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Discussion in 'Avian' started by YanLeviathan, Mar 11, 2009.

  1. YanLeviathan

    YanLeviathan Member

    Jul 23, 2004
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    1.5EO8 kilometers from the Sun

    Power of – The album was released in 2008 in the US (through Nightmare Records), but we have to wait till the end of February here in Europe – how come?

    Avian (Lance King) – This simply comes down to the fact that we wanted to release it right in Europe, through a new partnership that our (my) label Nightmare Records has now with Silverwolf via distribution with SPV. That began about the time we released this album to the States. Rather than shop for sublicensing in times when many labels have fallen off the face of the earth, Nightmare Records is pushing hard to expand. We could have done this as a limited import but we wanted to have this out in a bigger way and focus on festivals and shows, so we can make some noise live for our fans. It’s all about getting the music to more people, with a more focused effort from promotion, distribution and touring.

    Power of – what kind of expectations do you have for ‘Ashes and Madness’?

    Avian (Lance King) – We hope people embrace the album of course….I feel it’s a big step up in production from the debut, this album was focused from the beginning, unlike our first release “From the Depths of Time” which began as demo’s with David Ellefson and Yan feeling songs out in the studio.

    ‘Ashes and Madness’ was a work of Yans commitment to true metal, I added in some various metal style flavours that brings the band a little different feel, but still very melodic and heavy with attitude. I expect that If we like the songs, there will be others that do, since we are metal fans. Of course we hope that all metal fans will find it enjoyable and spread the word, after all metal is a way of life, fans of this music, eat breath and drink it daily to stay alive. The goal of this is of course to get the band to Europe from the States for some of the bigger festivals or a good tour.

    Power of – If you had to chose one song you feel on this album represents Avian today, which song would you choose and why? Personally I would pick “Fall from Grace" in combination with "Beyond the Hallowed Gates”.

    Avian (Lance King) – Interesting question, I don’t know if one song on this album can sum up the band any better than any other… “Fall from Grace” is a beautiful instrumental piece on the album, though a bit short, it’s more of a segue working into the song “Beyond the Hallowed Gates” which does include the the phrase “Fall from Grace…Beyond the Hallowed Gates” so I’m not sure which piece is your favourite. B.T.H.G. is a very “vocal” focused song on the album, likely the song that would connect with the most hard rock / melodic metal fans. I think for me on this album it’s a toss up you get pretty close to the songs when you work on them for so long bringing them to the point you want to share them with others, I think my fav on this album would be either “Lost and Forsaken”, “Time and Space Part II (Unlock the Mystery)” or “Into the Other Side”.

    Power of – What is the biggest difference between ‘From the Depths of Time’ and ‘Ashes and Madness’`?

    Avian (Lance King) – I would say tones, production, song writing is very similar, but perhaps a bit more refined, or rather evolved on ‘Ashes and Madness’, the songs on the first album are very good I think, but because of the short comings on that album with the production it’s not as easy to enjoy them as this album.

    I would say there are more similarities than there are differences though in regard to the song writing.

    One thing for sure is the fact that I played Keyboards on this one, I felt for it to be a “Metal” album that keys needed to play more of a background role in this particular band.

    Power of – Is Avian more than just a record to record project?

    Avian (Lance King) – Well that is up to the fans to decide, will this be more than just a recording project?

    This was something that started out as just a project for all involved, through finally solidifying a core line up for shows now, it’s become more of a band. This happened after the album was finished actually which is interesting. Most people would think that would be done before. But it’s not necessarily the case, if you have a writing foundation. Jerry Babcock (drummer on ‘Ashes and Madness’, and Brian Hollenbeck (the bands live bassist) seem very into the group, and there is a great chemistry with these guys on the songs live, Brian has stellar vocals, I’ve played with him before in KINGS MACHINE in the early 90’s, he’s well rounded with the ability of playing guitar and keys as well, so for live we’ll be able to switch off it needed on that because I also play those instruments. Like me, Bill Hudson is all about playing live, so he’ll be there when there are shows to do, even though he lives on the other side of the States from the rest of the band.

    We would love to be able to have this be more than just a recording project, these days with the amount of releases each year, the amount of bands willing pay to play, and labels falling out of existence, the music industry is finding new ways to make it all work. It will of course survive because people that love music on both sides will not allow it to go away.

    However a balance must be struck for each given situation. This particular band, is made up of people that work for a living, we hope the album connects with a lot of people, that is why we’re giving this the big push to Europe now, we hope that we will be able to cover expenses on tours and shows because people will want to experience the music live (always the best). We I assure you will be doing our part to make this work, it’s up to the fans to decide, will this be more than just a recording project?

    Power of – Dave Ellefson and Jonah Weingarten are no longer part of Avian, why not?

    Avian (Lance King) – Well this is two part question. David brought me into this situation in 2003 when he called me and asked me if I wanted to demo up some songs for a guitar player he was working with. When the songs developed we were all looking at each other going, hey this has turned into something, we should release it. David had not been out of Megadeth that long, and he was trying to find his new home, he had started producing and working with several bands on different levels. But he didn’t want to spread himself too thin, so I chose to pull back and focus on one, that being F5 because he felt more a part of that, he had more of a writing role in that band and that was important to him to feel like a long term and valued member I believe.

    Jonah was part of the band that I was considering was my main band, Pyramaze, when things got ugly in that camp, there was ultimately some fallout, I personally didn’t want to work with him in Avian because of some things that happened at the end of my time with Pyramaze that left a bad taste in my mouth. Yan and Jonah are still friends, and are at this time working on an album together.

    Power of - Who has produced and mixed the album? How does the final result compare to the idea you had going into the studio?

    Avian (Lance King) – I mixed, produced and mastered the album, it’s come out just as I’d hoped it would, the recording is warm clear, powerful and you can hear everything, that was the goal.

    Power of - Tell us a bit about artwork – I thought Mattias Norén had stopped making cover artwork…

    Avian (Lance King) – Mattias is in my mind “the best” at what he does, there are very few other artists in his league, because not only is he great, but he can work on a deadline, which is something no other artist I’ve ever met can do. We started working with Mattias on this album artwork long before he had realized that that he couldn’t make his living and feed his family doing this any longer. As I mentioned above, the scene has changed.

    It’s harder for everyone in the industry to make a living at it, even brilliant artists such as Mattias Norén. How has it changed? More metal bands than ever putting out albums each year is one, digital downloads both legal and pirate torrents. Record labels are finding it hard to put money into bands because of the Shear numbers just not adding up anymore, bands without that backing find it harder to stand out of the crowd. In the sea of options available on myspace and beyond, people are turning to the internet more than to traditional sources of metal information like magazines, radio and TV. It’s a new renaissance time for music. Maybe great, maybe not for both fans and bands, we’ll all see how it plays out, I’ve always been used to working with a budget when making music so I’ve been able to keep bringing my music to people, I hope I can continue to do so for the rest of my time here on earth.

    Power of - Avian – any special story behind your name?

    Avian (Lance King) – Yan had read a book that stuck with him, in this book the character of the Avian represented something special to him that he wanted to represent the band as. The name of Yan’s favorite novel; The Rama series by Arthur C. Clarke. In the series, the Avian is a bird like creature with great intelligence and compassion.

    Power of – Any touring plans, any festivals booked?

    Avian (Lance King) – I’m usually the guy that sets that up for the band, I’ve been consumed with Nightmare Records for the holiday rush, and now with Nightmare Metal Fest II happening in San Antonio, TX, so at present I’ve not had the chance to set any up, one of our players also needs to get his passport (something in Europe you guys must find amusing, but here in the states many people never go out of the Country).

    Bill Hudson (our lead guitarist ) has been touring with Circle II Circle and PowerQuest as well, so we’re figuring out schedules.

    Between these facts and the fact that the band is waiting for the budget to come in from sales of the new album for the expenses that will cover travel expenses, again the reality and balancing act of a band starting it’s first big steps. Now is certainly the time to begin working on these things, however it may be too late for this summer in Europe, most festivals have their line ups solidified already. However, we may be able to find a few slots here and there, any idea’s for us? We’d love to come and make some noise in Scandinavia!

    Power of – Name the five musical pieces that you want to bring with you when we send you to hell or heaven!

    Avian (Lance King) – I guess I would like a guitar so I can jam with some of the greats that are there already, take your pick, way too many to list ...ha ha!

    There is no way five musical songs, or albums from any band would be enough for eternity, but it’s good that I won’t need to limit myself while on the other side, I’m sure there will be great music abundant at every turn.

    Power of - Thank you very much for answering my questions. Do you have any last rants for our readers?


    Rant over……ah that felt good, now go friends and at least check our our official web sites. /

    Lance King out!

    Interviwed by Kenn Jensen

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