Avalon Landing have created a magnificent sophomore record with the brand new LP, Reside. The record has areas that transcend the barriers of musical highs and lows, pushing the boundaries of pop-rock. From the powerful, loud, and catchy single “About Face” to the transparent and emotional number “Rest In Peace,” the record gives fans something to remember with every track.
Reside, produced by Bryan Russell (Coldplay, Straylight Run, The Academy Is…) is set to be released on November 12. Click the “Read More” button for an exclusive preview video of all the tracks on the record and an interview with guitarist/vocalist Mike Vargovich, discussing their new crowd-funding campaign, the record, and what fans are to expect in the future.
It sounds like you guys truly created something beautiful with this record, where did you pull inspiration from?
Mike: We pull inspiration from literally everything. Even besides the fact that each member of the band comes from different musical backgrounds and is interested in different styles of music, we all appreciate how inspiration can come from absolutely everywhere. It doesn’t have to just be music. We pull a lot from books, from movies, from the work of our favorite stand-up comedians and from our surroundings. I think we do a good job of letting all that seep into whatever it is we’re working on.
Is there any particular story behind any of the tracks you’d like to share?
Mike: All the songs have their story, which is something that means a lot to us as writers. Nothing is just written for the sake of being written. There’s always a reason, always a meaning. Perhaps to a fault we actually love talking about the meanings behind the songs. I’ve always loved that, but also understand that as a listener I like to come to my own conclusions too. The overall theme of this record is definitely “change,” a theme you could easily come to with even a brief skim of our biography. Through the songs on Reside you gain insight into how the band was created, where we came from, where we are now, and where we’re going. Sometimes we say it flat out, other times it’s a little more hidden. But it’s all there.
You’re currently running a PledgeMusic campaign, what made you decide to crowd fund?
Mike: It was important to us that we use the crowd funding platform in a certain way that didn’t equate to begging for money. Instead of saying “we need money to do this” we wanted to make it clear that we’ve made the product, it’s done and now we want to get it to you. That’s why we chose Pledge Music, because their platform was the most open to that approach. That said, by doing a pre-order through a crowd-funding platform, we do allow people the option to contribute whatever they desire and to do so through a platform that people can understand and trust.
What was it like working with Bryan Russell?
Mike: Working with Bryan was the best choice we could have made for this album. Josh and Clayton had worked with him in a previous project and his approach really pushed the record to a new level. The big point that he made going in was that it would be useless to make an album that sonically sounded like another record. Every decision made – from what instruments we used to what kinds of sounds those instruments would make – were made in terms of what has more character, more personality, what is more interesting. Since we recorded the album in that mindset and did so in a house rather than in the sterility of a studio, we were able to create something sonically unique. That was achieved through Bryan’s vision. He’s also just a guy who challenges you and makes you better. I think we can all agree that was the case after tracking wrapped up.
What are you most excited for fans to hear on this record?
Mike: I’m excited to really define Avalon Landing with this album and for people to hear what that means. For anyone who has followed us up to this point, they know that our previous release didn’t do that. It was merely a collection of older material. The first thing I noticed as we started writing Reside was a sense of maturity on it that I frankly didn’t expect.
“Cognizant of it or not, we really pushed it in that direction during the tracking process and that was encouraged and facilitated by Bryan. What little pre-conceived notions of who we are that may be out there among our local audiences will be shattered, and we can feel great about introducing new audiences to a record that defines who we are now at this point in our life.”
I don’t think we’re trying to be anything, it’s very much us.
What are your plans for after the record?
Mike: Musically, we want to continue to push ourselves, which is something every band probably would say. Or should say. We’re already talking among ourselves about where our writing can go. All of our members can write and they can all be prolific in their own right. When you think about that it’s really exciting for us to ponder further tapping into that moving forward. Short term – as a band we want to continue to get out on the road whenever possible and continue to establish ourselves as a touring band. We want to get this record to as many people as possible. I believe we’ve gained a good reputation as a hardworking, intelligent band when it comes to how we operate and I want to maintain that while also working to expand our team and build Avalon Landing into the biggest band it can be.
By Matthew Leimkuehler (@callinghomematt)
*Photo by Maegan Gindi