Much of "Wolverines" — Brooklyn, N.Y. punkers I Am The Avalanche's third album — was written while frontman Vinnie Caruana was recovering from back surgery, with the destruction caused by Hurricane Sandy looming in the background. Surprisingly, the album isn't excesssively gloomy; only one song, "The Shape I'm In," addresses Caruana's misery directly. With Caruana and company in good health, IATA is back to playing some of the strongest music of their decade-long existence, while maintaining control of their careers.
I Am The Avalanche performs at the Space in Hamden on July 31. CTNow asked Caruana a few quick questions about "Wolverines," the future and life on the road.
CTNow: A decade into the band's history: Is it as much fun to record and perform as it used to be? How has touring life changed?
Vinnie Caruana: Every record I've ever made feels like my first record. Other artists will know what I mean. The excitement of embarking on a new record is intoxicating. Touring life has become a bit more civilized these days. Comfort and peace of mind have become number one. It's still a party, but it's an adult party, not a kegger.
CTNow: You personally went through some pretty horrible circumstances — back surgery, months of pain meds, Hurricane Sandy destruction fallout — while writing much of the "Wolverines" album. What helped you through those times, and how do you think the record reflects your struggles?
VC: From day one I made sure I used it as an inspiration. Instead of throwing a pity party, I tried to turn it into a positive: get through this and overcome.
CTNow: For a number of years now, IATA has been more or less in control of its own music and future. Is there anything terrifying about that, or is it completely positive?
VC: It's all very liberating. No one tells us what to do. We produce our own records and have all the freedoms in the world to execute our vibe exactly how we want. If someone tries to get in the way they are given a pat on the head as if to say, "We got this." We have great people that we work with to help steer the ship as well.
CTNow: When you roll into a new town for a show, what do you like to do, assuming there's time?
VC: If there is a beach, we are there. Also healthy food is always part of the pre-show mission. And cold beer, of course.
CTNow: Any musical obsessions these days? Reading any good books? Binge-watching shows?
VC: I've been heavily slacking on reading and I'm mad at myself. I have to get the brainwaves flowing again. As far as music goes, I've completely immersed myself in the Magnetic Fields catalog. Genius songwriting. I'm learning a lot from listening to them. I just finished "True Detective" and "Fargo," and I'm still deciding whether or not I like "The Leftovers."
I AM THE AVALANCHE performs on Thursday, July 31 at the Space in Hamden, with Somos, Rust Belt Lights and Anchors Away. Showtime is 8 p.m. Tickets are $13-$15. Information: manicproductions.org.Copyright © 2015, CT Now