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Meet Avi Buffalo - The Kids Are All Right
Photos by Benjamin Hoste/LAist
Racing through her apartment one day my friend Ashley yelled at me, "You have to hear this band! They're still in high school, but they're phenomenal." Dutifully I sat down and the most cheerfully elaborate pop about semen came out of the speakers. "I'm sorry. Are they singing about cum?" I asked. Ashley just grinned. I had to talk to this band.
Over the next few weeks, I listened to their MySpace page like some pathetic teenybopper. I inflicted "What's In It For Me?" on everyone around me in high pitched hums, like a blood starved mosquito. My room mates, who are usually accustomed to my (charming?) quirks began to worry about me.
Finally last weekend, Benjamin Hoste and I made the long trek down to Long Beach and hung out with Avi Buffalo (Okay, not his real name, but I was sworn to secrecy) and Rebecca Coleman for the afternoon at Buffalo's parents' house. Eloquent and poised beyond their years, these high school seniors are very serious about their music.
Despite being formed only a year ago, this band has been generating a buzz that have drawn record labels like bees to sticky taffy, which is not all that surprising really. With their library of polished, unwholesome, gorgeous pop these guys will climb into your brain and claim dominance. Here is some of what was said that weekend from an interview that was conducted from inside a fort made of Avi's bedsheets.Avi Buffalo - What's In It For?
When did you guys decide to form a band?
Avi: Well I was in a band called Monogram my freshman and sophomore years and it was this really intense, gnarly, classic rock-infused jam band thing. I really didn’t like it all that much because I was into Wilco more than that stuff, so I started recording my own things as a solo project. Then I started getting asked to play some shows, so I asked some people to come play with me, and then I got Rebecca to come sing with me. We had our first gig at It’s a Grind down the street. It was really loud and no one was buying any drinks, so the manager wasn’t that happy with us, but a lot of people showed up.
How long have you guys been together?
Avi: I guess it’s been little more than a year.
Rebecca: Yeah, we started last September.
What is your writing process like?
Avi: I usually write all the music. I mean the songs are mine, but the band usually brings this whole different thing to them. So a lot of the recordings that I do, I just do myself, but the whole live thing is a completely collective identity, that’s where Sheridan comes in on the drums or Rebecca on the keyboards. We’re actually looking for someone else to play guitar with us. It’s important to have another guitar in there to add different guitar contrast and color to the music. There is something about guitar playing where you need the right chemistry with someone else in order for it to work.
What’s up next for you guys?
Avi: It would be really nice to do a West coast tour. We’re talking to some people about setting that up.
Is Summer Cum about one person in particular or a bunch of people?
Avi: It’s about one person in particular. I’m not going to say who. (laughs) It’s about a series of events. I don’t really think about what I’m writing when I write. It’s more like a bunch of emotions that all come out at once over the course of a few months.
If you could sing with one person in the world who would it be?
Rebecca: It’s me, right?
Avi: Well, I don’t know that much about my voice yet. Rebecca, who would you say?
Rebecca: Panda Bear.
Avi: Oh yeah, he’s got a great voice. I pick him.
What was the worst show you ever played?
Avi: Worst performance or worst vibe?
Avi: Well worst vibe would be somewhere like Motion LA, that place is so shady. It’s right by the Smell. It’s like an all ages place.
Rebecca: They do a lot of dance nights.
Avi: It’s like it wants to be the Smell, but instead it’s a Fall Out Boy breeding ground.
Rebecca: We played a really weird show last night with a bunch of high school kids. It was like a party, so no one was interested in the band.
Avi: Yeah, they rented this church in Long Beach. It was a weird vibe.
Rebecca: But it was also probably our best show because we were just trying to freak them out, so we were acting all nuts.
Did you succeed?
Rebecca: Oh yeah, Avi took off his shirt and almost threw up on stage.
Avi: No, no I just don’t exercise very much and with all the smoking it catches up with you. My lungs are super unhealthy. So when we got to the big freak out, I was exhausted and I started break dancing on the floor and convulsing…you know. It was cool. You can actually watch it on YouTube soon.
Awesome! I totally will. If you were stuck on a deserted island and you could bring three things with you what would they be?
Rebecca: Well, first of all I’d have sushi. Lots and lots of sushi and a fridge to keep it in. And water.
Avi: I’d also have water, a bunch of seeds, and some beef jerky.
Seeds? What kind of seeds?
Avi: You know the edible kind. Hm...the beef jerky won't last me very long. Maybe I should just have wild boar. That way I would have a supply of food.
Wild boar? Those are really dangerous. Wouldn't you rather have domesticated pigs?
Avi: No, they probably wouldn't survive. Also where's the fun in that?
Or if you can't make it tonight, they will be playing at the Echo every Monday in May.