Simple conversations have the ability to flourish into grand things when given a little bit of time. The idea for Avalon Landing was sparked in a restaurant in Buffalo, New York and led to the band’s formation ten months later in Las Vegas, Nevada. What started out as small talks over a mutual love of music and the desire to play it, eventually led to friends coming together to make it their dream.
The original three-piece line-up consisted of longtime friends Josh Rabenold (piano/vocalist) Mike Vargovich (guitar/vocalist) and Clayton Cobb (guitar/vocalist). The final pieces came into place when Buffalo based drummer Ryan Martin signed on to the cross country move, and Las Vegas native and bassist Danny Jacobellis found a niche in the pop/rock group. With a complete line-up in place, Avalon Landing wasted no time in recording their first efforts. The band decided to head back to where it all began, and record a four-track demo in Buffalo. Once the songs were completed, they shipped back out West to play a slew of local shows; including the Neon Reverb and 18b music festivals. There is just something about Vegas that has always seemed to be the perfect fit for Avalon Landing. “I had been visiting Las Vegas for years and when Josh and I were finally starting a band we decided it would be the right city,” said Mike Vargovich. “The music scene here is very diverse and there are several great venues that really support the local scene it just felt like the right place to make this happen.”
The chemistry between the band and the “Entertainment Capital of the World” has been made quite apparent, and justified their decision in calling it home. Avalon Landing’s piano driven rock has garnered comparisons from Jimmy Eat World to Tegan and Sara, and a variety of other artists who are known for strongly exercising their use of melody. It is, however, the band’s ability to utilize three-part harmony, which sets them apart from the masses. Local radio stations have taken notice of their sound, picking up their songs for play on weekly shows. Venues too, have joined in supporting Avalon Landing and aided in shaping their loyal local following. The band can frequently be caught performing at casinos, showrooms, and lounges across the Vegas Valley; with recent shows at the Hard Rock Café on Las Vegas Blvd. and House of Blues inside Mandalay Bay. Their catchy sound and rave reviews have made the band a staple opening act for tours passing through and other budding Vegas acts, such as Imagine Dragons; who’s most recent show featured Avalon Landing as direct support to a sold out, 1,000 cap room at The Hard Rock Café.
While in the midst of building their wide ranging fan base and playing all across the city, Avalon Landing managed to record and release their first full-length, ‘Demos, Dead Ends, & Do Overs,’ in 2011. The creative process grew from there as the band continued cultivating their sound and writing new material. They drew inspiration from their surroundings to write songs they loved and that listeners would not only enjoy but also relate to. This year the guys enlisted Brooklyn-based producer and engineer Bryan Russell (Coldplay, Straylight Run, The Academy Is…, Envy On The Coast) to work on what they had been churning out. They shipped him and 1600 pounds of equipment across the country to record in the very home in which they lived, wrote, and arranged the songs. The result of these efforts can be seen in Avalon Landing’s forthcoming album, Reside, due out November 12th.
This will mark the next chapter in the story of Avalon Landing, and you’ll want to be witness to it. Because if one conversation got them this far, you never know where the next may take them.
Clayton Cobb - Guitar, Backing Vocals
Danny Jacobellis - Bass
Ryan Martin - Drums, Backing Vocals
Josh Rabenold - Piano, voice
Mike Vargovich - Guitar, voice
"Avalon Landing Demo EP" 2011
"Demos, Dead Ends & Do Overs" 2011
"Reside" November 12th, 2013
Sonicbids Artist of the Week: Avalon Landing
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Avalon Landing formed “over some silverware and a tablecloth” at Alice’s Kitchen Restaurant in Buffa...Avalon Landing formed “over some silverware and a tablecloth” at Alice’s Kitchen Restaurant in Buffalo, New York. Ten months later– and 2,000 miles away– the band played its first show at The Bunkhouse Saloon in Las Vegas, Nevada. Since then, the band has been gaining notoriety for their unique harmonies and onstage presence. We recently caught up with vocalist/guitarist Mike Vargovich to see what he hopes listeners get from their music, his favorite gig, and where you can see Avalon Landing next.
On the Verge: Avalon Landing
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I was sitting at The Beat Coffeehouse downtown recently, working on my laptop and trying to drown ou...I was sitting at The Beat Coffeehouse downtown recently, working on my laptop and trying to drown out the sounds of the bustling evening. And then this band started playing in the corner. They pulled me right out of my little world. I closed the laptop. I just had to listen, and find out who they were.
The Las Vegas based band is Avalon Landing, and their music is genuine, compelling and catchy, with the type of commercial appeal found throughout the Billboard charts. On their latest release, Demos, Dead Ends & Do Overs, the boys meshed thoughtful lyrics and harmonious music similar to the way OneRepublic's "Apologize" induces a state of reflection and contemplation. Songs like "Erie County Welcomes You Back" and "Old Phonebooks" are perfect examples of this. You could describe it as piano rock, but with an edge.
"When it comes down to it, we write pop songs," says Mike Vargovich, who plays the guitar and is one of the groups four vocalists, "but it's not cheesy pop. There's a piano, distorted guitars, and the harmonies make it radio friendly."
The Buffalo, NY natives came together a year ago and soon moved to Vegas in search of steady live work and a fresh place to write. The former goal seems to be going well, as there have been plenty of gigs: "No matter what you do, there's a spot for that," Vargovich says. "Every week we're playing for people who want to be entertained. It's a huge advantage that I don't think a lot of other cities benefit from."
However, that gig success (find their latest dates at avalonlandingmusic.com) has cut into Goal No. 2. "Every time we say we're going to buckle down and write some songs, we end up getting a couple shows that we can't say no to," Vargovich says.
Nonetheless, Avalon Landing plans to finish their second album by Fall and score some radio time this year. To paraphrase Yoda, they seem to be living by the mantra that there is no try, there is only do. I have no doubt that they will join the ranks of the Plain White T's and Augustana in making rooms full of women swoon and lots of young men want to learn how to sing in harmony.
Why they play: 5 local bands on what keeps them going
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How’s this for dedication: In 2011, three-fifths of this melodic pop-rock band relocated from Buffal...How’s this for dedication: In 2011, three-fifths of this melodic pop-rock band relocated from Buffalo, New York, to Las Vegas to be with guitarist and vocalist Mike Vargovich, who’d moved here with his family a year earlier. “We said, ‘We’re not 15-year-old kids anymore,’” Vargovich says. “The window to be able to take chances is closing. Let’s take a shot at making this happen.”
That foursome—Vargovich, singer/pianist Josh Rabenold, guitarist Clayton Cobb and drummer Ryan Martin—hooked up with Las Vegas-based bassist Danny Jacobellis, and Avalon Landing was off and running. The group has landed gigs at venues like the Palms Lounge, Ovation at Green Valley Ranch and the Hard Rock Cafe on the Strip, while earning a reputation as one of the scene’s hardest-hustling bands. “We try to take every single opportunity we can,” Vargovich says. “We go down and busk on the Strip, and we’ll play anywhere and hand out demos to everyone.”
Avalon Landing’s debut song collection, Demos, Dead Ends & Do Overs, is available now on iTunes, with a proper follow-up album tentatively planned for the fall.
Avalon Landing Featured on Purevolume
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Avalon Landing was featured on the Purvolume.com homepage for the release of Demos, Dead Ends & Do O...Avalon Landing was featured on the Purvolume.com homepage for the release of Demos, Dead Ends & Do Overs on 11/16/11.
Discovering New Music: Avalon Landing “Erie County Welcomes You Back”
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I have some new music here for ya, that you are going to want to hear! Avalon Landing is a pop/rock... I have some new music here for ya, that you are going to want to hear! Avalon Landing is a pop/rock “local” band, originally from Buffalo, New York but they now kick it in Las Vegas. Formed only a little over a year ago, Avalon Landing had their very first show at the Bunkhouse Saloon here in their new hometown. I really like their single “Erie County Welcomes You Back,” mainly for its strong use of the piano. The song is quite calming and dramatic at the same time. Curious? Listen to it here and make sure to tell us what you think!
Someone Sent Us These
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"Piano pop/rock" is the self-imposed genre of newly Las Vegan band Avalon Landing, but we think a be..."Piano pop/rock" is the self-imposed genre of newly Las Vegan band Avalon Landing, but we think a better choice would've been "music for kissing heartbroken girls." Its self-produced, four-track demo is all wistful, "aw, shucks, you're leaving" lyrics ("I don't wanna tell you what you should do/this is where I stand/I don't wanna be caught up on you/but tonight I am," from "Have Fun in London"), dead-on sad-chord harmonization and the heavy use of the piano's suss pedal. The closest comparison we can make for the New York transplants is a more melodically complex Something Corporate, with no heavy drums, punk rock princesses or having to admit you're an adult listening to Something Corporate.
Mix Lab: Local Band Contest (Avalon Landing Vs Offset Season)
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Alright local bands want to be heard on Mix 94.1 and score a Mix Underground Lounge with Heather Co...Alright local bands want to be heard on Mix 94.1 and score a Mix Underground Lounge with Heather Collins! Well Submit your songs and contact info to firstname.lastname@example.org. Each week I will pick two local bands to go head to head for a week while your fans vote, bands with the most votes by the end of the week wins….its simple! If you are a winner you be add to a list to be contacted by me to come in to the Mix studios and score a Underground Lounge too! Great way to get your band some publicity right?! So go now and submit your bands to my email!
This Weeks Battle is Winners From Band Battle For Bite: Avalon Landing Vs. Offset Season click below to vote!
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Several local acts release recorded projects before year's end, in this edition of Someone Sent Us T...Several local acts release recorded projects before year's end, in this edition of Someone Sent Us These
Demos, Dead Ends and Do Overs
The guys from Avalon Landing have said on multiple occasions, "Wait until you hear the plugged-in stuff." So we waited, and waded through the expectedly soggy-sweet tracks of Demos, Dead Ends and Do Overs (some of which were part of their early demo). But the payoff came with new, electrically charged, guitar-distorted teeth. If you're into the Jimmy Eats Something Corporate thing they had going on, they aren't shunning that completely (and they shouldn't, because they do it pretty damn well). The fuller, heavier new tracks, "No Need for Second Chances" in particular, find balance between their bleeding-heart comfort zone and acoustic 'roid-raging (nesting them in Motion City Soundtrack territory). Their harmonization is still top notch, but this time they let amplification -- and strings! -- play a stronger role. The end goal is a surprisingly flowy, Imogen Heap-like track called "Old Phonebooks," and a stack of songs for the stage, not the coffee shop. (www.reverbnation.com/avalonlanding) MAX PLENKE
Sound Of You And I
Cold Front Habits
Rest In Peace
Erie County Welcomes You Back
There are no upcoming dates at this time.