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Birds of a Feather: An Interview With AVAN LAVA

September 3rd, 2013

Birds of a Feather: An Interview With AVAN LAVA

As you may have heard/felt by now, there is a new force of positive energy coming straight out of Brooklyn and they go by AVAN LAVA. On stage and off, AVAN LAVA has been turning heads left and right with their impossibly fun and sexually charged presence, complete with enough vitality and glamour to make anyone smile. Recently, I was fortunate enough to get in some time with one of AVAN LAVA’s founding members, Le Chev, where we cover music, fashion, and the difficulty of traveling with confetti cannons.

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O S A K A: Where does the namesake come from, Avan Lava? I’ve heard a few different origins that range from reoccurring dreams to baklava.

AVAN LAVA: Hi this is Le Chev. I came up with the name AVAN LAVA (pronounced Aah-Vahn Lah-Vah). From the beginning, I knew the project was going to be sexy, unique and fun. AVAN LAVA, the words, first came to me in a psychedelic dream that I had about a person jumping into a volcano and turning into a bird. But then applying them to the group really started paying off in the look and feel. AVAN LAVA is pure flash – Probably foreign, and definitely expensive.

Does the group write as a collective, or does it start all start with someone specific?

Usually it starts with me making some beats and then all of us trying to race to come up with the best concept and melody over it. Although recently we have started with some melodies/concepts first and then designed the music to fit. It’s like a frenzy when we write. Everyone trying to come up with some hot shit and get everyone else excited. It’s very fun, sometimes funny, and always emotional.
We’ve collaborated with the original homme Young Diamond and now Drew Citron and Jo Lampert who are in the crew are getting in on the action too which is awesome.

You guys have done several high profile remixes over the past few years. What was it like approaching a remix for someone like Blondie or R.E.M.?

Do like Don (Draper) and don’t think about it.

Best decade for music and why?

Man… you could really argue for any decade.
I think right now is the most exciting time ever for musicians. Anything is fair game and with cheap technology you can make whatever music you want. It’s fun because no one is limited by cost, just time and patience. I made our first EP on my mom’s public school laptop.
As a listener, I think this decade is a bit of a ripoff though because there’s very little physical interaction with the music. When I had heaps of CDs, I would flip through them and it was like looking at old friends. Now I’m skipping through songs on my phone.

Let’s talk about idols. Who do you guys look up to musically? Who do you admire?

Prince, who overcomes every social issue by being SO. FUCKING. SEXY.

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I’ve seen that you’ve collectively worked on several fashion campaigns for people like Dior, Juicy Couture, Viktor & Rolf and Nina Ricci. How did you first collide with the fashion world? Has living in New York’s fashion state have anything to do with it?

NYC is such an amazing place for fashion because even without trying, you’re going to experience about half a million outfits everyday just by walking out the door. We are absolutely a product of this fashion heavy environment.

Working with fashion companies is amazing. I think as a band we share a common goals with high fashion campaigns, which is to communicate as much taste, glamour, luxury as possible in an extremely short amount of time. The fashion world and AVAN LAVA are peas in a designer pod.

Best decade for fashion and why?

Whichever decade the gold chain was invented. Potentially the 2180’s (BC that is…)

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Describe the live AVAN LAVA experience.

It is what you’ve been missing from your life. Something to believe in and something that believes in you.
If we all come together, we can do anything.

What’s in store for the future of AVAN LAVA? New record? Bigger shows? More confetti?

We are working on a Full Length right now. About 2/3 there, but we’re hoping to be done by October (HOPING) which means release in the winter or spring 2014. And yes! we are planning crazy show shit! Actually we have a bunch of crazy things that we just need to figure out how to fly with… The TSA doesn’t love our high pressure CO2 blasters, but Seoul does!

Any last thoughts or things you’d like to share with us?
Love you. Keep moving.

Your homies,

AVAN LAVA triumphantly return to Los Angeles on September 16th for their Check Yo Ponytail debut! Joining them will be unsung DFA legend, Shit Robot (DJ set); fellow DFA labelmate, Larry Gus; and A Club Called Rhonda resident, Goddollars. The vibe will certainly be alive, so make sure you dress to impress. In the meantime, check out this video collaboration between Avan Lava and the Seoul Institute of the Arts where the band worked closely with over 100 students and faculty to capture all the fun and excitement that we’ve come to expect. Enjoy!


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