Photograph by Lauren Mangan
Vanna is electrifying audiences at Warped Tour this year with songs from All Hell, released this month. Even the sweltering heat cannot stop Davey Muise (vocals), Nicholas Lambert (guitar), Joel Pastuszak (guitar/clean vocals), Shawn Marquis (bass), and Seamus Menihane (drums) from giving one of the most powerful and emotional performances each day.
Keep it real. Each time Muise takes the stage, he reminds himself of what it felt to be that kid in the crowd. He explains, “What I do every time that we go out there, is that I put myself right there on that floor. I’ve been going to Warped Tour since I was 12 years old. So from 12 to 21 I went to Warped Tour every year, didn’t miss one. And standing there…when I stand on stage, I always look, especially in Mansfield where we just played again, I’ll look down and I will look to see (who is standing in that space). It’s like I stood right about here and I watched Saves the Day, or I watched Glassjaw, or I watched whoever. And I do it every day. Even though I never went to a show at this venue, I’ll still look from the stage and be like that is where I was standing watching my favorite bands. And the fact that I even get to be up here (is amazing).” Remembering what is was like to be a kid in the crowd allows Muise to translate that excitement into his music and connect with fans through a shared experience. To Muise, no matter how successful he becomesor how big the audience is, he will always be that kid in the crowd.
Get your shovel. Muise has been very open about his struggles with serious depression that began at a young age. He likens it to being buried in negativity and describes music as the shovel that helped him dig his way out of dark places. When his wife began working with homeless teens, Muise saw their difficulty and applied his ‘shovel’ analogy to develop Shovel Brand Clothing Company. Muise says, “Put yourself back to when you were a teenager. You wanted to look cool, act cool and your clothes, and your hair, and all that stuff may seem trivial, but it’s important for your self-esteem.” Since clothing is directly related to identity and self-esteem in teens, Muise designed a system of one-for-one. For every shirt you buy from Shovel Brand, the exact shirt is given to the shelter for a homeless teen. It may sound simple, but the effect is much more than just a free shirt. Sporting the Shovel Brand logo and connected to the wildly popular (and very cool) band Vanna, can be a conversation starter for teens. It can even serve as expression that lets you be yourself. The benefits do not stop there. When you wear a Shovel Brand t-shirt, it provides a way to reach out to others and let them know how easy it is to make a difference in a young person’s life.
It’s up to you. Lyrics to the song “Wounded Young” go, “I know you feel like you don’t belong / So raise your voice and sing this song / It’s up to us to fix ourselves / The world is cold and nobody helps” in a stark depiction of what many of us feel. The song sounds harsh at first, but is actually empowering. Muise says, “In that song, I try to tell kids to reach inside of themselves, because you can do this.” Often there is no one standing by to offer support, however, we each have the strength inside to help ourselves.
Learning is expansion. A former teacher, Muise is fully geared to learning whenever the opportunity presents itself. “I am learning more everyday about the basic things I don’t know. I’ve been touring since I was nineteen and now I am learning how to properly tune guitars, dial in a room, and properly tune drums. On the creative side, I’m producing records where I am writing with the bands and writing vocals.” Fascinated with production, Muise has worked with other bands as a producer and successfully completed three albums so far.
Get in the mix. When you see Vanna perform live, prepare yourself to get up close and personal. Muise can execute a perfect flip off the stage into the crowd without missing a note. The music of Vanna is compelling. It hits you with brute force, then surrounds you with a positive vibe. Signed to Pure Noise Records, Vanna is a must see on Warped Tour this year!