Please list all of your band members and their roles in the band.
The brothers Arias are:
Fernando- lead vocals
David- guitar and backing vocals
Luis- DRUMS and backing vocals
For starters, what bands were you guys a part of prior to Avantist? How long has the band been around?
We have been playing together as AVANTIST for about 8 years now. In high school Erick and Fernando were part of a hardcore and emo band (respectively). Neither project got anywhere, nor was it taken seriously.
What’s the origin of that name and have you changed the band’s name before?
-Erick went down an internet/YouTube vortex and eventually came out the other end with "THE AVANTIST". We dropped the "the" but the name still means (to us anyway) a perpetual state of advancing. It also means to embrace anything that feels uncomfortable or different, and to celebrate those things as avant garde art.
Who writes your songs? What are the main themes or topics for most of your songs and do you think these topics will change over time?
We all write the songs collectively. Everyone brings something unique to the table and our ideas aren't limited to each individuals instrument of choice. It's hard not to write about "love", but it's challenging and ultimately rewarding to explore every facet of what it means to love. In order to love someone so passionately once must also have an equal amount of rage or anger towards that person as well...we like to explore the infinite and volatile relationships people have amongst themselves on a day to day basis. Of course the topics will change over time because we are always getting hurt, falling in love, accomplishing a goal, failing miserably and it's our job to try to decipher those feelings with our art.
What bands are currently inspiring the music that you’re making?
We all listen to a wide spectrum of music and a LOT of it isn't even rock and roll...
What inspires us is the drive and work that all of our friends are putting into making their dreams come true. From Absolutely Not to the Cell Phones to Harold Green to Mykele Deville; these are all huge inspirations that have continued to tear up the Chicago scene every day. They do not sacrifice a single iota of themselves and because of that they continue to grow and spread their reach. We pick each other up, we lend a helping hand to each other because it's nice when we all win.
Was there a particular band/artist or concert that inspired you to start a band?
There's no doubt that the Mars Volta played a huge part in how we approached music...but bands like Cafe tacuba, kings of Leon, and system of a down really pushed us to put it all together. Once we knew we were playing for each other, the rest became easy.
What do you do to prepare for a show? Any flexing, exercises, ect …
Everyone stretches. Fern warms up 30 minutes before every set and drinks copious amounts of tea. David and Erick warm up their fingers and brush up on any parts they feel need cleaning up. Luis stretches out and immediately warms up on his pad. The only other thing we all do is make it a point to shake up and hug each other before hitting the set. It's almost like locking in.
What has been the biggest highlight of the band’s career so far?
We have played many sold out shows and performed with too many amazing acts to name them all... but some of the biggest highlights came from headlining DZ fest. That's a crowd of people that follow us very intensely and have seen us grow from literally nothing. To watch our DZ fest crowd grow significantly every year meant so much to us. It made us solidify in our hearts that this is our calling.
If you could tour with any bands, past or present, who would they be and why?
The Mars Volta (obvious)
Kings of Leon (The Arias and the Followill's!? WOULD BE LEGENDARY)
Le Bucherettes (we all love Teri so so much)
And.... the rapture! That would be a party every night.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
We are just grateful for every opportunity we have received and are immensely looking forward to hitting the road and reaching out to people we would've never imagined meeting. Get used to seeing us.