Q&A with Vanna’s Davey Muise: “I used to believe in god but he let me down”

by | Mar 22, 2013

On one of the last stops of Vanna’s U.S. tour with Every Time I Die and The Acacia Strain, our contributor Danielle Bellavance got candid with frontman Davey Muise. The band’s new album “The Few and the Far Between” hit streets this past Tuesday, and it’s the result of “five guys [wanting] to be in [the] band.” In this intimate Q&A, Muise shares secrets of the group’s writing process, tells us how you’re not alone with the bullshit in the world, and sends a bold message to fans.

The Every Time I Die tour is over in a few days, how has it been for you?
It’s been absolutely amazing. This has probably been the best tour we’ve ever done. I think the Every Time I Die crowd is a little more open minded; they’re down to go to a show and get crazy and just forget about everything that’s going on. This lineup is one of the best lineups I’ve ever seen in general and we’re very sad that it’s over.

Do you think you’ve made a lot of new fans, and have they been liking the new songs you’ve been playing?
That’s one thing that I’ve actually been very, very surprised about. Everyone’s been so cool. They come up to us and say they’ve never heard of us until the show or they’ve heard of us and never got to see us until now. The new songs have been going over great. The new kids haven’t really heard anything before so they just like everything. We’ve been getting a good response so it’s great.

What’s it like singing older songs to fans pre-The Honest Hearts EP?
I’ve been singing songs that weren’t mine for four years now, and you know, you kind of just make them your own; they’re my songs now, I’m part of Vanna, and everything that Vanna was or will be or is what I am. That goes for Joel and Eric. It’s no different. Of course I like playing songs I had a hand in writing, but we’re all in this band for a reason. If they had songs prior to me joining the band, I enjoy doing them. “Lead the Horse,” it’s one of my favorite songs to play live. You just have to practice and make those songs your own, you can’t really think about it.

With your new album The Few and the Far Between, what’s the difference between this record and the last? 
[O]n this record we have five guys that want to be in this band, five guys that put every ounce of everything they had in writing and recording and putting everything to it. [It’s] such a collaborative record. Vanna has always written music all together; on this record it was nothing different. If someone wanted to write a vocal part, they did; if someone wanted to hop on the drums and write a drum part, they did. It was never a matter of “this is my job” in the band. It was a matter of writing and everyone adding thought to it. Vocally and lyrically for me I said everything I wanted to say. I was encouraged to write a more honest record; it’s a lot angrier and a lot more real.

Is there a theme to the album or a certain message that you wanted to get out with this record? 
I wanted everyone to know that you’re not alone in the bullshit in this world, so many problems and so much shit. Whether you know me or not, you’re going through the same thing.  And if you find solace in songs, there are songs about all things, songs about how I didn’t have a father when I was growing up. When I was 22, I used to believe in god but he let me down. We all dealt with things and we just wanted to write a record that everyone could relate to. Everything on there is personal; everything is about my life, our life. At the same time that’s the point: that we are all the same, so it’s about your life too. Everything sucks and we all suffer together. Maybe through the suffering we can all feel a little bit better about problems and things going on in the world. Smile, it’s going to be fine. You might not know me and I might not know you and we might live across the world, but problems are the same. Just because we’re people in bands doesn’t mean we don’t have problems.

What do you think you would be doing if you weren’t playing in Vanna?
It’s kind of hard to say because my entire life revolves around this. I might barber; I cut hair when I go home and I own a clothing company, but these are overall products of me being on the road. It’s hard to find something you love passionately to make money.

Who designs the album artwork? Do you take any part in that?
Always. Our band doesn’t let anyone else do things for us that we don’t approve of. On the last album one of our best friends from home, a tattoo artist, designed everything from a concept we gave him. The artwork is from a guy named John Kingston. We gave him a vision of what we wanted and he went and got pictures done and he hit the nail right on the head. Our label helped us bring it all together on the layout. I think that people just like to slap whatever on for album artwork…We’re artists in a sense and we make music, so we want to incorporate that music into art. One of our best friends and tour manager, Bryan, does most of our merch designs with our guitar player Nick.

What’s the plan for Vanna for the rest of spring, summer, and 2013?
We’re going to be going to Australia with Norma Jean and doing our own headlining thing over there, which will take about two weeks. We’re going to come and jam a little, do a couple cover songs. We’re going to do a summer tour and some festivals, come home. We’re planning our headliner right now for early to late fall, which is going to be great. Come home, maybe do a little more writing, who knows? We’ll probably end up doing our holiday tour and that should bring us to the end of next year. We are looking pretty busy as always.

Do you have any message for the fans, new or old?
New fan or old fan: don’t sit in your house on your computer and tweet about how you missed a show, or how you missed Vanna or any band for that matter. Get off your computer and get in your car, get in a buddy’s car, take a train, take a bus and go to a show because, it’s really what it’s about – that’s what it comes down to. Take a night off from work or school just to come, and lose your shit for one night because who knows how many of those nights you’re going to get, and that’s what makes it worth it. Going to school or work 40 hours a week, and at the end of it you can get out and see a band live and hang out and have some fun. Also buy our record!

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