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A Conversation With Vinny
by
Meredith Goldberg
January 4, 2001

Vinny

Meredith: Let's get this party started! Please introduce yourself.

Vinny: I'm Vinny and I sing for The Movielife.

Meredith: How has Drive-Thru Records been treating you so far? I have heard rumors that your sound is changing since you have signed to a new label; can you clear that up for me?

Vinny: First off, Drive-Thru Records has been really good. Basically the most important thing is, it makes being on tour a lot easier. Basically, our sound...It's still Movielife. Anyone who has our last record, I don't think will be pissed off at us. I think the main thing that's a little different with the new recording is, I'm a better singer than I used to be. I've been taking vocal lessons and stuff like that and I don't growl as much; because it hurts to growl and I don't like singing like that. I don't like the way my voice sounded on the last record, but that was the best I could do. But now, this is the best I can do. So, that's the main difference. It's still Movielife, so nobody should start getting afraid that we're changing.

Meredith: Who writes most of The Movielife's music and lyrics?

Vinny: Me, Brandon and Alex write all of the music and I write all of the lyrics.

Meredith: Do you guys have any specific way to prepare before you go on stage; like any pre-show rituals?

Vinny: I usually pee about four times. Alex and Brandon have this little dance that they do that I'm not going to get into because it's really embarrassing. And, I just stretch and try to get into a mindset, where I have fun. No matter what's going on that day, I just want to get on that stage and have fun. And that's what we do.

Meredith: How did you come up with the name "The Movielife"?

Vinny: My best friend is in a band called Glassjaw. And me and him used to have a little acoustic band in like 10th grade. We never played out. We just like practiced in his bedroom and stuff and just wrote songs. We called it The Movielife because it felt like with out girlfriends at the time; our x-girlfriends, it felt like we were in a movie with them. They were kind of like weird. We were both just in a similar situation, where we both kind of like, "yeah, it's kind of like a movie". I think he came from like a carnival and he couldn't win his girlfriend a stuffed animal, because it's really hard to win those games. And in the movies, you could win, but in real life, you really can't win. You can't knock those bottles off the table all the way, or get the thing in the goldfish thing. The other half of it, it just kind of explains how we live. Like, we're out here playing music for a living and we're out here having fun and I want to make that happen for as long as I can. And that's, as far as I'm concerned, like a movie. There's always happy ending to movies and I don't have too much stress right now. I'm just playing music and that's what I love to do.

Meredith: What is the sickest/weirdest thing that ever happened to you on tour or at a show?

Vinny: Well, we were in Buffalo and I tripped over my shoelaces and fell in front of about a thousand people. That was bad... The sickest thing was, we were in Chicago last week and there was like a thousand people there and most of them knew who we were, and they were freaking out. And for me, it's really weird because as you guys know, we're from N.Y. and now everything is becoming really real. Like Chicago is like 1,500 miles away from here and there's like hundreds of kids there going crazy and singing all of our words. That means... that's like "whoa!". That was pretty sick. It kind of made me think, "wow, all of this hard work is kind of getting somewhere, and it's not just a big waste of time". It doesn't feel like a waste of time. It's always fun. But when stuff like that happens, it's like, "whoa, I guess we're a real band now".

Meredith: What do you think about many indie/punk bands getting more commercial publicity lately; do you think its for the better or for the worse?

Vinny: I think...Well, pop-punk on MTV was something that was just a matter of time. Pop-punk is really a catchy and really irresistible type of music. It has a lot of energy, positivity, honesty and it's real catchy. It was always popular. I had gone to see NOFX and Face to Face sell out like Roseland and like 3,000 people went to go see them. It was always popular; it was just never commercially popular. I think New Found Glory and Blink 182 are awesome punk bands and they're just paving the way for bands like us. To give us a chance to be like successful on a commercial level. It doesn't matter to me necessarily if we were successful like that or not. I consider what we've done already a success. We have fans, we get to play music and that's all I've ever really wanted. I didn't even care about fans, I just wanted to play music and show off in front of girls. Now we get to do that. It would be cool if you were going to pay me millions of dollars to pay in The Movielife; I'd be like "hell yeah". But if you were going to pay me millions of dollars and say "Hey! Sound and look like this", I'd be like "hell no".

Meredith: If you weren't singing and touring in The Movielife right now, what do you think that you would be doing with your life?

Vinny: I'd probably be like wasting away in some liberal art program somewhere or some shit. I didn't know what I wanted to do. This is all I ever wanted.

Meredith: What is your personal favorite song to do live?

Vinny: "Once in a Row", "Operate" and "10 Seconds Too Late".

Meredith: If you could organize a show with any bands who would they be?

Vinny: It would be The Beatles, Fugazi, The Breeders, Cruelties, Midtown, Dashboard Confessional, River City High, Hot Rod Circuit, Glassjaw, New Found Glory, Something Corporate, Autopilot Off...that's a bunch.

Meredith: and The Movielife!

Vinny: And The Movielife too!

Meredith: Do you have any plans after this tour is over? Do you have any ideas on who you might be touring with next?

Vinny: We're going to be writing pretty much the whole winter up until March. We're going to be doing another U.S. tour in March. With who, we don't know yet...Let's see, we're going to be playing the Vanderbilt on the 27th in Long Island with Midtown, Catch22, and Autopilot Off, and then the next two day's we'll be with Midtown in Jersey and Boston. Then we're off for a little while. And then we go to Europe with Midtown and Thursday for two weeks. In-between that we'll be relaxing and just writing our next record...I think we're gonna do Warped Tour this summer.

Meredith: Well, that's about all I've got, so is there anything else you would like to add?

Vinny: Our new EP is called The Movielife Has a Gambling Problem and you can get it pretty much anywhere and everyone should check it out. Be your own judge, don't listen to what everyone else says. I'm sure that if you like The Movielife, you'll dig it. It's not a big change, it just sounds better than it used to. It's Movielife, but it's better.

Meredith: Thank you very much.

Vinny: Cool, thanks.

Meredith Goldberg is a staff writer. Contact her at meredith@rockzone.com.

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