Avenue Army

Avenue Army is a four piece modern rock band from Saint Paul, MN that has been hitting the Minneapolis/Saint Paul music scene hard for the last three years.  The band was formed in July of 2009, and prides themselves for their original works which are comprised of catchy lyrical melodies, hard hitting drums, harmonies, and gritty guitars.  Avenue Army has a likeable radio friendly sound, and has high hopes to make it to the top.  The members are all professional musicians, who have been in the industry for years and are extremely passionate about making music in all facets.

Using a multitude of tracks that they had written and built up over the previous year and half, Avenue Army recorded their debut album "Words With Action" with Producer Steve Murray and Recording Engineering Matt Bombich from Full Circle Studios in Minnesota in the winter of 2011. They have released several tracks from the album online, including singles "Hey Sympathy," "The Upside," "Emily," and  "Alright Never." The official release of the album is projected to be late May or early June. The Tracks "Emily" and "The Upside" became instantly popular online and satellite radio, as well as being instant sing-along fan favorites.With their fan base building in the Twin Cities and Midwest area of the US, Avenue Army has plans to tour the country in the summer of 2014, along with a second full LP due out later that year as well. The band thoroughly enjoys being heavy hitters in the industry, as well as having a lot of fun doing what they do best, which is a combination of gritty guitars, hard hitting drums, catchy melodies and great vocal harmonies.

R. How did the band originally form?
AA. Avenue Army originally formed between James Paulet and me (Max Eric Bergstrom), in April of 2009.  The two of us had known each other through mutual friends since 2003 and had jammed a few times, but we never knew what good chemistry we had with each other until we moved in together in March of 2009.  I had a bunch of tunes from other projects that didn’t work out on the backburner, and I was dying to get a band together to work them out.  Jimi listened carefully as I pitched each of the first tunes, and he came up with spot on lead guitar work to each song.  After the two of us had gotten a solid list of tunes together, I recruited Chris Libby, the bass player from my high school band Adam’s Room, and met my drummer Josh Mattson while managing a shoe store in Blaine, MN.  Over the summer, we practiced a lot and built our set list.  Avenue Army was born.  Over the next few years, Chris Libby and former drummer Josh Mattson were replaced by Sean Pierce on drums and Maurice Vasquez on bass.  The current line-up has been solid since September of 2011.

R. What are your songs about? (what specific themes do they cover)?
AA. Our songs range in theme from failed relationships to victory songs to songs that are based on psychological concepts.  Most of the more pop sounding such as “The Upside” and “Hey Sympathy” are about the victories and the turmoil of failed relationships, whereas the grittier songs such as “Alright Never” and “You Ruin Everything” are darker, covering such themes as distress, void and jealousy.  “Alright Never” is specifically about my struggles with alcoholism and substance abuse.  This theme is present in many of the present songs, considering what I was going through during the time that I wrote them.

R. Have you ever entered any contest to enhance your musical career? If so, describe in detail your experience and what you had hoped to accomplish when you entered. What was the outcome? Would you enter another contest in the future? 
AA. We have not yet entered any specific concert to further our careers in music; however we have entered and gotten great responses from online press consideration and song entrance contests on sites such as Reverb Nation and Artist PR.  We plan on entering the battle of the bands at the Minnesota State Fair this year, as well as staying tuned to other opportunities that may be available, considering that our number one priority is to do whatever it takes to get to the top of the charts…..and have a BLAST doing it!

R. What can people expect to see at your live performance?
AA. First off, we are what musicians refer to as “gear heads”, so you will definitely see some awesome musical gear and sharp looking instruments.  We have a high energy on stage, and we love to make sure that we have a lot of fun, because it is important for the audience to have fun, and be comfortable being themselves and enjoying the music.  We are easy going and talkative on stage, but we also keep things as timely and professional as possible.  The main thing to expect when going out to see an Avenue Army show is to have an all-around good experience.  We are completely in debt to our fans and those who come to see our shows, so it is important to us to give the crowd what they are paying for.

R. You're currently working on your second LP, what can your audience expect this time around?
AA. The songs that are to be released on our second coming LP will have elements of the pop-rock tone that Avenue Army is notorious for, but there are also added elements of funk, and some heavier distortion.  I would have to say that with the exception of four or five songs on the next LP, this album will have a darker tone to it.  However, we are big fans of upbeat modern rock, and we wouldn’t exclude our so called “classic, 90’s Grunge influenced sound” for anything.  The whole band is completely psyched and proud of what we have so far for the next LP, which may be named “American Criminals”, after one of the title tracks.

Last but not Least…

R. If you had to change one thing about your music/group what do you feel would be the best change to benefit the group overall and why?
AA. I think that maybe experimenting with more diverse instrumentation may be beneficial.  All of the members of this band have classical training to a certain extent, and we are all very multi-versed when it comes to instruments.  Maybe bringing in more piano or synths would be interesting, as well as giving our live performance more of an edge.  Though we are now, and always will be completely head over heels in love with Rock & Roll, we know that the industry and the genre is changing, and we are pretty sure that we can change with it, and maybe even introduce some aspects of Rock & Roll that are more unique and not the norm as of yet.

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