Interview: 5 minutes with AVEC
Writing music is how 22-year old vocalist and musician AVEC keeps the wolf from her door – often reflecting on personal life experiences and weaving her life’s narrative. After the release of her 2015 EP Heartbeats, AVEC has bridged the gap between writing heartfelt lyrics and experimenting with textural sounds. For AVEC, lyrics are the key component to writing music, and language is a place of retreat – which leaves additional room for interpretation. Distancing herself from negative life experiences, AVEC simultaneously shares her own creative story through the powerful portrayal of human life and emotions through her music.
Although inspired by the likes of Bon Iver, John Mayer, The Lumineers, Oscar and the Wolf, Kings of Leon, Daughter, RYX – AVEC succeeds in creating her own language, where her imagination and ideas come together in her music. AVEC’s sound is comparable to the magical atmosphere just before the sun sets behind the mountains. It is melancholic but hopeful: the sun will rise again tomorrow.
We caught up with AVEC on progression and musical epiphanies –
(Be sure to stream AVEC’s latest single ‘Waiting For’ below!)
Set the tone for us. Why the arts?
I never really asked myself this question because arts and especially music, those were always big topics in my life. I started playing the violin when I was 6 and wrote my first songs when I was 10, I guess. I was really interested in that kind of stuff – I read a lot when I was a child and was fascinated by country music and legends like Michael Jackson.
Which comes first when you’re producing – the sound or the idea?
Well, actually the idea. When I’ve finished writing a song I try to record it with kind of an idea, how it should be in the end, and after that I think about how the sound should be.
What’s on your current playlist?
Bon Iver, Ben Howard, SOAK, Jade Bird, Oscar and the Wolf
Tell us about the chemistry you have with your fans on stage.
Well, I am actually a shy person, especially when I am on stage – but when I’m playing live and I am looking around, in all the faces of actual strangers, there are moments, when I feel like, we all are connected somehow – there is this beautiful, familiar, mysterious atmosphere – I see people laugh, I see people cry – it’s just really emotional and intimate – I love those moments!
What techniques do you experiment with to get your original sound?
My band is pretty into experimenting with their gear, guitars, drum sounds and so on. I just have my electric guitar and my acoustic guitar and that’s all. I am not that nerdy – I just want it to sound good and that’s what matters to me.
Take us through a day in the recording studio.
During the production of my debut album we usually started at 11 or midday and met up in a little studio in vienna. We listened to the takes, we talked about new ideas, arrangements, hooks, patterns, all that kind of stuff and recorded what was on the agenda.
Was there a specific moment in your life where you thought, “this is what I want to do”?
Since this whole thing went really fast I actually hadn’t had the time to think about this question – it was more like “Okay, wow – this is what I am doing now – is this real or am I dreaming“. I’m still not able to really realize what is going on – I am living my dream – to make music, to be on the road with my band, to be able to do what I love – it is crazy.
What do you keep close by while you’re playing a set?
Water and my capo.
What gets your creative juices flowing?
I get a lot of inspiration from nature – I love being outside, wandering around, breathing cold autumn air, running into the woods – I really like the atmosphere of fields covered in dust or sunsets, driving around in a car and exploring. All those kind of things are really inspiring to me .
Take us through your collection of gear, tech or software that accompanies your creative expression.
Well, at the moment I have 4 guitars:
Epiphone Les Paul Standard
Fender CD-60 CE NA,
Taylor GS mini ,
The software I use for my recordings is garageband, usually on my mobile phone – it sounds really good, to be honest and I am so used to working with this software.
after that, in the pre-production, me and Andy (e-guitar, keys, co-producer, musical director) are recording in his studio.
Any side projects you’re working on?
No, but let’s see what the future brings
How have you refined your craft since you entered the industry?
Well my songwriting skills have definitely changed but that has more to do with the fact that I just got a little older. I write about other things now than I did when I started my project. What I should refine are my guitar skills – they are far from perfect 😉
Breakdown the news for us: what can we expect from you this year?
My band and I will play a couple of festivals and I’ll be working on my second album.
For more information follow Avec on Facebook
Image credit: Max Parovsky