Tag Archives: davey muise

A Farewell To Vanna

Where We Are Now, The Sun Sets Here for Vanna

For over a decade, Boston’s Vanna have been creating aggressive music for us to sing along and swing our fists to. Vanna has helped me get through some tough times and made others great. They will remain a part of my life through their music that I will continue to listen to even after they’ve closed the curtains.

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INTERVIEW: Church Tongue Talk New Record ‘Heart Failure,’ Setting People On Fire

If you’re like us, you were introduced to Indiana’s Church Tongue when a video of the band setting their guitarist (Chris Sawicki) on fire went viral last year.  The act was one of the most insane displays of punk we’ve ever seen, and now the band are here to deliver a new record to shake the hardcore scene. Church Tongue guitarist Nicko Calderon took some time to talk to us about the upcoming record, Heart Failureand why they started setting people on fire in the first place. 

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LIVE SHOTS: Warped Tour 2016 @ Holmdel, NJ

Oh man, oh man, oh man. It’s that time of year again. We caught the Holmdel, NJ date of the 2016 Vans Warped Tour and had the good fortune of watching, photographing, and moshing to bands like Every Time I Die, Old Wounds, Capsize, Ice Nine Kills and more! Check out some of our shots from that hot, hot day and see you punks again next year!

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Record Review: Vanna – ‘All Hell’

Vanna returns with All Hell, a heart-wrenching, hateful, 10 track roller coaster of an album. It’s dark and depressing, oozing with melancholy and despair, but at it’s core, beneath a crust of loathing and abhorrence, is a delicate bubble of hope and courage. The entire record demands you to stand up for yourself because no one is going to do it for you.

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VIDEO PREMIERE: Vanna “Pretty Grim”

Vanna have just premiered the music video for their new song “Pretty Grim” off the upcoming album All Hell, to be released via Pure Noise Records July 8th. The video follows a young man dressed to the nines in all black who turns out to be Death himself. The video definitely adheres to the name of the song, as yours truly Davey Muise appears to be on Death’s list by the end. Check out the video, pre-order the record, and be sure to catch Vanna on Warped Tour this summer!

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EP REVIEW: To Live As Wolves – ‘Breakneck Road’

Staten Island’s very own To Live As Wolves know how to deliver both an emotional and gritty performance with their new EP, Breakneck Road. Many different melodic hardcore and metalcore influences seep through the headbanging riffs and engaging melodies throughout the EP and the songs flow in a very organic way. In a genre where many bands attempt to mix all of their favorite styles and churn out music that sounds rather black and white, Breakneck Road is full of depth that is natural and well-crafted.

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INTERVIEW: Brandon Roman (To Live As Wolves) Talks New EP ‘Breakneck Road,’ Working with Davey Muise

When someone like Davey Muise, the vocalist of Boston hardcore band Vanna, takes a chance on a band, you have to figure they’re worth paying attention to. Meet To Live As Wolves, a post-hardcore band out of Staten Island who are bringing back that melodic but still heavy emo-influenced sound. They’re set to release their new EP tomorrow, Breakneck Road, and it’s definitely one you need to hear. But before you do, get some insider info from TLAW vocalist Brandon Roman right here!

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Interview with Chris Murray of Illuminate Me

Photo Credit: Evan Dell Photography
Photo Credit: Evan Dell Photography

The last time I interviewed vocalist Chris Murray and the rest of Illuminate Me I made them do the ice bucket challenge outside of the New Jersey venue Dingbatz (#sorrynotsorry). This time around Murray was a safe distance away over the phone, but I still got to ask him questions about new single Lost Art,” his battle with Facebook, and the chaos that is an Illuminate Me live performance.

Recently, Murray has attracted some serious attention in the underground community for launching an online petition against Facebook’s current advertising policies. The petition, which now has nearly 50,000 signatures, calls for common sense action: “We want Facebook to remove having to pay to reach fans and followers.” Murray’s views are shared and supported by many, including bands like A Lot Like Birds and Scale The Summit, who have also found paying for followers they already have to be frustrating.

When I spoke with the vocalist, he had just been told his meeting with the social media mega-giant had been rescheduled. “I would love to keep on getting higher up into the higher representatives in Facebook to someone who can have a serious conversation with me about it,” he says, getting the sense that he may be given the bureaucratic runaround. “If anything, there has to be some sort of change done to where people can just get their stuff reached out to their own fan base in a more fair way. What they’re doing right now is just making people pour money into a social media account that already has people connected to it…I don’t get it.” He adds, “I get if you want to pay for followers you don’t have and you want to get more followers, that makes sense to me completely.”

Artwork by Daniel Wagner, D-Dub Designs
Artwork by Daniel Wagner, D-Dub Designs

“I would love to see bands who get weird get more notoriety”

Connected to the Facebook problem is Illuminate Me’s new single, “Lost Art.” “Can you hear me? / Am I getting through?” are the first lyrics of the unforgiving track, and amongst other issues, speak to the apparent voicelessness of bands online.

“I feel like a lot of bands and a lot of artists–and not even just art, but small businesses for example–they really don’t get their voice heard because of this, because we’re being so limited. Granted, I understand we can get on Instagram, we can get on Twitter, we can get on wherever else that’s not Facebook, but Facebook is the main social network and that is the place to be if you want to connect to the right people. So in a way it is a call out to that situation.”

“Lost Art” is about more than just Facebook, however. Being forced to pay for the attention of your fan base creates other troubles for an underground music scene; namely, the concept of “image” in a scene that is supposedly meant to avoid that altogether.

Murray notes, “I feel like there’s more of a pressure nowadays, especially with the whole idea that we have to put money into making people be aware of us. There’s a lot of pressure now to all flock to the same image or style. I just see so many bands that look and sound alike. It’s cool to see that if you like what you’re doing and you’re happy with what you’re doing, by all means do what you do. But a lot of bands do it for the sake of people paying attention to them. You could try to be a little different.”

A bit dismayed, he adds, “I feel like the creativity spectrum is becoming more slim.”

Illuminate Me live; Photo Credit Rhia B Photography
Illuminate Me live; Photo Credit Rhia B Photography

His observation reminds me of a line from HXC‘s recent interview with Davey Muise of Vanna, in which Muise expresses the same frustration: “If you’re reading this interview, your beanie sucks, your hoodie sucks, nobody cares. Just listen to the music you want to listen to.”

Murray laughs. “Yeah, I couldn’t agree more. This environment [is] to be self aware that we are outcasts, that we aren’t supposed to be part of society. It’s not supposed to be a trend, but I guess once you have major record labels looking at ‘Oh wow, they’re making money. Let’s bank on this and let’s make it a trend,’ it happens that way. But my favorite bands are the bands that continue to be themselves and not fall into the whole trend bandwagon. Vanna is one of them, for sure.”

He counts out other bands that inspire him: Every Time I Die, Glassjaw, At The Drive In.”I feel like that whole kind of era of music is over and now we just see bands that are like ‘How heavy can I get my breakdown?’ [laughs] I mean, I’ve heard a breakdown before, can we try something else?”

Then he concedes, “But at the same time, we have breakdowns in our songs. We’re not the most original band. But I think as long as you’re self-aware of that, then you’re not showing a false side to you. I feel like a lot of bands who come out and say ‘We’re the voice of a generation’ or ‘We’re changing the game,’ and then you listen to them and you’re like, ‘Oh wow, not really…’ As long as you’re not saying that then you can do whatever the hell you want. But if you have these bold statements like ‘We’re revolutionary,’ then I’m gonna call bullshit.”

Delving deeper into the meaning of “Lost Art” Murray says, “I would love to see bands who get weird get more notoriety; people [to] kind of, like, appreciate the art a little bit more, but at the same time I can’t tell people what to do or what to think.”

Taken from the band's Facebook
Photo taken from the band’s Facebook

“I thought he literally lost his eyeball!”

If there’s one band who likes to get weird during a show it’s Illuminate Me. A standard practice for the band, for example, is to take the entire drum kit off the stage and reassemble it on the floor in the center of the crowd, standing on top of the instruments and then just kicking the pieces all around the room. But with such an animated live show comes a poor track record for self-preservation. I recall one show (picture above) to Murray in which he apparently fell through a ceiling during their set.

“Oh yeah,” he remembers. “That was the one at the indoor skatepark right? Across the room from where the stage was there was this little room that has a ceiling that you can get on top of that’s like, inside the skatepark. So during the last part of our set where we take the drums down, we take them apart and get into the crowd…I climbed up there on that ceiling thinking ‘Oh, this will be able to support me,’ and right when I put my foot in two or three tiles just came crashing down.”

“I had to pay for that,” he recounts.

The list of mishaps doesn’t end there. Murray reminisces about a show in Georgia that quickly got bloody.

“Our drummer at the time—it always happens at the end of our set—he was like jumping off the drum set and our guitarist was spinning around or something, and I guess they just collided and our drummer got hit right on the nose right in between his eyes by the guitar stock. There was blood everywhere. He actually passed out for a good five seconds. Everyone in the room including us were just dead silent just like ‘Shit, is he ok?’ He got back up and he tried to get on the drums and everyone was just like ‘Nah dude. Just end it.’ We ended the set a bit early. Our bass player at the time [Kevin Hatton], he came up to me and he was like ‘He got hit in the eye! His eye’s falling out!’ and I was like ‘No fuckin’ way!’ So I go run to see if he’s alright and he just got hit in the nose. ‘I was like dude! You scared the shit out of me I thought he literally lost his eyeball!”

Murray insists that a crazy live performance is what makes Illuminate Me the band it is, and as someone who has seen them live, I completely agree. You don’t really know Illuminate Me until you’re in the same room with them, watching them topple their own merch table out of excitement.

“Personally,” he says, “I think we got even crazier with the new sound. We just played this show not too long ago and our guitarist, he like, hung upside down from the ceiling. He jumped—I think he cut his foot open?—there was just blood all over the fucking stage. I looked at me and there’s just blood all over my shirt—I guess I cut my thumb open [too]—and there was blood running down my shirt.”

Illuminate Me do the Ice Bucket Challenge
Illuminate Me do the Ice Bucket Challenge

Despite the bloodshed and the aggressive sound the band have become known for, the new album is set to take them down a slightly different path musically. According to Murray, “Lost Art”sets the tone for half of the album, but the other half “might catch people by surprise.”

“It’s definitely not heavy,” he says. “Our last album [I Have Become A Corpse] was mostly…we slammed out song after song just fast, heavy, angry, pissed off, and now we’re like ‘Okay, let’s take a step back and look at what we have and let’s try to add in a new element to what we’re doing.’ And that’s what we did. It’s progression.”

While picturing what a not-heavy Illuminate Me song might sound like is a bit like trying your hand at a Rubik’s cube for the first time, Murray sounds excited by the prospect. The new album, he says, will probably be released by the end of this summer. Let’s just hope they survive their own set long enough to play the new material.

Interview with Davey Muise of Vanna

Vanna; photo by Jeremy Saffer
Vanna; photo by Jeremy Saffer

There’s nothing quite like seeing Vanna play live. Whether it’s at an outdoor festival like Warped Tour or in the dingy basement studio of Webster Hall, Vanna is easily the most all-inclusive, interactive and genuine hardcore band on the market, though they’re probably too humble to ever admit it. With these Boston rockers, the entire venue becomes their stage, and when I say “their” I mean everyone present, because Vanna is much more than five guys in a band.  Vanna is a community made up of musicians, fans, families and friends alike.

I recently had the pleasure to chat with Vanna vocalist Davey Muise right before the band’s last house show date on the Hold On Pain Ends Tour with The Color Morale. Check out the interview below to get a no-holds-barred glimpse into the world of Vanna and their latest record VOID, the massive success that came from the track “Digging,” what playing a house show is really like, and everything the band has planned for the upcoming year.

HXC: How are you doing?
Davey Muise: I’m good. I’m currently in Boise, Idaho.  We’re going to play a house show tonight.

That’s great. So you guys are doing a kind of mixture of venue shows and house shows, right?
Yeah, we did a couple venue shows with My Ticket Home and then we did a couple of house shows with Beartooth. We’re going to do this house show [tonight], and I think this might be our last house show on the tour that we do. We had a couple days off and we’re by Boise and know some good bands from here and people from here. We just kind of thought we’d do a house show and here we are.

Doing house shows is so old school.  How’s the experience been?
It’s cool. We grew up going to shows in basements and in Boston there’s a lot of punk and hardcore shows in basements and stuff, so it’s always nice to take it back to that. It gives all these kids that normally pay 20 bucks to come up to a tour the chance to pay five bucks to come in and be with you in a very small room. It always makes for a great night and cool stories and every single house show that we’ve played so far, on this tour at least, has been awesome. We’ve had crazy stories from every single one of them. Like one of the ones we played some kid from a band lit himself on fire while he was playing, which is like absolutely insane. Then another one we played, the dude’s dad was like a roadie for Buckcherry or something, so he built a huge stage outdoors, like Warped Tour; it was less of a house show and more of just a festival. So yeah, doing house shows, they’re always interesting; they’re always fun.

That’s crazy.  How are you finding people to host these shows?
We just knew some bands from the area. They were coming through and there’s this house called Android House out in Boise that does shows out here and we were just like yeah, cool, let’s do it. And so we’re doing it and here we are.

Vanna House Show Promotion; photo via Instagram
Vanna House Show Promotion; photo via Instagram

“The whole point of hardcore and punk and metal is that none of us are cool.”

Do you prefer playing a show like that to a venue show?
I like playing them all. I always get asked if I like small venues or big venues. Each one is different.  Small club shows are awesome considering the intimate and personal aspects: stage diving and just kids losing  their minds. It’s great. And then playing big venues is cool, too, because as a band you feel accomplished by like “Wow, look at all the people that we’re playing to.” It’s really cool and you can share your music with more people. Then house shows are to remind you why you started playing in a band to begin with. So I like to run the gambit with shows; we really enjoy doing it all.  I feel like Vanna, as a band, shines a lot more in intimate venues because that’s kind of the vibe of what we do, but we like to do it all.

That’s great. Is there any particular place you are looking to play?
Well, we just did our  California and Pacific Northwest run, which is always our favorite. Playing in Seattle, playing in Portland, Oregon, and LA, and all the California dates are great. We’re playing Denver pretty soon, which we’re like really stoked on. Salt Lake City is going to be good. We just like getting out and getting to other parts of the country being from the east coast. We do a lot of east coast runs and it’s nice to get out and do other things.  We’re also looking forward to Metalfest which is coming up back home at The Palladium; it’s going to be insane.  There’s so many great bands like The Color Morale, For Today and then Motionless In White.  It’s going to be awesome.

Vanna is known for very intimate, interactive shows. There’s always kids jumping up and grabbing the mic and stage diving.  What made you guys want to have that kind of environment?
I just feel like growing up, going to shows, whatever we would do, to be able to get on stage and grab the mic for Converge or any band that we really liked growing up, that feeling that you got when a band included you in the things was something that we don’t forget. So being a band, that’s what we want to do. These kids are why we’re even here. They’re the whole rhyme and reason why we’re even a band. If we didn’t have these kids we’d have nowhere to go, nowhere to play, so not including them is just kind of really ludicrous to us.  So we always say, “This microphone is yours. This stage is yours.” Get  up, do whatever you want. There are kids that if I see them screaming I just pull them up and give them the microphone and I’ll just go hang from the ceiling somewhere. We throw our guitars in the crowd and we just want those kids to have a good night because ultimately it might be the only night they get of freedom in the entire month. So we always have our thirty minutes that we’re up there, we always just try to like give them that freedom, give them that space to just lose their minds and have a really good time. It’s awesome to pass some kid a microphone and watch him just do his favorite song. I play that song, whatever song it is, I play it every single night of my life; it’s awesome to see them do it because then they tell all their friends about it and they make sure they come back to these shows to feel included because they are included because this is about them. Handing that off and watching a kid, it just brings me back to when I was a kid and that’s something that we always try to keep at the heart of this band. We love music and that’s why we play it, and we love to see other people love music, especially the music that we play.

Photo by Leonel Salcedo of CrossHeart Industries
Vanna live; photo by Leonel Salcedo of CrossHeart Industry

My good friend actually met his girlfriend at a Vanna show back in Jersey.
That’s awesome. We’ve had a few people meet that have gone on to get married and have kids and we have a couple kids named after the band because of that.  I met almost all of my best friends at shows.  I met my wife at a show.  They’re just so much bigger than people really think about or people that are not in this scene give credit for. Shows are just like a really, really big way of life.  It is what it is.  It is the way we are.  Our lives revolve around it, so it makes sense that people meet other people from it, and I love to see that, that’s my favorite thing.

And just going off of that. You always join the crowd whenever you play “Digging” live. What’s the mindset when you go into playing that song live?
“Digging” is a very personal song for me; it’s probably the most I’ve ever stepped out of my comfort zone and just spoke about things in my life that I guess previously I wasn’t ready to speak about. The whole reason I did that was because I felt so alone at that time in my life that I just want kids to know that they’re not alone, that I wish I had someone that I looked up to at the time telling me “Yo, you’re supposed to be super messed up right now, this is the way life is, but you’re going to get through it, you’re going to be okay, there’s a future for you.” So with me, I feel like music saved my life and I feel like I owe it to music and these kids to give them that message, but what a better way to receive that message than standing right next to them.  Stages are constructed for a reason and they’re great, and they’re awesome and I love playing on them, but there comes a time when you have to get off that stage and make sure these kids know that I am literally the same person as you. There’s no difference  between you and me. I hold the microphone, you’re singing it, it could just as easily be you if this is what you want to do. Just like there’s no difference between you and somebody in movies or television because there ultimately really isn’t. So if you want something just work hard for it. The first time that we ever played that song live, I just went  down in the crowd and I’ve never done that whole song from stage, ever, even at Boston Warped Tour when we played at home and I almost thought I was going to die down there with all those kids, I still didn’t want to play it from stage. It’s just something that the kids need to know. We’re band members, la di da. Who cares? I feel like the world of band members has been so dehumanized in the sense that kids hold all these bands up on these pedestals as if you can’t interact with them and talk to them and be in their lives, and that’ just not the case. We’re all people, so getting down there is just part of our whole thing. We’re here for you guys, this is why we’re here, this is why we committed our lives to playing music, to just hopefully help you through some shitty day that you’ve had. So it’s no different in when we’re playing live. We just want to make sure that the kids know that and just literally get right on their level and just speak right in their faces.

The song even helped lead to your “Find Your Shovel” school conferences. What led you to want to start speaking at schools?
I have a really nice, really great team of friends when it comes to a lot of that stuff. They kind of made me realize I have a lot to say and what I’ve gotten out of everything transcends the band world. Those few minutes in between songs, in those shows, that can extend to other kids who don’t necessarily get the chance to go to a show. I spoke at a leadership conference in Colorado, just a bunch of kids signed up and just wanted to learn how to be a leader and I just kind of gave this sort of speech. There’s a guy by the name of Mike Smith who’s one of the biggest youth speakers in America right now, he was there and he just was blown away about what I said. I spend so much time doing the band stuff that I’ve let any careers that I could have or anything that I’ve gone to school for fall to the wayside and he was like I believe that you can go to schools and do this and I’m going to help you.  And I have agencies that book me now and it’s like turning into a whole thing. I have curriculum that I’ve like written and I just look at it as another stage, another form to reach other kids.  Like going to schools, 20% of kids at that school know what hardcore and metal is and 10% know who Vanna is, but it’s not the point.  The point is not about what I’m doing. To be fair, what I’m doing is I’m living my dream, the thing that I’ve always wanted to do my whole life. So I could be a major league baseball player, a firefighter, a whatever your dream is, I’m doing that thing. So it’s not about the what, it’s about the how and the why.  And I just kind of go into schools and colleges and conferences and stuff where there’s a broader spectrum of kids who I can speak to. It’s just more people to be like “Hey, you are not alone. Check out the craziness that I went through in my life and I’m standing in front of you today to tell you that you can make it through anything really. Now in the past you’re suicidal, you’re whatever, you’re this, you’re the outcast in school, I’m living proof, in front of you, telling you that you can make it through this and do exactly what you want to do with your life.” And then on the flip side I get to have little one on ones in small group discussions with teachers, too, and be like you have to look at kids a little bit differently because it’s really hard being a teenager right now.  It’s so difficult with the internet age and internet bullying and everything. When we left school, everything would at least chill out, and now you take everything with you everywhere you go. So it’s my way of giving back. I’ve loved music my whole life and music is the dream that I’ve wanted to do my whole entire life, and I’m accomplishing that and I just want to give back to those kids. It’s not just kids who like music, it’s kids who like everything. You like basketball? Dude, play frickin’ basketball as hard as you can and make it out of your town and go to college because of that. You might not play NBA, but you’re going to make it, you’re just continuing your dream.  It’s just another stage for me. It’s another extension of exactly what I’m doing with this band.

Muise playing "Digging" live; photo by Leonel Salcedo of CrossHeart Industries
Muise playing “Digging” live; photo by Leonel Salcedo of CrossHeart Industry

That’s incredible. When you wrote “Digging” did you have any idea that it would have such a positive response?
Well, I mean, I don’t know.  To be fair, the contents of that song, no one knew that stuff about my life other than my wife and I’ve had to kind of talk to my band about the things that I went through a little bit and was just like “Is it cool if I talk about this stuff?” because I feel like there’s lots of kids out there that feel the exact same way and they need to hear this; they need to know. And the band supported me fully and they shared stories about their hardships that they’ve had and not only did  that song bring the band closer together, but  I think it focused us into a cool direction with these kids. When we first started playing it, we started playing it right on Warped Tour when the record came out and the response was so overwhelming, like two weeks into Warped Tour with that song. The music video, Journeys picked it up and put it in their stores and it just went everywhere. I didn’t expect it, but I’m really happy that it did, not because a song of my band got popular, but because that song with that message is something that kids are hearing. And when we play live, on tours, for the most part we close with “Digging” and everybody knows it and everybody is literally just screaming and crying as hard as they can because they feel every word of it. I  never thought it would get to the point that it is, and now that it has and I see the effect that it has on kids, I want that to grow, I want that to be bigger, I want kids of other countries to understand that, I want to go to as many places as we can to spread this kind of stuff. But yeah, it’s kind of trippy to see how far it’s really come and it’s funny because that song almost never even happened. That song’s been written for a couple years and it just sat in my notebooks and it almost never happened. I think everything happens for a reason, and I think it was the right time for that song to come out and I’m glad that kids are connecting with it.

How has the overall response been to VOID as a whole?
“Digging” is kind of the prime example of the record. That song has touched and spread through so many kids and been out there so much, and the same goes with VOID in general. We put a lot of work into it, and it’s really personal. The band in general, personally and professionally, were going through a really weird spot, and we wrote that song, and we wrote that record and I think we got a lot of our troubles out on that record. When it came out, with fans and with kids, it just kind of exploded to the point where when we play live now, kids just want to hear VOID songs; that’s all. And that’s great for us.  We’re really excited that you get the kid that comes to you at the merch table and is like “Hey man, I got a question about the set,” and I kind of wince in pain because I’m like is this kid going to ask for a song from like eight years ago? And then they just ask you “Hey are playing…” and they just start naming songs off VOID and we’re like “Yeah! Hell yeah!” And so I think that overall this record has connected with kids, fans and people who already liked our band, but more importantly this record has grown us to people that have told us “Yeah, I’ve never really been into your band before, but then you released this record,” and in no way is that insulting to us. We’re so flattered that this is the record that hit your life at the right time, and I understand that. We’re just stoked; the record has been doing so well and the response to every song live is incredible and the response online with kids writing us and writing me and just talking to me at shows. And I’m like man, this was the record that needed to come out right when it did. I’m really glad it did, so it puts a little bit of pressure on the next record for sure, but we’re looking forward to that.


You guys released like a really cool, super local video for “Toxic Pretender.” What was the concept behind that?
Yeah, well that song kind of really hit.  We started playing it and every night the kids were louder than all of us and we were just like “Okay, this song is apparently a banger.” And it was one of our favorite songs, and all the online plays were going up a ton and we were like we should shoot a video for this. So I shot and idea over to Jake from Pure Noise, and he dug it and was like go with it. We did a four day New England run [when we shot it]. It’s funny because if you look at that video, it’s in the city, Portland, Maine, and the night before we shot the video we got a nor’easter, so if you look there’s like literally snow up to our necks everywhere; it’s pretty insane. The video almost got cancelled. But every single person that you saw on that video is a friend of mine, all friends of the band. One of the bands, Like Pacific, that are on Pure Noise, they’re in the video, and we just wanted to convey that mentality of togetherness, just grabbing all of your homies and going to a show. All the show footage, all the live stuff is from all of the shows [on that tour] spliced together, and then when I leave the venue, it’s the last venue of the tour. So the whole time we walked there, the venue is the first one on the tour and then when I leave, it’s the last one of the tour, so it’s kind of like the culmination of our entire weekend hanging out and playing shows. We always have to give love to New England; that’s where we’re from. We are where we are as a band because of everyone here in New England and everyone holding down for our band back home for us. We know every time we get a tour and there’s a Massachusetts show or Rhode Island or Maine date, we know that date is going to go off, like these kids are going to be insane. I’m biased, but I think we’re from one of the best parts of the entire country for heavy music.  Growing up in the Boston hardcore, punk and metal scene, there’s just nothing else like it. You can tell the people who grew up in Boston and the people who didn’t grow up in Boston, so you know, we always have to throw it back to the homies at home.  It’s something that we would never, ever forget and we will continue to play the New England scene because all we want is for that place to thrive as much as it can. So we shot the video there and it was my first video that I directed.  I just had an idea and was like let’s try it and see what happens. It ended up being pretty cool and my friend Eric, he also directed it with me, and he did an amazing job. That whole video took like a couple hours.

That’s great. It turned out really well. You’re a band who has a very old school hardcore aesthetic. You travel in a van, you play basement shows, you’ve even self-released an EP.  What’s your opinion on modern hardcore and the modern punk scene?
Um, you know, I’m 30 years old and I hate the whole “I’ve been around for a while,” but our band has been around for a while, and all of us have been going to shows since we were in high school. This is going on like year 18 for me going to shows. I think that there’s a lot of really good modern bands that are coming out now, a lot of really cool stuff.  I don’t have beef with anything, to each his own, everyone has their thing, and I love it.  My thing is that I just feel like as all of these new hardcore bands come out, and it’s not their fault, I feel like kids who are going to shows are more concerned about buying a beanie and crew neck than listening to the actual band.  I feel like they’re more concerned with the fashion behind it all and the reblogs and the Instagram likes rather than the actual music.  Like, we were watching Expire play a couple days ago, and that band is incredible. I think that they are doing things for hardcore that hardcore needs.  As they were playing there were kids just walking around wearing Expire beanies and hoodies and I’m like “Yo man! Expire is playing right now.  You should go watch them play.” And they were like “Ohhh I didn’t even know.” I just feel like, and it’s no fault of any of the bands, I feel like a lot of times kids are so worried about being cool and the whole point of hardcore and punk and metal is that none of us are cool.  That’s why we listen to metal, that’s why we listen to hardcore, that’s why we listen to punk, because we are the not cool kids. We are the weirdos, we are the outcasts, and that’s what our music started on. I feel like a lot of kids might not know that, that’s what this is all started on, is being different, is being different, but together.  I always have to tread that line of like active supporter of your scene and crabby old guy, and I try to tread that line as much as I can.  There are so many good bands making so much good music right now.  I think music is in an all time high, especially our genre, that alternative side of things. I just really, really want kids to understand where this music is coming from and why we do it. And as long as that mentality is there, I back it.  Not every band is my cup of tea, but it doesn’t matter, their passion is there and they’re doing it for the same reasons I am. So I just want these kids to realize like dude, who gives a shit what beanie you’re wearing, who cares if you’re wearing high top Vans, or low top Converse.  Like no one cares, man. It’s not about that. It’s about the music that’s coming out of the speakers and how you connect to it, and that’s literally it.  Period. End of story. So I just want kids to realize that.  I think a lot do, and a lot don’t.  I feel like that probably happened in my generation when I was younger, too, and those people got weeded out.  But you know, we, as old grumpy men, we know it’s hard for us to bite our tongues sometimes.  If you’re reading this interview, your beanie sucks, your hoodie sucks, nobody cares.  Just listen to the music you want to listen to.

So then, what can we look forward to in the upcoming months with Vanna?
This tour is another whole month, we’ve already been on it for a month. The summer is unclear as to what’s happening, but I will tell you that we are writing a new record.  We actually just bought some new gear for that today so that we can write on the road a little bit more.  And then, we’re going to go up to Alaska at the end of this month. which is blowing my mind.  It’s going to be state number 49, so we just need Hawaii. So, Hawaii, if you’re out there, Aloha! Get me over there! And then we’ll be doing another full US tour in the fall, and we’re trying to get back to Europe before the year is up. But before the year is up, we will be recording the record.  This year is big; we’re doing a couple large tours and then we’re going to be writing and recording a new record for release next year.  My life is already starting to be planned out two years down the road. We’re also trying to release some music that is not ours.  That’s all I can say right now.  We’re going to be working on releasing some cool music that is not our music.  We will be playing it, but it will not be ours.

Describe Vanna in one word.

Music Video of the Week: Vanna “Digging”

Boston-based post-hardcore rockers Vanna put on some of the greatest live shows around.  Known for always bringing the stage past the barrier and into the crowd, their music video for “Digging,” a track notorious for vocalist Davey Muise literally bringing his mic into the audience, paints Vanna in a new light.  For such a powerful song that could have picked up any story or theatrical-based concept, the video remains a simple montage of clips of the group playing with various color schemes changing from color to black and white.  It’s simple, yet unbelievably moving, making the song take on new meaning stretched past the lyrics. Not only is it something they wrote for their audience, as they prove again and again through their shows, but it’s something they wrote for themselves, too, and carries well playing the track on a stage all on their own.