Theodress Avery
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Theodress Avery

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"Self-taught, genre-free Theodress Avery makes music for right reasons."

By MATT CARNEY Satellite Correspondent

The members of Theodress Avery are funny, funny guys.

"I'm imagining the four of us in one of those bathtubs, like we're riding a toboggan," said Zach Annett, the band's drummer, on the set of their Satellite photo shoot. "Now, let's get two of us in each tub like we're racing."

It's this humorous creativity and loving imagination that make up the soul of Theodress Avery: Four guys who just love to make music in all its forms.

Zach, along with singer/guitarist Jordan Crawley, bassist Eli Anderson, and guitarist Schuyler Anderson (the latter two are brothers) all have been studying their instruments since middle school, with little or no aid from formal lessons.

"Most of our development has been on our own, messing around with stuff and figuring out what works and what doesn't," said Jordan, who in addition to guitar and bass plays piano, trumpet, drums and mandolin.

For Theodress Avery, the primary method of instrumental development has been its involvement in Metro Christian Academy's music department, as well as each member's churches' worship bands. Jordan, Zach and Eli are, in that order, a senior, junior and sophomore at Metro. Schuyler is a home-schooled senior, though he attended Metro his freshman and sophomore years.

Avery was an outgrowth of much time spent jamming together at school and Jordan's house, which contains its own recording studio.

"I'd say we formed in the fall (of 2006)," Schuyler said. "I quit my job, like, three days after (a jam session). That was our statement. That, and it was really just a reason for me to get off from working Super Bowl night at Mazzio's."

It's this charismatic humor, desire for quality music and integrity within the band that shapes its sound.

Each member claims many musical influences. From past local high school musicians in bands like Xanadu and Euro-Mart, to southern blues players like Buddy Guy and even punk and classic bands, the members appreciate many types of music.

The resulting sound is a captivating original variation that establishes Avery's work as compelling, positive and vibrant.

"Unstoppable" is a roaring fist-pumper with snarling vocals and shrieking guitar played by the elder Anderson, while the gentle, carefree atmosphere created by the imaginative poetry of "Lazy Day" is strongly reminiscent of a Jack Johnson number.

Though the entire band helps with recording and developing songs, Jordan is considered the chief songwriter. He says that inspiration just kind of hits him, depending on certain moods or events in everyday life. The aforementioned "Lazy Day" was written on a snow day last year, when the ice was so bad that he couldn't leave the house.

One of Avery's better songs, "The Cause," was written in the studio one day, scribbled on the back of a copy of a sound equipment manual (it should be noted that the manual was printed in Dutch for a reason unknown to the band).

Because of the members' access to recording equipment (Jordan's father used to be a part of a vocal band and had their house built with a soundproofed studio), Avery is able to record music whenever it wants. However, the members have only played a few small gigs in coffee bars and churches (they "crashed a church talent show" as one member put it) and don't have a large fan following.

They hope to change this with success at Battle of the Bands in March.

"It all boils down to people getting to hear us, people who we wouldn't normally be able to get a hold of are going to be at (Battle of the Bands)," Jordan said. "It's kind of a giant advertisement."

Zach added that they weren't seeking "an advertisement from the perspective that we're doing this so we can get recognition and money. We just enjoy making music." - Tulsa World


"Theodress Avery wins!"

They recorded, they competed, they rocked, and then they won.

Theodress Avery of Metro Christian Academy was declared the winner of the third annual Satellite Battle of the Bands, a contest to showcase the best contemporary high school musicians in the state.

The Fine Points of Cascia Hall won the Bart Betow Memorial People's Choice Award, a $500 cash prize donated by the Betow family in memory of their son, a Satellitecorrespondent who died on Sept. 15, 2005.

The 20s, the second-place winner, won a $500 gift card from Saied Music Co. The third-place winner, also the Fine Points, won $250 worth of merchandise from Saied.

As first-place winners, Theodress Avery will receive a prize package that includes a $1,000 gift card to Saied, the recording session and 1,000 custom CDs, among other prizes.

Theodress Avery will spent time aboard the bus, recording music for its custom CD and shooting a music video that will be entered in the national John Lennon Songwriting Contest National High School Battle of the Bands. The band's video will be posted online to compete against other national battle of the bands winners at http://www.jlsc.com. - Tulsa World


"Theodress Avery Members Have A New Perspective After Tragedy."

By ELLIOT BUTAY Satellite Correspondent

Last year, four talented high school students had what they called the time of their lives as they lit up the historic stage of Cain's Ballroom.

Through technical difficulties, Jordan Crawley, Zach Annett, and brothers Eli and Schuyler Anderson showed passion and resolve, and went on to receive top honors in the 2007 Satellite Battle of the Bands.

This year Theodress Avery finds itself in a new place. New music. New band member. New album coming out.

And for a new battle, Theodress Avery promises to illuminate the stage with the same confidence as last year -- Battle tradition dictates that last year's winner closes out the current year's show.

Of all the things new in Theodress' past year, none has effected the band more than the very recent death of Jordan's sister, Lauren Crawley. She was killed Feb. 11 in a car crash.

"In her passing, we're kind of inspired to really live life to the fullest," said Jordan.

Jordan said that before the accident, Lauren talked to one of her friends about death and what she would like at her funeral.

"She didn't want people to live their lives around it," Jordan said. "She wanted people to keep scheduled things, to plan on doing stuff that they had planned and not to live life differently.

"So we just really feel the importance of that now, and we're really looking forward to the future that God's got for us. We just really feel like the best way to honor her is to rock out even harder."

The boys from Theodress mix all the influences they can to create their unique sound. Anything from soaring electric hooks to acoustic guitars and pianos all come backed with Stevie Ray Vaughn-inspired solos and lively drums. Pulling from John Mayer, Mutemath and Queen, just to name a few of the band's influences, Theodress makes a fusion of pop, rock, funk and blues.

After wowing the judges and crowd last year, the band seemed to hit a lull.

"We had this attitude after Battle of the Bands that we kind of succeeded at our goal. We sat down and we were like, 'OK, let's try and do this on the weekends.' I think we all realized that that didn't work at all," said guitarist Schuyler.

The original goal for Theodress was to send in a demo to Satellite and make it into the battle. After winning the battle, the band seemed to fade from the scene for a bit, not playing many shows last year.

"Our schedules were really starting to conflict," said drummer Zach.

But Theodress' future was never in question.

Last summer, Theodress could be found at singer/guitarist Jordan's house in the recording studio, taking advantage of the 1,000 free printed CDs they won at the battle.

Building their sound and working out kinks, the members of Theodress welcomed a new addition.

Zach and Schuyler had formerly jammed with Metro Christian Academy schoolmate Jeremy Daniel. When they gave Jeremy a call and asked him to join the band on bass, Theodress started fresh.

Formerly a bassist, Eli made the switch to guitar.

"They came up to me like, 'Would you be OK with moving from bass to guitar?' and I was like, 'Are you kidding me? Yeah!' " said Eli.

Now a quintet, Theodress Avery's sound is even juicier from a year of marinating in the studio.

The band won an amateur Battle of the Bands in Tulsa, and recorded and mixed an album all by their lonesome.

"Our budget was zero," said Zach. The only money they spent on the CD was to have Louis Drapp master it at his local studio.

The nine-track album called "Introduction" will be available for pre-order at the 2008 Satellite Battle of the Bands. The band is planning a summer tour across the Midwest and the eastern United States.

The undeniable stage presence of these five guys will blow you away.

For a sold-out crowd of 1,500 or to 20 people in a church, Theodress maintains the same energy on stage.

While playing the song "Unstoppable," Jordan is known to go straight-up wild. The craziness, however, never takes away from the timing and skill Theodress exhibits in its well-thought-out melodies and song construction.

In everything that the band has experienced, one thing has stayed the same: Theodress Avery is still just five guys who like to have a good time making music.

Breaking with another long-standing tradition this year, no one from Theodress Avery will be judging at the Battle because of their close relationships with some of the performing bands.

This year, Theodress Avery plans to rock the Cain's stage with those bands and show off the fresh sound that has defined them since the 2007 battle.

Copyright © 2008, World Publishing Co. All rights reserved - Tulsa World


Discography

Introduction - 2008
Demonstration - 2006

Photos

Bio

Theodress Avery was formed in the fall of 2005 when Metro Christian Academy students Jordan Crawley and Schuyler Anderson came together. With the addition of Eli Anderson on rhythm guitar, Zach Annett on drums, and Jeremy Daniel on bass, Avery was able to create a new sound through its young experiences and broad creativity. The boys from Theodress mix all the influences they can to create their unique sound. Anything from soaring electric hooks to acoustic guitars and pianos all come backed with Stevie Ray Vaughn-inspired solos and lively drums. Pulling from John Mayer, Mutemath and Queen, just to name a few of the band's influences, Theodress makes a fusion of pop, rock, funk and blues.

The band’s success started with winning multiple local talent shows, but they have also won several larger competitions including the 2007 Tulsa World Satellite Battle of the Bands at Cain’s Ballroom. Later the same year, the band won Joe Mamma’s Battle of the Bands and were interviewed on Z104.5 The Edge, a local radio station. They have recorded onboard the John Lennon Educational Tour Bus and also in their own studio, where they finished their debut EP “Introduction” in February of 2008.

Theodress Avery was formed with the intentions of creating enjoyable, original yet relatable music and they have certainly succeeded. Theodress Avery's musical vision has flourished over the years, and the band has been able to create more distinct, varied songs. With tunes from Unstoppable to Lazy Day, the band has captured audiences with their musical prowess, sincere stage presence, and overall enjoyable songs. With a fan base that is quickly spreading through Oklahoma, Kansas, and Texas, the band is obviously doing something right.

Theodress Avery is actively seeking venues across the country in hopes of sharing great music with everyone they meet and are excited to see what future may lie ahead for their band, their fans, and their career.