AUSTRIA is a nation I have not visited…
for quite a while. I am excited to discover a great songwriter from there - AVEC is someone who excites me and has released the remixes of her song, Waiting For. The E.P. includes versions by Electronic producers Alex Schulz, HOUT and Nora Medin. First to rework the track was acclaimed producer Alex Schulz, who has a string of successful remixes in his wake. I ask AVEC about the remixes and why she decided to release the E.P.; the artists who inspired her to get into music; whether there are any tour dates coming this/next year – and what plans there are for new music.
She tells me about her current material and how it differs from 2015 E.P., Heartbeats; a couple of new names we should all keep our eyes on; the three albums that mean the most to her – and whether this Christmas will provide a chance for rest and reflection.
Hi, AVEC. How are you? How has your week been?
Heyya. I am fine, thank you - and my week has been great so far!
How are you?
For those new to your work; can you introduce yourself, please?
My name is AVEC. I am a singer/songwriter from Austria.
I started writing my own songs in combination with the guitar when I was about fourteen-years-old. In 2015, I released my first E.P., Heartbeats, followed by the debut record, What If We Never Forget, in 2016.
I have been touring in Europe with my band and now we’re working on the second record - which will be released in 2018.
Waiting For (Alex Schulz, HOUT and Nora Medin Remix) is your new single. Can you tell me about the song and how you came to work with those guys?
I wrote the song, Waiting For, during a car-ride with my best friend. The clouds were impressive that day and we were like driving right into the sunset - it was such a pretty atmosphere.
The main topic of the song is, probably, that our entire human journey through life is somehow about 'waiting‘ - it’s like a constant condition - we are all kind of waiting for something or someone - and this can sometimes be really depressing and disappointing.
We connected via Facebook. They were all interested in the song and had the idea of remixing it; so I thought, 'why not‘ - let’s try this and it worked out pretty well, I guess.
This is the latest release of the remixes selection. What was the reason behind bringing in other producers/artists to rework the material?
It was actually just kind of an idea to try something new...
I really like to listen to remixes of artists or songs I am into - it’s interesting how a remix can change a song in a good way or in a way you never thought of it before.
Is there a particular remix that stands out? Is there a single song that, you feel, has been heightened and improved?
I really like all of them. It’s kind of hard to say which is my favourite one - cause they are all different.
Your music reflects heartbreak and life experiences. Is it quite cathartic putting these subjects into your music?!
It is, actually. I am not really good at talking about my feelings and thoughts; so my music helps me out with that. Anything that kind of bothers me or is on my mind, I try to put into my lyrics and music.
I notice a development between your 2015 E.P., Heartbeats, and your latest work. Do you feel like you have grown as a writer/singer?
Definitely. At the time we recorded the E.P. I was nineteen-year-old and I didn’t know anything about music or the music-business – so, it was like jumping into cold water. Now, I know a lot more about how I want my record to be, how it should sound; how I want the lyrics to say what I mean and so on – so, I definitely grew with every year.
Is there going to be a new release next year? What are you working on right now?
There will be a new record 2018 and I am more than excited about it - I am currently working on it.
IN THIS PHOTO: Max Parvosky
In terms of the musicians you are inspired by: do you take great guidance from new talent or older sounds? Which artists do you admire most?
I think I am more into older sounds: I love Michael Jackson for example, or B.B. King; Prince...
I admire Bon Iver, Ben Howard; The Lumineers and Keaton Henson (and, of course, many more...).
These are amazing artists with a lot of emotions and love in their songs and music.
IN THIS PHOTO: Gordi
If you had to select the three albums that mean the most to you; which would they be and why?
Oh; that’s a tough one!
Bon Iver - For Emma, Forever Ago
I love this one because of the lo-fi-recording and the ton of emotions and feelings Justin Vernon captured. I can listen to the record over and over again and I still get goosebumps - it’s perfect.
Michael Jackson – Thriller
Well; this was probably the first record I’ve bought and it is still amazing - my two favourite songs from this album are Human Nature and P.Y.T.
Kings of Leon - Only by the Night
K.O.L. are one of my favourite bands and, even though I like the older records way more than the new ones, this one is very special to me because of the last song, Cold Desert - it means a lot to me!
What advice would you give to artists coming through right now?
I think the most important thing is to love and to enjoy what you are doing and to believe in yourself.
Be yourself and don’t try to be somebody else.
What tour dates do you have approaching? Where can we see you play?
I am going to play at the Eurosonic Festival in January; a few concerts in Austria during the year, and in autumn, I and the band will be on tour with the new record (but there are no explicit dates yet).
Christmas is not too far away. Do you have plans already - or will you be busy working?
I’ll spend the days at home with my family - and probably work on a couple of new songs.
What are your aims for 2018? Do you have a game-plan you hope to fulfil?
First of all; I will release my album and play a couple of nice gigs...
Finally, and for being a good sport; you can name a song and I’ll play it here (not one of yours as I’ll do that).
Boots of Spanish Leather by Bob Dylan