Sometimes the stories behind a band are more interesting than the music itself. Sometimes the stories behind the songs are as deep and moving as anything you’ll ever here. Sometimes….. the music has to speak for itself. Avi Buffalo is a band from Long Beach, California, headed by songwriter/guitarist Avigdor Zahner-Isenberg. The band signed to Sub Pop Records in late 2009 and released their self-titled debut in April of 2010. New TDOA writer Amy attempted to get Afigdor to wax poetic about the influences behind one of the most beautiful records of this year. That we weren’t able to scratch beyond the surface didn’t deter us from feeling a compulsion to feature this great band. Take what you will and draw your own conclusions.
TDOA: The video for “Whats It In For” is gorgeous. Can you talk about the creation of that video and your general feelings about making videos?
AZI: Andrew Huang directed it, he does amazing stuff, check out his other work, he’s a beautiful artist.
TDOA: Please tell us your feelings about being chosen by Wilco to play the Solid Sound Festival? Had you met the band previously?
AZI: Wilco is a huge very important influence to me, i listened to it in middle school and it blew my mind and inspired me to branch out into other music. I’m friends with Nels Cline. I used to go to his shows all the time in LA and he showed the record to the band and got us on the bill, it’s really exciting for me, a total dream come true. I’m looking forward to playing the show, seeing the sound installations, etc.
TDOA: What role does sexuality play in your songwriting? Are these coming-of-age songs, or just general horniness?
AZI: There’s no role of sexuality in my songwriting.
TDOA: When I think Avi Buffalo influences, Built to Spill, maybe Devendra Banhart come to mind – who do you consider your biggest influences?
AZI: The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, Paul Simon, Wilco, Jim O’rourke, Nels Cline, Deerhoof, Elliott Smith, Sonic Youth, Panda Bear
TDOA: Who does all the writing? Is one of you more prolific than the rest, or are most songs collaborations?
AZI: I wrote all the songs on the record except, Truth Sets In , Where’s Your Dirty and Remember Last Time were written by me and my friend Joel Jasper.
TDOA: The song “Five Little Sluts” – explain that one to me. What’s the story?
AZI: Theres no story, it’s all stream of consciousness.
TDOA: You guys are relatively young – how do you think your music will change as you age?
AZI: I worry that we’ll use the young juice that makes music good. Gotta stay young
TDOA: Are the comparisons to bands like Built To Spill and The Shins as daunting as they would seem to us?
AZI: I’ve never listened to Built To Spill, but I was super down with The Shins in 8th and 9th grade, so its most definitely in there as a core influence whether I like it or not.
TDOA: How do you think your music compares with the other awesome acts that came out of Long Beach?
AZI: Nial Morgan, Light Music, Fort Wife, Crystal Antlers, War, Luis Gutee and His Friends, Sublime, Bill Cutts, Terrors, Lazy Mary are all great bands from Long Beach.
May 30 2010 Sasquatch Festival The Gorge, Washington, US
Jun 18 2010 NXNE Acoustic Show At The Great Hall Toronto, Canada, CA
Jun 19 2010 NXNE @ LEE’S PALACE W/ Cold Cave, The Soft Pack Toronto, Ontario , CA
Jun 24 2010 The Deaf Institute Manchester, Manchester, UNITED KINGDOM
Jun 27 2010 Glastonbury Festival Glastonbury, GB, UNITED KINGDOM
Jul 1 2010 Royal Oak Theater w/ Modest Mouse Royal Oak, Michigan
Jul 2 2010 Royal Oak Theater w/ Modest Mouse Royal Oak, Michigan , US
Jul 3 2010 Summerfest w/ Modest Mouse Milwaukee, Wisconsin , US
Jul 4 2010 80/35 Music Festival Des Moines, Iowa , US
Jul 6 2010 Grinders w/ Modest Mouse Kansas City, Missouri , US
Jul 8 2010 Twilight Concert Series Salt Lake City, Utah, US
Jul 23 2010 Crystal Ballroom w/ Blitzen Trapper Portland, Oregon , US
Jul 26 2010 The Aquarium Fargo, North Dako, US
Jul 27 2010 First Ave w/ Blitzen Trapper Minneapolis, Minnesota , US
Jul 28 2010 Turner Hall w/ Blitzen Trapper Milwaukee, Wisconsin , US
Jul 30 2010 Pier 17 / South Street Seaport New York, New York, US
Jul 31 2010 Osheaga Music Festival w/ Arcade Fire, Beach House Montreal, Quebec , CA
Aug 3 2010 Opera House w/ Blitzen Trapper Toronto, Ontario , CA
Aug 4 2010 Majestic Theater w/ Blitzen Trapper Detroit, Michigan , US
Aug 5 2010 The Vogue w/ Blitzen Trapper Indianapolis, Indiana , US
Aug 9 2010 Hi Dive Denver, Colorado, US
Aug 11 2010 SDSU Outdoor Theater w/ My Morning Jacket San Diego, CA
Aug 12 2010 Greek Theatre w/ My Morning Jacket Los Angeles, CA
Aug 24 2010 Cargo London Shoreditch, London, UNITED KINGDOM
Sep 4 2010 ATP New York w/ Sonic Youth, Iggy & The Stooges Monticello, New York , US