new music is, for the most part, upbeat, anthemic and fun.
AWESOME!! can't wait for new iata. i love their fastER songs in the s/t.
02:56 PM on 09/12/08
#6
CstSnow
Clear Eyes, Full Hearts, Cant Lose
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Great read, I cant wait for the next full length, the demo's are really cool.
02:58 PM on 09/12/08
#7
baseballking
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holy tits i can't wait to hear more from them in the near future
03:24 PM on 09/12/08
#8
altemose09
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love them. might drive to NJ to see them on the 5th.
04:13 PM on 09/12/08
#9
losethegirl
Super Hero In My World
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I will always always love Vinnie and this band even if they do that Lionel Richie covers record. If you haven't see them live, just do it, and talk to them.
05:07 PM on 09/12/08
allhourcymbals
embrace the silence
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Quote:
This question is in reference to AbsolutePunk.net’s user AllHourCymbals who wanted to know if some new tracks posted on the band’s Purevolume.com site would make it onto a new record like “Mrs. Green” and “Brooklyn Dodgers”?
Caruana: Whenever we release music there is always the chance of licensing the music for TV, film or other outlets. I can’t say for certain what songs will make it to the record. “Brooklyn Dodgers” will for sure. It’s a banger straight up and down and people already know the words. We recorded those songs that day for PureVolume, because we felt like recording those songs on that day.

Sweet.
05:42 PM on 09/12/08
justletgo
i told you to be patient.
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what a guy.
09:47 PM on 09/12/08
ESundy36
GO FRIARS!
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Great interview. I can't wait to hear some new tunes.
12:45 AM on 09/13/08
DCD08
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jesus this one is long haha.....

interesting about the tempo tho. they seem pretty fast as it is on the record.
i gotta see them live.
05:59 AM on 09/13/08
tommyhaych
Mayor West
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Note to self: Use the adjective 'Brotastic' more often.
06:50 AM on 09/13/08
theMATEOlife
that's ridiculous
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this band is too good, so stoked for a new record and the fys tour

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