In today's Bands in Lockdown interview, Mark Glenister talks with Joe from Avalanche Party about Lockdown life, getting on with writing album number two and his views on celebrity sing-a-longs.
Firstly, how are you? How are the rest of the band as well?
Greetings! As a group we’re good. I’m personally good. I share a house with my brother Jordan but obviously not seen the other guys in a long time. Infact I think this is probably the longest we’ve all collectively been apart. Some of us are still getting paid during this from our day jobs, some of us are self-employed so it’s weird, but collectively we help each other out if needs be. Surreal times to be in but we’ll pull through. Heave-ho.
Do you have a daily routine, are you learning anything new as everyone else seems to be?
There is a lot of DIY and French going on. Make of that what you will.
Are you seeing this lockdown as a time to be creative? And has it changed the way you view the industry?
Absolutely, and in more ways than just trying to write music. Because we still work day jobs I’m personally pretty used to trying to use whatever free time I have in between shifts. I work in a pub/hotel so it’s fairly long unsociable hours. To have more time to use, whether it is writing, or being able to watch more films, read more, paint more, cook more, exercise more, whatever it is, is great. For us it has been nice to have that extra time to use however we like. We’ve got work to do. But also I feel it is important to add, in a reference to one of your previous questions, is that it is also ok to just chill. I personally know a lot of people who work sometimes seven days a week or whatever, and work hard at it, and that is what they’re used to. It is also fine in this current climate to go from that to literally just recharging and relaxing. Reflect on a fruity cider if you must. Whatever you want.
Industry wise it doesn’t really change how I view it, which is that it is an already tough, every changing, surreal, mental, brutal, everyone kinda makes it up as they go along industry, other than it’s gonna be tougher. We’re friends with, and have played a fuck load, of really great small, independent venues which are really gonna struggle during this. I think that is, personally, the main worry. We as a band, and countless others, will be around after all this but if there is no venues for us to play we’re all fucked. So it’s fucking important we all support those venues and ventures and pull through collectively.
As a band are you doing anything for the fans? A lot of online gigs and Q&As seem to be the norm for a lot of bands, how easy or difficult is that for you as a group? How has this impacted your side projects?
We are writing album two. Maybes three as well. Who knows. No plans to do any Lennon covers however. But again, who knows. We might do a full band stream but with us all playing different instruments to normal. Folks often wonder why people call Glen “The Octopus” and once you see him play drums you realise, that is indeed, one of the reasons he goes by that alias.
Photo by Jason Ferdinandho
With no apparent end to the lockdown, does that effect plans for tours, singles, albums?
Not especially. It’s also a bit early to say if they’ve reeeeeally been affected. Touring can always be rearranged. We’d set aside some time this year to write the next album anyway. Hopefully we’ll get the opportunity to record that this year. The only real thing was festivals over summer, loads are being cancelled and it is highly unlikely any at all will go ahead. We only released our debut album last November so would’ve been nice to play some of that at the festivals for the first time. OH WELL. Giddy up. We’ll still be a band after this has passed, and right now there is more important shit going down, so who gives a fuck about our plans. They’re on ice next to the margheritas. They’ll happen when they can. And when there is no more margheritas.
As a fan I know how much I miss going to gigs, for the music and for the social aspect, is this something that you miss as well?
Absolutely. We always try to go to as many gigs as we can when we have the opportunity to do so. It’s a prime social for us, whether it’s just us going to a gig as a band that we’re not playing, catching mates play, the promoter, the guys who run the venue or whatever. Kinda goes back to what we mentioned before about supporting all these people when it is finally safe for us all to do so. Gonna be needed. The last gig I went to before this lock down was god dang it bladdy awful too, so the slate needs cleaning.
How important are your fans at this time, I know and I speak from experience, a lot of merch is being purchased to help bands, and I know you have a great connection with fans generally so are they an important aspect of getting through this?
They’re vital pandemic or no pandemic! Lots of bands like ourselves use the money earned from selling merch, records etc to fund further projects within the band. That can be touring costs, a new video, new recordings etc. But yeah of course when bands aren’t able to earn playing live the support from fans is much appreciated. Speaking of, you can buy our album from www.avalancheparty.com. Thank you very much.
Despite horrors of this pandemic, the lockdown seems to have a created a lot of really positive community action, and for once social media is being used mainly I a positive manner – Do you want life to return to normal once this is over, or would you like people to be using this time to evaluate their lives and start be part of communities and positive social change?
It’ll be interesting to see what normal will be after this. It’s clear the last normal was a crock of shit and there is lots that could be discarded or amended for the greater good. Hopefully a sense of community will last once this blows over, maybe it will. There has been a great rallying call to support each other around music. Maybe Joe Public will hold to account the murderous incompetence that has been a constant farce throughout it all. Fuck knows. The sooner however that we can be done with simpering, posturing and patronising celebrity sing a longs on Instagram the better. Do a duet with HMRC you berk.
Next up in this series, Mark speaks with Saint Ivy