RGM INTRODUCING – WE INTERVIEW ALFIE AND THE AVALON
Hiya folks thanks for joining us in the virtual RGM lounge today, grab a brew and take a seat.
What made you decide to start the band?
I (Alfie) sent a message out to the boys as I was looking to form a band to rearrange some of my acoustic solo material from the first lockdown. We met at the University of Huddersfield whilst studying music and throughout our time there we performed in various bands together and collaborated on various recording projects which helped us to form the start of a strong musical relationship.
Introduce us all to the members and your musical history?
The band consists of Alfie Woods on lead vocals and rhythm guitar, Ewan Steady on lead guitar/banjo/keys/everything else, Toby Renwick on bass and Joseph Zbos on drums. We all have a diverse musical background with members having performed in big bands, orchestras, brass bands, covers bands and original bands. We are all songwriters who have written and performed our own music in the past.
What’s the best piece of advice you have received?
If the PA is screaming at you, turn it down.
Did you buy anything you don’t need in the pandemic? If so what?
Ewan bought a sideways flute that he still can’t play.
Do you sign up to any conspiracy theories?
What support is out there for new artists in Huddersfield?
Huddersfield is home to some quality bands and great music venues such as Northern Quarter, The Parish and Venn Street Social and they provide many performance opportunities to local bands giving them a platform in which to support bigger touring acts from all parts of the country.
What was the most fun you have had on stage?
We have so much fun performing one of our original songs ‘All I’ve Got’ due to the fact it is a great tune to jam out live and everyone gets a chance to improvise an extended solo! We feel this song is always a highlight of our live set as there is always an element of variation with the song structure meaning every live performance is unique. We are excited to be releasing this song in the not-too-distant future so make sure you follow our socials to see future announcements!
What was the worst experience on stage?
Yet to have a bad experience live with this band…let’s hope I don’t jinx it!
Tell us something about a member that you think people would be surprised about?
You’d be surprised to hear the sheer amount of miscellaneous instruments Ewan can play! We counted 44? He came up with the idea to add a banjo part to the chorus section of ‘Burnout’ which ended up really enhancing the song!
If you had to describe your band to an alien how would you describe them?
Bleep bloop bleep bloop.
Which one of the bands is the most unpredictable and why?
I would say, Toby, he always likes to play devil’s advocate.
Which one of the band is the biggest nightmare? (Just a bit of fun)
Expect a 3-5 working day response from Toby in the band group chat.
You have one phone call and you have been locked up for a crime you didn’t commit? Which member would you call first?
We all agree that Ewan would be the best bet. Not sure how we would be able to resolve the situation but at least he would be sympathetic about it! Toby would just laugh and hang-up!
Tell us about a time when you had a proper reyt laugh while you were all together?
We could tell you all sorts of stories but without the context, it’s hard to explain! Although we did have a lot of fun filming a music video for our latest single ‘Burnout’ and producing a BTS vlog that featured an outrageous penalty shootout in Joe’s back garden.
What’s your favourite song to play live and why?
As mentioned previously ‘All I’ve Got’ is our favourite to play live as we love to improvise face melting solos!
I hear you have a new single, what can you tell us about it?
Our second single ‘Burnout’ was released everywhere on the 25th March and we are excited to be releasing a music video for the song soon after! We feel the song really showcases several unique elements of our sound.
Talk me through the thought process of the single/album?
I (Alfie) wrote the song on acoustic guitar during the lockdown and introduced it to the band at the start of last year. The song is written from the perspective of an individual observing a friend whose mental health is deteriorating due to their efforts to try and achieve ‘creative perfection’. As the story progresses the individual realises that he himself is starting to fall victim to the same problem… The feeling of ‘burning-out’ is a feeling a lot of people can relate to especially during the pandemic.
What was the recording process like?
The recording process for Burnout was great. We spent a lot of time working on pre-production in the practice room beforehand, so when it came to the day it was just a case of setting up some microphones and smashing it out. Our good friend Josh Kime produced the track and is credited for suggesting the stab chords that come in during the second half of the bridge. Being in the studio gave us the chance to be creative and bounce ideas off one another. We then sent the track to our talented mastering engineer George Shilling who did an excellent job adding the finishing touches.
What was the biggest learning curve in writing the single/album?
We spent a lot of time considering how we could best compliment the song with a great arrangement. We had a clear idea in our head of how we wanted the production to sound and just needed to find the best way to get there. We are incredibly satisfied with the result!
Would you change anything now its finished?
Two-minute synth solo.
What are your plans for the year ahead?
We have released two singles to date, and we plan to release a music video and two more singles in the coming months. We have a few gigs in the calendar so follow us on our socials to hear about them! Plans for an EP are underway…
Is there anything else you would like to share with the world?
Thanks for doing us today folks, all the best and keep in touch.