Performers On the Go recently met the rock band Double Vizion at our hosted event, the Grand Finale Qualifier, at Loretta's Last Call. The band succeeded in advancing to the Grand Finale event and won the "Top Musicality" award. We are currently supporting the band's PR efforts on their new EP, Empty Barstools, with a press release and review of the album, and started the process with a getting to know the band questionnaire. The band also just released their first video for "Roadhouse Suzie"
Photography by Patty Duffey
How was the band formed?
Ethan and Max met back in February of 2022, when Max's previous band, Runaway Dream, played their debut show at a UMass Amherst party. Ethan immediately stood out in the audience to Max with his Jack Daniel's t-shirt and long hair, and the two guitarists bonded over their love of hard rock music. Fast forward nine months: Runaway Dream was imploding, and Max was in search of a new group. He got involved with Local Mojo, a UMass musicians networking and promotional club, where he would end up meeting Nick. The two got to work almost immediately, and Ethan joined the fold shortly thereafter. One evening, Nick was playing pool at the local American Legion and would meet Eric. Impressed by Nick's vocal ability, as he belted out whatever was playing on the jukebox, Eric approached him about his musical interests. One week later, Double Vizion had their first rehearsal in Herter Hall and has never looked back.
How long have you been performing together?
Nick and Max met in November of 2022, and began writing material that would end up on the EP in the following months. Ethan and Eric joined the group the following February, and Double Vizion played our first show together in April. It was a really quick turnaround!
Releasing an EP in your senior year of college was a major accomplishment and required great dedication and focus. How were you able to separate yourselves from the busy demands of college and complete the production and release of the EP?
We all stay pretty busy during the school year, but we make it a priority to spend time together outside of organized rehearsals. It was definitely hard work, but we had a great producer, and it really felt more like a good time with friends, which is what our music is all about.
What was the concept and vision for the EP? Please share your inspiration behind each of the songs.
Empty Barstools isn’t really a concept EP but rather a collection of songs that were very much crafted on the spot. Some of the tracks reflect upon real experiences, and some on hypothetical ones, but at the end of the day, we just try to keep things fun and fresh. We stay away from controversial topics like religion or politics, and tend to write about more relatable subjects. That being said, as everything turned out, four of the five songs on the EP are influenced by events at the bars in Amherst - hence Empty Barstools!
What did you learn from the process of creating 'Empty Barstools' that you will carry forward to your next project?
When we approached the project, we had very little studio experience among us, and we put a lot of stress on the smaller details of the recording process. In the end, we realized that our best work comes from a more relaxed place, and a focus on how inspiring it is to be able to share our art with the world.
What were your biggest challenges in recording 'Empty Barstools'?
Our main challenge was deciding how to communicate the message behind our songs in a relatable way. Living on a college campus, we understand that rock isn’t the most popular genre right now, but we settled on the idea that it's most important to allow ourselves to communicate freely. Regardless of style, we think our subject matter can speak to everyone, and honest communication is easily recognizable even if it's not your specific taste. The only way to truly respect the music and our audience is to be honest about the sound that speaks to us.
Did the band members play all the instruments on the EP?
Where did you receive your music training?
We’ve all been playing since we were kids, mostly self-taught and from a variety of backgrounds. Max and Ethan are both self-taught wizards with blues and metal/hard rock experience. Nick has choral experience with a number of groups and started booking solo gigs at a very young age. Eric got his start on the Christian music scene and still plays in local church bands today.
What are the roles within the band?
Nick Valianti - vocals; Max Troderman - guitar; Ethan Borsari - bass; Eric Bergeron - drums.
What are the band's strengths?
We noticed right away that we are a naturally tight group. Each of us having experience in not-so-great bands, it's been refreshing to be around like minds, and it’s what holds us together. It’s always been about the music as a whole rather than a specific instrument or sound. That kind of unselfish musicianship is what keeps us fresh even when our ideas don’t develop as intended.
Do you establish goals, and if so, what are your top goals for the new EP?
While it’s always good to set intermediate goals - such as reaching a given number of streams, or something like that - we like to always push for more. We are proud of and truly believe in the tracks on this EP. For us, the sky is always the limit, and we hope to sign a record deal and get on a national tour soon.
What tools, apps, and resources did you find to be most helpful in the day-to-day management of the project?
Max has been great at finding a distribution platform that is super user-friendly (we use DistroKid), and Bandcamp is always helpful to get our sound out to industry professionals. Other than that, it's really just about communication with the team. The more our team can share with one another, the better.
What advice do you have for artists working on new releases?
Don’t be afraid to try anything…literally anything. Especially as a new artist, it’s okay to let ideas develop and see where they take you. It’s freeing not to have expectations to live up to, and every new artist should take advantage of it. People looking for new art are looking for something fresh and honest, so let the music take you where it wants to go.
Will you stick to one genre, or is the EP a mix of genres?
"Empty Barstools" is a blues-based hard rock EP through and through. While drawing influence from classic artists, we pride ourselves on the dynamic, original sounds that can be heard throughout the record.
What have you learned from observing other artists' new music projects?
There’s no specific sound that makes a good project. The most successful new artists we’ve seen are the best communicators.
What three words describe the band?
Raw, unapologetic, and hungry.
What is one thing you'd like your fan
s to know about the band?
You guys are our favorite part of playing. We love the fact that our music speaks to others, and we’re always looking for a good time with the people who make all of this possible.
What have been some of your favorite shows you've done to promote the new music?
Amherst has been a great place to share our music, and being so close to Boston is a huge plus. The Middle East in Cambridge has been good to us from the start; we sold out their Sonia venue right after New Year's and it was one of our favorite shows to play. We also had an awesome opportunity to play in front of our home crowd at Amherst Oktoberfest, it was super fun, and we’re hoping to run it back at Narragansett SpringFest in March.
Looking ahead, what can fans expect from you in terms of future releases and creative endeavors? How do you plan to continue evolving your sound?
At the end of the day, the four of us are artists. Making music is our passion, and we are always writing new material. A band’s sound evolves naturally, and when you try to force a stylistic change, listeners can tell. We try to keep things fun and fresh, letting our sound develop on its own.
The latest batch of songs that have made it into our setlist rotation are all pretty diverse, which is exciting for us. For example, “Set Me Free” is a slower, bluesy tune, while “Wasting Away” is a balls-to-the-wall rocker similar to something you’d hear from Guns N’ Roses. Our most recently penned song, called “Dancing With Loretta,” is a catchy song with some more pop rock influences. The reception to these songs, as well as those on,
has been amazing so far, and we have some more that we can’t wait to share with our fans!
We’re hoping to return to the studio and release a single or two in the coming months.
Who are the band's inspirational artists?
As you can likely imagine, we all share a love of classic rock of the 70s and 80s. The influence of bands like Van Halen, Led Zeppelin, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Aerosmith, and many more is super prevalent in our sound. That being said, the four of us listen to a wide variety of music on our own time - be it anything from soft rock to heavy metal to blues - which makes our original music so unique.
How do you plan to promote your new EP? We just released our first music video for "Roadhouse Suzie" are doing shows and are focusing on getting reviews and blog coverage.
Please provide a quote from the band we can add to the press release.
“We love our studio work, but the best way to consume rock music is LIVE. Our favorite part of this journey has been the face-to-face time with every part of the community, including our fans. We’re always looking for new gigs, from house parties to swanky auditoriums. If you’ve got a basement, backyard, or your mother’s attic; give us a DM, then call all your friends and tell them Double Vizion is coming.”