Treadmill Trackstar

Quietly making loud music

Angelo Gianni

Angelo Gianni


angeloThis is way too long.  Sorry about that.

Angelo Gianni started playing the coffee shops and bars of the Northeast in the late 80’s armed only with an acoustic guitar and an armload of original tunes.  These weren’t considered very useful items in the late 80’s.  Gianni worked his way down the Eastern Seaboard and eventually settled in South Carolina where he played with a number of bands before digging in with an acoustic based, hard-edged outfit featuring cello called Treadmill Trackstar in 1991.  Treadmill put out their first album “Excessive Use of the Passive Voice” on an independent label called Raging Rose Records. The album sold over 5,000 copies out of the back of their van, garnered some regional commercial radio play, and Treadmill became fairly successful in the Southeast.  The band toured constantly to support their record.  Angelo’s first book, also entitled “Excessive Use of the Passive Voice” was released as a companion to the CD with the help of an NEA/Cultural Council Grant.

Treadmill Trackstar finally attracted the attention of the record industry with their good looks and incredible physiques, and eventually inked a deal with Breaking/Atlantic Records in August of 1996. Treadmill spent the next year continuing their life on the road, but with better gigs.  They had the opportunity to share rather large stages with the likes of Iggy Pop, Henry Rollins, Beck, Moby, Reverend Horton Heat, Drivin n’ Cryin, Sponge, Matthew Sweet, and The Nixons.   Good fun.  The subsequent album, “Only This” was produced by Joe Hardy (The Replacements, Steve Earle…), recorded at Ardent Studios in Memphis and released by Atlantic Records on Halloween of 1997.  Soon after “Only This” was released Angelo’s second book, “Cool Moths Never Come to the Light” was published by Autonomous Press.

While Treadmill was gazing out on the vast ocean of their good fortune, Atlantic snuck up and fucked them royally and the band was unceremoniously dropped from their contract in 1998.  Dreams were crushed, instruments were hocked and addictions were pursued.  Easy come.  Easy go.

Gianni moved to Los Angeles and spent the next eight years cursing the music industry and music itself and concentrated on the things he’d missed out on while on the road.  Namely staying in one place for more than a week and a family, some financial stability.  He also worked on picking up a few non-toxic habbits.

Things took a turn for the (better? worse?) when Gianni moved to Asheville, NC in 2007.  Treadmill Trackstar got hoodwinked into getting back together to perform what was supposed to be one single show – just one, at a charity event.  One gig is like one line of cocaine.  Once you open the can of worms, it’s all over.  So like any band who gets back together afer a decade, Treadmill released their first record since 1996 in early 2010 which was called I Belong to Me.  They followed up with an all acoustic album called Leaving Ohio which was released in March of 2011.  The band is currently at work on an album tentatively titled Snow White Snow.

Angelo’s main objective now is to figure out how to be a musician whose only ambition is to make the next record.   From the band’s website:  Treadmill Trackstar is a not for profit band interested in music for music’s sake.  No band member ever receives any money from concerts, merchandise or anything else.  All funds go toward recording the next project.  Our hope is that we can keep making records in this way for years to come.

Angelo plays the occasional solo acoustic show and Treadmill Trackstar performs a few shows every year.


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Press on Angelo Gianni:

“…dreamy pop landscape with incisive cut-to-the-emotional-bone lyrics…  brilliant, tortured songwriting…”  ~ The Music Monitor, Scott Homewood

“Melodic rock with bizaro lyrics…”  ~ Detroit Free Press

press on the album, Leaving Ohio (2011)

“…a darkly-gorgeous Americana-tinged collection…”    ~Mountain Xpress

“…weight and stark, scarred beauty. But where many a heartbreak opus is flawed by its own self-importance and cliched broken heart, Gianni’s lyrics and accompanying melodies manage to transcend mere angst to something far grander…”        ~Mountain Xpress

“If I Belong To Me was a focused return to rock ‘n’ roll form, then this latest effort is the more thoughtful morning after….noticeably more mellow but no less densely arranged…filled with violin, castanets, acoustic guitars, and the group’s signature cello.”        ~Music That

press on the album, i belong to me (2010)

“…a decade hiatus from recording together seems to have only enhanced their maturity and abilities as professional musicians, while still maintaining the edge and original sound…’  ~Indie Rock Cafe

“If you’re in the mood for some unique music that will match your moody inner anarchist, I’d go and pick this up for some contemplative daydreaming.“ ~Altoona Mirror

“…clever, left-of-center pop songwriting; deft musicianship… and meticulous production….I Belong To Me sounds less like a follow-up to Only This than the result of an almost entirely revitalized band…” ~Free Times

“Treadmill Trackstar proves that, sometimes, the comeback is better than the first time out of the gate… tracks range from moody and pensive (“Bus Went By”) to cinematic and dancey (“Call to Prayer”), but all are equally masterful and excellently produced.” ~Mountain XPress

“…this is not just an album, it is the piece of art that the band desired for it to be.  I’d be willing to wait another ten years for the next album if it is going to be this good…”

“…they’ve clearly put a lot of love into it and it actually makes the music feel better. Describing the music is a touch tricky since it enjoys a wide range, but the term that keeps sticking in my mind is “slightly moodier Foo Fighters with a dash of Smashing Pumpkins.” …and a cello.” ~The City that Breeds

“…this album paints a mood and tells a story…” ~BelchSpeak

“…Gianni takes that psychedelic post-grunge and paints broad sonic strokes that sound at times Beatlesque (“Euphoric”) and even Tom Petty-esque (“Check My Reaction”), but mostly unique….”   ~Music That Matters

“…The raspy growl of the lead singer fills a sort of angst that’s been missing from the music scene and the cello lends a feeling of calm and serene. With the two mixing in the songs it feels like a constant tug between angst and flow…” ~Blog Baltimore