INTERVIEW: I AM THE AVALANCHE

I Am The Avalanche portrait 002 by Karen SeifertIt’s been an exciting couple of weeks for fans of NYC-based rock dudes, I Am The Avalanche. With only a couple of weeks until the release of their latest album Wolverines, we sat down with frontman Vinnie Caruana to chat about the album, the band and being inspired by Jack Kerouac.By Meghan Player

Hey Vinnie! How are you?
I’m doing very well, thank you. These are exciting days.Of course, we’re here to talk to you today about your upcoming album Wolverines. You must be excited/nervous that it’s nearly time for it to be released?
I’m completely ready to hit the road, and I’m really going to enjoy the ride.

What can you tell us about the album?
It’s our finest work, and the most quality record I’ve ever been apart of. It feels so good to have new music to sing and to put another chapter of my life into the record books. In a nutshell, the record is 10 songs, and in my opinion, that’s a perfect amount of songs to put on a full-length record. This is the first time in my career that I’ve been a part of a 10-song record and always wanted to do it. It allows for the record to be anthemic all the way through and not have any fat to trim.

Wolverines is your third album to be released – how much do you think the band has changed since your debut [in terms of songwriting and recording]?
We were a little confused as to who we were in the early days. That being said, we’re extremely proud of our first record. I was infusing a lot more of the grunge element in my songwriting and approach in those days. We have kind of progressed to an American punk/ rock and roll sound that seems to have kept most of our longtime fans interested. I do the lion’s share of the songwriting on my own, so any progression and difference from earlier recordings is a product of me learning and growing as a songwriter.

Looking back to when you started out – is there anything that you wish you knew back then, that perhaps you know now?
Nothing ever stays the same, and nothing you can do will ever change that. Learning from mistakes and triumphs means everything.

From what I’ve heard about the album, there seems to be a lot of tracks that reflect on each band members life and personal experiences – did you find that writing the album was a cathartic experience? A chance to get all these emotions and frustrations out?
It’s more geared my experiences and my feelings as the lyricist of the band. The guys trust me as a lyricist and give me the freedom to let it all out. Cathartic is a word I often use to describe this outlet. I’m lucky to have it.

You’ve released two singles from the album – Two Runaways and The Shape I’m In – both cracking tunes – how have fans been responding to the new material so far?
Everyone seems to be in love with it which is extremely gratifying for me when I think back to where I was physically and mentally when a lot of the writing took place.

I’m a massive fan of Jack Kerouac, and it was quite amazing to see that you ‘tip your hat’ to him a couple of times on the album.  I’m guessing you’re also fans of his work?
He was a genius, and he was very punk.

What inspired you to, I guess ‘reference’, Kerouac on the album?
I picture him as a young man exploding with creativity, and it gives me goosebumps. His name has always belonged in an I Am The Avalanche song; it just took me until now to figure it out.

From a personal point of view, it feels that the album has the purpose of emoting the listener – making you want to feel something when you hear it – is that something that you’re hoping the album achieves?
What we were most trying to achieve was to make a record that will affect the listener in such a way that they will never stop listening to it for the rest of their lives, and it will be there for them when they need it.

Is there one thing that you’re hoping fans take away from the album when they hear it?
Hopefully they take the lyrics and interpret them however they see fit and apply it to their own lives. That’s what I do with my favorite records, even though I’m probably wrong half the time regarding what my favorite songs are about.

It goes without saying that new albums usually equal tours – do you have any plans to head out to Australia at some point?
We plan to return to Australia, playing small clubs, sometime between June and August.

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Many thanks to Vinnie for taking the time to chat to us. Wolverines is released in Australia on March 21st.

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