Movielife is another fine act on Revelation Records and their latest album
‘This time next year’ is a must for everyone into bands as Lifetime or Saves
The Day. These guys are very cool and very fast when it comes answering
interviews (3 days). So go ahead and read what their guitarist Brandon had to
say about the past, present and future of The Movielife.
How are you at the moment? Do you want to say anything to the readers first?
I'm Brandon. I play guitar for the Movielife. We're a 5 piece melodic hardcore/pop-punk
band from Long Island, New York.
guess this is a boring question, but could you please give me the band history
of the Movielife, because there might be some people that are not too familiar
with your band?
started in 1997. It wasn't originally a full-time thing. We released 2 demos
before we actually made it a full-time band. Since '97 we've released 2 demos, a
split CD on Onedaysavior Records, a 7-inch on Initial Records, a full length on
Fadeaway Records, and a full length on Revelation Records that was just released
October 3rd of 2000.
heard you guys quit your jobs and school to make the Movielife a full time thing.
How did you survive in the beginning? I imagine it was pretty hard at times? How
is it now, can you live off the band?
as of right now none of us have jobs. Some of us have side work here and there,
but nothing stable. We're just getting by right now....garbage scraps, pocket
picking, etc. Yeah, it's definitely hard at times, and we're not living off the
band yet. Hopefully that will happen one day soon because we all have lots of
bills to pay. Everything we make pretty much gets put back into the band in
terms of new merchandise or van payments. We get some food money while we're on
tour but when we come home there's really nothing. Our first few tours were on
demo tapes alone. There was no money to go around back then. As of late we have
been doing pretty good at shows, and having a variety of stuff to sell
definitely makes life easier on the road.
how did your families react when you made the band a full time job, were they
concerned or did they support you?
for me, my parents were extremely supportive about me taking time off from
school to do this. I'm still young. I'm 19 (Once again I feel old, don’t
know why… - Stefan). They know that music is my passion. Touring beats a
depressing art school any day I mean, they definitely are concerned about me,
but they have never once questioned my decision. I'm pretty sure it's the same
for the rest of the guys in the band. We've all proven how serious and motivated
we are about the band. School will always be there. A band doesn't last forever.
You might as well do it while your young and still able.
seems that you are on the road all the time, isn't that sometimes hard and don't
you get on each others nerves sometimes? How do you avoid this?
definitely hard at points. Being stuck in a van for hours on end is enough to
get on anyone's nerves. Also there is a lack of privacy on the road that can
become annoying. I guess we manage because we believe in what we're doing. A lot
of other bands are surprised by how well we get along. Most bands are at each
other's throats constantly. Of course once in a while there will be points where
we will fight with one another. You know, words get exchanged. Punches thrown,
and then all the sudden a knife gets pulled out. It gets ugly sometimes (How
many line up changes did you have if you’re so fast pulling the knives out?
about your girlfriends and families when you're on tour, I can't imagine they
are with you all the time, so isn't that hard for a relationship?
It gets complicated. Especially since 4 out of 5 of us are in relationships. We
don't really get to see them that much. They know how passionate we are about
this and support us fully. Of course the downside is, the bigger we get as a
band, the more we tour, and the less time we spend with our girlfriends. You
might ask who the sexy, single Italian guy in the band is. That would be Phil.
He is the Don Juan of punk rock. You can catch him taking his shirt off half way
through our sets. He's completely ripped, unlike me. I'm pale and skinny and try
to keep my shirt on at all times.
was the coolest thing that ever happened to you on tour, what was the worst
me, the coolest thing that ever happened on tour was when I won 250 dollars of
Vin's tour money during a week of playing dice. Of course that wasn't the
coolest thing that ever happened to Vin. He drank a lot of water and ate a lot
of peanut butter sandwiches after that. Vin has what you would call "a
gambling problem." The worst thing would be when I got my wisdom teeth in
during our last tour. I think I cried myself to sleep every night. Actually I
cried because I missed my mommy, but don't tell anyone (Ok, but what do offer
me for keeping that secret? – Stefan).
heard your first album came out on Fadeaway Records, is it still available? I am
asking because I didn't see that one anywhere yet. Why did you change labels and
how did you find yourself on Revelation?
reason why you probably haven't seen it is because they never repressed it after
we sold out of the first pressing. You might ask why they didn't repress. Well,
we are still trying to figure that out ourselves. We changed labels because a
full time band needs a label that is going to get their stuff out everywhere,
all over the world. Revelation is one of the best known indie labels out there
and they wanted to sign us. Needless to say, we were very interested. There were
other labels that wanted to sign us too, but Rev was the most enthusiastic about
us. It just seemed like a perfect fit.
split 7" with Ex-Number Five came out on One Day Savior and the 'Self
destruct' 7" came out on Initial. Was that before you signed with
Revelation and would you have the possibility to record 7"s for other
labels or are you bound to Revelation?
when we did those 2 seven-inches, those record labels were well aware that we
were in the process of signing with Revelation. Technically we weren't signed,
but we had the contracts and were looking them over during the recording of the
seven inches. We have a clause in our contract that let's us do EP's and
7-inch's on other labels. Right now we are doing a track for a Rap tribute album.
Rev lets us do stuff like that because it only helps album sales. Limited
releases help get your music into more people that wouldn't hear your record
otherwise. Hopefully people that buy them decide to get one of our CDs because
they like the way we sound.
think you appeared on one chapter of the Emo Diaries, right? Which song did you
use, an unreleased one? Do you think you fit on that compilation and how were
the reactions you got?
That's correct. We did a song off of our 2nd demo called "Valens." I
don't think we necessarily "fit" on the comp, considering we're not
emo, but it was a way to get our name out. We have a big issue with the word emo.
We don't like it when someone categorizes us as an emo band. When I think of emo,
I think of off-key singing, 8 minute ballads of crying about a girl that you
have dated for 2 weeks. Our music doesn't whine. It induces violence and
promotes the death of people you don't like (Ups – Stefan). Sure, we're
poppy and punky, but I think a band automatically gets the emo label if they're
not traditional hardcore or metal.
talk a bit about the new record (that I like very much by the way,
congratulations, it really kicks ass!). Are you still satisfied with the way it
turned out or would you change anything if you could?
you very much. We are 100 percent satisfied with it. The production is great,
thanks to our producer Brian McTernan of Battery fame. We believe that the songs
on this record are the best song writing that we have done to this date. Vin's
lyrics and vocal melodies are the best he has ever done as well. We couldn't
have asked for anything better, and there is nothing we'd change about it if we
could. Actually, I would have thanked Morrissey in the credits, but that's
long did you record that album and how was the recording process with Brian
McTernan? Will you record with him for future releases, too, or will you go
We recorded with Brian for 2 and a half weeks. It was a lot of fun. Brian is extremely funny and enjoyed crushing our self esteem every chance possible. He cursed and emotionally abused us until we got it right. He has left an unremovable scar on our musical ambitions. He was great and he likes to be tickled. We will definitely record with him for our next release. He just built a new studio out in Maryland so we can't wait to get in and record.
vocals on the song 'How can you even face me?' were done by Jason Mazzolla. How
did you get him to sing on that song?
Jason is the singer for an upcoming hardcore band called Count Me Out. He and the band are good friends of ours. We met them through Brian McTernan actually. They have a full length out on Indecision Records. Pick it up. It's hawwwdcaw. We were in the middle of recording a song that needed a person shouting a line. We knew that Jason lived about 2 hours from Salad Days Studios so we called him up and he was more than happy to come down and do it. It came out brutal. It gave us balls for about 2 seconds.
lyrics on the new album seem to me as rather pessimistic, maybe apart from 'Me
and you vs. them.' Would you agree?
wouldn't necessarily call it pessimistic. I mean, of course we have a song about
wishing someone's teeth to be bashed in following an immediate and painful death,
but that's just Vinny not being able to control his anger. He has a sensitive
and positive side too. He likes little puppies, grassy fields, and rainbows as
well. I guess we'll write happier songs when we are more certain of our future.
If millions suddenly come rolling in, believe me, all the songs will be happy.
do you like talking about the content of your lyrics at all or do you think that
people should make up their own thoughts about them?
Some stuff that is written is quite blunt, but said in a way that doesn't really
give you the whole picture. At the same time, I think people will read the
lyrics and just take it exactly how it is portrayed. Use your imagination a
little. Do you think we actually want people to suffer and die? ...Actually,
that was a bad example. In the song "Once in a row" Vin sings about
his brother being disappointed in him. That song isn't meant to exclude anyone
that doesn't have a brother obviously. You can relate to it because I'm sure
everyone has had a person in their life get down on them that they looked up to.
So I guess I'm in favor of people understanding the lyrics, but more so if they
try to apply them to their own lives.
play shows with bands that play all kinds of styles and I read that it's all one
big scene to you. Often I see some kind of backstabbing between the whole scenes
which I think is pretty stupid, because I listen to hardcore, emo and even old
school death metal and I don't understand why people talk bad about each other
so often. Do you see these 'problems', too?
those problems will always be unavoidable. There will always be that jealous,
purist hardcore kid that hates progressive bands being on Revelation Records.
That kid needs to realize that there is more to life than power chords and
recycled youth crew songs. There are people that are nice to us to our face, but
talk massive amounts of garbage about us when we're not around. They think we
don't know, but we do. They do this probably because they want a favor, so they
pretend to like us. Those people should fall on a rusty screwdriver.
goals do you have in your life concerning your personal life as well as the
personal goal is to get as far with this band as possible. I've given up
everything for it. I want to live off of it. Why else would I quit furthering my
education. Is that being a sellout? No. If kids want a band to be around all the
time, and constantly come to their town, then that band NEEDS to have income.
The income won't be coming from a job at home. So where would it be coming from
then? It would have to be coming from the band. Therefore, it's not selling out.
I mean, if we started writing music that sounded like the Backstreet Boys, that
would be a drastic change and I would take the sellout label. That's certainly
not the case here.
you have some kind of philosophy to life and which one would that be?
don't really live my life by a particular philosophy, but if I had to pick one
right now it would be: "If you're under 150 pounds you should own a pair of
What do you think about religion in hardcore, just like krishna consciousness?
not a religious person. I think people use religion as a crutch because they
want to be a part of something and want something to believe in. You don't need
religion to be a good person. In fact, I've found that most people involved in
religion are a bit "out there." Mormons? C'mon, look at that Mormon on
the real world. She's a basket case. Krishna seems like a good concept I guess,
but most hardcore kids are krishna cause it's the cool thing of the week. It's
just as trendy as straightedge.
do you see the Movielife and yourself this time next year, where this time in
time next year I see us hopefully being a lot more known. Maybe even living off
of it. I just want to be financially comfortable. 10 years from now? Well, if
I'm still in the band I better be making serious money. I can't be thirty and
still sleeping on other people's floors.
seems we’re at the end of this interview, do you have anything now?
interview was very fun. I liked the questions. Visit our website at
www.themovielife.net or go to revelationrecords.com Thank you very much. Look
for us in Europe around March or April. Take care.