Dan Avery to play in Exeter, Pittston to promote debut album and new single, “Pretenders”
Dan Avery is not a Northeastern Pennsylvania native, but his musical exploits have introduced and endeared him to the music community in the Wyoming Valley.
With his personal blend of folk, rock and pop, Avery has done more than catch the attention of listeners in the region. He has come to be considered one of the valley’s own.
With his first studio record newly complete, Avery will tour, playing selections from the six song EP, including the first single off of the recording, “Pretenders.”
Avery will be playing the Tomato Bar in Pittston on Nov. 4 at 7 p.m. and the Susquehanna Tavern in Exeter on Nov. 20 at 9 p.m.
We caught up with Avery for a Q&A session.
Where are you from originally?
I am from a little town called Glen Rock in New Jersey.
How long have you been a gigging musician?
I started playing professionally in late 2009.
What brought you to Northeastern Pennsylvania for the first time?
I met Kaleigh Baker in 2011, and then one year later, I went on tour with her. I think our first stop was actually the Rattler. She had actually played when James Callahan was bartending at Nak’s. She was in that area for probably at least a year or two before I got there.
How has your relationship with NEPA grown since that first show?
One of the main reasons why I ended up coming back so frequently was because when I first got there, I couldn’t believe that I had been shown a music scene in Northeast Pa., that A, I didn’t know existed and B, that was so ready and excited to hear new music. I’m from right outside of New York City, and that music scene really doesn’t exist anymore. It’s almost like a fairy tale. But in Pa. … you walk into a club like the Rattler and there’s 200 people waiting, just staring at the stage. No one’s talking while you play. Everyone’s got their eyes focused on you and they’re just really open and excited to hear new music.
I was like, “I have to tap into this scene when I can.” I’ve met amazing musicians through there. I’ve met amazing promoters. Obviously James is a great guy. It’s kind of like I got hooked on it.
How much have you played here?
I first came around in 2012. A year later I did the Lonelies tour , and I think between the Rattler, the Susquehanna Tavern and the Other Side, I think I’ve probably played in Northeast Pa. more than I’ve played anywhere else.
Is this your first studio EP?
A long time before I ever came to Pa., I had a band together and we had a demo, but it didn’t really end up going anywhere. I had recorded some of my songs one-off. Maybe I’d jump into a studio for a day, and I’d lay down one track, a real simple, skeletal version of one of my songs where it’s just vocals and guitar, and there’s a few of those tracks floating around, but I hadn’t gotten the time to sit down with a producer, someone who knows the in’s and out’s of the studio and how to construct an album.
I ended up working with a good friend of mine, my buddy Dave, who I played at the Other Side with, and he produced my record. We worked on it for about a year and a half. We actually recorded the album in Pa. We tracked everything in a small cabin in Wayne County, Pennsylvania.
So this is going to be my debut record, and I’m pumped about it man. I’m excited that I finally get to take some bodies of work and put them together as one piece, as one record and allow the songs to be heard as a whole.
Tell me about the single.
When we first started realizing we were actually going to sit down and make this record, Dave and I, I played him a bunch of songs that I’d already had, and a couple different progressions I had which were completely unfinished. I played him the progression that we used for the chorus in “Pretenders.” He was like, “I think that’s something we can work with, and we sat down and wrote the whole song in a day.
What is influencing your creativity now?
This album, there’s six tracks on it, and the six tracks are very, very different. One of the tracks kind of sounds like a Police track. “Pretenders” sounds almost like Mumford and Sons or something like that, and then there’s another track that almost sounds like Gotye or like a guy version of Florence and the Machine.
A lot of times what ends up happening is, whatever the subject nature is of whatever I’m writing about, wherever the lyrics are taking me, that has a tendency to direct the feel of the song as far as the genre.
Reach Matt Mattei at 570-991-6651 or [email protected]