Hometown: Auckland, NZ
Web site: http://avalanchecity.com
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Avalanche City is the brainchild of Dave Baxter, a musician whose background stretches across many genres and influences, culminating in a sound that is an impressive and eclectic range of various instruments, melodies and harmonies. The depth and perspective create a dynamic atmosphere that is rich and raw all at once. The epicentre of Avalanche City is Baxter himself, who writes, conceives, produces, records and plays every instrument on this debut album ‘Our New Life Above The Ground’.
Within the historical walls of a lone abandoned small country hall north of Auckland – ‘Our New Life Above The Ground’ materialized and was recorded strictly within the confines of a guerilla DIY approach inspired by The Rocket Summer’s first recording. Baxter’s convictions remain steadfast as he recounts that… “Ever since I heard that story (of how The Rocket Summer recorded) I absolutely wanted to create and record an album where I produced everything, played everything, recorded everything” and today the anticipated result is “Our New Life…” from beginning to end.
A multi-instrumentalist who was coursed at the early age of nine, Baxter picked up the guitar and begun re-arranging classic school sing-along’s like “She’ll Be Coming Round the Mountain” into more expressive original works. In high school, Baxter started a hardcore band, One Must Fall, which (along with Baxter’s subsequent band, The Chase) made a sizable impression on the local underground hardcore scene, opening for the likes of Hatebreed, Parkway Drive and Sick Of It All. Meanwhile, Baxter worked at a recording studio, writing music for TV documentaries, short films and adverts.
In late 2009, however, he decided to explore new musical avenues. He left his music-writing job and began recording bands in his own studio. He taught guitar, and started learning viola. He was dying to record an album on which he did everything himself – writing and performing all the music, recording, and producing.
As he assiduously practiced vocal exercises and scales, singing in private whenever he could, Baxter began to write songs, experimenting with vocal melodies and lyrics for the first time in his life. Inspiration came in the form of guitar and bass riffs, vocal melodies, and even mental images and narratives for which he composed a soundtrack of sorts. Eventually, he was persuaded to play his songs to various close friends, and the positive feedback he received was instrumental to the birth of Avalanche City.
Taking his band name from the title of a song he’d co-written some years earlier, Baxter played some solo acoustic shows, touring with Bradley Hathaway and The Paper Kites, and then decided to record an album. He’d long believed that the old community halls that dot the New Zealand countryside would make great recording spaces, with their wooden structures, spacious interiors and high ceilings. So he holed up in Kourawhero Hall just of outside Auckland, and with only the cows and the milk trucks as company, he recorded the music for Our New Life Above The Ground within a week.