Features

Constant Elevation: Hardcore Outfit Expands Lineup, Records Freedom Beach EP

Photo: Julian Gilbert

In case you aren't already familiar with the project, Constant Elevation is the brainchild of vocalist Vinnie Caruana (I Am the Avalanche, The Movielife, Peace'd Out) and drummer Sammy Siegler (Youth of Today, Judge, Rival Schools).

Last year saw the release of the project's eponymous debut EP, and since then, the duo have welcomed bassist Jani Zubkovs (Caspian) and guitarists Mike Ireland of (Pass Away, I Am the Avalanche) Jim Carroll (Spiral Heads, American Nightmare) into the fold, making Constant Elevation into a full-on band situation.

Now, less than a year later, Constant Elevation is returning with Freedom Beach, a 4-song EP recorded with Jon Markson (Drug Church, Brothertiger) at Savaria Studios in Brooklyn, New York. 

No Echo chatted with Vinnie and Sammy about Freedom Beach in anticipation of the EP's release.

Sammy, before the COVID-19 lockdown, you were active playing shows Shelter, Judge, and Youth of Today all over the world. Doing that stuff, and interacting with folks, what was the reaction/feedback like to the Constant Elevation EP that came out in 2019?

Sammy Siegler: The response from the first EP was really solid, I’m grateful to be part of this community thats open to checking out my projects, everyone involved worked hard on it, it’s amazing what goes into a few hardcore tunes. [Laughs] I did have a tour manager who told me he thought is was a DJ duo record based on the cover photo, thought that was funny. 

But yeah, I was really busy end of 2019 with a lot of tours, I had left a job earlier in the year and just said yes to a bunch of things, it all kind of landed together between September and the end of the year. I remember on the Judge tour in Europe last November, waking up everyone on the bus everyday to the part in “Bob X. Cursion” on the new EP when it builds and Vinnie goes “FUCKKKKKK!”, was funny (for me)… Sorry Mike!

Funny that you mention that one, because of the material on Freedom Beach, the song “Bob X. Cursion” is my favorite, especially since it features a blend of fast parts, anthemic melodies, and a huge breakdown at the end. After all these years being in hardcore bands, how much fun is it getting to play stuff like that?

Sammy Siegler: I love that song, Vinnie wrote it, I love the chorus, and the mosh part is brutal. The beat flips in the mosh part in a tricky way, keeps me on my toes. We had actually played four shows in a row and went right into the studio after that for two days, we recorded the songs all together, tried to keep it as live as possible. It’s great to record that way, especially hardcore.

Photo: Danielle Dombrowski

Tell me a bit about the lyrics on “KRS Two,” a track that got my attention right away thanks to its unique title.

Vinnie Caruana: This song recalls how it felt when my ex wife left me. It lead me to a better place, but it was a tough year for me mentally. I’ve always admired KRS-One. I had quite a lovely chat with him in a buffet restaurant in Mississippi. My ex began collecting pets when I was away on tour. She let me name one and I named it KRS Two. An homage to the king of New York.  

Since Constant Elevation is more traditional hardcore than your other projects right now, do you view it as a vehicle to approach your lyrics a bit differently?

Vinnie Caruana: Definitely. I generally don’t write over your standard fast hardcore beat. So, it’s a real treat for me. Especially since it’s Sammy playing that beat. The space within that beat dictates the vocal pattern for me. The pattern that comes to me, steers my brain in the direction the song needs to go. There aren’t any rules, so we got that goin for us as well.

Freedom Beach will be out soon via Revelation Records and can be pre-ordered in various bundles at this link.

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Tagged: civ, constant elevation, i am the avalanche, judge, project x, rival schools, shelter, side by side, the movielife, vinnie caruana, youth of today

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