Rock ‘N Roll Pilgrimage : Avers and Opera at The Brass Rail

by EA Poorman

Whenever I get a message from one of Fort Wayne’s finest songwriters, Mr. Kevin Hambrick, I always get excited. He’s been a staple of the Fort’s indie rock music scene for many years, putting out stellar power pop rock with the Orange Opera, as well as some incredible records under his own name(have you heard Turtle Wagon or Football Weather? If not you should.) Kevin gets a hold of me from time to time to see how I’m doing, what I’ve been listening to, and to generally chew the fat. He also lets me know when he’s got a show coming up or when he’s bringing a great band to town to play with. On Memorial Day Kev and The Orange Opera are playing a show at The Brass Rail with Richmond, Virginia’s Avers. I did some digging and this band is out of sight. I checked out their debut record Empty Light and it’s a smorgasbord of garage rock, indie pop, and pretty much anything cool that came out in the last 45 years.

I reached out to the band and Charlie Glenn was kind enough to chat for a bit. Avers is Adrian Olsen, Alexandra Spalding, James-Lloyd Hodges, James Mason, Tyler Williams, and Charlie Glenn.

EA Poorman: Hi Charlie. So tell me about Avers. How did you all get together?

Charlie Glenn: We had all played with different groups – James in the Mason Brothers, J.L. in Farm Vegas, Alex and Adrian from Hypercolor,  Tyler Williams from The Head and The Heart, and I play with The Trillions.  Adrian runs an amazing studio called Montrose Recording and James had mentioned to all of us about starting some psychedelic experiment.

EA Poorman: A psychedelic experiment? Sounds intriguing.

Charlie Glenn: That’s what it turned out to be – a recording experiment, with everyone collaboratively writing and playing various instruments to pump out a song a day for a week and change in the summer of 2013.

EA Poorman: That sounds like an ideal situation for some real organic creativity. 

Charlie Glenn: We all just all have a passion for ad-hoc writing and recording.  We had no idea that we would later form a band out of it, but soon we had an album that needed a group to perform it.

EA Poorman: Listening to your debut ‘Empty Light’ there seems to be a lot of different sounds happening. Some dream pop to gritty garage rock to even some late 60s Velvet Underground. How would Avers describe Avers’ sound? Did you all have a specific idea in mind in how you wanted to sound, or was it more of just letting things happen and going with it?

Charlie Glenn: Any one member of the band has hugely varied music interests, so as a group we’re pooling ideas from myriad genres and periods.  But yeah, for that first record, the umbrella idea was ‘psychedelic experiement,” hence the fuzz and echo and grit and reverb and so on.  Adrian has a plethora of recording toys at his disposal, and we just love plugging them in and turning knobs ’til it sounds bonkers.

EA Poorman: Avers recently had a pretty triumphant performance at South By Southwest. How was that whole experience? I’ve heard both good and bad regarding SXSW. Was it a postive experience for you guys?

Charlie Glenn: SXSW did prove to be well worth the drive this year – and not just because of good press.  Most of us going were veterans, and had a bit of anxiety knowing what a wild scramble it can be.  For just a taste of that, our planned lodging fell through – the day we were driving to Austin!

EA Poorman: Oh no! That’s never a good sign.

Charlie Glenn: But it worked out, we actually scored an amazing crash spot, and the shows, especially early on, went great.  We ran into friends, caught more than 50 shows between us, and thusly managed to have a blast.

EA Poorman: That’s great to hear. It was also great to hear that you all will be hitting Fort Wayne and the Brass Rail for a show with Kevin Hambrick and Orange Opera on Memorial Day. How did this show come together?

Charlie Glenn: Funny enough, I ran into Kevin Hambrick at SXSW!  I have known that gentleman for a while now – years ago, Tyler and I used to play in a band called Prabir & The Substitutes, and we would make it a point to get out to Fort Wayne and play with Kevin and the Opera as often as we could stand.  So, we found ourselves booking through Indiana, Kevin set up a show, and what a glorious rock n roll pilgrimage it will be.

EA Poorman: Mr. Hambrick is a Saint among us, and one of the most talented songwriters I know. I know a few, too. If he’s excited about bringing Avers to the Fort, then I’m excited. Besides the Rail show, what other shows does Avers have lined up in the Midwest? 

Charlie Glenn: We’ll be on tour with J Roddy Walston and the Business (who RULE, if you haven’t heard them), and if we’ll be getting as far west as Nashville, Louisville and Cleveland.

EA Poorman: It seems Avers are also working on new music. How’s the recording of album number two going? 

Charlie Glenn: There is a new record looming.  It’s… louder?

EA Poorman: Louder is good.

Charlie Glenn: Ha.  It’s quite different from the first.  The first record birthed Avers.  Now, Avers as a group recorded and produced a new batch of songs.  They have been mixed by Peter Katis, and we’re just now figuring out how to do what with said tracks.  But keep your ears perked, it won’t be long!  Check out our rough mix of ‘Vampire’ to get an idea.

EA Poorman: So what’s going on with Avers for the rest of 2015? 

Charlie Glenn: Avers will be on the road quite a bit all throughout 2015.  We also got invited to play some great festivals – Austin City Limits, Doe Bay, and Landmark, a new spectacular event in DC.  We’re excited!

All I can say is you need to get out and see Avers with The Orange Opera on Memorial Day at the Brass Rail. Chances are this time next year this band will be playing much bigger venues. They may be on the soundtrack to your favorite indie flick. Or on Fallon. Or both. Either way, if you’re not heading to Austin then head to the Brass Rail on Memorial Day and see ’em then. Tell Kev that EA says “Hey.”






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