Band of the Day: Avalanche

Avalanche make the kind of rock you want to sink your teeth into so they’ve kindly supplied us some answers in the same vein.

Simple things first – where are you guys from?

We’re from Sydney Australia.

How did you meet?

Veronica: I’m the guitarist, I met Ryan our drummer because I went to school with his sister, found out he played drums and that we both liked the same music and wanted to start a band so we started jamming together. We had a few different rhythm guitarists and bass players that we went through after that but we needed a singer, so I reached out to Steven through this musicians forum.

Ryan: When I first met Veronica I asked her “Know how to play any AC/DC songs?” And she said “I know all of them.” Then I heard her play and I thought: “Holy shit, she’s fucking great!” And I knew we had to start a band together.

Steven: I’d just moved down from QLD where my last band had broken up, and after a few months of living in Sydney, Veronica reached out to me and asked if I’d be interested in auditioning for her band which didn’t even have a name yet. I showed up to the wrong address..

Veronica: But what impressed us is that he actually took the bus and the train for 2 hours to still make it to jam with us rather then just going home. His singing impressed us too, so he became our lead singer and when our bass player stopped showing up, he became our bass player too. And after an unsuccessful string of shitty rhythm guitarists, I just thought “Fuck it” and took up all guitar duties and we became a three piece.

How long have you been playing as a band?

Veronica: Me and Ryan have been playing together since I was still in high school, but Steven came into the mix about March last year, and we became Avalanche and started gigging a couple months after that.

Before you get sick of being asked… where does the band name come from?

Steven: Never get sick of being asked that. My dad Adrian Campbell was actually in a band called Avalanche in the 70s and the 80s, they played in all the pubs and music venues in Sydney and Melbourne at the time, they used to belong to the same management company as AC/DC, they have even played with them before and some other major bands at that time. We thought it was an awesome sounding name and wanted to keep the rock and roll family tradition going.

What are your influences?

AC/DC is the big one, as you may be able to tell. But between us we’re into the entire spectrum of rock and roll, from blues and rockabilly, to psychedelia, heavy metal and of course hard rock. Lots of good Aussie rock bands that influence us as well, like Rose Tattoo, The Angels, Daddy Cool, Skyhooks, and of course Avalanche.

Describe your music. What makes you unique?

Our sound is like a punch in the face. We try to create the most massive sound possible through sheer volume and force rather than distortion and effects. We’re a guitar band, nothing fancy, but we play some gut busting, high energy rock and roll, similar to late 70s early 80s when rock bands were starting to get faster and harder but remain a rock and roll band, so there’s lots of blues elements and turnarounds. But it’s fast and loud, and we have a powerful, growly vocalist that really mixes well with the high volume guitars, thumping bass and thrashing drums, it’s really bare bones rock which you don’t find a lot of these days.

Veronica: I come from the school of thought that if a rock song doesn’t want to make you either fight or fuck, then what’s the point? That’s what we try to do.

Do you have any particular lyrical themes?

Hell, sin, sex, drugs, rock and roll, what else? The opening track of our upcoming EP, “Sold My Soul”, delves into the story of the crossroads and signing deals with the devil. “Balls Deep” and “On Your Back” are about exactly what you think they are. “Head First in Hell” is a fast paced rocker about living a life of sin and just accepting your fate rather than fighting it, going head first into hell.

We have songs about being too loud which we love to play at full volume when a venue tells us to turn down, a song about telling someone to fuck off in the most Australian way possible, “Get Back (to Fuckwit City)”, and a song about being down on your luck and sick of taking everybody’s crap called “Down in the Gutter”; probably our most high energy song.

What’s your live show like? How many shows have you played?

We’ve been told we’re very loud! And we’re often very sore the next day so that should give you an indication of how much we put into it. We’ve played about 20-30 shows from October last year. There’s been periods of time were we’ve played 1-2 shows every week, and for the EP release we’ve already booked a show every 1-2 weeks for the next 3 months. We go non-stop and we always look out into the crowd and see both young people and older people getting up off their chairs and head banging and dancing around to our music; the audience often goes as hard as we do, sometimes even harder. A lot of people tend to think that rock is dead, or that only older people are into it or that it only appeals to a small group of people, but if you actually go out to gigs, it’s amazing the mix of people and ages you see there, both on stage and in the audience. If you come to an Avalanche gig, just expect to have a good time with some good people, and maybe go a little deaf.

What’s the wildest thing you’ve seen or done at a live show?

Ryan: Our first ever gig I was still 17 and it was basically a topless bar with half naked ladies walking all over the pub. So that was fun.

Steven: Wildest thing I’ve ever done at a show was during my last band I was so nervous once that I puked halfway through our set and had to run backstage to the toilets but I managed to come back in time for the next singing part cause I was only singing in that band.

Veronica: I went through 3 guitars in one show once because I kept breaking strings. First show out of town, broke a string on my only guitar in the first set, was about to change it when suddenly all the other bands started offering up their guitars, like “What do you want? A Les Paul? A Fender? A red one? A gold one?” So that was pretty surreal. Used a nice black Les Paul and broke a string within the first song, then used a Les Paul gold top that managed to last for the rest of the show until the very end when I broke another string. I also go through about 2 picks a song each night and I use extra heavy picks. No such thing as playing too hard.

What kit do you use / guitars do you play / etc.?

Veronica: I play a Cherry Red Gibson SG through a Marshall JCM200 head and 1960A cab. I love that guitar and just bought another SG as well, in black this time. I’d love to get about 20 more stacks too and just have a wall of amps like AC/DC or Airbourne, but that probably won’t happen for a while!

Ryan: I play my dad’s old kit, a Tama Japanese Custom Rockstar, but there’s a lot of borrowing other people’s kits and the venue’s kit when you’re playing live though so I’ve played on quite a few. For all our recordings as well I used a Red Rock Australian made kit, it was a really good kit.

Steven: I play a Haze bass and I’m a pretty big fan of it, and I play through an Orange 500w Terrorbass combo.

What are your plans for 2019?

As mentioned we’re releasing our debut double EP Sent From Hell on May 1st. It’s a wild attack on your senses, a no-holds-barred rock album played through the interpretation of a new generation but inspired by everything that came before. It features 4 studio recordings, including the 2 singles we’ve already released across streaming platforms, and 4 live recordings we multi-tracked at one of our gigs and got mixed and mastered. And we’ll pretty much be gigging non-stop from now until the end of July to promote it all around Sydney and Wollongong, and we might even be playing a festival in Queensland as well. We’re constantly booking more shows, we’ve got a whole bunch of shirts, stickers, banners and CDs on they’re way and are really gonna go all out for promotion for the EP and the gigs.

If you were second on a three-band bill, which band would you love to be supporting and which band would you choose to open for you? A chance to plug someone you’ve toured with, or a mate’s band we’ve not heard of before!

We would love to support Airbourne if we ever get the chance, but we’re also pretty big fans of this band called Hobo Magic who came from the same town as Steven and are doing some big things all around the world now. There’s a local band we’ve played heaps of gigs with called Simon Chainsaw who we would probably get to open for us, they’re a bit older then us but they’ve been very supportive of us and are big fans of our sound and constantly ask us to play with them whenever they need to fill a bill so we’d definitely ask them.

Avalanche: facebook | twitter | instagram | youtube | bandcamp

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