If there were ever a goal for a band to have, it'd be to be synonymous with a city. To be part of a scene is one thing, but to be a driving force that inspires others creatively? That's something different altogether.

Many could consider AVAN LAVA an underground act, but they truly are one of those bands that constantly pushes 'it', with 'it' being boundaries and expectations rolled into one. They're artists, but could never be mistaken for the pretentious type, no; they're a group of people that are all about having fun. Ken Grand-Pierre recently got to sit down with TC Milan of AVAN LAVA to find out what drives the band and why having fun is so important.

AVAN LAVA is a band that's intrigued me for ages, and it's great to see that creativity still drives the band. The video for 'Wanna Live' for example is trippy and striking. How did the video come about?

Thank you! We knew that 'Wanna Live' was a big song for us and that we needed a visual element to accompany it. We'd recently had some success with our 'Sisters' video, which was edited by the insanely talented Alexander Hammer. He reached out to us about wanting to make his directorial debut so we started throwing ideas around. We ended up with this super polished, very Hammer-style jacked up music video, which we all love. He always exceeds our expectations. Also our choreographer Jenn Freeman is a long-time friend and collaborator and she absolutely slayed that video.

Have the visuals of videos and costumes ever inspired the live show?

For us the live show and the videos mutually inspire each other. We usually perform new songs before we release them because the audience's reaction is crucial. We know that if a song explodes in the live show that it probably needs to be on the record.

How has it been translating these songs (off of Make It Real) into a live show?

The only song we hadn't played live was 'Leave It All Behind'. It's such a fun anthem to play live. For us, the songs always belong in a live setting, so it's been going really well! 'Take This City' is my favorite to perform live.


You honestly can't live in NYC as a music lover without hearing of your band. The live show has really won people over. When did you realize that people loved the live show of AVAN LAVA?

The early days of AVAN LAVA were a comical blast because people really didn't know what to make of us. We were playing super small clubs throughout NYC and we would just go absolutely nuts! People would ask us "who the hell are you?" - but once we got our foot in the door with Bowery Presents it was clear that we were definitely on the right track. Our Halloween show two years back was a highlight. I was escorted to the stage in a coffin. When I rose from the coffin and looked out over a sea of beautiful people I was totally overwhelmed. The energy was surreal.

What's been a surprising response you've experienced recently when it's come to your music/live show?

We played a show in Bali where everyone was asleep on mats! They got super zenned-out to our Pop Rave Dance party.

What surprised you when it came to returning back to the studio to make more music?

We're always writing music, but we do have chunks of time when we go on writing retreats. We just had a three-week retreat in Paris and Ibiza, and I was surprised by how much we got done considering we were in paradise. 


The band strikes me as the sort that solely creates when they want to/when there is something to say, rather than just creating for the sake of it. Would you agree with that at all?

Totally! We can always feel when it's time to get into the studio. That being said, we're almost always ready to make more music. 


How shocked do you think your past self would be if he could see what AVAN LAVA has become?

I grew up a theatre nerd, so I think my 12-year-old self would be psyched. I'm still psyched. I feel lucky to make music with people I love and for people I respect. It's a privilege that's not lost on me.


It's also amazed me to learn about how musical you guys are. Do you listen to music before going on stage and if so who do you usually listen to?

I watch Robyn videos, listen to Whitney, and have a shot of whiskey.

Lastly, is there an interpretation of the band, whether it be sonically or visually, that you really want to implement into AVAN LAVA?

I'm excited for everyone to see what we do next.


You can visit AVAN LAVA by heading here.