Rustbelt Shares New EP + “Gimme A Sign” Single & EP

After the release of a handful of stellar singles over the past few months — “Oh My God Here It Comes Now,” “You Got Nowhere To Go But You’re Going There Tonight,” and “Running Thru The Rave” — Rustbelt (the solo project of artist John Chiaverina, formerly known as Juiceboxxx) finally unveils his brand new EP, You Got Nowhere To Go But You’re Going There Tonight, out tomorrow via Dangerbird Records. Listen here

Rustbelt as a project documents both the absurdity of aiming for greatness, as well as the beauty of trying anyway. Even within the fantasy of giving up and living a “normal” life, Chiaverina knows he’s destined to strive, even when he’s not sure what he’s striving for. Thus, he makes what he calls Underdog Pop: the music itself is singular and energetic, but there’s a tension between the lyrics and the music, which draws on Chiaverina’s love of the broader American pop continuum — everything from radio hits to scrappy DIY singles. Each Rustbelt song begins on Chiaverina’s computer before getting reverse-engineered with a band, this time in Chicago. Willy Dintenfass, a collaborator of Chiaverina’s for over 20 years, plays bass and guitar. Dan Didier from The Promise Ring plays drums, and Jeff Graupner from The Hecks contributes piano and synth. Lily Konigsberg of Palberta sings backup vocals on the track “Runnin’ Thru The Rave.”

“Gimmie A Sign” Listen here

In essence, You Got Nowhere… is quintessentially American music — we don’t know exactly where we’re going and we don’t even know what we’re hoping to find, but we move forth regardless.

“These are songs I had to write and get out into the world,” Chiaverina wrote. “I spent 20 years making music under the name JUICEBOXXX and I still feel pretty unresolved about the whole thing. This EP is about growing up and freaking out and working hard to keep going. These are songs about the past, songs about the present, songs about the future looking back at the past, songs about playing at blog house parties… I’m working within a tradition of American Underdog Pop Music, everything from DIY singles to Top 40. Within that, I’m trying to squeeze out something catchy and weird and my own.”

Alongside the full EP’s release today, Chiaverina places emphasis on its last single, “Gimme A Sign.”

As Chiaverina wrote on his newly released track: “Please give me a sign! Somebody, please, anybody out there, wherever you are—seriously, I’m not kidding here—give me a goddamn sign! I wrote this song about a confusing life in music and everything that goes along with it. Will I ever write another song in 6/8 time? That is in God’s hands now. My identity has been ethered. All that is left are the songs. Someday it will all make sense.”

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Lead Press Photo (Credit Amalia Soto)

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