Avalanche, the impressive hard-hitting rockers from down under, release their intoxicating new single, Hell’s Getting Hotter With You, on 7 February 2024. Readers of MetalTalk can enjoy it a couple of days early. Described as four misfits from Sydney’s west, one of the first things you notice about Avalanche are their live shows. Both band and crowd drip buckets of sweat throughout the set. There is a total buy-in from both sides of the barrier.
“We’ve always been proud of being a high energy kinda party band,” Steven Campbell told MetalTalk’s Steve Ritchie. “We just want people to come out, forget whatever shit’s been bothering them and have a good time. We always try to bring the most out every night, whether there are less than 100 people or 1000. We’re not a very serious band with a political agenda or anything. It’s all just for laughs and good times. So people can expect to sweat, drink, dance, get high, headbang and make out. Whatever it takes to have a good one.”
Avalanche have released their new single, Hell’s Getting Hotter With You, today exclusively at MetalTalk. It’s a beauty and another excellent example of a track that will sound impressive live with a cold one in your hand.
There is a classic build-up to the action. Avalanche do not write three-minute singles. Campbell chucks in an early scream, and the band are away, all guns blazing. It’s wonderful and high energy, but it’s all about the riff.
“We actually started throwing in screams at the start of songs,” Campbell says, “as some industry people kept telling us there’s too much guitar stuff. The vocals have to come in earlier, or radio won’t play it. So I just started screaming over the riffs at the start so they can’t say the vocals didn’t come in early.
“Veronica [V] wrote all the riffs and structure of the song, and then we worked on it a bit together and got it tighter over time by playing it live as we always like to test out songs live. I believe she was going for a fast, no holds barred Nashville Pussy, Guns N’ Roses, Motörhead style kinda thing for this one.
“There’s a few different ideas I played around with when writing the lyrics. It’s definitely about the story of a toxic relationship, but how enticing those might be at times. We used Bonnie and Clyde and Old West kinda imagery in both the track and the video to mirror that as well. We can’t wait for everyone to hear it.”
V is the riff-mistress, and she does not hold back. Her introduction to the guitar was when her Dad bought her brother an electric guitar. “He wasn’t interested in it,” she says, “so I started playing around with it. I’d just play for fun on and off for a couple of years and would often steal Dad’s CDs like AC/DC, Guns, Kiss, and Elvis and start getting into them. But I never took it seriously.
“Then, when I was about 16, Dad got us tickets to the AC/DC Rock Or Bust tour. I started really getting into them in particular, listening to all the albums, watching old concerts and Angus especially just blew me the fuck away.
“Then, after I saw them live, I just thought, this is what I want to do with my life. If that little guy from Sydney’s west can do it and blow the world away every time he plays, then maybe I can too.
“If anything, having Steve in the band and being married makes things way easier, and it’s definitely a huge time saver. We’re always there to play together, plan our tours and releases and do all the behind-the-scenes admin and promo stuff.
“The main thing is having the same goal trajectory. Being able to tour and travel together is a huge plus. It’s very intertwined with our lives and exactly what we both want to do, and it’s awesome to be able to do it together.”
The next touring plan is in Japan. “We’ve always wanted to tour Japan and hell, even just go to see the whole country for ourselves,” Steve Campbell says. “We know they love their rock and heavy music over there, and flights to Japan were also a hell of a lot cheaper right now than Europe [laugs]. We were pretty lucky as we put a few feelers out and then found a mate in this band who runs a touring company and plays there all the time.
“So he’s helped us out with a lot of it. It’s called Paranormal Activities, and this tour would probably not be happening without them, so a big shout-out to their crew. It’s gonna be awesome, and I know we’re gonna love it.”
Arthur [Divis, rhythm guitar] and ADHD [Ryan Roma, drums] round out the band lineup. It’s a really tight sound, and Avalanche captures their live energy on the single. With a lot of new music being recorded remotely, the fact that they recorded it live in three takes is cool.
Are they surprised more bands don’t do this any more? “Yeah, definitely,” V says. “The main thing for us is playing live. That’s what we love, and that’s what we do when we record to get that same energy, musicianship and connection we do on stage. We know some bands record things note by note, then stitch it all together, and that’s never made sense to us.
“Live is just the truest and only way to do it, in our opinion, if you want to play music. We definitely feel more bands should be doing it.”
You should watch the video. I asked if there were any issues in setting fire to the outback. “We actually shot that at one of Arthur’s family’s farms,” Steve laughs. “We had about 30 mates off-screen ready to go if anything went wrong. We shot it in the cooler season around the time they were back burning anyways before summer hit so the timing worked out well.
“We actually had trouble getting it to stay lit, to be honest, as it was raining on and off. We constantly had to stop, cover the amps, wait, get the fire lit up again and go again.
“It’s crazy how a 3-minute video can take days of planning and a couple dozen people to pull off. But it’s one of our most ambitious ideas yet, and we can’t wait to show ya’s.”
Having released only singles so far, they are still a band that loves the power of an album. “We definitely still have a firm belief in albums, and in fact, we have just wrapped up recording a whole sleuth of songs to put together for our debut album. It’s the best stuff we’ve ever recorded to date, and we’ve really poured a lot of blood, sweat and tears into this album.
“I seriously can’t wait until we can finally release it and let everyone finally hear it. But saying that, it may take us a couple of singles to get there [laughs].”
Avalanche will now push into Japan and then try wider. Are there any plans to come to Europe and show us all how to be really sweaty? “Definitely,” V smiles. “That’s pretty much the plan.
“There’s a couple of key places in Europe and festivals in the UK we really want to get to, and we are already putting a few feelers out. Cos you know we just gotta get to Europe when we launch the album.”
MetalTalk will be waiting for Avalanche. Maybe we need to arrange some logo towels to keep us dry. Avalanche – Hell’s Hotter With You – will be available from here.