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Jen interviews Avalanche on their news!

Sydney’s hardest-rocking four piece Avalanche have today announced their rollicking new single Second Hand Band, a powerful track that encapsulates what it’s like for a rock n roll band on their way to the top, out April 9.  The band have also released a potent video to accompany Second Hand Band, an ode to the band’s beginnings, rehearsing in an old steel factory in Sydney’s west.  Avalanche’s highly anticipated new EP of the same name is set for release on May 11, and the group will be heading out on a massive east coast tour to celebrate, kicking off at Crowbar in Sydney for Home Brewed Festival on April 9, then moving through Port Kembla, Brisbane, Gold Coast, Melbourne, Wollongong, Newcastle, back through Sydney, then wrapping up at The Basement in Canberra on August 14.



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Jen caught up with Steven Campbell (lead vocals/bass) and Veronica Campbell (lead guitar) to discuss their single ‘Secondhand Band’ and more. We all had a lot to say!

When I first read the description of you in the press pack, I thought that it might have been an exaggeration, “If AC/DC tripped over Wolfmother and fell down the stairs while playing Rose Tattoo they’d land as Avalanche!” Then I watched your video for ‘Second Hand’ and I realised that it was spot on! 

Steven Campbell (lead vocals/bass): Thanks heaps for that, we try our best to make music that resonates with people who grew up listening to all the greats in Aussie rock and across the world, and people who continue to discover that music to this day. We ourselves love those bands and have done most our lives so it’s great to hear someone relay that to us!

Did you guys have an obsession with AC/DC like I did as a kid? 

Veronica Campbell (lead guitar): For sure. I can play every single one of their songs on guitar, both rhythm and lead parts if you call that obsessive? Haha. But me and my dad went to one of their Sydney shows on the Rock Or Bust tour when I was in high school and that’s kinda where it all started for me. I had become obsessed with them after I watched Let There Be Rock The Movie and tried to listen to all their albums and watch all their music videos and interviews and anything I could find before the show. And then at the show it just hit me, like this is what I wanna do. These guys started as nobody’s in Sydney, in Burwood, in Sydney’s west. That’s where I’m from. I can do this. Before that I only fiddled with the guitar, never thinking it could possibly be an actual career choice. After that, it became my life mission.

Congrats on the exceptional quality of ‘Second Hand Band’, the sound really does capture the essence of AC/DC with the Australian sound clearly shining through. Do you write songs together as a group or is there more of an individual that starts the process?

Veronica: thank you! We tried haha. And yeah, usually one of us will come in with some form of idea whether it be a riff, a title or even majority of a song, but then we’ll all work on it together, change it, better it, whatever, and add our own parts. For example, with ‘Second Hand Band’ I wrote most of the song in a matter of about 15 minutes, after I came up with the initial riff it all just fell into place quite easily. But then I brought it into the guys to finish it, do their bits and add the lyrics, which Steven came up with. It came together so well because we really wanted to do something very raw and simple but powerful and catchy. Like what you said, it’s got a very early 70s Aussie rock vibe, and guitar wise it’s all about the rhythm and the extra little embellishments with the lead guitar which I thought was cool. But then the opening track of the EP ‘Killer Instinct’ for instance, Ryan (our drummer) actually came in with that track almost finished, and then I worked on some of the guitar parts with him and then we all finished it off together. So it’s very collaborative. 

Now, about your name. You called yourself after a band from the seventies with the same name that were around in the 70’s. You told me in your Top 5 Influences in Australian Pub Rock that you did that, and I thought wow really? Questions like why? Did it upset their fans? Then, I read your explanation and realised it was actually a tribute to the band and there was a family connection. 

Steven: Yes my dad Adrian Campbell was in the band, he taught me how to sing and belt the notes out in the same fashion he did. And we got his and Tony Naylor’s blessing, and we have so many of their fans reach out to us and express the love of the original Avalanche, and their support for us which has been great. When we were all sitting in Ryan’s dad’s old steel factory which was our rehearsal space 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.

 Is there a chance that we are going to hear a cover of an Avalanche classic ‘Sweet Baby Brown Eyes’ next album with a duet with Adrian Campbell?

Steven: Funny you say that we actually have been working on a cover of Sweet Baby for most of this year now and even had a bit of help with changing it up a little bit from my dad. We want it to still be the same but have our own form of rock carrying it out so there was a little bit of mixing and matching with some of the riffs and melodies. So it’ll be a cover but in the same vein that Rose Tattoo did of Born To Be Wild for instance, or Ac/DF with Chuck Berry, where they amped it up a lot and made it into a more high energy hard rock song. We’ve always been open to dad singing with us at a show or whatnot but he’s almost 70 now and rarely gets on stage anymore so I’m sure it will happen one day but we’ll need to really kick him in the ass to do it in a sense!

  I have a question to ask Veronica. A few years ago I interviewed females in bands and did a feature on how we face different challenges to men in this industry. Have you found any extra challenges than your band mates? 

Veronica: I haven’t really except a few instances when we were first starting out where the bookers would often assume I was one of the girlfriend’s, they’d say how nice it was that I would help load in the band’s equipment and chuck me an extra free drink card for my troubles, until they’d see me get up on stage and realise their mistake, but jokes on them cos I already spent the drink card! But most of them have been really apologetic afterwards so yeah honestly I haven’t had many bad experiences apart from that kinda thing which I’m thankful for, but I definitely feel this desire to need to prove myself more than the average person would, I do feel like I need to work harder and be better to be recognised but that’s also just me and I guess that’s not really a bad thing!

 Ha! The joke was on them. I am happy to hear that you have not had a bad experience, and yes the additional drive as you say makes you are better artist. I feel that same way.

The ‘Second Hand’ music video gives people a taste of what they can expect from your live performance, how pumped were you for the start of your Second Hand Band national tour?

Steven: Its something we’ve built up in our heads for it seems a whole year now as we were touring for our single Permanent Ink when COVID first hit and we had to scrap around 9 dates that we’d been booked for and sit in limbo like the rest of the music industry. But now that we actually can get back out there we’re so ecstatic about it, the feeling of being on the road playing music is something you can’t really describe. It’s like the best and worst times of your life rolled into one and it’s amazingly addictive.

It must be a great feeling getting back into live shows, the 2020 lockdown/s were brutal. My first gig back was seeing The Badloves and it gave me such a boost to my wellbeing. 

Steven: That’s awesome. We were lucky enough to get a few Sydney shows towards the end of last year when the restrictions eased a bit which was great but it was definitely not the same playing to a seated audience and caps being half what they should be. I imagine we’re not quite out of the hot water just yet but so far this year has been a great step forward for live music and it’s definitely a great feeling. We’ve been to heaps a gigs recently too and seeing the crowds being able to stand up and dance is an awesome sight to behold.   

How did 2020 affect you as a band? Now you are releasing music, I was wondering if you used last year to write songs.

Steven: well we actually used most of last year to record this EP. Just after covid hit and all the gigs and anything music related got cancelled, we just hunkered down and spent a couple months perfecting the tracks and the EP in the studio so it’s been sitting on the back burner for ages now. The whole process probably took around 11 sessions I think spread over 2-4 months, with a whole pre-production session as well. We had some tracks that we’ve been playing since day 1 and some super new stuff we were finishing as we were recording it so there’s a good mix on this EP!

I used my extended lockdown time wisely and chose new things to do and now I am obsessed with growing food and indoor plants. Any of you find something new to do to cope with the crap that 2020 threw at us?

Veronica: oh that’s mad! And honestly music really just took over and it was definitely the best way to cope for us. We started rehearsing 3-4 times a week just to do something and keep the band going strong so we wouldn’t need to start from scratch again to get tight together in a years time or whatever. We released a single, did what we could, and got everything for this EP release ready behind the scenes as well. But playing together throughout definitely helped keep us sane. 

Steven: Yeah, I tried to get a bit more back into training and exercising. Figured it would be the best time to, seeing as how we had so much extra spare time on our hands. Now I’ve just gotta keep at it and hopefully it’s not just a passing fancy of the lockdowns.

Your EP ‘Second Hand’ is out on May 11th, can you tell us what we can expect from this EP? Other than blistering hard rock?

Steven: well it’s very much about our experiences so far as a rock band in Australia, finding our way and finding our voice. We have songs on there hitting home for us from start to finish whether it’s about the drive people have to attain a goal, a hometown anthemic ode or even feeling sad. It’s what we’ve spent the past two years compiling and something we’re all truly proud of and excited to get out there.

You still have many dates left on your tour, can you sum up what punters can expect from your live show?

Steven: Our live shows are definitely what we do all this stuff for and when people come they should expect a good time. They should feel like they’re at the craziest, wildest party they’ve ever been too, you know the one that ends up on the local news. The ones you can’t quite remember, but you’ll never forget. They should expect blood, sweat, piss and hell even some tears sometimes, our live show is what we’ve come to be known for and we keep trying to make em bigger and better every time we play!

 Anything else you would like to share with us to get the word out there?

Steve: we just hope you dig this EP as much as we do, it’s definitely full of our blood, sweat and tears and we’ve really put our all into it over this last year and a bit so get it up ya! You can order a CD direct from our bandcamp or on Dead Pulse which is this huge international CD store, and shipping is free there which is a plus! Or you can steam or download it pretty much anywhere, but however you listen to it we hope you can take something away from it.

Thanks, all the best for your release and the rest of your tour. 

Steve: thanks heaps! And all the best to you too legend!

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