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Ignite Interview~ Lets Get To Know a Little Bout Miami Metal Trio ‘AVAT’!!


AVAT — comprised of Roland Velazquez (vocals), Jonathan Rivera (bass), and Dimitri Anchipolovsky (guitar) —

formed in 2015 and have continued to dole out charging riffs, bewilderingly catchy leads, and soaring vocals. The band was described by Revolver as “hard-hitting,” and fans of Killswitch Engage, Trivium, and Protest the Hero will find themselves magnetically drawn to the band’s hooks, their incorporation of their Miami roots into their music, and their blend of progressive and metalcore styles.

Miami metal trio AVAT have premiered the lyric video for their new song “Dead or Alive

We sat down with the guys to get to know them a little better and see what is on the horizon for them…Check it out below

  • Tell us a little bit about the band and how long you have been together for some of our readers that may not know about the band?

Roly:
Most of us have been hanging around since 2009, friends being friends messing around Miami and going to tons of shows. AVAT as it stands today formed around 2015.

Dimitri: I’ve been in the band since probably late 2015 early 2016, and I joined right before signing into apocalypse. Which I had no idea was happening. I showed up for an audition, met the guys, played, had a good time, and the next thing I knew I was signing papers. 

Roms: I joined this year!

  • What got you into music and what keeps you going night after night playing?

Roly: My family has always been musical on both ends, my Uncles play guitar, everyone sings and my dad used to jam some old records when we lived in New Orleans in the late 80’s. I even have some cousins out in France that love busking in Paris.

I know I haven’t written the best music I possibly can, I think that’s one of the greatest aspects in working on music is that drive to get to the next best song in your catalog. I’m happy for a challenge, bring it.

Johnathan: Honestly, I was peer pressured pretty hard into picking up guitar. Literally all of my friends were in bands, but the feeling I got when I went up on stage the first time was absolutely magical. Remembering the feeling of fear and pure joy when playing live keeps me coming back to music

Dimitri: I’ve been into music since I was really young, probably about 5 years old, and ever since has been an incredibly important part of my life. The music is what keeps my head clear and focused, that helps me cope with hard times, and helps me find motivation to do things with my life. What keeps me going, is the knowledge that somewhere out there is someone who listens to us and feels that same way. 

Roms: I come from a family of musicians so I always wanted to do music. The energy that’s shared between our band and the audience is what keeps me going! In my opinion there is no other feeling like it.

  • So, what is new with the band?..New Album out? New Videos?

Roly: We’ve been working at all ends, shooting videos, writing new music, releasing singles, and trying not to go stir crazy in the COVID-19 era we live in. Tons of CoD nights to unwind and squad up.

Johnathan: We dropped a new single “Dead or Alive” with a lyric video recently and the reception had been amazing. We released a song a bit before that called“Together We Fall” with a music video, and a live video. Right now, we are taking advantage of the current music climate by writing and working on songs and videos, so definitely expect more new music soon.

Dimitri: Don’t know exactly what I’m allowed to discuss as far as release schedule, but new singles and new videos are most certainly on the way in the next few months!

Roms:

  • If you didn’t become a musician, what would you  be doing right now?

Roly: Working to become one, for me there isn’t a thing that could keep me away from my passion. It’ll always  be there at some capacity.

Johnathan: I would probably be working in the medical field, most likely fixing lab equipment or something.

Dimitri: probably in school studying mechanical engineering! Love working on things with my hands and working on my motorcycle. 

Roms: If I didn’t become an musician I think I would have gone into IT or anything involving technology.

  • What is the weirdest or funniest question you have ever been asked?

Roly: I honestly don’t remember anything worth mentioning, and with that said let’s get questions rolling in. Send me your favorite questions on IG and I’ll answer them live. @rolyvee

Johnathan:

Dimitri: Thats a good one… I was showing a buddy of mine a demo we had recorded in the studio where the intro was just a clean guitar with some really wet delay on it, and he goes “how do you guys time it like that?” So I ask him “what do you mean, like the delay?” And he goes “yeah do you guys like take turns playing the same note, like how does that work??” Not understanding how guitar effects work.

Roms: The finniest thing I’ve been asked is if I was the guitar player in the Selena movie. I guess I look like John Seda

  • If you can have your fans remember you for one thing, what would that be?

Roly: Loyalty

Johnathan:

Dimitri: I’m someone that really likes to see the people around me succeed. And I feel if we all had that mentality life would be a lot easier. 

Roms: My jokes

  • On a scale of one to 2593, How good is your new single compared to your last single? (my attempt at humor, but please still answer)

Roly: 2592, we were shooting for 2593 but the tape machine went awry. 🙂

Johnathan: It’s over 9000!

Dimitri: I’m gonna give it the full 2593 bud. Dead or Alive and Together We Fall are both some of my favorite songs we’ve put out thus far, but were made to do very separate things. TWF was made to get the bounce in your feet and your head banging, and I believe it accomplishes that goal very well. DOA was made to hit a little closer to the heart, and to feel a bit more cerebral, which I also feel it accomplishes.

Roms: I honestly love them all its hard to gauge, usually the latest track is the one with the most hype but personally I love them all!

  • What do you feel is the best song you have released to date and why?

Roly: I honestly have to say “Dead or Alive” it’s one of those that has that element where you want to feel a part of the song, sing along and make it your own story. It’s very relatable

Johnathan: It’s definitely “Dead or Alive”. I feel like the lyrics for this song in particular resonate more with what people may be going through, and musically it’s our cleanest song to date.

Dimitri: picking a “best” song is like asking a parent to pick their favorite kid… they wanna tell you their favorite but can’t cause they feel everyone is gonna judge them for it, so then they say something like “they’re all my favorite” (just kidding). 

I’ll say the one I enjoy playing the most is TWF because that groove section throughout the bridge is just awesome. 

Roms: I think Brena would be the best in my opinion. It has a lot of moving parts and the production value is next level

  • Do you think you can get any better as a musician/singer? And if so, How would you achieve that?

Roly: Absolutely, I don’t think that ever stops. Rehearsing, reaching for new sounds, humbling yourself and recognizing you could use a second ear to make sure you don’t hurt yourself in exploring your voice. I’d like to work with a vocal coach to stay healthy and ahead of the game.

Johnathan: Easily, I feel like every musician feels like they can get better. Whatever you want to get better at, you have to practice and do it thousands of times and fail and keep going, whether it’s playing, writing, speaking, or singing. Do something until you think it’s enough, and then do 10 times that.

Dimitri: I can always get better at everything I do. Particularly what I strive for more than anything is to be a better composer, because at the end of the day that’s what we’re all here for. Giving these musical ideas life and making songs. The only way to get better at composing really is to just do it. Find your style and iron out all the wrinkles. 

Roms: One can ALWAYS get better the task is finding time to hone your skill even more, but I never want to stop learning

  • If you could give your fans one random fact about you that you think they should (or should “not” know) about you what would that be?

Roly:
Random fact of the day: I love designing anything and everything, I’ve worked with CAD, the Adobe Suite and am a very technical person. I used to tinker in building speakers with my best friend in highschool.

Johnathan:

Dimitri: don’t know if this is supposed to be like embarrassing or nerdy or something but I absolutely love going to renaissance festivals, it’s probably the first thing I’m gonna do when COVID is finally over. 

Roms: Im also a voice actor

  • You’re a new addition to the crayon box. What color would you be and why?

Roly: New Discovery Abyss

This brings to mind the recent topics of the deep shelf off the coast in the Atlantic. I find it amazing to think there is still so much unexplored underwater terrain. I would like to think I’ve yet to discover everything I’m capable of and where this life will take me.

Johnathan:

Dimitri: probably like reddish/orange, cause it’s the same color as my beard. Call it, roarange.

  • Who are you inspired by?


Roly: My Family who without their support I would never be able to do what I love. Thank you! I’d also like to mention some of my idols past and present, Freddie Mercury, Billy Joel, Ben E King, Chadwick Bozeman, Stevie Nicks, Keanu Reeves, Frank Sinatra, Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates, Amy Winehouse, Steve Jobs, Terry Crews, Lady Gaga.

Johnathan:

Dimitri: I take a little something from every single artist I listen to, even if it’s microscopic. Structure, concept, rhythm, melody, harmonies, effects, you name it. Biggest inspiration from my early years were Bon Jovi, Breaking Benjamin, linkin park, Rammstein, and a few others. 

Roms: Dave Grohl

  • What’s an average day like for you?


Roly: Wake up, get ready, make coffee, coffee good, catch up with the news, catch up with emails, work, listen to some metal to set the mood and pump up the rest of my day.

At night I like to watch movies and shows, play board games and PS4.

Johnathan:

Dimitri: wake up at 6:30-7:00, take a good 30

Mins to chill and sip coffee while I indulge on some YouTube videos or catch up on news. Workout for about an hour, shower and then change. If it’s a day I work I’ll probably practice for another 30 mins then spend the rest of the day at work till about 10-11pm typically. On days I don’t work I’ll be completing assignments for school for pretty much the remainder of the day, and squeeze in some time for writing, maybe even finish a demo. The bulk of our writing and recording happens one day a week, where we all get to meet at the studio to track, brainstorm, and make things happen

Roms: Wake up, got to work, get home around 6 pm, practice for about an hour, then catch up on the latest anime and then maybe game with some friends

  • Please discuss how you interact with and respond to fans?


Roly: I try to always respond whenever possible. I love to talk about anything and it’s cool to make new friends from so many different places.

Johnathan: DM us on Instagram! Send us a message on Facebook! We may take a bit to answer every message we get, but that’s easily the best way I’ve found to interact with fans. I’ve met the coolest people and had great conversations with people who have slid in our DMs

Dimitri: right now because of the end of the world and what not, we have to interact with our fans exclusively on social media. But we’ll always be writing back the best we can, and we’ll always care what they have to say. They matter more than anything else! 

Roms: I interact through any medium, wether social networks or face to face after a show, I personally prefer the ladder

  • Have you ever dealt with performance anxiety?


Roly: Oh yeah definitely, I opened for Apocalyptica once with Earthside (then Bushwhack) that was nerve wracking but I got over it. I found it tough getting used to the cold in the Northeast relatively quickly.

Johnathan: Of course! I think every musician goes or has gone through this, especially introverts like me. It can be tough cuz it still happens before every show, but some of the best advice I’ve ever gotten for it was from my high school band teacher, who taught me to tell myself that I’m excited, not anxious, and that has helped me so much.

Dimitri: the trick to dealing with performance anxiety is to turn it into something else. It’s not something you can “get rid of” because it has to go somewhere. A great psychology teacher gave me a definition to anxiety I’ll never forget, she described it as the energy of raw emotion. You can be anxiously happy, anxiously sad, anxiously mad, etc. It only becomes anxiety when you hit a sort of sensory overload. So instead of being anxiously nervous, I become anxiously excited to play the show. That shift in mindset really makes all the difference.

Roms: Only one time in my life and it was a theater. Show where I had to perform choreography apart from playing drums and percussion, usually im anxious to play however in this case since I was slightly out of my element I did have a small sense of fear

  • Tell me about your favorite performance venues?


Roly: I remembered seeing The Mars Volta and System of a Down when they rolled in to the BB&T Center in South Florida. That was an experience. But my favorite has to be Revolution in Fort Lauderdale. I think it’s the perfect size for an intimate setting with your favorite bands. Saw Thrice and a ton of other amazing talent roll through there

Johnathan: Honestly, I love the small venues. The tiny bars with a tiny stage or no stage at all feel most at home for me. But if I had to choose a place in Miami, it’s definitely Churchill’s Pub. It’s not a small venue, but it’s a historic Miami spot, goes above and beyond for local music, and it’s got the best vibe in Miami for metal.

Dimitri: I haven’t played a bad one yet. Every venue we’ve played has always been filled with great people, all looking to have a great time. All venue staff have been excellent, all the other bands we’ve played with have been kick ass, and I hope that experience lasts as long as humanly possible.

Roms: Favorite venue is The Culture Room Ft Lauderdale because although its a nice club It still feels intimate. The audience is not so far off and you can interact with them

  • What advice would you have for someone wanting to follow in your footsteps?


Roly: Never stop working, not a single moment, when you think you’ve done enough, you’re wrong, do it again and prove yourself you can do better. The only person you have to make happy is yourself. So do that and keep focusing on the next step, one day at a time.

Johnathan: Work towards your goal every day and never give up.

Dimitri: .) in order to be a better musician you must first be a better human being. Always look for new experiences, new challenges, seek higher knowledge, and take the time to know yourself intimately. You will experience a lot of weird shit throughout your life, and it will change you as a person. But make sure it does so for the better. Your music will be genuine, ideas will come easier, and you’ll actually like what you’re writing. 

Also, learn music theory dude it helps a shit ton. Even the basics helps.

Roms: Patience, as artists sometimes we want to run before we can crawl. Everything takes its time, no need to stress or compare yourself with others.

About Bryan Joe Corder (3919 Articles)
Concert Photographer at heart, Love listening to music and going to shows to try to capture the magic on the stage with my imagery.I also review albums and live concerts.

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