South Africa’s alternative/progressive rock scene has found its voice in the dynamic sounds of Avolver. In this exclusive interview, following the band’s participating on “Progstravaganza: Harmony in Complexity” compilation, we get up close and personal with Pierre and Pieter, the driving forces behind Avolver, as they share their musical journey, creative process, and the story behind their featured track, “Ready to Go.”
Your Musical Journey:
Tell us a bit about yourself and your musical journey. How did you get started in the world of alternative/progressive rock?
Pierre: It all started with a family gathering and the resonance of Nirvana played by my cousin when I was 10. At first, I thought it was noise, but it lingered in my mind. The seed was planted.
Pieter: Music, especially rock, has been a constant in my life. Starting with attempts at bass guitar in high school, experimenting with guitar, and eventually settling into drumming in recent years.
Featured Track – “Ready to Go”:
Let’s dive into the featured track on the compilation. Can you share the inspiration or story behind “Ready to Go”?
Pierre: “Ready to Go” began as an acoustic experiment, evolving unexpectedly into a heavier sound. The lyrics delve into the essence of music in my life, the highs and lows of performing, the persistence despite challenges—it’s in my blood, it’s in the water.
Walk us through your creative process. How do you typically approach writing and composing music?
Pierre: It usually starts with a riff, melody, or a line in my head. Bringing it to the band, we transform and shape it collaboratively. We handle the recording, mixing, and mastering ourselves.
Pieter: The approach for “Madness” and our previous efforts was similar, but “Madness” felt more genuine and relaxed, taking almost a year to complete.
Who or what are your major influences in alternative/progressive rock? How do they impact your own musical style?
Pierre: Coheed and Cambria on the prog side, but my influences span various genres—from Cradle of Filth to Cocomelon!
Pieter: Everything influences everything. If it feels right, it is right. That’s all that matters.
The Music Industry:
What challenges have you faced as an artist in this scene, and how have you overcome them?
Pieter: Being weekend warriors, getting our name out there is challenging. Without the small club scene, it’s tough to secure gigs. We’re adapting to new avenues for recognition.
Pierre: In the age of abundant choices, it’s easy to skip songs. Many don’t take time for smaller, unknown bands. Adapting is key.
Share with us some of the most memorable moments in your musical journey so far.
Pierre: The first time someone sang our lyrics back during a live show was unforgettable.
Pieter: Playing at Misty Waters, a local music festival, stands out as a significant moment.
Do you have a personal favorite among your own compositions? If so, which one and why?
Pierre: “Down to the River” is my favorite, a powerful and personal song featuring an amazing vocalist.
Pieter: From the “Madness” EP, “Bones” takes the spot as my favorite.
Can you give us a sneak peek into any upcoming projects or collaborations you’re working on?
Pierre: “Madness” is part of a 3-part EP series. The final part, “Murder,” is expected by the end of 2024.
What does it mean to you to be a part of our compilation? How has the experience been for you?
Pierre: Being featured on this compilation is exciting for us. It’s an honor that someone took the time to listen to our music.
Pieter: It’s always an honor to be part of something bigger than yourself.
Message to Fans:
Is there a message you’d like to convey to your fans who will be discovering your music through this compilation?
Pierre: Thanks and keep digging! There’s amazing undiscovered music out there. Feel free to chat with us and share your thoughts!
If you could collaborate with any artist, living or not, who would it be?
Pierre: Laudo Liebenberg of Aking and Josh Homme of QOTSA
Pieter: Dave Grohl
If you had to pick one instrument (besides your primary one) to master, what would it be?
What’s your all-time favorite alternative/progressive rock album, and why?
Pierre: Coheed and Cambria – ”In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth: 3”.
Pieter: Metal album – Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence; Rock album – In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth: 3.
Any final thoughts or reflections you’d like to share with our audience?
Pierre: My friend asked me, as a young boy, was my mother very strict? I told him: “No….my mother was never a young boy.“
Where can our audience find more about you and your music?
Facebook: Avolver Facebook Page
Youtube: Avolver Youtube Channel
Bandcamp: Avolver Bandcamp