Downstairs, All Ages
DOORS: 6:00 PM // SHOW: 7:00 PM
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Saturday October 26, 2019
“I found what I love to do long ago,” says Vinnie Caruana. “Writing, recording and performing music, traveling, and making friends and memories. I don’t think I’d truly be happy doing anything else. When you look at it that way, what else is really important than to be happy with your life and how you choose to live it.”
That sentiment precisely embodies the spirit in which Caruana wrote his debut solo album, Survivor’s Guilt. While he may have been alone in writing these songs, however, Survivor’s Guilt is not a solo record in the same way as Caruana’s largely acoustic 2013 EP, City By The Sea, was. On Survivor’s Guilt, Caruana plays acoustic and electric guitars, and enlisted the talents of I Am The Avalanche’s Kellen Robson and Brett ‘The Ratt’ Romnes on bass and drums as well.
Romnes’ role went far beyond performing on the album, however. “Along with playing the drums on the record,” Caruana explains. “Brett also produced and mixed the record. He’s an extremely talented producer and completely understands my vision. He works out of The Barber Shop Studios in New Jersey, where we tracked Survivor’s Guilt, and it’s a world-class facility. The gear at our disposal was pretty ridiculous and we made the very most of it.”
In addition, Rx Bandits’ Steve Choi was brought in to add instrumentation and sonic embellishments to Survivor’s Guilt. “Steve is an extremely talented and versatile musician,” explains Caruana. “His role was to fill spaces left for him with guitar, keys, etc. He took a real interest in the record and his belief and passion in my songwriting completely humbles me. His instincts with what certain parts of the songs needed were spot on.”
The result is an album boasting ten incredibly compelling, multi-layered tracks that bear witness to the breadth of Caruana’s all-encompassing musical vision. “The record turned out exactly how I pictured it.” says Caruana “I’m lucky to have Brett, Steve and Kellen on the album. They are brilliant musicians and the record is the best it can be as a result.”
Survivor’s Guilt is truly the creative culmination of Caruana’s career to date – something that’s extremely evident from the very first listen. There are, of course, some songs – “Burn It Down”, “Heavy Weighs The Summer”, “I Don’t Believe You” – that lean towards Caruana’s punk rock roots, but much of what’s heard here is fresh and new. “We Don’t Have To Die Alone” and “Angel Of North”, for example, are sad and beautiful songs that expose the frailty and vulnerability of the human condition, while, on the flipside, closing track “Your Religion Is Killing Me” is a fierce, ferocious instrumental boiling with existential angst and torment. “The amount of ill will done in this world in the name of religion makes me feel like I’m in a fever dream,” says Caruana. “I always wanted to have an instrumental on a record and the freedom of making a solo record gave me that opportunity. This song is that fever dream.”