Interview with Avers: DC Area Deli's Band of the Month.

New album, Empty Light out April 22nd.

By: Natan Press

April 20, 2014

"This shit gets me high! I mean there's Space-Echo Leslie 12 string on like 4 songs!!!"

Richmond's Avers won our Band of the Month Poll for the first half of April, and it's no surprise. Their debut album, Empty Light will be officially released on April 22nd (this Tuesday!), and it's a fantastic kaleidoscope of sound, light and psychedelia. The lead single, title track "Empty Light," is a gorgeous summer morning (something we've all been waiting for for far too long), and Avers' rocking live shows, skillfully played electric guitars, tasteful pedal-work, and pounding drums, have amped a growing fan base that's become impatient to take home a piece of the band. They're everything you want out of hard-rocking and hard working indie-rock. I spoke with Adrian Olsen about the band's formation, the Richmond scene, and the future. 

How did you all get together?

Well Natan, we are all Virginia natives except for Alexandra Spalding who I met in college up in Boston. She moved down to Richmond with me from New York to help me run a recording studio on my folks' property when we acquired Mark Linkous' 1968 Flickinger console. The band really started by having four songwriters in the studio with the intent of recording a new song every time we get together. It worked the first time, and again, and by the time Tyler Williams joined in, we were convinced that we were a band, not just a project.

Richmond bands have been doing well in our polls. How supportive is the Richmond scene, and the city (venues etc.)? Is it growing? How has it helped you?

Richmond is a strange place, with strange people who love live music. There are a lot of good bands, who all know each other and support each others' projects. There's healthy competition and a lot of cool records are getting made, and shows are getting played. It's our home base, and we like it.

Does Richmond influence your music?

I don't think this band would exist without Richmond.

What does your new album sound like? What sound were you going for and why?

Empty Light is an album written in the studio. Each song is a day in the life of the people recording that day. The only goal we had was to try techniques that we've always wanted to under the umbrella that this was a 'psychedelic project'. Personally, I used the sessions as an opportunity to utilize ideas that I had always wanted to try, but never executed before, either because of them taking too much time, or because they were too bold a move to try on someone else's recording budget. We did real tape flanging, analog varispeed manipulation of entire mixes, and hard cuts on songs that take you into an entirely different world, i.e. the chorus of 'white horses' cuts from a loud drone'y psych jam to a chorus of acoustic guitars and vocals, with no intent to sound like a live band. This shit gets me high! I mean there's Space-Echo Leslie 12 string on like 4 songs!!!

What's next?

Well we have been playing as many shows as our personnel allows, and it has been awesome. Taking these late night recordings into the club was a whole new experience, and the response we've gotten has been addicting. That said, we recently took a long weekend beach trip to Kill Devil Hills and wrote and recorded 10 new songs with a couple car loads of equipment, so, I guess I'd say more shows and new records.