Constant Elevation is a new musical project from Sammy Siegler (Youth of Today, Judge) and Vinnie Caruana (The Movielife, I Am the Avalanche). Now, I merely listed a couple of the many bands Sammy has played in throughout his insanely prolific career inside and outside of the hardcore scene (I posted an extensive chat I had with him on the site in 2018), and it turns out that his latest journey is directly connected to his past.
"When I played in Glassjaw on the Everything You Wanted to Know About Silence record, I was introduced to a whole new crew of kids from Long Island who were making music," Sammy told me earlier this week while discussing the origins of Constant Elevation.
"To be honest, I wasn’t a fan of a lot of the post hardcore emo/screamo singers of the early 2000s, but I played in the Movielife for a tour and really loved Vinnie’s voice. The songs were super catchy, had great lyrics, and Vinnie could actually sing. He's a hardcore kid but also pulls from various other influences that I dig, so I was really happy he was into working on this."
So, let's hook you up with an early listen to Constant Elevation via "Fuck Runnin,'" a track from their forthcoming debut EP:
Sammy revealed to me that the musical side of the Constant Elevation record features the first songs he's ever written from start to finish, on his own. "I’ve written a few songs here or there, some lyrics in the past, but usually I help arrange and develop parts that people bring in. For this, I started with a miniature Taylor acoustic autographed by Shawn Mendes that I stole from a job I once did. Since I’m lefty, I plugged away upside down style, recorded into my phone and kept trying to improve on them on my own.
"I tapped Alex Barreto (Chain of Strength, Inside Out), Andrew Kline (Strife, Berthold City) and Joe Garlipp (Despair, Fadeaway), who all play with me in World Be Free and were kind enough to learn the songs and demo them. They did a great job, they’re great players, and helped in making the songs come to life."
I asked Vinnie about his lyrical work on Constant Elevation via email. "I heard the songs Sammy wrote and immediately began writing positive lyrics," the singer wrote me. "I do tend to go more on the negative side with my other projects. Positivity feels right with these tunes." How about working with Sammy? " To do more of hardcore leaning band with such a legendary hxc drummer is really dreamy. He’d be very high on anyone’s list. It’s really cool for me to be involved."
Did Vinnie present the finished melodies and lyrics to Sammy, or did he check in with him as he shaped that side of the material? "He kept it to himself for the most part," Sammy said. "I was in NYC one day, we met and drove to NJ to Barbershop Studios to track vocals with Brett Romnes, and I was so excited to hear what he had been working on. Vinnie started tracking and for some reason totally blew his voice out within five minutes and that was that. I went back to LA and he finished the vocals another day and crushed it, it was really cool to hear melodies over these instrumentals."
With Sammy based in Los Angeles, and Vinnie in New York, how do they plan on working/playing live with Constant Elevation? "We’ve been putting a band together in NYC, and we just rehearsed last week and wrote a few new songs. Figured it would be easier to have an NYC-based band. I get back often enough to be productive. We’re playing a watch store in Brooklyn called Throne on September 5th."
The Constant Elevation EP will be out soon thru Revelation Records and can be pre-ordered today.
Tagged: constant elevation, gorilla biscuits, judge, rival schools, sammy siegler, shelter, side by side, youth of today