Avalanche formed in Sydney, March 2018, jamming in an old steel factory after hours. They were joined by a mutual love of the Australian rock scene and 70/s80s hard rock such as AC/DC, Rose Tattoo, Motörhead and Led Zeppelin. They soon found their sound and started hitting the local pub scene with a set-list of blistering original material, often playing 1-2 shows a week.
They were greeted to a widespread positive response from both young and old alike, and since they’re 2 official single releases last year, have seen a growing list of followers, national and international radio play and several thousand views across social media. May 1st will see the release of their debut Double EP, Avalanche, Sent From Hell, a wild attack on the senses hailing from themes of sin, sex and rock and roll, a culmination of ideas that brings together a range of influence from rock, metal and blues, but played through the interpretation of a new generation.
For any of our readers who are unfamiliar with yourselves tell us a little bit about your band.
Veronica: Were a hard rock band from Sydney Australia, were all under 21, I do the guitars, Steven’s our bassist and lead vocalist, and Ryan’s our drummer. We play fast-paced, high energy, very loud rock and roll. Our songs are about sin, sex, drugs and having a good time. It’s got blues influences, Chuck Berry influences, 70’s rock and heavy metal influences, it’s hard and heavy and inspired by all the good shit that came before, but it’s played through our own interpretation.
What was your earliest memory of music that peaked your interest?
Veronica: My dad bought my brother an electric guitar, he barely touched it so I started playing around with it. Started listening to some of his old cd’s, like Elvis, AC/DC, Guns n Roses, Aerosmith and Queen and it took off from there.
Ryan: Definitely when I was around 5 years old, every morning before school, mum would always play AC/DC Live in Donington.
Steven: I watched the Tenacious D movie the Pick of Destiny when I was pretty young and I loved them so much I went to their concert when I was about 13-14 and after that I just delved into music and rock.
Who was the first album / single you purchased?
Veronica: I think Back In Black I’m pretty sure, eventually got into vinyl as well, the first one I bought was a very rare second pressing of AC/DC’s High Voltage, the Australian version with the pissing dog on it, got it for only $40 at a market. Definitely worth about 50 times that.
Ryan: The first album I ever purchased was Let There be Rock and the international version of High Voltage.
Steven: The first album I remember really enjoying was actually a Michael Jackson greatest hits CD when I was about 7-8 and it was my favourite thing to listen to, I used to carry around a Walkman and listen to it everywhere. I wanted to be him.
When did you first pick up your respective instrument / or start singing?
Veronica: I been playing around with my brothers guitar for a bit but nothing too serious or intense. It wasn’t until about 3-4 years ago when I was 16, after I saw AC/DC in concert that I went out and got a second hand cherry red Epiphone SG at a police auction and decided I wanted to be a guitar player.
Ryan: I first picked up my instrument when I was 13 years old, my dad was a drummer and I just started playing on his old kit.
Steven: When I was about 14 me and my friend started a duo, he played acoustic guitar and I could sing, not very well, we played in the high school talent quest and an open mic and after that I kept playing music and eventually picked up the guitar and bass.
What route did you take with your music / instrument / lessons / music school / self-taught and any fond memories of that journey?
Veronica: Self-taught, I would play pretty much all day everyday after school and on weekends. I didn’t do anything except play the guitar because I knew that was the only way I was gonna get good. I set out to learn every AC/DC song there was and I did. I could never really understand any of the theory behind it, I’d just do my best to pick things up by ear, pick things up from watching live videos and seeing where they’re hands were. The epiphone was pretty shit, very rusted, wouldn’t stay in tune, it had buzz and all kinds of issues, so eventually I got a proper cherry red Gibson SG standard and I haven’t put it down since.
Ryan: Im also self taught and still am, I’ve had lessons but I never really payed attention and just normally did my own thing.
Steven: I was self taught for about 2-3 years then I went to two different singing coaches and I started getting guitar lessons from a local Spanish guitar player called Pablo. I found that after doing lessons for about a year it was much easier for me to go where I wanted with music, so after high school I went and studied music for six months at TAFE which was where I also formed my last band.
Who were your hero’s as a young musician that inspired and pushed you to want to be a musician too?
Veronica: Angus Young. I thought he was just the best guitar player ever because he puts his whole body and soul into it, I don’t know how the fuck he can do what he does on stage night after night non-stop for 50 years and still not miss a note, but I just thought if I could play even half as good as him then I would have accomplished something with my life. I know that he would practice for hours each day, he’d get up at 6am everyday to work on riffs, so I just thought that I’d better work as hard as him if I ever wanted to be as good as him. He also put me on to blues and early rock and roll and I’ve been in love with the genre for years. Robert Johnson, Elmore James, John Lee Hooker, Muddy, BB, Johnny Winter and Chuck Berry, I listen to all those guys and play along to they’re music everyday now.
Ryan: No one really inspired me to play drums, I’ve just always had this inexplicable love for the way they look and sound. But most definitely Phil Rudd was the man that made me think ‘holy shit this is what I want to for the rest of my life’.
Steven: When I first started playing Tenacious D was everything I just wanted to be Jack Black, until I heard Metallica then I really wanted to be James Hetfield then I heard Pantera and I really wanted to be Dimebag and then I met some very important people throughout TAFE that made me just want to be myself.
Is there one particular album or song that gave you a “Eureka” moment from your youth that made you want to be a musician?
Veronica: Probably the Let There be Rock Movie, I had heard AC/DC before, but that was the first time I had SEEN AC/DC, and seen that little school boy running around the stage and just couldn’t believe my eyes. From that moment I just became obsessed and it became the only thing I wanted to do.
Ryan: The AC/DC Live in Donington album.
Steven: I remember watching an old Metallica documentary called Cliff Em All which was sort of a look into one of their last tours with Cliff Burton, I believe they were opening for Ozzy Osbourne at the time and he even said in a later interview they were the hardest band to follow even as the headliner and I just remember thinking, that’s the coolest thing I’ve ever seen.
What was the best gig you’ve ever attended?
Veronica: I’m gonna say AC/DC again at the Rock or Bust tour, we all realised we attended the same tour on different days and in different states before we even knew each other. But it was pretty much that night that I decided I wanted to be a guitar player. Just seeing these dude who came from Burwood which is only a few suburbs down from where I grew up, just mademe think that it could be possible. I’ve also seen this Wollongong band called The Pinheads play live and they were pretty hectic. The singer climbed to the second story and jumped down into the crowd, broke his nose I think and kept playing, everyone was crowd surfing and pushing and going wild. Airbourne as well at Download festival Sydney, I put them up there with AC/DC when it comes to a phenomenal live show that can’t be beat. Joel would literally die for rock and roll and almost has a few times, and I’ve always just loved musicians who put themselves on the line to put on a good show.
Ryan: I second that. AC/DC Rock or Bust tour, best night of my life.
Steven: I remember seeing a gig out in a small town called Nambour in Queensland that was in this ‘art factory’ but it was really just an alleyway with a stage at the end and art on the walls, it was one of the first ever underage gigs a favourite local band of mine Hobo Magic had played since I found their music and I was 17 at the time. There was like 6-7 bands on throughout the whole night and the place got so full of people it was hard to move by the end of the night the mosh was starting to get so intense it was actually pretty scary to be inside and when Hobo Magic finally came on at the end it got so rowdy a girl got trampled and had to go to hospital, it was the craziest thing I’d ever seen in my life and it was all stemming from this music taking over everyone, really a crazy gig.
Do you have any musical guilty pleasures?
Ryan: Johnny Cash Rusty Cage is my guilty pleasure.
Veronica: Yeah I don’t mind a bit of Johnny Cash, but other then that, not really, pretty much just stick to rock and blues.
Steven: God I can go through my playlist some days and just play the most random music, but usually every day has rock and metal in it, sometimes I just get in moods and I want to hear something weird.
So any new music in the works currently or just released?
We have our debut double EP ‘Sent From Hell’ coming out on May 1st. It’s like a punch in the face from start to finish, as you would expect from a band who’s second single is titled ‘Balls Deep’. It’s got 4 studio recordings and 4 live recordings, it goes from songs about damnation and selling your soul to the devil, to sex and drugs, and having a bad day and telling someone to fuck off.
Where and when did you record it?
We recorded all the studio recordings at South Street Recording Studios in Turramurra between gigs over the last 5 months. We worked with these 2 awesome guys, Luca Dimakopoulos and Mark Tuchin, who recorded, engineered, mixed and mastered everything and gave us a massive sound that were really proud off. For the live tracks, we got multitrack live recordings of a gig we did at the Bull and Bush Pub and Hotel back in December, got that mixed and mastered by a dude named Jay Sydes and that came out sounding phenomenal as well.
How does the song writing process generally work for you?
Very collaborative, anyone can come in with a riff or an idea, then we’ll all work on it, one of us might take it away and figure it out a bit better then come back and finish it.
What route have you taken to build up and establish a fan base locally & beyond your local area?
Just playing anywhere and everywhere you can, all around your local area, the wider Sydney area and out of town as well, and playing the same place multiple times, then you start to get a bit of a following there. Making friends with other bands and people at gigs as well will help build a network, extending your social media reach too – most of our Spotify plays have come from USA and UK for example, it’s one of the hardest barriers to overcome as an emerging band but you learn things along the way and eventually you find your groove.
What is the music scene like locally to you and where do you fit in?
There are so many great rock, metal and punk bands coming out of Sydney and Australia, both older and younger musicians, it does kinda feel you’re part of one big community, some of the more established bands will really take you in and help you out and play a lot of shows with you … if you’re not shit of course.
Do you feel there are enough venues around you to help promote and establish up and coming bands like yourself?
It’s tough in Sydney, because of the lock-out laws and noise restrictions, you see so many good places shutting down or putting a stop to live bands because of it, like you can have a gig anywhere as long as you’re done by 11 or 12 at the latest which is definitely something that takes away from the industry but when you do find a somewhere thats still got people coming out regardless, or the venues who manage to get around it in certain ways, then its still thriving and its awesome. If you know where to go and who to reach out too, there’s still a really good pool of places where you can play and establish yourself and build a following. You literally just gotta try and get into any place that would have you, take every opportunity that comes your way, play for free, do whatever it takes, and eventually the venues will keep getting bigger and better. There’s so much rock and punk coming out of Sydney now it’s crazy, you just have to look for it and you’ll find some gems.
What would you like to see ideally to help hard working bands / artists get better exposure and opportunities to make a living form their craft?
I think the main thing is to just let us play, without needing to finish by 10pm, without the threat of noise complaints and getting shut down. Make more live music venues, stop tearing down the ones that are already there cos of complaints from old farts who want to ruin it for everybody and really dedicate more funding and planning towards getting the live music scene back where it was a few decades ago. As long as there’s a place we can let people go without the need to supervise and scrutinise every little thing that goes on, the the music business might be able to start thriving again, but it’s getting harder and harder until it gets easier hopefully.
What is the best piece of advice you have received on your journey thus far?
Don’t write filler material, if you’re going to the bother of writing something, make it the best possible thing you can because you can make anything amazing, but sometimes amazing takes work.
What would you say has been the biggest lesson you have learnt on your journey to date?
It’s kind of a hard lesson, but I think it’s that no one is really gonna care about your music or your show except for you, when you’re still doing everything independently and don’t have a lot of money to spend on PR and advertising, if you don’t put in as much time and effort into promotion as you do in writing and playing the music, then no one else is gonna do it for you and nobody is going to show up to your gigs or buy your shit. It’s like running your own business, and once we started seeing it that way and dedicating more of our time and budget into it, we’ve been starting to see more results.
With the music industry always constantly changing – how have you had to adapt to the ever-changing landscape?
Well we’re still quite new to everything, but I think all you can ever do is try to adapt to what’s going on around you without ever losing who you are or forgetting that.
Does the introduction of New Technology / Digital Age / Social Media etc enhance your life as a musicimusician or do you feel it can be more of a hindrance?
Well we’re all quite young so this is the world we’re used to, but at the same time we have a pretty good understanding of the way things were done before. We’re all pretty old fashioned, none of us really used social media a lot before the band but now we’ve all come to learn to use it to our advantage. We all still use cd’s, vinyls as well as Spotify and digital downloads, I think as a musician it’s best to kind of make use of the best of both worlds for both promoting and distributing music. The fact that everyone has access to things so easily now through technology has kind of saturated the marketed a little bit, but at the same time it is a big help and you just gotta make the most out of it.
So moving forward what’s next for you?
We’ve got a series of shows booked out until July to promote the upcoming EP, so all our time and efforts have been put into making those shows the best they could possibly be and promoting the shit out of them and giving the EP the widest reach possible. We’ll be selling physical copies at the gigs and online, as well as T-shirts and stickers, have got some outdoor banners made up to hang at venues to promote our gigs as well.
How do you see the evolution of the band or as an artist?
Honestly we keep practicing and trying to get better every day, and all I can see is us furthering ourselves as musicians and that’s always an ever changing move. But overall, we’ll always keep the same tenacity and drive for what we make as when we first started, that’s why we love it.
Do you have any short-term or long-term goals in mind?
Short term our goal has always just been to play a festival, and that’s what we’ve worked towards since we first started. But long term I think would be touring Australia and eventually internationally. That would be unreal, being paid to go around and see our own country would be amazing and from there we’ll see how things go.
If you could tour with any band or artists who would that be?
Well seeing as how they are doing a new album and have most of the original lineup back, AC/DC would be our all time fantasy but I reckon by know you’d probably have known that about us haha.
iTunes EP Pre-order: https://itunes.
apple.com/au/album/sent-from- hell/1458492567?ls=1&app= itunes