Featured Artist: avoid.

Welcome to another artist feature! This time, I feature avoid. from Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Since forming in March 2015, they’ve quickly grown their fanbase with their combination of passion, storytelling, and intensity in their music. In this post we talk about their single Once | Again, their partnership with Dreambound, an organization formed to promote and support up-and-coming melodic bands from all over the world, and some recent and upcoming tours. avoid. is made up of vocalist Nick Booth, guitarist/vocalist Chris Boeck, guitarist Dylan Giberson, bassist Jon Grimm, and drummer Josephine Gale.

FFO: La Dispute, Touché Amoré, and Defeater

Let’s talk about the beginnings of the band…Where did the name avoid. come from? How did the band come together?

“After the breakup of my old band I just wanted to start a band with this sound I’d had in mind for a while before that. I linked up with Chris and the rest fell in place.

Our name is a play off an old song I wrote called “A Void”.  We live in a society where it’s commonplace to bury your problems and cover up the dark in your life. We wanted to write music that brought a lot of these things to the surface to be talked out. Thus we became, avoid.”

You guys recently partnered with Dreambound for your new single “Once | Again”. What has the response been like so far on your music video?

“It’s been incredible! We’ve never  felt so supported before and it’s a great feeling. We’ve really noticed our fan base growing on every social media outlet. That partnership definitely did what we hoped for.”

You can view the music video here.

What’s the story behind “Once | Again”? What was your main inspiration for releasing the two songs as one music video?

“I could go on for ages on defining what I intended while writing and give details on every aspect of those songs lyrically but ultimately I want people to find their own meaning.  I will say it’s a story that highlights love, loss,  dependency, and how mental illness fits in with it all.  I can also say we are not done with that storyline.

Ultimately, we wanted to create a story. So lyrically, instrumentally, and visually it’s supposed to fit together. We take it as a compliment when people believe it’s just one nine minute song.

I love bands like Defeater and La Dispute and admire the way they write in concept so fluently. One thing I never saw those bands do though was put a real prolonged visual image behind their releases. The video is one person’s take on that whole story. We just thought it would be a cool thing for listeners to watch and maybe relate the music to.”

You guys also just wrapped up touring with Rose Gold this past January…what was that experience like/what was your favorite thing about the tour?

“So cool. They’re a great band but even greater people. We were a bit nervous going in as that was our first real tour. We hoped all would go smooth and we would get along but it absolutely crushed our expectations. Definitely have some interest in doing more runs with those guys.

As far as favorite things go seeing the coast and playing in Texas were huge highlights. We were the furthest from home we’d been. With Rose Gold, our favorite thing was playing tour H.O.R.S.E. A game we will not lose again.”

The band is also about to head out on another tour in March/April with Welcome Home. What are you most excited about for that tour?

“Those are some of our best friends. They’ve believed in and supported us before almost anyone did. Without being too sappy, we’re all ecstatic to spend two weeks with them and watch them perform every night. They’re are headed somewhere big.

Apart from that, we’re super excited to go south and back. Traveling outside of Iowa is a blessing we’ve been able to do more as of recently and we’re just enjoying every minute of it.”

What does 2017 look like for the band and what can fans expect from you guys in the future?

“More tours and tracking a new EP!”

Anything else you would like to include that I didn’t mention?

“Just that we’re grateful for everyone that’s supported us so far. We just want to continue to make music we love and spend time we those we share passions with and love for.  Keep your eyes out for more tours and music announcements coming soon!”

avoid
avoid. released Once | Again on September 30, 2016.

1. Once

2. Again

iTunes: http://apple.co/2m8XNBF

avoid-tour

Thanks for reading! Be sure to like, comment, and share!

P.S. I think I’m going to start turning this blog into an outlet to promote some less known and super talented bands from all over the country because I truly enjoy getting to tell these bands’ stories. If you want to keep constantly updated on new and talented bands, be sure to follow the blog via e-mail to get updates!

Featured Artist: Scribble

I want to start doing something different on this blog; I’m going to start featuring some of the awesome, less known artists that my band has had the opportunity to play with, because we have witnessed a lot of talent playing with other local bands that isn’t recognized by enough people.

I wanted to use this opportunity to write my first post about a band known as Scribble, from Alton, Illinois, located roughly about a half an hour north of St. Louis, Missouri. Scribble began in March 2016 and have quickly began making a name for themselves in the St. Louis and Alton DIY music scene. The band is made up of vocalist/guitarist Drew Goble, drummer Josh Day, bassist Jay Hauck, guitarist Austin Hayden, and vocalist/keyboardist Heather Robinson. Their main musical influences consist of The Anniversary, The Get-Up Kids, and Hotel Books.

After my band had the opportunity to play a show with them in June 2016, I was instantly hooked. It was one of those bands that you listen to them and can instantly hear the passion in their lyrics and in their music. So without further ado, here is my interview with Scribble:

What’s the story behind the formation of Scribble?

“The moniker began well over 10 years ago by Drew. It was an acoustic act that started with goofy songs like “Foxy Love”, and devolved into personal songs about heartbreak, addiction, love, and loss.”

“The band started when Josh asked Drew if he’d like to start an acoustic gig based on how moved Josh was by Drew’s lyrics. They played an acoustic set with Listener in March or April of 2016, then Jay began playing bass with them. A few weeks later, Heather joined, and we played our first show in early May of 2016. We played our second show at Barnfest in May 2016, and shortly after began playing with Austin. Austin completely changed the sound of Scribble, and it was around June when we began writing [our debut EP] ‘A Year Spent Rough Around The Edges.'”

Your debut EP A Year Spent Rough Around The Edges has been out for almost half a year now; what has the response been? What are your guys’ feelings about the EP?

“The response has been overwhelming. We’re all completely humbled by the amount of support we’ve received. The DIY community in STL is insanely supportive, tight knit, and welcoming. It has been one of the most significant experiences I believe we have been through.”

“While we all love A Year Spent Rough Around The Edges, our new music is a full band effort that we feel hits just as hard emotionally as the first album. We are all incredibly honored to be able to share such emotionally raw and heart-felt music.”

What was the motivation behind the name A Year Spent Rough Around The Edges?

“The music we wrote was about love lost during 2015-early 2016. Have you ever been so in love with someone that you’d do everything in your power to make it work, but one party isn’t there? Have you tried moving on when all you can think about is one person? If you’ve ever had a substance addiction, or an addiction to anything at all, this record was ultimately about a story of a man putting all of his cards on the table, and feeling as if he’d lost everything. The only thing left was to try any means necessary to forget. We understand addiction personally, we understand heartbreak personally, and Drew’s lyrics personally affected all of us.”

“All of the music on this EP was written about heartbreak, addiction, overcoming obstacles, and learning to believe in yourself again when everything else fails you. This album brought us all together, and a support group within the scene. We want people to know they’re not alone, and we want people to understand that their struggle is our own. This album hopefully personified that.”

You guys recently shot a music video for Paper Maché…what was the experience like filming and releasing your first music video?

“Calvin Tiger is one of the most down-to-earth dudes we know. He is as excited about our music as we are. He was there from the very beginning, and we owe a lot to him for his contributions to this band. The filming was fun, easy-going, and his ideas behind it, along with the Easter eggs fit so well with our music that we were blown away by his videography. We also are big supporters of his band, Ursa Major. They’re currently on a hiatus, but will be back soon. We’re excited as well to hear new music from them.”

Does the band have a favorite venue that they’ve played? Why is it your favorite and why should more people know about it?

“We will always have love for Metal Gear in Alton, IL. Drew lives at Metal Gear, and it is a quintessential venue on the Illinois side of St. Louis for music. We’ve had bands from all across the US, and even Canada come play here. The shows are always jam packed, supportive, welcoming, and fun. It is so enjoyable being surrounded by friends who support you and the touring bands, and it’s incredible to listen to bands who you may never have heard before touring.”

“The DIY scene in Alton has always been important to all of us since we were all teens, and we’re extremely proud and excited to see such a small town have a huge draw and passion for music. It wouldn’t be possible without Drew’s other roommates, Robbie and Randy Kinnikin though. They’re the real force behind the scene.”

What has been the proudest moment of your band?

“Releasing A Year Spent Rough Around The Edges was surreal, but playing for people who are as emotionally invested as we are plays a huge role in our creativity and passion to play. As we said earlier, we’re all overwhelmed and humbled by the response to our music. A goofy bunch of misfits who love music, and we are excited that others can relate as well as they do. We appreciate all of the kind words and responses to our music, and love everyone who has supported us.”

What can people expect from Scribble in the future?

We are currently writing a new LP and will be going into the studio this year. Look for a fall/winter release!

scribble-ep-art
Scribble released A Year Spent Rough Around The Edges on August 31, 2016.

I’ll leave you with my favorite track from the EP. Here’s Paper Maché:

Bandcamp: https://scribblestl.bandcamp.com/releases

Paper Maché Music Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kDKnY7uVpqM

Thanks for reading! If there is an awesome local band in your area, please let me know and I would love to write about them.

 

Recent Favorites: Episode III

Welcome to another installment of the music that I’ve been obsessing over the past couple of weeks, because let’s face it, we’re always finding new music that’s so good we can’t help but listen to it on constant repeat.

Slaves – I’d Rather See Your Star Explode (Single)

Now when talking about Slaves, there’s unfortunately always some controversy about this band, which isn’t fair to how good this band is and what they are capable of. I’ve always been a supporter of Jonny Craig and all of his musical projects, and the new single they just put out from their unnamed album makes me think that this next Slaves album will be the best thing that this band has done.

In my opinion, Jonny has never sounded better than he does on this song. Somehow his vocals just get better with each album. Ever since the departure of three of their members after the Warped Tour fiasco, the band has stated that they want to move in a new direction now that they’re starting over. While there are things that still represent the old Slaves, this single explores a more polished sound and abandoning the heavy, chugging guitar tone that was present on their first two albums.

Hopefully as this band begins to move forward in their career, the negative stigma around the band can fade away and everyone can appreciate this band for who they are now, as opposed to who they were.

Slaves art.jpg

I See Stars – Treehouse

I’m going to preface this with a statement: If you were ever into this band at one point in your life, listen to this album because you will love it. I’m listening to the album as I’m writing this and it’s the third time I’ve listened to it today.

I remember loving I See Stars in middle school with the release of their album 3-D and after The End of the World Party, I kind of fell away from this band and hadn’t given any of their albums after that a chance, and at first, the same was true for this album. It wasn’t until a good friend of mine sat me down and told me to listen to it…and after that I was hooked. After the departure of unclean vocalist Zach Johnson and guitarist Jimmy Gregerson, much like Slaves, were ready to introduce a new direction for the band and redefine who I See Stars is.

Now don’t be too worried, there are still some elements of old I See Stars intertwined in these songs (electronic breakdowns, unclean vocals, etc.) but the sound that defined I See Stars as “electronic hardcore” has become more mature and defined. My favorite track Yellow King, features heavy tom fills that define the modern rock sound that lead up to the best chorus on the album, with Devin Oliver’s vocals soaring above the rest of the band and featuring Oliver’s unclean vocals that he has since taken over after the departure of Johnson.

Another one of my favorite things about this album is how the band uses the electronic elements not to overpower the instrumentation, but adds their own twist on each track and giving each song its own atmosphere with which to explore. Again, probably one of those albums that should have been in my top 10 of 2016.

Treehouse.jpg

Favorite Track: Yellow King

Basement – Promise Everything

Basement is definitely another band you don’t want to sleep on, like I did. For fans of Turnover, Citizen, and Superheaven, the five-piece group has just recently finished touring with Bring Me The Horizon, getting ready to head on their own headlining tour in Europe, and also just recently signed a new record deal with Fueled By Ramen, in which they will be releasing a deluxe edition of their album, Promise Everything.

The new album came off of a two-year hiatus, where Basement felt like they needed to start again instead of building off of their previous album Colourmeinkindness. As for vocalist Andrew Fisher, he was able to explore some new methods when approaching the lyrics and vocals encompassed in this album. “On previous records I had spent a long time trying to make sure my lyrics represented true feelings and experiences and that they came across in a very specific and meaningful way, to me at least. This time round I decided to try something a little different. I was interested in seeing how words sounded together in a verse or chorus, rather than specifically what they were saying,” (cited from Sarah Jamieson, from DIY Magazine).

The overall mellow, grungy sound of the album pairs perfectly with the dark and heavy lyrics featured on the 10-track album:

So I will run away from all I can see in front of me/
I will lay and talk of my hopes and dreams/
To make it seem that a light can shine/
And brighten up the darkest things/
But a light can’t shine enough to light up/
These memories

Each song on the album has its own feeling and emotion that distinguish each track from the next but all come together to form a very cohesive, dark, and simply amazing album. Be on the lookout for this band, because they are going to be big.

basement

Favorite Track: Aquasun

Thanks for reading!