Avalanche City Interview

Avalanche City Interview

Big Day Out, Adelaide, January 25th 2013

SC411: We’re here with Dave Baxter, the mastermind behind Avalanche City. You’ve jumped across the ditch to Australia-

DB: Yes!

SC411:-How are you finding Australia and the Big Day Out?

DB: Um, I’m finding it mostly hot, but like, also mostly awesome! [laughs]

SC411: Yeah, wasn’t it like 43 degrees in Sydney?

DB: Yeah, it was actually 46 in its peak, it was… it was unreal.

SC411: And it would’ve been even hotter on stage, wouldn’t it?

DB: Ah yeah, when we played – we’ve actually got a good slot time, like at 12 O’clock, so… it was fine, and um, I mean on stage it was definitely the hottest that I’ve ever played in, but it was, I think it definitely was 46 degrees out there.

SC411: Yeah, well the crowd would’ve had it just as bad really, having to jump around!

DB: Yeah, oh, worse, they would’ve had it even worse, yeah. Full credit to the crowd!

SC411: Ah well. What’s been the highlight of the Big Day Out, what do you reckon?

DB: Um, highlight was actually backstage, like side of stage for The Killers, like we managed to somehow, like, sneak back stage and watch The Killers from side of stage, it was great.

SC411: Yeah, that would’ve been amazing!

DB: Yeah, it was good.

SC411: Your first album, Our New Life Above The Ground – you released it free online, and it was so successful that you took it down and marketed it!

DB: [laughs]

SC411: What was it like, such sudden success?

DB: Ah, it was… I mean it was unexpected, but I mean, like… that was all part of my plan, was just to see how it went, and… and that was the best possible scenario, so we did really well! [laughs] It was, I mean, it was really weird, like just tracking the downloads and then… and then I got a manager and record labels started knocking on doors and it was just like, it was… it was a totally surreal kind of experience.

SC411: So after you were selling the CD, did you get quite good sales from that, as well?

DB: Ah, yeah, it was good, I had to like… what I did, um, in New Zealand was, because so many of my downloads were in New Zealand, I recorded an extra EP and did it together like a double disc package.

SC411: Was that the one you released at Christmas?

DB: No, that’s a different one, yeah, [laughs] that was one that was just like, um, cos I haven’t released anything for… like two and a half years, three years almost, so… um, that was just me being like ‘I wanna do something different, and that’s not trying to be, like, commercial, or anything like that’. So that Dave Baxter Let It Go EP was like a Christmas present to the people who have supported our music.

SC411: So it was just like a thank you present?

DB: It really was, yeah, yeah it was just a ‘thank you everyone, here’s something nice for Christmas!’ [laughs]

SC411: So, why did you release it as Dave Baxter and not Avalanche City? 

DB: Um, just because I wanted something… like, separate. You know, like, with Avalanche City, the follow-up from an album has to be another album, you know, like, so it can’t be an EP with no singles on it! [laughs] That would be a big let-down! [laughs]

SC411: So have you been playing much from that EP?

DB: No, I haven’t played any of that stuff live yet, [laughs] I keep on planning to but I just like… I’ve been real busy.

SC411: Ah well, you’ve still got two [Big Day Out performances] to go!

DB: Yes, yes! [laughs]

SC411: The artwork on Our New Life Above the Ground, it’s like a long watercolour, kind of panorama. It really suits the album!

DB: Thanks!

SC411: Who was behind the concept, and planning it out?

DB: Um, well, that was my sister in law, Gem; she runs like a store called Hunter Gatherer and they like… her and her husband make cool stuff and sell it. But um, I kind of came up with the idea of the hot air balloon and the kids and the old man. ‘Cos I was drawing with my nephew, like with crayons, and I drew like a hot air balloon, and I looked at it and I was like ‘that’s a really cool picture,… I think that’s going to be my album cover!’ So I gave that to Gem and I was like ‘here, use your artistic talent and make this better!’ [laughs]

SC411: She did a great job!

DB: She did, yeah.

SC411: The lyrics are handwritten on the CD booklet, is that your handwriting or hers?

DB: Yeah, that was me, yeah. [laughs]

SC411: Do you have anything in the works at the moment, or any plans for the year?

DB: Um, I do, I’m working on a new album at the moment.

SC411: As Dave Baxter or Avalanche City?

DB: As Avalanche City, yeah. So that’ll be out this year.

SC411: Any idea what to expect from it?

DB: Um… just… nah, it’s a secret [laughs] nah it’s not a secret, but, no, I’ve been working on it for a long time and… this is, I mean, like, it’s been a really strange experience… when compared to the old album, because the old album, I wrote that in like, the space of a year or less. ‘Cos I learnt to sing and then wrote the album in that process, and then started recording a year later. And um, this album I’ve had like two, three years to like, stew over the songs and it’s just been, I’ve got so many songs and so many different… types of songs.

SC411: yeah, it’d be a really different experience.

DB: It was a really different experience, yeah! [laughs]

SC411: So that’s all you’ve got planned for the year, no tours?

DB: Well, we have tours, nothing’s, like, solidified yet but more tours of Australia, definitely.

SC411: Funniest moment on tour? Or the weirdest!

DB: Um, [laughs] I don’t know whether I should tell this story… maybe I should, ok! [laughs] we were, we were staying in um, in the Gold Coast, and um, and these girls were staying in the same hotel as us. And the lady who ran the hotel was super lovely, Dianne, she’s amazing. And um… and she like, took it upon herself to sort of be our mum, and… when we arrived she was like ‘oh, these other girls are going to Big Day Out as well, I’ll organise you guys a ride together!’ So we all went for a ride together and it was like a 40 minute journey. And one of the girls was like, ‘I really need to pee.’ And we were like ‘we’re in a taxi, we can’t stop, like you can’t do that in a taxi!’ And she was like ‘no you don’t understand, I need to pee!’ And um, this went on for about ten minutes and then it just got, like crazy, so she was like ‘stop! I’ll go on the side of the road!’ [laughs] it was so weird! So we stopped, pulled over and she like ran out, and then um, we all looked away. And then she came back, and as we drove off, she was like, ‘what’s this on my hair?’ And there was a stick insect about like… like twenty five centimetres long [laughs]… and they just like break out in hysterics, and we’re just like driving along and there’s this harmless stick insect like crawling all over the seats and everyone’s trying to like, get away from it, like shrieking and shrieking and shrieking, we had to stop the van and let it out. [laughs] it was nuts! [laughs]

SC411: So, for people who maybe haven’t heard your music, how would you describe it?

DB: Um, well, a friend described it as like, folk pop, like folk-inspired pop music. And that’s kinda what I try to do, I try to like… make the music as catchy as I can, and simple, ‘cos I’m not a very good singer. So I try to make it as simple as I can!… And I’m like an avid instrument hoarder and collector, as my wife can probably attest to. So yeah, I just throw everything I’ve got at the tracks! [laughs]

SC411: Anything else you’d like to say to the world/fans?

DB: Um… download my EP, it’s davebaxtermusic.com. And it’s free, so… I don’t know how long it’s going to be free for, so you’d better get in quick! [laughs]

SC411: Dave Baxter, thanks for talking with us!

DB: Thank you!

Interview by: Rowena Edwards 

Listen to Avalanche City’s song, Love Love Love here: