Interview With 'Avalanche'
Firstly, introduce yourselves and telll us a little bit about the band and how you came to be?
Steven: My name’s Steven, I’m 21 and I’m the vocalist and bassist. Veronica’s 20, she does the guitars, and Ryan’s the baby of the group, still 17, and he’s the drummer.
Veronica and Ryan had been jamming with each other for quite some time before I came into the picture, she knew him because she went to school with his sister. They went through quite a few different rhythm guitarists, bass players and singers before they finally met me through an online musicians forum, and once I came to jam with them, we seemed to work really well together and it all started to fall into place from there.The bass player they had at the time ended up leaving due to lack of effort and I just took up the bass having prior experience, as well as singing.
Veronica: And we got really sick of rhythm guitarists coming and going as well, so hard to find a good rhythm guitarist, so we just thought ‘fuck it’ and became a three piece.
Steven: From there we practiced for around 6 months before we had a setlist ready to take to open mics and gigs and play in front of live audiences.
What were you all up too prior to the band, was this always the chosen path or did you have other dreams and aspirations?
Veronica: I’ve been playing guitar in my bedroom everyday for 4 years, so I always been doing the same thing, now I just get to do it with other people. But I’ve never wanted to be anything other than a Rock & Roll guitarist.
Steven: Prior to joining the band I had just moved to Sydney from the Gold Coast in Queensland where my last band had broken up and I’d lost my job. I started working as a gardener and landscape maintenance worker and planned to take a few Tafe courses to better my knowledge of botanical gardens and plant science but once the band started to take off I left it to work with my dad and brother at our family roofing contracting business which is what I’m doing currently. It’s safe to say for me the band totally changed the path I was on but in a tremendously good way one which I can be a lot happier with the choices I’ve made.
Ryan: Well I'm pretty much the same as V as I have always aspired to be a musician and to play drums. I have always been fanatical about drums since I was 5 but I didn't start taking it seriously until I was 13 because my mum thought it would be a phase. But the drums are the love of my life and I bang em everyday! Haha. I just love to play and I'm always practicing to the best of my ability.
Tell us about your latest EP and why our readers should check it out.
The latest EP is called Sent From Hell it explores a lot of themes traditional to a Hard Rock band; sex, sin and hell, but frankly without thinking about it we kind of made a story in the EP itself. Kind of an unspoken character if you will sells his soul to the devil for Rock 'n Roll, spends his life in a world full of drugs and sex and then eventually lands straight in Hell, it’s like a bit of a spoof on our take of the traditional Rock life. The first song ‘Sold My Soul’, first stemmed as a fast paced Rock song we wanted to establish ourselves with as a new Rock band but with our own twist, the second song ‘Balls Deep’, was a song we wrote that just came together so easily and really piqued our interest in the band as it was kind of the first step to us realising the band had a bit of potential.
Then ‘On Your Back’, takes a bit more of a slow but mean Blues Rock approach in which we show a lot more of our versatile skills and lead it up to ‘Head First In Hell’, which is our answer to all the hard hitting Rock songs we love by bands like AC/DC, Airbourne, Guns 'n Roses and Motley Crüe which is like just a classic fun feel good party song we ended up writing but with darker lyrics. Then we also have 4 live multitrack recorded songs from a performance we did at a hotel and pub which is a great standard for just how our live shows are, big gutsy riffs and loud drums, filled with our own taste of Rock.
Who would you say is the bands main song writer or is it a group effort and where do you draw your inspiration lyrically and musically from?
Generally we take the writing approach in a team setting. Our songs tend to be a culmination of ideas we have while playing through and practicing them in our rehearsals. Often Ryan will come up with a guitar riff, then Veronica will go and finish it and structure a song around it, then I’ll think of another section, she’ll have some ideas for the drums and bass and vice versa, so its very team-centric.
As a band what do you believe is your greatest achievement to date and why?
Releasing the EP. Its pretty much been the culmination of all our efforts over the last year, we’ve put a lot into the songs, the cover art, the logo, the production and the promotion, and the tour, it's amazing that it's finally finished and we can finally put it out there, we can’t wait for everyone to hear it.
Have you ever come face to face with someone within the music scene who has left you awestruck and why?
Veronica: Ross Young, Malcolm Young’s son was at our first gig believe it or not, and we’ve bumped into him a few times after that. We introduced ourselves and got to talk to him about Malcolm and AC/DC and how they’re literally our biggest inspiration, and he gave us a lot of advice as well, so that was a huge honour. He even gave me a guitar pick with Malcolm Young’s initials on it, I think it was the one that they were giving out at his funeral, and I’ve still got that in a frame at home, next to my giant Angus Young poster.
Steve: I remember going through high school playing in a band and there was one other guy in my grade who had done the same thing and we never felt competitive of each other but I would always be awestruck at his playing and stage presence. He got something so early on that ended up taking me so much longer to attain it, just always gave me goosebumps, his name is Josh Hardy and he still plays in his band The Unknowns back up in Queensland
Ryan: Me and Veronica met The Angels at the Enmore Theatre on they're 2017 tour, we bumped into an old friend of hers who interviews bands and he too us backstage to meet them and hang there. To shake the hands of the Brewster Brothers, such icons of Aussie Rock was amazing. We also chatted with Dave Gleeson from the Screaming Jets as he took over vocals for them, we talked for like half an hour he was a top bloke. And definitely gave me that feel on 'holy fuck I have met the fucking Angels' I was so full of joy that night.
Veronica: I have our photo with Dave framed in my room too.
What do you enjoy most about touring?
Steven: So far we’ve only done local shows and a single release tour around Sydney and Wollongong, we’ve done a total of about 30 shows in around 4/5 months, and have another Sydney tour planned for the EP release. The best thing is that you get to see a new place every time you play that you may not have even known existed without the encouragement to play there, especially since I’m still quite new to Sydney. We’ve even gone all the way down to Wollongong for a gig before and if I hadn’t been in the band I may not have even gone to that place at all as its about 1-2 hours away, who knows if I would’ve in the future but I did because of the band already, and that’s such a cool thing about the band experience, you’re always seeing something new.
If we were to head out to one of your live shows what can ourselves and others expect?
Well we’ve been told it’s very loud haha. Its a fast-paced high energy Rock & Roll performance that anybody can enjoy. We always look out into the crowd and see both young people and older people getting up off they’re chairs and head banging and dancing around to our music, the audience often goes as hard as we do. A lot of people tend to think that Rock is dead, or that only older people are into it, but if you actually go out to gigs, it's amazing the mix of people and ages you see there. If you come to an Avalanche gig, just expect to have a good time with some good people.
If you had one artist/band that you could go on tour with tomorrow who would it be and why?
Veronica: Airbourne, I love em, I can play all they’re songs and I can play all of AC/DC’s songs, and they’re ver similar to AC/DC but while also doing they’re own thing.
Steve: I think I’d probably choose Tenacious D just because it was the first concert I ever saw when I was like 13-14 years old and man if it didn’t look like they have a lot of fun. They were actually one of the first bands I ever truly got into when I watched their movie when I was a lot younger, but they are both absolute legends and even just to be able to meet them would be insane.
Ryan: It would most definitely without hesitation be Motorhead but with the 3 original members and the great god Lemmy bless their souls.
You can spend an hour with a musical icon living or dead, who would you pick, why and what would you speak about?
Veronica: I think it would be amazing to meet Malcolm Young and Angus Young, but I don’t know how well I’d handle it haha. When I saw AC/DC on the Rock or Bust Tour, I literally cried when they came on stage so yeah. But I’d just love to tell them about how I’ve learnt all the guitar parts to all they’re songs, that they thought me a lot about writing music and showmanship and how they made me want to be a guitarist. I’d love to just talk tone and chords with them all day.
Steve: Chris Cornell just to simply say what an impact he had on me and my family’s life with his music, really left a big impression on just about everyone in my family and it was a truly sad moment when he left us.
Ryan: Definitely Kurt Cobain, he had a very interesting way on thinking about music and his artworks were just so intriguing as well, I love his style I respect him so much and always will.
And finally and most importantly is Die Hard a Christmas Movie?
Of course it is, what do you mean, even if only so that you have an excuse to watch it at Christmas hahaha.
We just want to say thank you for taking the time to answer our questions.
Thank you for listening!
Website - avalanche2018.bandcamp.com