London based band Avante Black draw from a vast range of musical influences to deliver a sound that conforms to the standards of pop music, whilst also being distinctive and innovative. Their debut single ‘Drug Money’ gives us an insight into their music and leaves us excited for their future releases, it also shows that they are not afraid to tackle issues that affect young people in the modern city life in their music.
We took the opportunity to talk to them about their new debut single, London- life, touring and future plans. For lovers of alternative-pop music, Avante Black are definitely one to watch in the current musical climate.
What can you tell me about your new single, ‘Drug Money’?
Well, it’s a song about being tired of working for low pay and choosing to deal drugs instead *laughs*. It’s mostly around a government issue because they shouldn’t make drug dealing seem appealing compared to working a normal job for next to nothing.
The Anna Of The North remix really takes the track in a new direction, what can you tell us about this?
Yeah it definitely does! We played with Anna Of The North for Piasnites at The Lexington in September, I hadn’t actually heard of them before that but it was so nice to meet them, now I’m addicted to their music; I think it’s amazing.
Having them remix ‘Drug Money’ was incredible; it was like ‘oh my god I’ve got a song I can play everywhere.’
How do you guys usually create your music?
It’s normally very spontaneous, my writing is usually quite impulsive. Usually, I’ll just write about something that I feel at a particular moment, a song is usually written in a day because the next day could give me a completely different feeling and mind-set. If I discover a cool sentence or a cool beat, then I’ll collect it, I like to build up loads of things that later become songs. From there, the lyrics seem to come quite quickly.
There seems to be a range of influences both new and old, who were your biggest influences behind this piece?
With Drug Money I’d only just started getting really into pop music and liked the idea of playing around with some more electronic stuff.
The main artist I was listening to when I wrote this was probably Charlie XCX, I didn’t like her at first but something changed and I suddenly thought she was really cool; that influenced me to create some more clean sounding pop songs.
I was really tired at the job I was working at and I started thinking that I could use drugs for a metaphor for society and the life my friends and I were living.
You’ve achieved a lot already in your time working together, what do you consider your biggest achievement to date?
I think that being played on Swedish radio was the most incredible thing, I started freaking out a bit, and it was a radio channel that I’d actually listen to everyday.
I always loved the idea of being played on that show and then one day they played it! I had a lot of friends and family back in Sweden listening too which was really cool.
Is there any meaning to your name ‘Avante Black’?
I think it was more of a fun thing; our old keyboard player used to always listen to podcasts and knew what new was happening in the world. I started buying a lot of black clothes, which he described as ‘Avante Black’; so from then on we just started calling the band that.
We realised that we shared that name with like 3 other metal bands from America, so we played around with the words and settled for Avante Black, just because it looked and sounded cool.
What is your setup when performing live?
At the moment we’ve got drums with a drum pad, guitar, bass and vocals, it’s a pretty simple live set up. We tend to play a little grungier live, which is really fun; it brings different sides to your music.
I prefer it if something is a little different live than on record, it gives people more of a reason to come and see you play rather than just streaming it online.
What has been your biggest live show to date?
We supported All We Are at Scala and it was just such a huge stage, it was so much fun having all of that room.
Normally we’ll be quite compromised on a small stage and I would get my hair caught in the guitarist’s guitar or something. It was fun having all of that space on the stage to just run up and down it like little kids.
You’re on tour soon and performing at some festivals later this year, what are you most excited for?
I’m really excited for ‘Dot to Dot festival’ because it’s over 3 different cities. I’m also really excited to revisit Bristol, I played there acoustically with Willy Mason when I was 19, and I can’t wait to travel around and see some new cities and let new people discover our music.
We’ve heard there is a new album in construction, can you tell us anything about this?
I spent all of last summer writing quite a lot, I try to write as much as possible. There’s gonna be some interesting songs on there, some more poppy and others more alternative so there will be a nice bit of variation on it. It’s all about every day of a young person in the city.
What do you get up to when you’re not touring or creating music?
Well I like to hang around with my friends, but I also still work in a bar and spend most of my time in there. The people I work with are like a small family so we normally just hang around at work and outside of work, we go for walks, check out markets and eat oysters, I love hanging around in London because there’s always so much to see.
I think you’re brave to be able to stomach Oysters personally!
*laughs* I never used to like them! I think I must’ve just been eating them wrong though because I absolutely love them now. They’re also really cheap at the market I go to in London, so it’s a nice little treat.
What else can we expect from you in future?
A bit of everything I think, I tend to change my personality with the wind and I always like to try new things. I think it’s pretty uncertain at the moment so expect anything, but I can confirm that there is some gonna be some new, cool tracks coming out soon!