Avalanche Party are a quintet stemming from the North Yorkshire Moors. The natural beauty of their homeland certainly offers a stark contrast to their intense, snarling sound.
Consisting of Jordan Bell, Jared Thorpe (both on vocals and guitar), Kane Waterfield (drums), Joe Bell (bass) and Glen Adkins (keys), their efforts produce a distinct sound which conveys their seemingly endless energy: Standing triumphantly between the familiar and the sinisterly uncanny, the sound is accessible while still managing to enthrall its listeners with minimal effort.
Indeed, this is very much evident in their latest single, ‘I’m So Wet’, released last month. Starting off innocently enough, the tune delves into more sinister territory before you have a chance to get comfortable, with a descending, menacing riff which draws you into madness.
If this unique blend of refined anarchy tickles your fancy, then jump in while the water’s warm, as we ask Avalanche Party all the important questions…
How did your name come about? I’m assuming there wasn’t a party in an avalanche or some other tragic and peculiar event?
You assume correct. The name appeared in a flash of thunderous inspiration, straight from the mouth of the shepherd of the flock who, frenzied from the delight of our music, took it upon himself to repeat it continually in our presence, often for several hours at a time. Give it a rest, we said, but no. The shepherd spoke it in the valleys and spoke it in the hills and spoke it in the trees all around until it was inescapable. On the seventh day, he quieted himself long enough to consider his actions and offer his analysis which came thus – this is it. Do you like how it sounds? And we replied, ‘yeah nice one, we’ll have it chor’. Quite easy really.
Without delving too much into the obscure and unknown, what’s your favourite unsigned band right now?
Galactic Glam Cowboys are the greatest band in the world, but there are question marks over whether they are unsigned. In fact, there are question marks over whether they even exist. Better leave that one. The Blinders though are a band that definitely exist, and a band we definitely like, and a band that, should you go and see, will leave you as euphoric as a Panda in a bamboo-hole. Get on it.
I must admit, I’m a fan of the artwork and posters that you guys put out; How do you go about deciding on having a laser-eyed cat or a classic muscle car on your gig posters?
We can’t claim the laser-eyed cat although I’m glad you picked up on it, I’m a big fan of that too. The muscle car is definitely ours, and if you look closely you will notice it’s being driven by Rolangs Basher – the Tibetan demon slayer made famous in our Money/Revolution videos. You can’t buy that kind of detail. Well you can, but only from us at 800 dinar a pop. Luckily, we don’t have to worry because we have Glen in the band. 99% of our artwork is a process of his vivid imagination. I couldn’t possibly steer the submarine of my insight to those murky depths, but I’ll try and break it down for youse – 1. Think of stuff. 2. Make stuff out of the stuff you thought of. 3. Have a bath. 4. Repeat.
From your gigs, particularly Reading and Leeds last year, it seems that your energetic live performances are one of your key features. How do you prepare for gigs when you put such rabid enthusiasm into each one?
This is quite easy for us, as fortunately we are all experienced professionals, experienced professionals who also have rabies. We have created many different preparation techniques to guarantee maximum energy. I will let you into the secret of just one… At the beginning of a tour it can take a while to get the juices flowing and you can find that the opening 10 minutes – a crucial time, a time when you can grab collective attention or give it an excuse to go to the bar – feel pretty lacklustre. You need to be fully awake and in tune, so we combat this danger by spending 20 minutes in the dressing room smashing each other over the head with a 16” black carbon steel Japanese Wok. Once you’ve been through this process there is nothing on the stage or off that can be seen as dangerous, and so you are free to approach the gig with incredible surety and confidence. Simple really. Wok before you Rock.
Do you have any particular creative process? Your tunes go from almost an American-style indie (like ‘Let’s Get Together’) to punk with an infusion of garage-rock (such as ‘Solid Gold’ and ‘Obstacle’) …
Not really, we write what we like and we like a lot, that’s why the sound is broad. That’s only going to become more the case as we continue, we have no interest in being a pop band, or a punk band. We’re together so that we can be our band.
On a few posters and photos, you have the quote “No one comes from where we come from” above your band name. Aside from the literal meaning of the phrase, does it mean anything else to you guys?
The literal meaning of the phrase isn’t something to be discarded – have you seen where we live? People ride around on wild boars. The Boy who cried Wolf lives two farms down. When we were growing up the snow drifts would be six-foot-high and we wouldn’t be able to leave the house for three weeks at a time. Not anymore like, the weather’s changed. No idea why though Donald. We knocked about the rivers catching eels. We never went to school. I was listening to Murder Ballads when I was 7. If you’re talking ideologically then… maybe.
What’s your favourite song from your own discography? Do you all agree on it?
My favourite song is ‘Porcelain’. It’s like The Coasters but if they were on some really strong Ginseng. We all have different ones though, Glen likes ‘I’m So Wet’ because he wrote it, Jared likes ‘Obstacle’ because he wrote it, Joe likes ‘Solid Gold’ because he wrote everything else and Kane likes ‘Praise’ because he’s a heavenly being.
What inspired you to write the latest single, was it a tune conjured up in the shower as the name may imply?
Almost… it was actually conjured up in 5 showers, or to be more precise – 5 different showers. Some people view showers as a means to an end. You go in, rub yourself a bit then get out smelling less like a beast of burden and, in Glen’s case – more like a Jelly Baby. Try not to get the bathroom floor to wet from the drips. To me, the shower is a portal. The shower is a place of work, my Abbey road. Nowhere else has those acoustics, nowhere can replicate the sensory overload of those hot steamy jets, which make my skin tingle and my creativity explode. I digress – around Christmas time my shower got destroyed, and so in Feb/Mar – under the pretense of doing a ‘tour’ – we roamed the UK in search of the perfect replacement. We had a single to write. We had to work fast. Find the new shower for the new sound. We didn’t find it in Newcastle, Manchester, Halifax or London. We found it… in DUNDEE. By heck, that was a shower.
What can we expect from Avalanche Party in the future, and where can we find you?
More tours, more songs, more rabies. We won’t stop. The shower is on and the water is hot hot hot.
You can catch Avalanche Party live and in person at Music Box Festival in Darlington, and also at the Nottingham Waterfront Festival in July. And of course, there’s Facebook, Twitter, and even their own lovely website.