Massachusetts Daily Collegian

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A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

Artist Profile: Double Vizion

Meet the members of Double Vizion
Photo courtesy of Double Vizion.
Photo courtesy of Double Vizion.

On Friday, Sept. 29, I sat down with Double Vizion, a local rock band at the University of Massachusetts. The band members trickled in one by one on this particularly rainy afternoon, which just happened to be the same day as their EP release “Empty Barstools,” and a show with Roll Over White and Stock Goblin at The Drake later that night.

The members of Double Vizion are Nicholas Valianti on vocals and rhythm guitar, Max Troderman on lead guitar, Ethan Borsari on bass and backing vocals and Eric Bergeron on drums and backing vocals.

Q: How was the band formed?

Troderman: “Ethan and I first met in Winter ‘22. My old band, Runaway Dream, was playing a house show and he just happened to be in the audience. He liked the kind of music we were playing, so we kind of bonded over that. We’re both guitar players, so we started hanging out, and he eventually joined my frat, Sigma Phi Epsilon. Fast forward to almost a year, Nick and I met through Local Mojo and Mojo Networks, which is a networking group for musicians trying to seek bands, gigs, etc. That was really [kind of] cool and we started writing songs together that winter.”

Bergeron: “Me and Nick were shooting pool, we had never met, and I had some good songs queued up on the TouchTunes and this dude hijacked it and then just started belting in the pool room, and so I walked up to him, and said, ‘Hey, do you play music?’ And he said, ‘Yeah, I’m trying to start a band, we’re looking for a drummer.’ That was on a Saturday night and on Tuesday, we were all practicing in Herter. And that was Double Vizion.”

Q: What was your first performance like?

Troderman: “The first time the four of us got in a room at Herter was in sometime late February and our first show was at the Monkey Bar at the start of April. Pretty quick turnaround there. It was great. For me, it was my first time getting back on stage in a while after my band, Runaway Dream, broke up. The energy there was good. It was Ethan’s first performance ever.”

Valianti: “Ethan rocked it, man!”

Q: What was the process of writing Empty Barstools” like?

Troderman: “Nick and I, before we met Eric and Ethan, we just started writing songs at my house and at Nick’s apartment. One of the riffs in ‘Roadhouse Suzie’ was actually recycled from my old band, it never got used. The rest of it though was completely new and on-the-spot.”

Valianti: “Max had an idea that he would use a guitar riff, or chord, or progression, and then I would have an idea from one of the songs that I wrote, and we would make up the verses in between. A lot of different things coming into those songs, but a lot of the verses had some meaning to our life here at UMass and just life in general.”

Q: What was the recording process of Empty Barstools” like?

Troderman: “Shoutout Songs 4 Everybody Music! Jeff Pongonis was our producer. He’s a good friend of my dad and when we decided that we wanted to start doing this, my dad referred me to Jeff. He lives in Taunton, MA. He has a studio in his basement, and he’s been doing this for years. It was an absolute pleasure working with him. I think he really pushed all of us to be the best that we could be. He put in artistic input when necessary. We’re all super happy with the final product.”

Q: Favorite song off of Empty Barstools?”

 Troderman: “Depends on the day. Lately, I think it’s been ‘Smokeshow’ for me. It’s a super dynamic song. I think it showcases each member of the band. Ethan does a sick bass solo, Eric’s groove is tight, Nick really pushes his vocal range and I’m pretty happy with the guitar solo that I did on it. But my favorite could change tomorrow.”

Bergeron: “Probably ‘Train Out Of Hell.’ It really shows what we can do. It’s got some good effects on it too. Jeff Pongonis did a great job producing that one. He actually put train sound effects in it.”

Valianti: “There are also some vocals at the end of ‘Train Out Of Hell.’ I was just saying random stuff but it worked. ‘Train Out Of Hell’ is probably my favorite. In a creative writing way, ‘Roadhouse Suzie’ is also my favorite. It’s just funny.”

Troderman: “I wrote the first verse of ‘Roadhouse Suzie’ prior to meeting Nick or shortly after. He came to my house and said, ‘Let’s finish this song and call it Roadhouse Suzie.’ I said, ‘What the f**k is that?’ Nick says, ‘Well, it’s about this girl on a Harley who goes to a bar and she just wants to fight!’”

With songs similar to the likes of Van Halen and Mötley Crüe, “Empty Barstools” is an EP that any rock fan can indulge in.

One song in particular, “Cigarettes and Memories,” really stuck out to me as an ode to the UMass party scene. With lyrics like, “One fine day that we spent in the townies, jumping fences, wearing green and getting rowdy,” and “Remember all those nights we spent at Spoke? Standing and waiting and having a smoke,” I was curious to hear the band’s opinion on how UMass has thus far affected their writing process:

 Valianti: “I wrote the lyrics to ‘Cigarettes and Memories,’ except one of the verses, which was about one of Max’s house shows that was shut down because that’s what happens when live bands play and people enjoy the music.”

Troderman: “I vividly remember writing that one. That was in my room at the start of last semester and I remember going verse by verse where like ‘Let’s write the first verse about Spoke!’ ‘What should the second verse be?’ like ‘Oh, Blarney! Everyone’s at Blarney and can relate to that.’ I feel like we got ‘Cigarettes and Memories’ done pretty quickly.”

Q: What kind of audience are you writing and performing for?

 Troderman: “People who just want to go out and just have a good time. You know, you’re at school all day, or you’re working 9-5, whatever it is, you just want to get away and just live a little bit.”

Borsari: “I say it can speak to a lot of different types of people. There are so many types of people at UMass, and with the indie/alt/punk bands, don’t get me wrong, I like their music, but it’s a different message. Some people can relate to what they sing about but not what we sing about and vice versa.”

Valianti: “To be honest, we love to bring people in, we love to play with other bands and just have a good time with them. The stuff we write about is pretty real actually. The stuff we’re doing is stuff that has happened to us. I wrote ‘Train Out Of Hell’ and that song is kind of about me. It’s kind of a depressing song.”

Bergeron: “I think one thing that is good about us is that we present ideas that I think a lot of people can relate to but on a medium that speaks to us. It gives us a little bit more of an ability to express what we want to express and we’re not trying to keep inside of one thing and be something that we’re not. It’s a really effective way to get our ideas across and I really enjoy the music that we’re playing.”

Troderman: “I don’t think we ever really wrote the songs intending, ‘Oh, we’re [going to] get these type of people here.’ I think I speak for all of us that were happy to play to anybody who wants to come out and hear us.”

To learn more about Double Vizion, you can find their Instagram @doublevizionofficial.

Paige Hanson can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @Paige_Hanson1.

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