There was a buzz about this band among my rock press cohorts. I had an opportunity to see them at The Coach House in Orange County, California. They did not disappoint! I’ll get to my review in a bit. I was so impressed that I spent a good amount of time learning what I could about this band. I even did a short interview with vocalist August Young. That will come in a bit as well.
Here’s a few tidbits that I learned about The Aviators. They hail from the rock & roll capital of California, Bakersfield. OK, maybe Bakersfield isn’t the rock capital but maybe it should be now…
They have been around since 2008. They are pretty much regulars at The Whisky (Go See Them!). They have opened for the “who’s who” of rock including: Montrose, Great White, Bullet Boys, Black Oak Arkansas, Tracii Guns & Tom Keifer. They were the first band to open for California Breed in 2014. They won the Cathouse Live Battle Of The Bands in 2015.
They have 3 full length cds. Their song “Wolfman” has been featured on 106.7 and KNAC.com. Their influences include, AC/DC, Zeppelin, The Stones, Aerosmith, ZZ Top among others. You can check out some of their work here: https://soundcloud.com/theaviators08
As I said, I recently had the opportunity to do a short interview with vocalist August Young.
Indie Pulse: In the 8 year history of the band, there have been a few line up changes. How long has this current line up been together?
August Young: The current line up of Will-guitar, Lindsay-drums, Matt-bass, Dan-Guitar, and August-vocals, is entering our 3rd year together.
IP: What is your latest release called and where can we buy it?
AY: Our latest release is our 3rd album called Coming On Strong and it can be purchased, along with the first 2 albums, at all of our shows. We also have shirts and koozies for sale as well.
IP: You play live on the west coast on a regular basis and the crowds respond enthusiastically. Any possibility of taking the show on the road so to speak? If a national act had the balls to take you on as direct support for some U.S. dates, would you be game?
AY: Absolutely! That’s been the goal for quite some time. Go on tour with a classic rock act, open for them every night and gain new fans.
IP: You’ve opened for the “who’s who” of rock & roll including California Breed (which I loved for the whole 5 minutes they existed), are there any interesting stories you’d like to share about sharing the stage with those bands?
AY: We saw Chad Smith from The Red Hot Chili Peppers at the California Breed show. He was backstage taking pictures with everyone and talking it up. We gave him one of our CDs, but he didn’t have any pockets so he put it in his pants. He’s a solid dude.
IP: I have to say that the second I saw you (August) walk on stage, my immediate thought was, David Coverdale in 1974. With that thought in mind and knowing that you guys play some awesome covers, would you consider doing Burn by Deep Purple? I think that would blow some minds!
AY: We’ve actually done Burn before! It’s in our repertoire. We would just need to dust it off.
IP: I attended the Coach House show with two young ladies and they were intrigued with the kick pedal/cowbell apparatus. How did that unique instrument come about?
AY: Ah the cowbell! That was given to me as a gift at one of our shows. I had actually seen it before from a band called Here Come the Mummies, but when I was presented with it I knew exactly what to do with it! It’s always a crowd favorite
IP: How can we follow all the Aviators goings-on?
AY: You can keep up to date with us at our website www.theaviatorsrock.com for all of your Premium Rock needs!
IP: Thanks August for taking the time to answer some questions. We appreciate it!
So, now we all know a bit about the band and what they’re about. And their live show…
The moment they came out on stage, I thought to myself, these guys act like they belong here. They had that confident swagger and then they promptly let it rip! It was an energetic performance from start to finish. They won the crowd over quite early in the set. A few standing ovations appeared along the way. Every song was well written and played with gusto. Then there was the appearance of the kick pedal cowbell thingy…..you’ll have to go see them to believe this thing! At one point, Will, the lead guitarist made his way off the stage and onto one of the dinner tables in front of the stage. Will and the table both survived although I thought it might be touch & go (see what I did there?) for the table for a while! The crowd ate this up and I’m sure they gained many fans this night…I know at least three folks that became fans…myself and the two young ladies who joined me for the show! For those who are interested, the following was the set list:
1. I’m Too High (Gimme Some More) 2. Flying Planes/Hopping Trains 3. Tattoos, Whiskey and Wine 4. Heart of Stone 5. Don’t Come Around 6. Traveling Man 7. You’re So Rock And Roll 8. Set It Off 9. Wolfman 10. Highway To Hell (AC/DC cover)
You can view a full set of photos from the Coach House show here:
Article by Steve Amaon 2016 (musicnracin)