Warped Wednesday: Interview with Vanna’s Davey Muise

Davey Muise’s career is all about connections. Whether he’s making music as the lead vocalist of a band, touring the country giving talks at schools and events, or launching a brand new nonprofit company to bring homeless youth brand new clothes to wear, Muise just wants to reach people.

New England-based band Vanna are traveling the country promoting their new album All Hell and having an all-around kick-ass time rocking the main stage on this year’s Warped Tour. Muise, the band’s frontman, took some time at the band’s home-state show to chat with us about his newly launched non-profit clothing company

The Daily Slice: Could you first introduce yourself with your name, what you do in Vanna, and the best place to get a slice of pizza in your hometown?

Davey Muise: My name is Davey, I’m the vocalist of Vanna, and my favorite place in my hometown to get pizza, I think, is Otto Pizza. It’s the best. If you come up to Portland, Maine, you eat at Otto. There’s like four of them in town.

TDS: How’s Warped Tour been so far? Since you’re veterans to the tour, is there anything that’s different or surprising about this year?

DM: A little unexpected this year is the Monster Stage is two stages, and it’s the size of a main stage. My biggest fear was “are we going to be able to fill the space with kids on the main stage?” And every day has been unreal. It’s been huge, it’s been insane, kids singing along to all our new stuff, off our new record, it’s been very overewhelming, to say the least. Our signing lines have been over an hour long every day. It’s just the response to our band has been great. And sometimes kids don’t know us out here, and that’s great. I love meeting new people, I love getting new fans, I feel like they stay with us a really long time. I mean, this is our fourth year, you know we’re seniors, we’re walking around like we own the place. We love everybody who works for Warped Tour, we’re close with everyone, but the kids’ response has been really overwhelming this year, so it’s been very cool.

TDS: As veterans of the tour, what advice do you give new bands on Warped Tour for the first time?

DM: Drink lots of water and sleep whenever you can. If you’re in a bus, bandwagon, van, RV, wherever you are, drink water, sleep as much as you can, and I recommend, my biggest thing is walk around and interact. If you’re brand new, and you’re a brand new band, as soon as you’re done with your set, be at your tent or walk around and interact with kids. They like that, you know? And you should like that too. It shouldn’t be about bands staying on their buses and not interacting with their fans. So, stay hydrated, get some sleep, and interact with all the people who came to see your band because ultimately, they’re the reason you’re here.

TDS: You just launched a nonprofit clothing company last month, how’s the response been to that so far?

DM: It’s called Shovel Brand, it’s a one for one clothing and accessory brand. So the whole idea is when you buy anything off our website, another is printed in the exact same size, and one goes to me, and at the end of the month, we take the box of whatever we have and we go down to my wife’s teen center she helps run, and we drop it off to all the kids so they have brand new clothes. The teens that are living in the shelter, you look at the donation piles and it’s old, ratty stuff. Bless you if you donate, that’s great, but these kids are teenagers. Go back to when you were a teenager, we just wanted to be cool. You want to wear cool stuff, it makes you feel good. And we can make these kids feel good about themselves even when they’re in a really tough situation. They still have to get jobs, they still have to go to school, they still want to have relationships, so if we can get them brand new clothes and make them feel better about themselves, then hell yeah, that’s what we want to do. So I sat down with a couple of friends, came up with a budget, and we were able to do that.

TDS: What made you so passionate about this project?

DM: With homeless people, I feel like a lot of people say beggars can’t be choosers, but these kids aren’t beggars. Some of them are born into this situation and can’t help it. So anytime you buy anything, just know that when you’re wearing that shirt, a kid gets it. And it’s a dope shirt, or joggers, or a hat, or a beanie, and when you’re wearing it, you have an opportunity to tell people about this organization and what we do. Our hope is that it spreads by word of mouth. We’re not taking out ad space anywhere, we’re not doing campaigns. Our goal is to have a Shovel Brand rep in every state that brings a box every single month to the kids in these shelters. Our first month is going really well, and my wife is out on tour right now, but when she gets home, she’s going to have a giant box to bring to the kids.

TDS: That all sounds amazing.

DM: Dude, these kids, their faces light up. They all want to volunteer to help sort it. They love it, it means a lot to them. And everyone asks “how can I help?” or “what can I do?” Go buy a shirt. You can help by buying a shirt or sweatpants or a beanie so these kids can get one.

TDS: Did you bring Shovel Brand out on Warped Tour with you?

DM: Because it’s so new, we didn’t have a lot of time to get together a big box of stuff to bring. So I have a big box of stuff coming in next week for the bands because I’ve spoken just like this in the press room, and bands are in the press room, and are like “what is this?” So by word of mouth, once again, these bands want to donate money so I’m just going to give them t-shirts. So for these guys, we won’t do one for one. On Warped Tour, we’ll collect all the money, and then put in a big batch of shirts to drop off. But next year we hope to be on the tour.

TDS: Outside of music, I’ve seen you’re involved with a lot of activism and you give a lot of talks. Are you bringing that work on the road with you?

DM: Yeah I speak at high schools, colleges, and conventions for a living. And I’m doing ThinkTI, which is like a group class, so sitting under a tent every day with kids who can sign up for my workshop. We’re just discussing how I got here and how they can get where they want to go and take all the things in their life that maybe troubled them and thought they couldn’t get over and held them down, and how they can use it to fuel each other and help each other. I do 40-minute talks every day but they’re more like discussions. I want to get to know them and what their goals are in their life. And I do that every tour, not just Warped Tour.

TDS: Before we run out of time, is there anything new from Vanna fans should know about?

DM: Just buy the new record, All Hell, it’s in stores and available on iTunes. I understand streaming is really cool, but if you can buy it and then stream it all you want later, that would be really great because that would help us out. I just want you to listen to it and learn the songs and come out to a show and sing along.

Vanna | Facebook | Twitter | Shovel Brand

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