We sat down with one-man band Dave Baxter aka Avalanche City to talk about touring with the Dixie Chicks, upcoming music and the last time he didn’t have a beard.
How was your first show supporting the Dixie Chicks?
It was really good! It was amazing. I often gauge how well a show goes by how good the crowd is based on whether they enjoyed it, and they were into it. They listened to me and laughed at my crappy jokes, so it was great.
How does it differ from preparing for an arena show compared to an intimate show?
The struggle with the arena shows is to make them intimate. I don’t really do the big hype thing very well; I’m not like ‘YEAH EVERYBODY SCREAM AND SHOUT’. I like to try to tell stories and interact with the audience a little bit, but that’s always a struggle especially when a room turns from 100-200 people into 10,000 people.
What would you say the difference between Kiwi crowds and Australian crowds are? Or would you say that we’re similar?
No they’re not similar. Kiwi crowd are awesome but we’re very reserved as a country. We’re not really screamers and we don’t participate as well. I would say in terms of crowd participation and screaming and shouting, America is at the top and Australia is somewhere in between New Zealand and America.
It’s been nearly two years since you released ‘We Are for the Wild Places’, has there been any new music that you’ve been working on since then?
I guess [the answer is] yes and no. I started writing and I kind of didn’t like it. I felt like I needed a break between writing the next album. So, I’ve just been throwing myself into other people’s projects. I’ve mixed a couple of albums for some friends, produced albums, and am doing a lot of song writing with other people. But I’ve set aside the next few months to write my next album and I just hope that it works out.
Just to go a bit off topic, when was the last time you didn’t have a beard?
That’s ages ago aye. Throughout high school, all I wanted to do was grow a beard and get flesh tunnels. And then I left high school, grew a beard straight away, got tunnels, and just never looked back.
How many years would you say?
Umm… 14 years? Something like that.
Other than touring with the Dixie Chicks this year, do you have any plans for 2017?
I’ve got tonnes of ideas, I’ve got them all floating around in my brain. Not writing has actually been really good because it’s forced me to think about stuff, rather than just doing it. With my last album, I would get up every day, walk into the studio and be like, ‘What am I going to do today?’, which was kind of a painful process. So, this time I’ll have almost six to nine months to solidly think about what I want to do. So, I guess that’s what I’ll be doing this year.
By Kenneth Liong