Digging His Feet In

22 May 2014 | 12:54 pm | Benny Doyle

"I touch on more subjects of the times when I can’t be around for everybody, there’s [that] sentiment on the record."

More I Am The Avalanche More I Am The Avalanche

"I just wanted everyone to hear it,” states Vinnie Caruana, frontman for New York punk rockers I Am The Avalanche. He is of course referencing the band's new third record Wolverines, a full-length following on from its predecessor far quicker than 2011's Avalanche United. Clearly the 34-year-old still has plenty to say. “Definitely,” he enthuses, “and it was really important that I never let that happen again. The fact that I'm a musician and I let six years go by without releasing a record is my fault. I was in some weird fantasy world, I don't know what I was doing. But I woke up to that and now I have a very clear cut plan to release music in every way, shape and form. I would like for someone to refer to me as prolific one day, that's my goal; I certainly haven't been, so I'm going to work on that.”
Since the group's eponymous 2005 debut there's been some changes. Last year saw the departure of key members Michael Ireland (guitar) and Kellen Robson (bass), but there are no ill feelings. “I'm actually officiating Kellen's wedding this summer,” Caruana informs. The songwriting quality hasn't waned either, with Wolverines standing as a reintroduction, the slight shift in musical style coming from a more reflective man.

“I touch on more subjects of the times when I can't be around for everybody, there's [that] sentiment on the record,” he remarks. “Some of the travelling stuff isn't the celebration kinda vibe like Amsterdam [off Avalanche United], but more of a commentary on when we do this we have to miss births and funerals and weddings.” Another event which Caruana missed was Hurricane Sandy, which battered his current locale of Long Beach in 2012. In California as the seas ravaged his east coast home, he touches on those feelings of helplessness and regret with Where Were You?; surprisingly though, it wasn't hard to revisit those emotions. “It was a thing that I was in the middle of, and it finds its way into the record a lot,” he explains. “I was literally looking out the window [of my house] and watching them try to rebuild the town the entire time I was writing the lyrics. “The boardwalk, [the main staple of the city], was destroyed, it took them a year to rebuild, and now there's still probably 25 per cent of the city that isn't back in their homes, and a lot of the businesses remain closed,” Caruana adds. “But living in a beach town, living where we live, we know what to expect.”

For all these dramas within the skin of Wolverines, however, Caruana feels blessed, admitting he wouldn't even know how to let go of these emotions without music. “I'd [maybe] have to be like a fighter or something,” he ponders. “I don't know though, I'd have to get it off my chest somehow; the fact that I get to write about this stuff really allows me to be a happy guy in life.”