In a scene dominated by youth, as rock ‘n’ roll should be, Every Avenue’s David Ryan Strauchman, 23, makes it a point to know his audience. Judging by the comments on his band’s MySpace page and the front-row faces at its shows, that audience is mostly girls and mostly young enough for half-birthdays to still mean something. And they tweet like hell. Which is why in the two years since the release of its 2008 debut full-length Shh. Just Go With It, the Marysville, Mich., band has laid claim to the throne of pop punk via every online avenue it can.
So far, it’s working. Its full-length debut hit No. 27 on the U.S. Billboard Heatseekers chart, and its first single “Where Were You?” logged more than 150,000 downloads via a popular blog edited by Blink 182’s Mark Hoppus and quickly landed on MTV’s Real World / Road Rules Challenge: The Gauntlet.
“We definitely try to cater to the online networks as much as we can because it’s the best way to reach kids,” Strauchman says. “Every kid has a computer. Every kid has a cell phone with Twitter. It’s a great way to inform them of what’s going on.”
Here’s the non-Twitter version of what’s going on with Every Avenue.
I heard something about an incident during your set on the last stop of this summer’s Alternative Press tour. What happened? I’m a real potty-mouth on stage sometimes and I was saying some really foul things I shouldn’t have been saying in front of 14-year-old kids. I got too drunk. I didn’t even remember what I said.
What did the other guys in the band hear you say? Something like ‘I’m going to cum all over your kids,’ or something. It was pretty over the top. And then I just stopped and said, ‘I don’t feel like singing.’ Six parents tried to get refunds. I’m not too proud of that day, but Alternative Press loved it. They thought it was the funniest shit ever.
How has the music industry changed just in the two years since the band formed? I don’t even like to say I’m in “the music industry.” I like to think of it as the entertainment industry because when you break it down, what exactly does industry have to do with the music? … One of our songs got pushed to radio and that was whole new thing to us. We learned so much more about different ways of publishing, different ways of getting music out there, and the way music is used that the average person doesn’t really notice or think about. Like you’re watching a TV show and ‘wow, where did that song come from?’ Or even just hearing a crazy guitar solo somewhere between some crappy TV show. I’m happy with our band. We’re making music that we like to make and it’s working out for the best.
Have you had a “we’ve made it” moment? I guess for this band, there’s never been a moment. I don’t think we’ve ever had an overnight “holy shit, we’re making it” type deal. I hope I’m never going to look at it like I’ve made it. I’ve definitely had some moments that are pretty cool. Where I’m from, if I weren’t in the band, I wouldn’t have seen half the shit in this country. I’ve been to Japan twice, Europe three times. Nobody in my family has ever been out of the country. I can’t talk to the kids in other countries, but they know the words in my songs. •
Every Avenue with Mayday Parade, Breathe Carolina
5pm Tue, Nov 23
The White Rabbit
2410 N St Mary’s St