So when did you wake up one morning and think, “We should go on tour together?”
RANERI: I think the exact conversation we had in the past was, “When you guys get this record out, you’re going on tour with us.”
CARUANA: The way I feel about it is, when it comes to Bayside, I never leave a tour thinking, “That’s definitely the last time I’ll tour with that band.” We’ll always be playing shows in some way, shape or form. They’re a successful band, and we’re obviously smaller. It’s cool for us because they can help us and it’s cool for them because they like to look out. For our record to come out during the first week of this tour? I can’t think of a better tour to be on. I think kids are definitely going to listen.
RANERI: We’ve been on tours before where—I don’t know if “embarrassed” is the word—but we haven’t been proud to say all the band names in one sentence. With this tour—with Avalanche, Saves The Day and Transit—those are bands I am so proud to be associated with, to have my band’s name on the same poster with theirs. And just having friends: Like you said, when you show up at the venue, it’s hard to ever feel like work when you’re playing music and hanging out with your friends. That’s a good day.
This tour has something for everybody, including the boys from Transit. Would you two like to impart any wisdom to them?
CARUANA: Respect your peers. Write incredible songs that mean a lot to you. And play them really well live.
RANERI: Which they do, already. Both of us know those guys; they’re great kids and they’re fully respectful to us and their fans.
CARUANA: I like going into parking lots [after gigs] and seeing them doing acoustic shows for their fans. They care a lot about the right things.
RANERI: I think the three of us can agree: The bands who are respectful and who are fun to be around are the ones you want to tour with—and as a writer, they’re the ones you want to talk to and support. Promoters and labels want to work with people who are respectful.
I’m sure you have some stories of dealing with band dudes who think music is their way out of being the drill-bit inventory specialist at the Home Depot. You know the type, complete opportunists.
RANERI: I can smell that stuff from a mile away, and I know Vin can, too. You meet bands that have the wrong idea or they’re doing it for the wrong reasons… I used to get pissed-off about it, but at this point I’ve seen so many bands come and go, I know now if somebody is there for the wrong reasons or they don’t deserve to be there, they’re going to be gone soon. It never fails.
CARUANA: There are fakers in every genre of music. To start a band because you think you’ll be rich and famous is pretty difficult—you’re better off getting on a reality TV show, if you want that.
RANERI: But you can smell the shit from a mile away. You see these young bands on Warped trying to embed themselves in this scene, and you know they were talking about nothing but football last year. The girl who was a cheerleader now sings and has a tattoo—and now she’s just like us? That stuff goes away. The universe weeds them out.
CARUANA: I was on Warped Tour [one year] and a friend of mine was wearing a Jawbreaker shirt. Somebody from another band of young, good-looking boys with nice hair walked by, looked at my friend’s shirt and said, “Great movie.” [Laughter.] That is the whole story, no exaggerating.
Maximum eyeroll! Do you think the communal spirit—the one shared by bands who come up together from a city’s music scene—erodes away as their careers advance? Does it devolve into a gladiatorial spirit as to who is more successful or who is more “relevant?”
CARUANA: Long Island is chockfull of dramatic shit-talking. Forever. Long Island is the worst.
RANERI: Both of us have seen that firsthand. But I also feel that we’ve seen the opposite, though. We’ve seen bands that grow out of Long Island and they do other things and they don’t get along or look out for the “old people” anymore. But there’s also serious camaraderie, as well.
CARUANA: I would say for the most part, there is a respect thing going on. There were so many bands in Long Island that came up and did really important shit for this genre of music. It is important that they all recognize where they came from and it is important that we all respect each other. I’ll be the first to admit I’ve made enemies and done shit along the way, growing up being a shitty little kid. As a man, I just have so much more respect these days. I’m happy to support anyone who came with the similar ideals in music that I have.
RANERI: It comes down to music, really. If the bands sounds similar and have similar ideas about things, it’s easier to stay close-knit and it’s easier to keep touring together. There are bands from Long Island that I have been good friends with, but they aren’t bands we can closely connect with, career-wise.
So if I Am The Avalanche sounded like Nickelback, you wouldn’t slash the tires on their van?
RANERI: [Laughs.] We’d be a little more like… Not secret friends; we just wouldn’t tour together.
CARUANA: [Proudly.] I’m friends with people who are in terrible bands! We all are. [Laughter.] But we’re all friends. I shouldn’t say “terrible bands.” Bands that are terrible to my ears are probably good for other people. I’m a peaceful man; I don’t want to hurt any feelings, anymore.
RANERI: What, you moved out to the beach, you’re all mellow now?
CARUANA: I’ve been a peaceful man for a while now. I haven’t been punched in the face for over 10 years. [Laughter.]
RANERI: It all evens out. Sometimes you kick people’s asses who may not have deserved it, and sometimes you get your ass kicked.
CARUANA: You do good work and be a good person and that’s the best you can hope for. Otherwise, the universe will drop a boulder on your head.
Let me see if we can conference in Deepak Chopra, because it sounds like I’m talking to the Zen masters of Long Island hardcore.
RANERI: Can that be the headline for this article? alt
The Bayside/Saves The Day/I Am The Avalanche/Transit tour begins October 6 in Philadelphia. For more tour info, visit baysidebayside.com or savestheday.com. I Am The Avalanche’s new album, Avalanche United, will be released Oct. 11.