HUGHESVILLE - On Nov. 24, the band Avenging Autumn, a group of veteran musicians, will perform at Big Dogz Sports Bar, 5010 Route 220. The band was also recently named the artist of the month for October by Schuykill Musicians.
Playing all over Central Pennsylvania and surrounding areas, the band has built up an impressive resume of not only skills, but stories at venues. Recently, the Sun-Gazette caught up with Dave Danishefsky, the lead singer of the band to discuss bacon, dealing with intoxicated crowds and ways locals can support their musicians.
BETHANY WIEGAND: Who are the members of Avenging Autumn and who plays what?
Avenging Autumn, a band that was named artist of the month in October by the Schuykill Musicians, will perform at 10 p.m. Nov. 24 at Big Dogz Sports Bar, 5010 Route 220. For more information about the group, search for “Avenging Autumn”?on Facebook.
DAVE DANISHEFSKY: Rick Morrison lead vocals.
Dave "Dazz" Danishefsky lead guitar-vocals.
Troy Moser bass-vocals.
Don Hosler drums.
BW: How did you all meet?
DD: Troy and myself had played together in a band called Yada Yada Yada for quite awhile and had become great friends and always enjoyed working together. I had left Y3 about a year before Troy and was touring with a band called Gas Station Disco. About the time I decided to part ways with GSD, Troy was leaving Y3 and we decided to start a new project together. Rick came into the fold through an ad on Craigslist and Don had worked with Troy years earlier in a band called Runaway Train and was also a long time acquaintance of mine. So, when our original drummer decided to leave, Don worked out just right.
BW: Is music a full-time venture for the members of the band?
DD: No. At the moment, we all have other things we're involved in.
BW: With all the members being from different bands, do you ever have a clash of opinions and styles when you're choosing what songs to play?
DD: Amazingly enough very rarely. That's probably one of the things I love so much about this band. We all tend to click very well when it comes to song choices. We generally learn songs in sets of four. This way, everyone gets to choose a song they would really like to do and we try them all and see how they work. So far, we've been fortunate enough to not have to nix anyone's picks. Plus we are all really easy going, which helps a lot.
BW: Do you have original material as Avenging Autumn?
DD: We have actually just started writing some original material. We do however have a 3-song EP coming out shortly called "Got It Covered!". It features three cover songs which we've recorded and purchased the legal rights to. They are basically our own modern rock takes on a few '80s pop tunes and can currently be heard on both our SoundCloud and YouTube pages. We are also about to begin shooting a music video for one of the songs from the EP.
BW: Have you ever been asked to play a song where you're like, "Oh my god, no."?
DD: Not in this band, so far (knock on wood). But it's happened to me many times over the years. Of course, out of all the shows I've played over the past 23 years, there have been very few that some joker didn't yell out "FREE BIRD!" LOL!
BW: Do you listen to the same type of music you play, or do you listen to music that might surprise people?
DD: I, personally, listen to all kinds of stuff. I tend to gravitate more toward heavier modern rock, but I also like a lot of pop stuff, oldies, classical, etc. It could literally go from the Beach Boys-Jan & Dean to Iron Maiden-Judas Priest to REO Speedwagon-Styx to Three Days Grace-Shinedown to the Beatles, Elvis and everything in between.
BW: Playing at bars, you're in contact with intoxicated people. Have you ever had a patron do something outrageous while you were performing?
DD: Many times. The most common scenario is when some intoxicated person (usually a girl) decides to invite himself up on stage and start dancing around or grabbing a microphone and singing. Then they inevitably wind up falling over a monitor or other piece of equipment.
There is one instance that sticks out though ... I was playing in a band called Kartune a few years back and some drunken girl tripped over the singers monitor and fell on top of the drum kick but, on her way down, she caught the edge of our singer's keyboard which proceeded to flip wildly up in the air. One end of it also landed on the drums and our bassist (with his cat-like reflexes) managed to lean over and grab the other end before it hit the floor. LOL!
BW: What is one thing that local music fans can do to support local bands and musicians more?
DD: Just get out and support local music more! I realize the current state of the economy is bad right now. But it does irk me whenever I hear people complaining of a cover charge. Generally, a cover charge these days is right around $5. And the pay for a lot of bands is based on what the door brings in. When I started playing live, 23 years ago, you know what the average cover charge was? Yep ... you guessed it ... $5! So, in 23 years, the operating cost for musicians has skyrocketed (especially when it comes to gas), but we've not gotten a raise yet! I don't mean to sound like I'm preaching here but, for many musicians out there, this is their sole job and they depend on that money. We're all fortunate enough to have other sources of income to fall back on, but that doesn't mean we don't also depend on what we make in the band. As much as most musicians enjoy playing, it is still a job and there is a ton of work involved behind the scenes that no one ever sees. Okay ... I'm getting off my soap box now.
BW: What can the potential audience expect at your show at Big Dogz?
DD: Hmm ... Well, we definitely focus very heavily on having a very tight and professional show. We can rock hard, but are also very melodic. And, being that all four of us get along so well and love to joke around and laugh, our shows tend to be a lot of fun. Plus, we're all very personable, friendly, and approachable. It's always bothered me to see certain musicians act like they're too good to hang with the people who paid good money to see them. Luckily, I don't know many musicians like that ... But there are a few.
BW: Have you ever been to the Williamsport area before?
DD: This is the first time for the band, but I've actually played Big Dogz before with Gas Station Disco and have been to Williamsport many times. In fact our very first "unofficial" Poptart Monkeys performance was in Williamsport. I think we were still going under the name Teacher's Pet at that time. There's a little bit of crusty old trivia for ya!
BW: 2012 brought on this weird obsession with bacon. What's your opinion on bacon?
DD: Really? I haven't heard that. Most likely, because I've always been obsessed with bacon. I've been known to quite often recite Burgess Meredith's speech on bacon from the movie "Grumpier Old Men." Pardon me now as I run and make myself some bacon. Be right back ... Ah! That was delicious! AnywayWhere were we?...
BW: If you could listen to only one album for the rest of your life, what would it be?
DD: That's always a tough one. I suppose it would probably have to be something like either "The Wall" or "Dark Side of the Moon" by Pink Floyd because there is so much going on in the production on both of those albums and you can really take your time and focus on different parts with each listen.
BW: Last but not least, what would do in the event of a zombie apocalypse?
DD: Put on some zombie make up, tear my clothes up a bit, and stagger around while groaning and saying "BRAINS" over and over. If ya can't beat 'em, join 'em!!!
For more information on Avenging Autumn, visit their Facebook page.