SPB: Give me your name, status in the band, and where you're from.
Vinnie: I'm Vinnie . . . I'm from Long Island, New York and I sing for The Movielife.
SPB: How'd your band get started?
Vinnie: Just a bunch of dudes that, like, knew each other through the hardcore and punk scenes in Long Island, some of the dudes were sick of being in their own bands, and we kinda met that way.
SPB: What were some of your influences?
Vinnie: Sick of it All, Madball, Sub-Zero, Descendents, Chain of Strength.
SPB: What do you think of your own music?
Vinnie: It's pretty shitty. It's kinda poppy, emo, pop-punk sell-out bullshit.
SPB: And you're not a big fan of that?
Vinnie: Naw, I hate The Movielife. I'm just kidding, it's kinda, uhh . . . what was the question? What do I think about it?
Vinnie: I think it's uhh... I like it. I like my band, I like singing the lyrics, it definitely helps me through some stuff. Besides it being my job, it's an outlet, you know what I mean, for me. My life . . .
SPB: What's your personal favorite Movielife song?
SPB: Are you happy with Drive-Thru records? Will they be in your future?
Vinnie: Yes, definitely. On both accounts.
SPB: You received a lot of negative press on your last EP, is that how you perceived it?
Vinnie: The EP I'd say yes, the new record I'd say we've received some amazing really positive press
SPB: What do you think of the last EP? Was it really what you wanted to accomplish?
Vinnie: Naw, the EP definitely is my least favorite thing we've released. I still like some of the songs and we play a few of them. I think if we went back and recorded right now it would sound a lot different, but it's, you know, I don't regret making it, you know, you learn. It was a learning experience for us for sure, but it was definitely the least favorite thing we've done.
SPB: We heard you might start a side project, with Glassjaw, anything you'd like to say about that?
Vinnie: Well, I have a project with Darryl from Glassjaw, whenever we get home from tour and we're at home from the same time, we live a mile from each other, we just make music and last time we were home we started making this . . . kind of different every single time. This time we liked the way it came out and we thought 'Man, we should keep doing this.' We're probably going to keep making music at home together, and maybe one day do a record and maybe one day do a tour.
SPB: What can we expect from this?
Vinnie: The music is going to be . . . definitely not what anybody is expecting at all (laughs). Some people may be sadly let down when they bring their dancing shoes. It's a different kind of dancing shoes they'd have to bring.
SPB: Can you give any examples of what it sounds like?
SPB: So it's going to be something new, then?
Vinnie: It's going to be something definitely new and definitely completely different than what Glassjaw and Movielife embody.
SPB: Sounds good. What are some activities you do outside of music? Do you pay attention to sports or anything?
Vinnie: Not really. We usually play Metal of Honor on Gamecube. It's, like, a war video game. I play that and when I'm not making music with The Movielife, my hobby is to make music with my friends. And then, roller coasters and sneaker buying are definitely other hobbies of mine.
SPB: Do you ever wander around the cities where you perform?
Vinnie: Always. I always try to see the places I go, and just kind of, after the performance, walk around for a bit.
SPB: Have you been around Pittsburgh yet?
Vinnie: A little bit. I've only been around this block.
SPB: Have you seen the [Litchfield] Towers?
SPB: I live in the towers. It's a nice place to live.
Vinnie: Is that a dorm?
SPB: Yes, it's like a skyscraper almost.
Vinnie: I never looked up, really... I like Pittsburgh a lot more now, because last time I was here, it was like, four degrees. I didn't really go anywhere, so I stayed right here on this couch.
SPB: Do you stay in hotels?
Vinnie: Yes, we stay in hotels.
SPB: Which ones?
Vinnie: No. they're more like borderline motels.
SPB: Not like the Wyndham?
Vinnie: What's the price range of the Wyndham?
SPB: About one-eighty.
Vinnie: That's WAY out of our price range. We like to do the Hampton Inn, 'cause the Super 8 is like the bottom of the line, and the Marriot is more like the top of the line before you get into the Wyndhams and the four star resorts. I'd say the Hampton is more like, still a cheap hotel, but more like the amenities of a classy hotel; they always have a hot tub and a pool and I always try to wake up and sit in the thing, and feel special, and they give you free breakfast every morning, so that's pretty sweet!
SPB: Ever stayed in a La Quinta?
Vinnie: I have.
SPB: They're very nice.
Vinnie: They are very nice, have a nice southwestern feel to them.
SPB: Best band to tour with?
Vinnie: Thursday, Thrice, Vendetta Red, Hot Rod Circuit, Midtown.
SPB: Are you happy with this concert because Vendetta Red is here?
Vinnie: I'm happy with this. I have OneLineDrawing and Static Lullaby. I can also add every other band we've toured with this year. We've been lucky to tour with some really, really, really good bands. We feel psyched to be on a headline tour because we get to choose who goes and comes with us, and it's like, so fun to put that together.
SPB: Is it surreal at all?
Vinnie: Yeah. I was talking to Vendetta Red today, and it was just like, (1) I never thought I'd tour, (2) I never thought we'd make a record, then I thought no one would ever buy our record (laughs). It's just like, there's hundreds of kids coming to see us play . . . I know I don't see every band play, I'm not going to spend money to go watch some band I kinda like. It makes me feel really honored that people want to give us their Saturday night and have a good time with us, because they could be anywhere in Pittsburgh.
SPB: What's your favorite city to play... you don't have to say Pittsburgh.
Vinnie: I'd say London, England. First time we ever got there, we got to London, first show ever there, there's a thousand kids there sing every word to our CD that was never even released in Europe, so they somehow got it, and all bought an import for, like, twenty-five dollars, and we got there, and received so much love and support, it's just like . . . I could say every city in this country because there are kids everywhere that give us support that's totally unexpected and we feel totally humbled about it. London definitely was an overwhelming amount of support we get over there. So the kids are just incredible.
SPB: What do you do to prepare before a show?
Vinnie: Stretch. Pee, like, three times. I guess I'm a little nervous. And I warm up my voice. And I try not to eat, because I used to eat before we played, and . . .
SPB: You threw up?
Vinnie: It came out.
SPB: Do you do the 'Doe-ray-me-fa-so-la-ti-do'?
Vinnie: I do a lot of scales, lots of funny words . . . if anyone were to hear me warming up my voice, they'd probably laugh.
SPB: Could you do it for us?
Vinnie: I can't. I have to be by myself. Maybe one day, if I'm ever a good singer, I'll sing scale, right now, I'm still on my way.
SPB: Once you're on American Idol, of course.
Vinnie: Once I'm on American Idol, I'll know I've made it. Because that's REAL music.
SPB: What was the first concert you ever went to?
Vinnie: Umm . . Vision of Disorder in 1992 . . . That's not true, first concert I ever went to was White Snake and Tessla.
SPB: Was it any good?
Vinnie: Eh, it was pretty good. I was pretty stoked on White Snake when I was nine.
SPB: Sweet, What unique habits do you have on the road?
Vinnie: I don't poop . . . ever. I don't think my body wants to 'go' unless I'm home.
SPB: So your colon's stuffed with a lot of crap?
Vinnie: I don't know, it just doesn't come out. Then one day, I just figure 'it's that time.' Today was that day. What are some other unique habits? . . .
SPB: Does anybody drive each other crazy on the road?
Vinnie: We do our best . . . we used to, I think, a lot more. But now, it's like, 'Yo, we all gotta keep each other sane, so let's try not to be annoying.' So I definitely learned a lot about people being on tour.
SPB: What do you like to do when you're feeling lazy?
Vinnie: I like to eat pickles, pretzels, and cheese. And watch DVDs.
SPB: Which DVDs?
Vinnie: Top 5 movies I've been watching lately, Zoolander, Royal Tenenbaums, Evil Dead 2, Boondock Saints and What About Bob?
SPB: Good movies. Ever see The Running Man?
Vinnie: 'Course. Arnold Schwartzenegger?
SPB: Yeah, I have that movie on DVD and VHS.
Vinnie: Yeah, I was actually handling that movie the other day, but it was like, 1999, and I thought 'eh, I could probably find this movie somewhere else.'
SPB: Where was that?
Vinnie: Best Buy. I like to buy my DVD's used, because some times, I'll buy a DVD and watch it and then never watch it for six months and I don't think watching a DVD is worth twenty dollars. A movie is eight-fifty, and I think that's expensive to go see a movie in a theater. I like to buy used DVDs for like, ten bucks and I don't feel like a sucker.
SPB: In the past year, what was the best movie you've seen?
Vinnie: Wet Hot American Summer' Go see it.
SPB: I'll do that.
Vinnie: It's directed and written by these two guys who were in this amazing show called The State, which was completely underrated sketch comedy. I'd say it's better than Mr. Show and Kids in the Hall.
SPB: Last couple of question: Freedom Fries or French Fries?
Vinnie: FF. What is Freedom Fries?
SPB: Apparently, in the congress cafeteria, they have decided to change French Fries to Freedom Fries because French diplomats have decided to not enter the war with Iraq.
Vinnie: I'd say 'Double-F'. There's four people in Massachusetts who will laugh at that, but this is what I think they should call it: this has nothing to do with politics, but double-F is a much better name than French Fries. So if anyone ever says 'French Fries' to you, you say 'FF,' and they'll say 'French Fries?' And you'll say 'double-F' and they'll ask 'What is that?' and you'll say 'double-F.'
SPB: Favorite Simpsons episode?
Vinnie: (pause) This is impossible. I've never heard anyone with any one episode as their favorite. I'm going to say anything Homer based.
SPB: Almost all of them are.
Vinnie: I think anything Lisa-based is fucking horrible. I think Lisa is the worst character on that show. I hate the voice of reason . . . in anything.
SPB: What about the Hank Scorpio episode?
Vinnie: The Scorpio episode is amazing, when they don't hang their coats up . . .
Vinnie: That is a good episode. He's like, 'Do you have some sugar?' he's like,
Vinnie and SPB together: 'Sorry it's not in packets.' (All laugh)
Vinnie: I think Hank Scorpio is definitely super-human. Who did his voice?
SPB: Albert Brooks
Vinnie: He's like, 'If you could kill someone else on your way out, you'd help me out a lot'. I'd say that's... I'll take that. Canyonero is pretty damn good, too.
SPB: Anything else you'd like to add?
Vinnie: Go get our new record, please. If you don't like it, you can throw it at us.
40 Hour Train Back To Penn out now on Revelation Records
Interview: Seth Amitin