Avalanche have become Sydney’s hardest-rocking four-piece, so we caught up with them to find out more about the blistering band.
Since bursting onto the scene a few years ago, Avalanche have made a name for themselves with their classic sound that evokes comparisons to the likes of AC/DC and The Angels.
Their latest single ‘Second Hand Band’ is a rollicking track that encapsulates the life of an emerging rock n’ roll act.
It’s safe to say the group are in for a jam-packed month, as they are both continuing their east coast tour and releasing their Second Hand Band EP in May.
Yep, there’s no stopping Avalanche, so we had a chat with frontman Steven Campbell and lead guitarist Veronica Campbell as part of our popular Get To Know series.
How did your artist name come about?
Steven Campbell (lead vocals/bass): We actually named the band after my dad’s band Avalanche. Way back in 1976, my dad Adrian Campbell and three other heavy hitters of the time including Tony Naylor and Geoff Cox started a band called Avalanche and recorded a full-length LP.
It was the beginning of something great and they ended up playing Countdown, touring with AC/DC, Billy Thorpe… tons more and even featured in commercials. But unfortunately, they broke apart shortly after that and they all went their separate ways much to the dismay of a lot of their fans.
Fast forward a few decades and it was my dad who taught me how to sing and belt the notes out in the same fashion he did. So when we were all sitting in Ryan’s (our drummer) dad’s old steel factory rehearsing at the start of the band’s inception, wondering what on earth we should call the band, the only name that really stuck its ground was Avalanche, almost as if we could carry on the torch and legacy that was left behind all those years ago and pay tribute to the original band and that whole era of Aussie rock, because that’s the stuff we grew up on.
We actually constantly get fans of the original Avalanche from all over the world writing to us or approaching us at shows, sending us pics of their 1976 Avalanche record and telling stories about the band, it’s really awesome to see.
How would you describe your music to your grandma?
Veronica Campbell (lead guitar): Heart-racing, gut-busting, roof crashing, piss-off hard rock for a new generation. I usually just headbang though and she gets it haha.
Tell us about a few of your tracks; their titles and what they’re about?
Steven: Our latest single and the title track of our upcoming EP ‘Second Hand Band’ is very much about our experiences so far as a rock band in Australia, finding our way and finding our voice.
Our single ‘Get Back (To Fuckwit City)’ which is also on the EP, is really just a fun tongue in cheek ode to our home city of Sydney. It’s very anthemic, everyone always loves singing along to that at shows and really gets into it.
Then some of our other tracks like ‘Down in The Gutter’, ‘Permanent Ink’ and ‘Spit in My Mouth’ are very fast, aggressive songs, about life and people getting you down, not caring about what other people think, and not taking what others try to shove down your throat. And finally ‘Killer Instinct’, well, you can ask Arthur (our rhythm guitarist) and his girlfriend about that haha.
What do you love about your hometown?
Steven: At the moment our hometown is Sydney and we love it here. There’s lots not to like about it but it’s the same for every place, you really have to look at what the great things about it are in order to get a good picture.
The great things about it is there is an overabundance of opportunity here. Whether it be playing shows, meeting people from all around the world or even your choice of great local musicians and international acts. We’re lucky to be in such a place, we started here and it’ll always have a place in our hearts for that.
We’ve literally started this band from just a couple of idiots playing music together into playing shows at some of the most renowned venues in Sydney from Factory Theatre and Crowbar to Frankies Pizza, it’s really a place you have to just put yourself out there in and we love that cause we have a very grounded can-do attitude when it comes to music and the whole city seems to appreciate that. We’ve met some of the best musicians in this place and we’ve played with some big acts as well, Sydney is awesome as much as we jest and joke about it.
Career highlight so far?
Veronica: Having Rolling Stone Magazine premiere our new music video is definitely one, and honestly, having you guys interview us is definitely a huge highlight for us too! I
I’d say another is having Ryan O’Keeffe from Airbourne, who are one of our favourite bands, turn up to one of our shows in Melbourne after we bumped into him a few nights before at Cherry Bar at like 3am while on a bender, and he actually seemed to enjoy it. He apparently even sent a video of our set to his brother Joel, also in Airbourne, who texted back “they’re fucking awesome!” so that was definitely a highlight. I remember trying to squeeze in a few Airbourne riffs between songs to impress ‘em!
Check out ‘Second Hand Band’ by Avalanche:
Fave non-music hobby?
Veronica: Literally don’t even have one, music consumes all haha. I’m almost never not playing guitar. Does going to gigs count?
Steven: I actually like Martial Arts a lot, specifically Brazilian Jiu-jitsu which I’ve trained on and off since I was about 13. My biggest highlight of that was actually winning two national titles for my age and weight when I was still a teenager, I’ve met world champions and even had training seminars with some of the best UFC fighters, although as much as I love and appreciate the sport. I’m really not a fighting person, I much prefer to handle conflict with talking and will always be the last person to put my hand up for a fight, it’s really more just about health and having a good time for me.
What’s on your dream rider?
Veronica: Pancakes and bacon. That’s it.
Steven: Bananas and a bottle of water haha sounds weird but I’ve learnt that if I’m dehydrated or low in minerals I can’t put absolutely everything I can into a performance and if I can’t do that no matter how well I do I’ll always feel like I’ve done it wrong.
Dream music collaboration?
Veronica: Airbourne would be pretty damn cool, Amyl and The Sniffers as well. And this is definitely shooting big, but The Rolling Stones would be a dream. And that’s more as the band, but for me personally, literally any blues player, BB King, Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker etc would be insane.
Steven: Frenzal Rhomb and Grinspoon would be awesome, same with Tumbleweed. They’re all bands we would be more than happy to even have a conversation with let alone a collaboration but they are rooted firmly in Australian culture and gain respect from most if not all Australian musicians from budding to well respected.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Veronica: Still doing this, still playing, still touring, but hopefully on some bigger stages and always making music that’s bigger and better than the last thing.
What’s your go-to karaoke song?
Steven: As weird as it sounds, ‘Tiny Dancer’ by Elton John, it’s one of the first songs I learnt to sing with an actual coach and always a go to for karaoke as almost everyone knows the words and can have a good time hearing no matter how drunk the person singing it is haha.
What’s on the cards for the future?
Veronica: Well we’ve just started our East Coast tour, and this is the biggest tour we’ve done to date and the hardest we’ve ever had to work for the band. 12 dates in 4 states over 5 months, including 2 festivals. It’s really gonna be massive and we can’t wait. You can find all the dates on our Facebook or our Instagram bio, as well as on Spotify, Songkick, etc, we’re keen to see some new and familiar faces there.
Of course, we’re keen to release the EP in May which is what we’re doing all this for. We’re gonna be pushing that for most of this year and beyond that, we’re currently writing for a full-length album and planning to get back into the studio after the tour!