In AP 248, we take a look back at one of the most important forces in the storied history of the Long Island, New York, punk scene. In our expansive Oral History of THE MOVIELIFE, we managed to get most of the key players who were responsible for or witnessed the waves made by the Movielife. Still, some folks didn’t want to go on record regarding their tenure in the band (we’re looking at you, Eddie Reyes). We were pretty bummed when ex-guitarist BRANDON REILLY (now in Nightmare Of You) didn’t want to sit still long enough for us to get his take on his years as a ’Lifer. We were so bummed, in fact, that we pushed him just enough to write us with his own view on the band.
“I couldn’t have asked for anything more exciting and exhilarating at the young age of 18 than to become a member of the Movielife. I remember being 16 and going to see them play VFW halls with Glassjaw in front of 30 people. I knew every one of those 30 people and no one will ever be able to beat that experience and the camaraderie that it entailed. Being that the Movielife were one of my favorite Long Island bands at that time, you can imagine how ready and willing I was to drop out of art school after my first semester to join them and embark on my very first one-month tour of America. You could say I grew up very fast because of this. I lived and saw enough states and countries in those six years to fill up an average person’s lifetime.
I don’t read message boards–mainly because I have an exciting life outside of my
bedroom–but I’ve been told that it’s been said that there is bad blood [among the Movielife]. We’re still very close and go out all the time together. We even still get together and play Movielife songs in [drummer] Evan [Baken’s] basement, including the demo songs and B-sides that only the cool kids know about. Phil [Navetta, bass] had a beautiful wedding recently that I was honored to be a part of. Danny [Navetta, guitar] gave a lovely speech that brought a single tear to my eye. Vinnie Caruana’s new band [I Am The Avalanche] and mine [Nightmare Of You] play shows together all the time. I guess what I’m trying to say is we are friends.
[For the last few years,] my energy has been focused on Nightmare Of You. In fact, I’m in the studio right now. We’re an independent band who put out our own music on our own label. It’s a lot of work, but it’s more rewarding than being pressured by a label that have their own selfish vision for your band. It’s the band who make the art and have to risk their lives for months on end in a van with no money to their name. Meanwhile, the labels have plenty of money. You guys know the story. It’s as old as the sea.
The Movielife had a great run and those memories are forever imprinted in my mind. Thank you to the fans who were there early on, and the ones that got there too late. Lastly, thank you to Vinnie, Phil, Danny, Evan and Alex [Amiruddin, guitar] for giving me six years of utter bliss. Cheers!” –Brandon Reilly