Updated: 11/24/02

Introduce yourself, tell me what you do in Avail, and how long the band has been together.

My name is Tim Barry. I sing for the band Avail. The other guys are Ed Trask (drums), Gwomper (bass), Beau (cheerleader, freak of nature, back up singer), Joe Banks (guitar). We've been touring and putting out records for about 10 years now. My fucking cat Booger keeps stepping on the keyboard. Hold on let me throw him in the street...

What is the music scene in Richmond, Virginia like and how does Avail fit in to it all?

Richmond is a good place to make music and art or write or whatever you are into. Rent down here is fairly cheap (although it's going up) so we don't have to "work to live." That gives people in bands more opportunity to explore their creative side. You can get a shitty job in the service industry here part time and get by. The rest of the time you can devote to music or whatever. Because of that, Richmond has attracted many bands and artists. Therefore there is a large independent music community, with a handful of small to larger venues. It's also attracted political types, artists, writers and others. It often really feels like a "community" here, unlike other places, specifically stale, cookie cutter suburbia's. We got all kind of killer bands like Gwar, Strike Anywhere, Denali, Sixer, Ann Beretta, Darkest Hour, Lamb of God and the list just goes on. And we just fit in somewhere in the mix. It's home.

How much influence does living in Richmond have on the lyrics?

I'd say that Richmond and the people here have a tremendous effect on the words I write for songs. I've always been into writing about things I see for myself, feel or experience, and Richmond somehow stimulates me in that way.

How do you think Front Porch Stories compares to the previous releases? And when you look back on the earlier albums, what do you think of them now?

I guess every album has been a learning experience. All of those albums are like journals to us that in many ways document what was going on in our life. Each of them represents a time period. Obviously our song writing and understanding of the actual recording process has matured as time has past. The new record is probably our strongest recording and I think is filled with probably our best songs. But we still love all of the other records and ALWAYS play songs from all of the records at shows.

What do you think has kept the band going after over ten years of existence? Have you ever been tempted to change your sound to become more popular? Like emo (LOL)?

Nah, that has never crossed our mind. We've always written by mood, or by feel. I can't stand bands that write for the sole reason of getting popular. It's too obvious that they're faking it. I don't hear any soul or real emotion when bands do that. We'll simply stick to the writing process that we've always done. If people enjoy our music it makes us stoked as hell. That's what means the most to us-when we write something that we like and a handful of people enjoy it as well. To answer the question regarding the longevity of the band, I'd say the thing that's kept us going is the fact that we still really enjoy making and playing music. I think a lot of bands burn out because it stops being fun.

What is the best and worst part of touring?

The best part is just being privileged enough to go on stage every night. I feel lucky as hell. I really dig traveling and seeing new places as well. The only bummer is missing my old dog Zeke. (His 12th Birthday is Sunday - the 10th, sing happy birthday to him).

What can one expect from a live Avail show?

Chaos. It's always chaos. Our shows often feel more like one big band than just a band on stage. We owe a lot to the people who come to our shows. They really make it happen. Through their enthusiasm and the way we all feed off of each other our live shows are insane. They are like all night dance-a-thons and everyone sings.

If Britney Spears asked you to quit Avail and do a world tour with her band for one year, what would you do?

I'd politely ask her to go away and as she turned around to walk off I'd check out her butt. Oops, did I say that.

What was it like touring Japan - how did the shows go and how long were you there?

Shit that was a few years ago now. The shows in Japan were a great time. Japanese kids are completely insane. They go crazy as hell. They'd be ripping the mic out of my hand and screaming the words to songs as loud as they could. We were over there for about 10 shows and we took some days off to check shit out. This past summer though we got a chance to tour Brazil, and I have to say that was amazing. Speaking of crazy crowds, those folks were insane too. That tour was one of my favorites. Brazilians are some of the most down to earth and hospitable bunch of people I've met.

How long has your drummer been painting and is that why he is always late for everything?

Ha, ha, ha. You hit it right on the head. Ed is always late for EVERYTHING, and yes, it almost always has to do with painting. He's always painting something somewhere and shows up half an hour after he should. But we've come to love him for it. He's been painting his whole life. I have to say that I feel lucky to be in a band with such a talented person. He's not only a fucking amazing drummer, but his artistic output is jaw dropping.

What are the future plans for Avail? Any plans to return and obliterate Los Angeles?

Hell yeah!!! We're playing the Roxy out there soon, real soon-like next month. I don't have the tour dates in front of me but I just posted them on the site Check that shit out. We're touring with Hey Mercedes and The Curse. It should be a good fucking time.

Do you have any messages for Avail fans or people who might be interested in checking out your music?

We just seriously thank everyone for supporting us for so long. It means a whole lot to us. I can't wait to get out on tour and play the new songs and play for some new people and the same old crews that have been coming out for years. Thanks for the interview. Have a good one.

Front Porch Stories by Avail is now available from Fat Wreck Chords!


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