Music Student Spotlight: EUP student talks about punk band experience

Category:  The Arts
Wednesday, April 24th, 2019 at 10:30 PM

Tyler Pew is a sophomore secondary education, social studies major. On the side, he’s the lead singer of the up and coming punk band, The Avondales.

According to their Bandcamp page, The Avondales are a “Grass fed punk rock band proudly representing Ashtabula, Ohio.”

Pew explained the origins of The Avondales, which started in fall 2017 when he and his friend Brandon Long “were messing around with music on an acoustic guitar and a little box drum in his crappy apartment.”

He continued, “We started transferring our acoustic stuff that we were working on into punk songs and it went from there.”

Not long after Pew and Long’s jam session, they enlisted the help of their future drummer, Alex Smallwood. After the trio had played a few gigs around Ashtabula, they soon discovered their bass player, Brad McGirr, who completed the lineup.

Describing the process of conceiving a band name, Pew said, “we were coming up with names and they all kind of sucked,” before settling on Long’s suggestion of The Avondales, named after the street he grew up on.

Reflecting on his and Long’s past experience in the theatre arts, Pew stated that: “it’s definitely a big change going from singing pretty musical theatre stuff to loud punk rock music. I never thought we’d be doing it, but here we are.”

The Avondales have enjoyed success in performing at venues in Ohio, ranging from Ashtabula to Cleveland. “Every show is a party, [and] if you come to one Avondale’s show, be ready for a party because that’s what you’re going to get.”

Their self-titled EP, scheduled to drop on May 18, features tracks with titles like “Road Head” and “Alexxxis, Texxxasss.”

“Road Head,” according to Pew, has “always been a crowd favorite and it’s cool to hear people sing the words of it.”

Another standout song, titled “My Girl,” begins as a slow rockabilly style ballad that progresses into their usual punk rock vibe. “As a band, we have a little bit of everything,” explained Pew. “It’s more intricate than you would think for a normal punk band.”

Pew talked of the band’s influences, which included a local band in Ohio, Drawing of Flies, which he said “offered to record us for free.”

Musical influences for the band as described by Pew had been “old-style punk bands,” which included the Dead Boys, blink-182, Dead Kennedys and Descendents.

Looking toward the future of the band, Pew is optimistic. “We just sold out our first show about a month ago which is really cool, and I think we’re still growing as a group. It’s a good direction.”

Pew gave some insight on the band’s plans for this year after their EP release.

“We’re hoping this winter to go on a week-long or two-week-long tour. We have some contacts in South Carolina we might go to or maybe tour the tri-state area and go into New York, Pennsylvania and Ohio.”

The Avondale’s upcoming EP is being released on May 18 and will be available on Amazon Music, Apple Music, Spotify and Bandcamp.

Collin Alekson |

Tags: punk band

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