Vanilla Sounded Chocolate: Eat ‘Em Up!

When I go to shows I pay attention to every performer.  I don’t just show up to see whoever happens to be headlining.  There have been too many times when I’ve found the opening band far more memorable than the main attraction.  Vanilla Sounded Chocolate is one of those bankable bands that steal the show no matter their set slot.

VSC – Manon Misto on vocals, Ty Carney on lead guitar, Mike DiCarlo on bass and Matt Fitzgerald on drums make songs that don’t get stuck in continuity.  They are a complete concoction of hybrid hits and individually they each supplement something to the band.  Whether they’re killing a cover or outdoing themselves on an original, VSC put in enough energy and effort to evoke more than the ears.  They claim “when the four elements are together it almost feels as if a fifth element is present.”

VSC is a blended batter that isn’t blanched to break out of the box.  They make music that is a fantastic fusion – they are fresh and fun, yet familiar and formal.  They’re not only a band you have to hear, but also something you should see.  They have a performance presence and a pleasing pitch that prompt people to pay attention.  No matter what flavor you fancy, VSC has a sound that satisfies and you will savor every second and find yourself fulfilled.

Sara Fincham:  I suppose we should start with the most obvious question – what’s the story behind your band name?

Ty Carney: The story of the name is actually a secret kept between myself, Mike and our friend John. It’s the end product of three musicians with too much time on their hands.

Mike DiCarlo: The secret in the name lies in the thresholds of the mind of John Fisher. You find Fish, you find the secret.

SF:  How did you all find each other and form this formidable foursome?

Manon Misto: Ty was asked by a friend to perform at a local show with his band and he had left out the part about him not having a band made up yet. So with the time given to him before the actual show he asked his cousin Mike, who is our bassist, if he was interested in joining the band, and sure enough Mike agreed. Later Ty had called an old friend, Tyler Loomen, who he asked about joining as well and instantly Tyler sad “Yes!” So the majority of the band was made up at this point but they were searching for a singer.

It was known by many of my close friends that I always wanted to perform in a band and my friend Meagan had mentioned to me that there was a nearby band looking for a singer and she told me about Tyler. I had contacted Tyler through Facebook and informed him that I was interested. Then one thing led to another and we all agreed to meet. They seemed to be instantly impressed because they told me they were going to take a few days before making the final decision and by the end of the night they told me I was their new singer!

MF:  After Playing a show with them in my previous band, Ty called me one night and told me that they needed a new drummer. I agreed to meet them one night and they gave me a cd of nine original songs, and told me they would call me for a practice in the next few days. After learning their album, they called me in for a practice. After a few more practices, they informed me I would be a fill in for that night.

After two weeks of tough practices we had a 3 hour show at the Mingo American Legion. About half way through the show, when there’s the token moment to introduce the band, and when it came to my name, Manon told everyone to applaud their new drummer! From then on it was no different as before, and we resumed building our song list.

SF:  I think it must be incredibly hard to have songs be something we haven’t heard.  What new direction do you hope to help music make?

TC:  I personally believe music has lost a lot of creditability from a musicians stand point. I’m not much of a fan of punk music because, at least from what I see, bands all use simple chord progressions, bar chords and such. VSC’s music is a lot more complex in arrangements, which you can especially see in our originals, and I believe that’s due to the different influences each member has. I just hope we are respected for our talent and our actual musicianship then just being a good band.

MM:  VSC’s music has definitely alternated throughout the time we’ve been together.  Personally I think it’s been for the best because as our taste in music changed and we became more open to different genres in which we’d performed live, each person would find at least one song that they could listen to a second time. So I hope that it would give more people an open mind to different types of music.

MF:  We are all so diverse, and I think that brings a little bit of a genre smash up in our music. We have the soft music, all the way to the hard rock. We individually layer our different genres into a song.

MD:  The band is constantly evolving when everyone is improving. Everyone plays their part and it kind of becomes what it is. The sound changes as you’re constantly learning. So there’s kind of no way of telling where it can go. It’s limitless I guess.

SF:  One of the many things I like about your music is that it reminds me of music I like!  It sounds like some of my favorite songs!  Are those influences intentional or impromptu?

TC:  Well thank you! In VSC everything we do is improvised, we hardly ever play our originals the same twice. It gives each song its own life, so at times our songs may sound like other songs but that is completely unintentional.

MM:  Aww thanks! All of our songs are 100% improvisation! Usually one of us will come up with a rift that appeals to everyone and we’ll start to play with it, then everything sort of falls into place.

MF:  I think we all bring something to the plate, and we all have so many influences that reflect on a major part of our music.

MD:  I believe the music that you make is definitely a product of your background in music, to an extent. So I would say that we must just happen to have the same taste in music.

SF:  I know you’ve been on an almost every day practice schedule.  What do you think you do well and what do you need to work on?

TC:  We’re all very determined with this music. As of now I see no downfall unless we become unable to stay true to our music which I don’t see happening. (chuckling)

SF:  One of the other things I like about you is your energy.  How does everyone keep their enthusiasm when you’re not performing and does pure adrenaline provide that during a live show?

TC:  I believe it’s 50% adrenaline and 50% unidentified stimulants! For me I feed off the energy we’re all producing as a whole, that’s what determines my attitude during show times.

MM:  I think we have a real passion for what we do and we are always trying to push ourselves. Good ol’ adrenaline always helps! Usually for all of our shows we all get pretty pumped and excited when we are close to going on and that just makes the experience all the more enjoyable!

SF:  What’s your favorite song to cover and why?  Do you have any upcoming shows you’d like to promote?

TC:  I must say “Whole Lotta Love” by Led Zeppelin. It showcases everyone in the band. Manon’s voice is a driving force like no other in that tone. Mike’s prolific bass solo and enough drum fills to go around the song is just a new experience every time. Not to mention I get to play the Theremin in the orgasm section…pretty exciting I must say!

MM:  “Whole Lotta Love” for sure! The song in itself is crazy awesome and it really gives us all a time to shine!

MF:  “Dazed and Confused.” That song is so crazy in tempo swings, fills, ad-lib guitar solos, it dazes you on a slow to fast roller coaster. Everyone has their shining moment in the song.

MD:  “Christmas Eve Sarajevo,” although we never got to play it. We weren’t “allowed.” Our next two shows are at the American Legions in Brilliant and Mingo Jct. Oct. 29th, 8-12 in Brilliant and Nov. 4th at 9:00 in Mingo Jct. We’re kind of on a Legion tour. We really enjoy playing at American Legions.

Vanilla Sounded Chocolate

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