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Interview with Every Avenue

Every Avenue

Hey! Which member of the band are you and what do you do?
I’m Mike; I play drums for Every Avenue.

As you may already know, I’m a big fan of Every Avenue, a pop-punk band from Michigan. As simple (or non-complex) as they sound, they just change my mood. Here’s one of the few interviews I found with them.

I'm a fan of their music, not their looks

4th May 2008

Hey! Which member of the band are you and what do you do?
I’m Mike; I play drums for Every Avenue.

Is there a story behind the band name?
It’s band name that has been associated with our singer and myself since 2002. We honestly were too cheap to change our band name when the band changed up in 2004. Basically we didn’t want to pay for a new URL domain name for our website! “Every Avenue” originally came from my brother brainstorming countless band names when I quit my old band. I said something like “I’ve gone down ‘every avenue’ figuring out this band name.”

Please run through a little history of how Every Avenue came to be a band to what you are all about in 2008.
David and I are the only original members left in the band. We started in 2002 with a few other guys and everything fell apart. David played guitar, I played drums, and we had a different lead singer. We kicked our old singer out, who actually is our tour manager now, and asked David if he would try singing. He never sang before, so it was a lot of work. Since then we’ve added Josh, and due to member switch outs, added Jimmie (guitar) and Matt (bass). We’re finally feeling like a complete band.

You’re from a small town in Michigan – how hard did you find it to get noticed, especially bearing in mind the state is sandwiched between some pretty big states in terms of musical history…
Marysville/Port Huron, MI is really not a hotspot as far as the music scene goes. We had to rent halls to play shows. We learned a lot that way though. We had to DIY. We booked our own tours, started recording our own music in our homes. We left Michigan in December 2005 to record with John Naclerio at Nada Recording Studio. That when everything changed. We knew we wanted music to be our future.

How did you get picked up by Fearless? Did you have much label interest? What did you look for, as an unsigned band, in a label?
After we released our 2nd independent EP (‘This Is Why We Don’t Have Nice Things’), we got some of attention from major and indie labels. Fearless came around not too long after and they were exactly what we were looking for. They are really supportive of their artists. More than a few artists have taken off after signing with Fearless. They are more than we could have asked for. We meet so many artists who are unhappy with their label. It’s sad, because they are responsible for helping your music reach your audience.

You released the EP ‘Ah!’ and then just recently put out the album ‘Shh Just Go With It!’ – what did you learn from the two recording processes?
Be well rehearsed, but not too rehearsed, things change in the studio. That was the case for the full length. With a few songs, especially the b-sides, lots of parts will change. We practically wrote a song while we were recording; it’s just another way to create music.

What led you to re-record Where Were You and Think of You Later and how did the re-recording process work out?
Both of those songs are fan favorites, that made us think that maybe we still have a large audience who haven’t heard these songs yet. So we re-recorded them. These are songs we plan on playing live for a while.

Have you been surprised at the reaction from press/fans since the album came out? It’s had some pretty cool reviews…
There have been some great reviews, and some awful ones. The funny thing is, when you compare the reviews, they contradict each other’s. There is just difference of opinion. We don’t take the reviews seriously. Half the time people who shouldn’t pick up a pen write these reviews.

Did you have any expectations about how well the CD would do? As a band do you set yourself sales targets etc?
Not really, our job is to write and play music. Obviously, we want our CD to end up in the hands of fans. We want our live show to sell our CDs. We’ll hang out at our shows too, maybe with an iPod and introduce our band to kids; it’s a great way to make fans.

You’re obviously a band which has benefited from using the internet to spread the word but do you feel bands in the 21st Century put too much emphasis on working online rather than actually getting in the van and touring?
When we first started, the Internet and local shows were the only way to get our name our there. Bands must leave their hometown and home state if they plan on making it. In extreme cases, some bands make it without ever playing a show. Don’t count on it! There are too many bands that expect to get noticed by the industry just by making a myspace profile.

When will we see you touring the UK?
No official talk has occurred yet, but we hope soon!

If you could tour with any one band who would it be and why?
For me personally: The Police. I would just stand behind Stewart Copeland every night and wish I were as good a drummer as him!

If you could give three tips to anyone in a band from a small town what would they be?
Write great songs!! Songwriting is still important to fans and the industry. Promote yourself online, at your shows and other bands local shows; playing isn’t everything if you want to succeed. Touring is a must. It fuels fans that you meet online to become more into your music. And some labels won’t even bother with you if you’re not trying to do it yourself first.

From Punktastic

[Review] Box Car Racer

Note: I just found this, lost between old papers from high school. I wrote this down from boredom two years ago. It isn’t that well written, and it may be incorrect in some places, but what the heck, I’m posting it. After all, I needed to be the person I was in order to become the person I am.

Have you ever felt that the world as we know it was just about to end?

Tom DeLonge, the frontman from Box Car Racer and Angels and Airwaves (formerly from pop-punk trio blink-182) was probably inspired by this thoughts when he wrote the self-titled debut and only album by Box Car Racer.
The album deals with subjects such as well, the end of the world, romantic stories where the singer offers safety and his company to his loved one, and even deals with depression and feeling of being overwhelmed by the events of our life.

The album came out during the first hiatus that blink-182 took back on 2002 after their Take Off Your Pants and Jacket promotion tour, when singer and guitarist Tom DeLonge suffered a back injury and was behold to stay home and rest. During that time, as claimed by DeLonge himself, he was going through a lot of things and struggling with pain, having a lot of powerful thoughts, many of them finally inspiring the songs that made their only album.

This album features lots of acoustic guitars, accompanied by heavy distorted guitars and unique powerful drumming by Travis Barker (also from blink-182).
Box Car Racer also counted with additional guitar duties by David Kennedy, and although all the bass parts on the album were played by Tom, on tour a bassist named Anthony Celestino played those parts.

Highlights from the album are:

  •  Watch the World: an optimistic song written about apocaliptic times where the singer offers everything he has to his loved one and believes that “they will make it through”.
  • Cat Like Thief: featuring Tim Armstrong from punk band Rancid on vocals, it counts with a simple guitar riff on loop that makes the melody even more interesting. It’s a great song overall.
  • Letters to God: this song is almost entirely played by Tom on his acoustic guitar and then breaks into heavy distorted guitars when reaching its end, making this song one of the most powerful songs on the record. It has that Box Car Racer trademark sound, it’s lyrically beautiful with the singer confessing his thoughts and saying that ‘maybe he doesn’t wanna go’. One of the saddest and most emotional song on the record.
  • There Is: one of the most romantic and sincere songs that were ever written. A completely acoustic song that deals with the need for someone and just singing yourself to calm and have the certainty that ‘there’s someone out there who feels just like you’.
  • Elevator: a very simple but yet impressive song that features Mark Hoppus (the third member from blink) on half the vocals. It is a very graphic narration of a man jumping from a building rooftop, told in first person (by Tom) and then from the view of a passer-by, therefore, in third person (by Mark).

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Watch the World, for your listening pleasure.
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