Transcript of an unidentified interview, from The Mission World Crusade period.
Andy Liddell and Martin Goodier meet The Rose of Avalanche.
I fell in love with LA Rain, an addictive epic steeped in sleaze a long while ago, and its three equally powerful (and varied) successors greatly enhanced my opinion; from the (apparently) unlikely setting of Leeds had arrived a rock ‘n’ roll band with a pop sensibility and a classic trash attitude – The Rose of Avalanche music revels in the gutter while staring eagerly upwards into the stars.
“They’re the ones with the water pistols” we were informed upon arrival, and after narrowly avoiding being caught in the crossfire we adjourn to Rock City’s toilets so the band can reload and we can ask them where their name came from; “We made it up from a few different names we had and were bandying around; we wanted something powerful yet beautiful”, a name applying equally well to the rush of Goddess or the luscious Velveteen, a good name.
It might have been a good career move for the boys to have been born in Detroit, or somewhere American like that it certainly helps lend any trashy rock ‘n’ roll band credibility, but how does Leeds rate in the sleaze stakes?
“It depends who you hang around with! Leeds may not look a sleazy as all that but there are groups of people who are very sleazy…I was one of them once, but no more. You can’t live like that ‘cos you just become a thief, a liar, and a junkie.”
So are your lyrics based on personal experience?
“Yeah mostly, there’s only one song I made up and that was LA Rain, and I when wrote that I had some friends in Leeds who that could have easily happened to. The songs are personal to me, they don’t make statements like ‘You should do this because its good’ I just say what I feel”
What about the fake ‘Detroit drawl’ you use on stage?
“I don’t do the accent anymore, people took it too seriously – yeah, I thought it was hilarious, and it created a nice thing with the audience…Phil would walk on and drawl ‘Hi, there’ and people used to shout ‘you’re from Leeds you bastards’ so he would say (adopts classic Yorkshire accent) ‘get us pint of bitter then’
The Rose of Avalanche’s music is all about the rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle, something that tonights headliners The Mission seem intent on bringing back into style, so tell us about sex ‘n’ drugs ‘n’ rock ‘n’ roll…
“Not much sex on this tour, very occasionally I’m afraid, but we’re trying!! I think we’ve been worse than The Mission so far though, we’ve got the drinking down to a fine art now, whereas when we went over to Germany we were just drunk all the time time – what ever we asked for they gave us! The Mission try to get their dressing room as far from ours as possible. Before we actually go on we don’t drink a lot, you can’t really get that drunk before you go on (although we have a few times), but afterwards we’ve got to wait for The Mission to play and the gear to get packed up so its nice to sit down relax and get nicely smashed”
The band may still be somewhat static on stage (not to mention the lead guitarists appalling haircut) , but the songs are magnificent, which is why The Rose of Avalanche are so unremittingly wonderful. With interest from major labels, and a growing (and diverse) following the future looks, ahem, rosy; “The Mission got into the charts” said Phil “so I can’t see why we can’t” …
Neither can I, why “Stay With Me” charted and “LA Rain” didn’t is as much of mystery as whether LA stands for Leeds Area (we forgot to ask).