Viennagram’s A.V. Vienna: 2017 Halloween Unlike Any Other

A.V. Vienna of The Viennagram

A.V. Vienna of The Viennagram

In the Providence music scene, there is one band that identifies itself with the celebration of Halloween more than any other. That act is The Viennagram, who mix vintage macabre, punk essence and maniacal energy to create an uncanny style. The trio of bassist Chip Pietraszek, keyboardist Scott Peloquin and drummer A.V. bring an essence of madness that’s absolutely infectious. They have the power to completely take over a room and make people go crazy. It’s quite a spectacle to which no other local act within the city can compare.

The Viennagram will be ringing in All Hallow’s Eve at the Columbus Theatre in the heart of Providence’s west end for the third year in a row. Joining them will be intergalactic space jammers Zoink Zulag & The Galactic Shag along with a stunning 3D experience. There will also be a costume contest with celebrity judges and secret prizes. Vienna and the band will be performing a set of brand-spankin’-new songs. It promises to be an unforgettable experience that no one should miss.

“Originally, I got the name ‘The Viennagram’ while I had a fever of 103, which was like 15 years ago,” Vienna says about the band’s beginnings. “I wrote down a bunch of stuff because I was writing a lot around this point. This was before I even had the idea of making a band. I read this essay afterwards that I wrote while having this fever and at the end of it, it said ‘end Viennagram.’ I wanted to know more about it and it made me wonder what that ending really meant. It has been an interesting pursuit of the irrational really, especially at this point. I’m definitely looking at things more as me not being in a band but as more as me being a part of an experiment.”

“We actually used to have 22 people in the band at one time,” he said about the changes within The Viennagram since its start in the late 2000s. “There was a full horn section and dancing girls. There was a nutcracker that had a real sword, it was fuckin’ wild. The way that we’ve progressed, if anything, the experiment of The Viennagram has been through controlling a certain amount of chaos. I really think I’m on to something that what I was originally going for, which is getting the conceptual vision side of it more involved. To me, a song is really a unique window into another world and it takes the listener and/or audience into that world. It’s always been my mission ever since I could ever remember.”

Everyone has their favorite Halloween costume that they’ve worn over the years and A.V. is no different. “I wish I still had this awesome purple and black jester outfit, that was really great to wear,” reminisces A.V. about his personal favorite. “I think Halloween truly is a state of mind. I would stay in character for days when I was a kid and I certainly wanted to be a clown. I definitely want to get that purple and black jester outfit made again.”

“I’m pretty sure I have 17 costumes for Halloween and we’re upping the insanity this year by quite a lot on this year,” he said about what The Viennagram plans on wearing for the upcoming show. “In terms of actual costumes, we have matching capes, we have matching bunny ears, we have matching clown noses and we going to have matching shades too. Everyone’s going to love it.”

Along with the costumes, Halloween is also a time to indulge in candy. “Wax lips,” A.V. puts on a list on what he enjoys when he has a sweet tooth. “I used to say that the 5th Avenue Candy would be the A.V. Vienna official candy bar but it’s not necessary at this point. I definitely think that candy has come a long way. There’s this place called Billy Boy’s Candy in New Bedford, Mass., that is like a candy factory and they’re amazing. When I was in high school at School One in Providence, I had this series I was doing of these cobras and I made this cobra entirely out of candy. It was wild.”

The Columbus Theatre has a strange parallel to a story of Vienna’s friend and his voyage of building his art studio during a snowstorm. “There’s no synchronicity, there’s only the hand of fate that’s being guided with this story,” A.V. begins. “Ben Silva, who does lights for us, he has a studio spot at the Durfee Mills in Fall River, Mass. These mills are really, really old and, in my opinion, somewhat haunted if you can imagine all the people who used to work there and kids who probably used to work there too. Who knows? There are some really freaky parts of these mills that haven’t been touched in such a long time. He has a spot on the third floor of this mill building and he was there during a snowstorm a couple years ago.”

“He had a flashlight, he was just wandering around and he realized that there was a staircase that he didn’t know was there before,” A.V. continues. “He goes down to the second floor and there’s this troll hoard of random stuff. There was a boat inside of this place, I’ve been there and there are just tons and tons of stuff. The first time he went down there during the storm and just wandering around in the dark, kind of like half freaked out. He comes over to this big pile of boxes and happens to look into this one box for whatever reason. He opens it up and it’s filled to the brim with 3D glasses. He then closes the box and I think this box is from the early ‘70s. Turns out that it was addressed to the Columbus Theatre and that’s pretty much it. It’s crazy random stuff.”

There’s a lot in store for this special performance and A.V. has some high expectations for it. “I have a lot of things planned. The 3D Halloween video stream experience is going be something unlike the world has ever known before. I’m merely on the brink of something that’s going to change the way we’ll be able to communicate to audiences around the world and access this whole frontier. I accidentally discovered the most amazing canvas where I can really take an audience on a vision quest. It’s like the ultimate adventure and also we’re playing music. We’re going to explore new territory both musically and visually with this album that we have been working on.”

“I don’t know how bands usually do stuff but I never stop working on stuff,” A.V. concludes on the immediate future. “I’m always at the studio creating some form. We have an album/vision quest called You, View, New Uptopia and it’s going to be a wild, inter-dimensional adventure.”

The Viennagram:

Zoink Zulag & The Galactic Shag:

Columbus Theatre:

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