Wheel of fortune

By JULIA KAGANSKIY  |  June 1, 2006

JK: Where the hell did you guys come from?
EP: Nick and I had both been writing and playing in bands since we were about 14 years old. We met through a mutual friend and instantly hit it off and started writing in the dorms of MassArt. The next year we ended up becoming close and got an apartment together and started writing what would become Vanna material. We originally did all the screaming and singing ourselves. It was just the three of us – Shawn, Nick, and myself. Eventually, we wanted to start playing live shows and a drum machine is a little impractical to do such things, so we started hunting for a drummer. We came across this guy, Brandon Davis, who was actually a guitar player for another Boston band called Therefore I Am. He met up with us and practiced with us, and loved it, and we loved him, so that instantly worked out.

JK: So what exactly happened with your first singer, Joe Bragel?
EP: Once we got picked up by Epitaph it seemed like he lost his drive to try his hardest and put the most that he could into it. His screaming just started to go downhill. It just didn’t seem to us that this was something he deserved, to just get handed a free ride. Right before we left to start recording our EP, we were in the studio with him and our producer was even like, “This really isn’t good for you guys. Everything is so good, everything is so solid, he’s the only issue you have.” And we were already having problems with him so we just sat down and talked it out and were like, “You know, he’s definitely not going to work out for us. This isn’t going to cut it.” Chris here was going to be the original singer before Joe even started screaming for us, but he lived in Texas at the time.

JK: How did you hook up with Chris, with him in Texas and you living in Boston?
EP: A good friend of ours, she’s from Austin and she goes to BU. We met him through her, just hanging out while he came up to visit. We loved him instantly. Then, after a while, once we started to get this band going, I saw her on the T in Boston and I started talking to her about him: “We’re getting our band going and we really want to get a screamer instead of just doing it all ourselves.” We really like having an energetic live performance and really be able to move around and if you’re playing guitar and you’re pinned to a mic the whole time you don’t really get the full effect. He came down and we practiced with him, and it was amazing, and this was still before Joe. The only problem was that he still lived in Texas . . . But we took Joe as a fill-in until Chris got here and we had him for a while, and Joe was doing pretty good towards the beginning, so we were like, we’ll just keep him. Chris didn’t get too upset, he was really cool about it. He was at all our shows and once he moved out here he was very supportive of us. Everything just worked out. Everything’s been working out for us in these really lucky ways. It almost feels like it’s destiny sort of.

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