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Avalon Drive
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Brisbane band Avalon Drive’s Damion Page (vocals), Wil Morris (former guitar/backing vocals), Ryan Kennedy (bass), Shane ‘Holmesy’ Holmes (drums) and BJ Dillewaard (keyboards) played in various bands over the last four years and finally came together in early 2005 under the guise of Avalon Drive. In early 2007, Wil Morris left the band for pesonal reasons, although this was not announced until October 2007. Replacing Wil on guitar/backing vocals is Shane O’Keefe, formerly of Brisbane band St. Lucia.
Since then Avalon Drive has built an impressive fan base, and playing high energy live shows and festivals carving their place in the Australian rock scene.
The band released their self-titled debut EP in August 2005, which included a bonus DVD, spawning the debut single ‘This Simple Life’ with the accompanying live video which received wide recognition from the media, the internet and music television. The band’s highly anticipated second single, Outside Alone, received high rotation on Channel V, Rage and consistently heavy airplay nationally by Nova FM.
In March 2006, Avalon Drive were invited to join US rockers, Yellowcard, on their Australian tour playing their first ever performance in Sydney at Luna Park’s Big Top to a sold out crowd of 3000 people. The response to Avalon Drive so crazy that the band had to cut short their set halfway through their second song due to the crowd barrier breaking also forcing Houston Calls to cancel their set at the show. Yellowcard frontman, Ryan Key had to appear on stage to calm the crowd down telling fans that “you rocked out so hard for the opening band you broke the barrier”. The response so crazy that the band were immediately offered the Australian support for US band, Houston Calls for their headline show two nights later at the Gaelic Club in Sydney.
Avalon Drive were invited to play as support act to international artists including Anberlin (USA), Crowned King (Canada), Rufio (USA) and Matchbook Romance (USA).
With the release of their second EP in July 2006, the band went on to perform on Rove Live (Network Ten) and Toasted TV (Network Ten) ahead of their own national tour in support of ‘Get Up’, the first single from ‘The City Of Burnt Out Lights’ EP. In August 2006 the band toured nationally with The Veronicas (AUS) for thirteen arena shows; The All American Rejects (US) for four shows nationally and one show with INXS (AUS) at Brisbane’s Riverstage.
We love to play live I think the five of us were born to play our music loud and to hundreds of people. The shows are crazy, there is never a moment where any of us stand still”, incentive enough from BJ, the man on the keys. “Bring your mum, she’ll love us” jokes frontman Damion.
The band takes influence from rock and roll, but emphasize the value of good songwriting. It has been a long time coming for a melodically driven alternative sound to come out of Brisbane. The wait for a band that is as good live as in the studio and on the record is over. Now there is Avalon Drive.
After three national headlining tours, and supporting three of the biggest names in the country in 2006, it doesn’t stop there. In February 2007, Avalon Drive were invited to support Californian rockers, Hoobastank on their one and only Brisbane show at the Tivoli and in March, Avalon Drive continue to bag high profile tour supports, touring nationally with Fall Out Boy on all shows.
Move to 2007, and things haven’t slowed down for the five-piece with their new single ‘Make Your Move’ set to impact at radio nationally on May 14 2007 and released commercially as a digital single on May 21, 2007 with lead singer Damion Page citing the track as “a very small taste of what is to come.”
‘Make Your Move’ is “an energetic rock song full of melodic hooks and mood lifting spirit,” says Drummer Shane Holmes who notes the latest [March 2007] arena shows with Fall Out Boy as the highlight of his musical career.|“Musically it’s a bit of a journey,” adds Damion. “Lyrically it’s about decision-making, it is about change.”
‘Make Your Move’ was produced by Melbourne producer, Forrester Savell, best known for his production on The Butterfly Effect’s ‘Imago’ (ARIA #2), Human Nature’s ‘Reach Out’ and ‘Dancing In The Streets’ (both ARIA #1), Karnivool’s ‘Themata’, and many more.
Going in to the studio, “we all had very different ideas when it comes to writing so working with Forester really helped bring all that together,” Said Damion.
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