I Am The Avalanche
Sitting in amongst such luminaries of the world of heavy music such as Slipknot, System of a Down, Devin Townsend and Machine Head, I Am the Avalanche may not be the absolute biggest name on the Soundwave Festival bill, but according to the band's drummer and producer Brett Romnes, they are still a band you should avail yourself of a look at. They are a melodic punk band that project a raw and brutal honesty with their live set, lyrics and the manner in which they connect with the audience.
"As far as I Am the Avalanche is concerned," he describes, "we're a punk rock band. You can think Rancid, you can think Bad Religion, but it's got a different style to it, it's got a different feel to it. I heard Bad Religion are playing the festival now, yeah? We're definitely huge into that band. It's honest, it has a lot of energy, a lot of feeling and for people who haven't seen us and haven't listened to the record, I'd definitely tell them to go check it out. I believe that, regardless of genre of music, we all listen to everything. Everyone in my band listens to metal, hardcore, we grew up on that stuff. We grew up on Hatebreed, Machine Head, NOFX and stuff like that. But I feel like this is something that fans of any genre can relate to, coz it's honest, it speaks to anyone."
When pressed a little further regarding the 'different' vibe of their sound and presentation, Brett spoke more about the slightly more raw and real feel that they try to project, as compared with some of their influences: "Our last record was a little more mid-tempo, heavy rock feel," he explains, "we were a new band when we did our first record, we were only a band for a few months at that point. This one, we found our sound, it's totally honed in, and you'll definitely hear Descendants and Bad Religion in our influences, but it has a little more raw feeling to it. It has something that just carries over to our live set very well. When we're playing, we go a thousand per cent every time…it's that feeling you get when you watch a band and you get goosebumps. It's almost like you're being taken to a different place or a different realm."
So much so that live performance is where the band feels they absolutely excel. In fact, it has become like a recreational pharmaceutical to them. They are playing almost every day across the States from now until Christmas, and then go straight back on the road in early January. They are sure to be well honed when Australian audiences get to experience their live set in February and March next year.
"(Playing live) is what keeps me alive!" he states, without a hint of overstatement, "it's almost like a drug. When you hear about all these dudes in bands who have these problems with alcohol and drugs and stuff, it's because they're trying to chase the high they get when they play. Playing music is the ultimate drug. We're going on the fumes of the response that the fans are giving to the record. The record's been out for a week now, it just came out in Australia, and the response we're getting is amazing. Kids are already singing along to the new songs, I can't even put into words how I feel about it.
"We basically have not that much time off for an entire year," he continues, "most bands in our state want to have time to go home, see the family and stuff. I'm more like 'let's just keep going. It's great, the record feels great, and we just want to be on the road. We'd be happier if we just never left it!"
And it isn't just the live show where that raw realness comes out. One listen to the band's recorded works and it becomes clear that it all springs from the band's straight to the point lyrics. "That's absolutely true," he agrees, "I'm the drummer in the band, I also produce and engineer the record, I was there for every take of vocals on the record. Vinnie (Caruana, singer and lyricist) is a huge influence on my life, as far as his lyrics go. We all talk about real life, outside playing the shows, we talk about our girl things, our life things…he puts that into words that people actually understand, and it's straight forward, and it's real and it's honest, and I think that's what people need to hear. People are just like 'this is what I'm going through, this is the fucked up shit that happened in my life.' And it takes you to that place where you're like 'other people are feelin' this, maybe my life isn't that bad.' And that's kinda where we're coming from."
This will actually be the band's second trip Down Under, and second appearance on Soundwave, and they are absolutely dying to get back down here. "I believe 2009 was our last appearance at Soundwave," he recalls, "I remember getting that call, that we'd been invited over to the Soundwave Festival, and we were ecstatic. All the bands that are on the bill, we're either fans of the bands or friends with the bands. It's almost like you don't want to play, you want to watch!
"Everyone in the band loves it over there," he emphasizes, "we almost want to stay a little longer, and I want to get away from the (Northern) winter as much as possible! We're so excited to come out to Australia again. For anyone who hasn't heard us, I just want to make sure that everyone gives the record a chance, regardless of what style of music they're into right now, I feel they can take something from this record, and they can make it their own. And they'll definitely see it in the live performance."
Soundwave hits the Melbourne Showgrounds on Friday March 2, 2012 and features a veritable feast of metal, rock, punk and alternative, such as Slipknot, SOAD, Gojira, Marilyn Manson, Devin Townsend Project, Coal Chamber and much, much more.