As the frontman for I Am the Avalanche, Vinnie Caruana has been releasing crunchy punk tunes for the better part of a decade. Local music fans will get a chance to see the softer, more intimate side of his writing when he comes to The Boneyard for a solo acoustic gig this weekend.
“I write nonfiction, people have come to expect that,” says the 34-year-old musician, explaining the nature of his lyrics. “Everything has to do directly with my own life, or my feelings about someone else’s life.”
Though most fans are familiar with his searing punk tunes from I Am the Avalanche, Caruana feels that the full band songs don’t differ drastically, in their primal essence, from the more personal songs released under his own name.
“Sometimes I set out writing for the next solo album, and wind up with a few Avalanche songs,” Caruana says.
For the solo gigs, Caruana blends together songs from throughout his career, including ones from his first band Movielife. Transforming heavy, raucous punk songs into acoustic numbers can present its own challenges, but it’s a task which Caruana readily embraces.
“I do transpose a lot of songs for an acoustic show,” he says. “But that doesn’t necessarily mean I’m taking any of the energy out of them.”
The transition may not be quite as drastic as it first seems, as Caruana originates most of his songs on an acoustic guitar to begin with.
“It’s usually pretty fulfilling,” Caruana explains. “Though not every Avalanche song would go over so well in an acoustic setting. A lot of them, I won’t even attempt to do in this setting.”
With several years of touring under his belt, including stops all across the country and at the Vans Warped tour, Caruana embraces the solo gigs as a chance to strip things down a little bit.
“Playing with the band is amazing to me,” he says. “It’s a more energetic experience, but playing solo gives me the luxury of playing whatever I want, whenever I want.”
His preparations consist of making a comprehensive list of tunes, and then “flying by the set of my pants.” Caruana’s performance in Atlantic City is part of what he refers to as his “yearly cycle” of touring, writing and recording.
“This time of the year, I’m usually writing for the next solo release,” he says.