Avail

Members:
Joe Banks: Guitar
Tim Barry: Vocals
Erik Larson: Drums
Gwomper: Bass
Beau Beau: Cheerleader

See Also: Ann Beretta

Avail began as some of kids who befriended each other in elementary school in a small Virginia town. Over the years, other kids became part of the group of friends. In high school during the late eighties they formed a band. It was an avenue for their creative energy, and a channel for communicating their experience. They loved the power of the hard rock and metal which dominated the radio, and admired the honesty and integrity of the DC underground scene which was a little too far away to be their own. The sound that resulted had the overcharged riffs of their radio heroes, artfully combined with the sincerity and aggression of punk rock, cut on the personalities of five small town friends and it was like nothing before. It was Avail music. At the end of adolescence Avail left their hometown. They moved into a big old house in Richmond, the capital city of Virginia. Forging their own ground instead of scaling the steep castle walls of the more established music scenes in New York or Washington DC, Avail decided to be part of something smaller, more intimate, accessible, and real to them. They had each other and, on departing the security of their hometown, became their own scene. Living together allowed Avail to devote almost all of their time to their music. They practiced in an upstairs bedroom almost every day. When they had enough songs to make their first full length record, Satiate, they decided to start their own label to release the record. Tim of Avail and Avail housemate Adam Thompson started Catheter Assembly Records, which Satiate and the early 7″s came out on. Avail began touring heavily in the early nineties. With Adam’s help, Avail put together their first list of touring contacts from their friend Adam Nathanson’s touring experience with his band, Born Against. Because of the explosive power of Avail’s performances, early, scarcely attended shows were soon replaced by shows packed with enthusiastic fans. By the mid nineties they had become a thriving, touring band with a passionate following. Avail is a live band that absolutely electrifies those who witness them. They turn out inspiring, moving, powerful shows which each seem to come from the heart. People of disparate backgrounds congregate at their shows, drawn for different reasons to the same potent experience. Avail is one of those bands for whom each live performance is a true event. Avail commands the tools of music with power and force, simplicity and emotion. They write songs which are anthemic and personal; larger than life, but filled with its details. Their audience knows and appreciates the difference in what Avail offers them. Avail’s relationship with Lookout Records began when they came to California to play a show with Rancid in Santa Rosa in 1993. Since Tim of Avail was trying to make Catheter Assembly a viable label, he approached then head of Lookout, Larry Livermore, to inquire about distribution contacts. When Larry returned to the office, he found that someone (no one knows who, to this day) had sent him Avail’s first 7″s and Satiate. After listening to them, he knew he wanted to sign them to Lookout. For the band, the decision to work with Lookout was a means to have better distribution with less work. Signing to Lookout meant that they were free to devote all their time and energy to making the best possible songs and touring often. It also meant that Catheter Assembly ceased to exist. The next Avail album, Dixie, was put out on Lookout, and remains many fans’ favorite. The album which followed, 4 A.M. Friday, released in 1996, garnered the band increased critical and commercial success. The latest Avail album, Over the James, due out in April 1998, is the band’s favorite record they have ever made. It is an album which truly captures all that Avail has been and tries to be. It is their most personal, varied, and original collection of songs to date. Avail is a group of friends. They are a collective dedicated to friendship, emotional commitments to each other, and to their community of Richmond, VA. They are not concerned with the limitations and requirements of being a punk rock band. And because of that, they have transcended the genre they helped revitalize. Avail transcends punk rock and in many ways are the sound of true new American folk music.

Discography:

L215 Forward Till Death
Compact Disc
(January 1999)

L218 Turn On, Tune In, Lookout
A collection of all the Lookout videos along with a few live performances – 19 videos in all! NTSC (American format) Video Cassette.
(January 1998)

L195 Over The James
Compact Disc / 12″ Vinyl
(January 1998)

L192 Live In San Francisco
Compact Disc
(January 1998)

L189 The Fall Of Richmond
7″ Vinyl / Compact Disc
(November 1997)

L187 The Last Great Thing You Did
Compact Disc
(October 1997)

L169 Heide Sez…
Compact Disc
(October 1996)

L138 4AM Friday
Compact Disc / 12″ Vinyl / Cassette
(May 1996)

L103 Dixie
Compact Disc / 12″ Vinyl / Cassette
(1995)

L082 Satiate
Compact Disc
(1993)
Out Of Print

L219 PAL Turn On, Tune In, Lookout
A collection of all the Lookout videos along with a few live performances – 19 videos in all! PAL (European format) Video Casette.
(August 1998)

L083 Split EP
7″ Vinyl / Compact Disc