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It’s been a few weeks now since the mad talented multi-instrumentalist Dave Baxter released his band Avalanche City’s sophomore album We Are For The Wild Places, so it seemed a better time than any to catch up with him and find out what it was like heading back to the studio for round two. Read on… it’s interesting.
We Are For The Wild Places has been out for about a week now, are you happy so far with how the album’s been received? Any drastic life changes report on in the weeks since?
Yeah it’s been great! It’s so nice to finally have it out there. I’ve had really good feedback on it, it’s actually quite a relief. Nothing life changing in the last week.
The grind of writing and producing an album isn’t easy—pouring your heart and soul onto a piece of paper definitely isn’t a career for the faint hearted—did you find it more difficult the second time around, particularly coming off the back of such a successful debut album?
I was really excited about starting work on my second album. It’s so much fun being in a room surrounded by instruments and just having the whole day to explore songwriting. It was extremely difficult to draw the line and say the album is done. That’s what’s hard about doing it all yourself. When you have to book a studio and hire a producer, you have time constraints. So that was one of the big challenges. I could sit and tweak a song forever. And yeah, it’s actually a scary thing to pour yourself into songs and send it out into the world. So that’s always in the back of your mind. It was a really nervous time in the days before I released “Inside Out”. It had such a good reaction from everyone, though, that it made me feel better about releasing the album. There weren’t any nerves after that.
What is it about your music that you think resonates so well with people?
That’s always a tricky one to answer! As a songwriter I always try to write music that people can relate to. The absolute best thing for me is when someone listens and goes “yeah, I’ve been there! I get that!”.
Unlike most Kiwi artists, you’re lucky enough to have a studio set up in your own home. Do you find being able to work from home and with familiar surroundings makes a difference?
It works really good for me. It’s definitely cheaper! I love having the freedom of exploring whatever I want. I also like to work fast and if something’s not working, I’ll often just switch songs. That’s a lot easier to do when you work by yourself.
I understand you worked pretty closely with Chris Walla of Death Cab For Cutie fame. How did that collaboration come about?
Ah, we just asked him if he wanted to mix the album. He only takes on projects that he wants to. So I sent him the tracks and he said he’d love to do it, which I thought was a pretty good compliment!
Finally, I know that you’re pretty popular with the hip and cool Wellingtonians down here, are there plans for an album release tour in the coming months?