Wheel of fortune

Vanna were in the right place at the right time, but can Boston’s newest metalcore sensations live up to the hype?
By JULIA KAGANSKIY  |  June 1, 2006


They’re 22. They live in Allston. They’re heavy like Norma Jean and pretty like Motion City Soundtrack. They signed to Epitaph, after being together only eight months, when an A&R scout stumbled over a song on PureVolume. Some people call Vanna the luckiest band in town — not least of all the band members themselves. But even such modest success comes with consequences. Since signing with Epitaph, the boys of Vanna have been faced with resentful peers and cynical listeners. Choosing to part ways with their original lead singer only weeks before they were scheduled to record their debut EP only added to the bad blood. And yet throughout they’ve managed to stay positive and optimistic, confident that they will win over the kids with catchy, melody-laden hardcore and an energetic live show. With that EP, The Search Party Never Came, coming out this week, the Phoenix got founding member, Evan Pharmakis and new singer Chris Preece on the phone. They were already in the middle of their first-ever tour.

JULIA KAGANSKIY: What’s up with the name? Are you guys like die-hard fans of Wheel of Fortune?
EVAN PHARMAKIS: We really wanted something simple, and we decided to have it be one word, because you’ve got all these bands out here now with too many words. Vanna is just such a pretty name, we love it. We love Wheel of Fortune too. Vanna White is one hot lady. I don’t know if this had anything to do with it, but I’m a fan of Vanna White.

JK: I wonder if she’s a fan of you.
EP: I was wondering that too when I was watching Wheel of Fortune the other day.

JK: Everything’s been happening so fast for you guys.
EP: Well, it makes me feel a few different ways. Ever since I can remember I’ve always wanted to be in a successful band. I’ve been writing music for a long time. We’ve all just been in so many bands writing, playing shows. Regardless of which band it was, we’ve always been putting our all into it. This band, I think it just clicked right off the bat. It was really luck that we got picked up by Epitaph, we were in the right place at the right time. I’m sure there’s tons of bands out there that do what we do better [and] that aren’t discovered, so in that respect, I’d say it’s luck. There’s so many bands out there that have been around longer than us in Boston that bust their asses. We do get a little bit of jealousy and weird vibes from some bands and we catch a lot of flack. And you know, we take the good with the bad and try to stay positive, and let people know that we love what we do and we put our all into it and we really appreciate it and really love this chance that we’ve been given.

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  Topics: New England Music News , Vanna White, Norma Jean, Motion City Soundtrack,  More more >
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