Pacific Avenue is a four-piece garage rock band that formed in the coastal town of Kiama back in 2017. Their debut single In Your Arms quickly become a familiar track in their set, reaching #1 on Triple J Unearthed upon release.
After solidifying their sound through singles like Sally, Excuse Me and My Hero, Pacific Avenue’s unique blend of classic garage and surf rock with modern songwriting elements is better than ever in their latest single Easy Love.
We caught up with Dom from Pacific Avenue to chat about his humble music beginnings and some of the challenges he has faced throughout his career.
What inspired you to pursue music as a career?
Ever since I was a kid, music was a huge part of my life. My mum and dad have always been very musical with my Dad being the front man and guitarist of multiple bands, and mum singing with dad. From the age of 5, I started to get lessons in Violin and Drums and as soon as I could drum along to a whole song without my little arms hurting, I was recruited into the family band. With the support I had from the family, I always felt that I wanted to be on a stage and go the distance with music. When Pacific Avenue formed, I knew that we had something a little unique, and it gave me the drive and passion to lock in and chase that dream.
Besides making music, what have you done to get to where you are?
It requires quite a lot of passion and drive to keep momentum going with the band, so many sacrifices have been made by all of us to get here. When trying to make music a priority, we find in these early stages of our music career that bank balances can get quite low as our casual jobs outside of music become a bit neglected. The passion and love for music though definitely enables the situation to work, and always keeps music as the clear priority and goal. Jack, Ben and Harry have also completed degrees at music universities which has helped majorly with doing home recordings and being able to prepare demos in preparation for the studio. Completing these degrees can add another strain in terms of time and money, however the knowledge gained has helped us to propel our career further.
How do you approach developing timelines for your career?
Usually, it’s a process of sitting down with our manager and booking agent, Tom and Brandon, and discussing what music we have in the works and which songs need to be recorded or are ready to go for the next 12 months. When we have a track or body of work finalised with the artwork and video clip, we then lock in a release date about 6 weeks in advance, and then pass it on to a publicist and PR company to plug the music to various media, music and streaming outlets. Our booking agent will have also pencilled in some dates for a tour to support the release which often takes place in the following months prior. We then just repeat this process over the year with a couple of month gap between releases, so the music can sink in with the audience.
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What will musicians discover from touring and how should they prepare for it?
Touring is the most wonderful experience, but it can also be extremely draining. We found that it is super important to pace yourself after shows and not go too wild early into the tour. You want to give your 100% at each and every show. It is extremely easy to get caught up in the fast-paced party life on the road, but it is very important to put your health first and not push it too hard. When on the road, you are often rushing between shows and grabbing whatever food you can on the go which can make you fall into some unhealthy eating habits. We have found a passion for Vietnamese pho as it is a healthier alternative to Maccas. And tastes bloody divine! I think the biggest way to prepare for touring is to allow yourself a night off here and there between shows, employ a touring manager to take the stress out, and try your best to get some sleep and stay healthy!
What is the most significant challenge you have conquered in your career?
I feel like the biggest challenge we have conquered is achieving radio play and recognition by the major radio stations in Australia. It has always been a childhood dream of mine to get rotation of my own music on Triple j, and to have achieved that this year really felt like we had kicked a goal and that our music career is moving in the right direction. Although radio play is not the be all and end all of making a music career successful, it plays a big part in progressing an artist and enabling them to appear on lineups with prominent artists and sell bigger headline shows of their own.
How should people educate themselves on current industry issues?
It is very important for a band starting out to recognise who in the industry is there to genuinely help you, and who is in it just to make a quick dollar. There are many people in the industry who like to blow smoke into upcoming artists and promise the world. We feel it is super important to make sure you look over contracts, don’t rush into anything and get advice from multiple reputable sources in the industry. There are most definitely people out there who will propel your career, but do not jump at the first option, see what the person really has to offer, and remember that you are the product.
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How have you integrated modern technology into your content process?
It’s unreal that with modern technology there are so many more options and ways for artists to gain exposure and push their content out into the world. We in particularly use social media as a platform to build a following, which then translates into ticket sales and streams. During Covid we used our spare time to create a content series on Instagram called ’30 Days of covers’, where we videoed and recorded us playing a cover of a different song each day. We asked our followers to request the songs and we chose them from the comments. This doubled our amount of Instagram followers, increased our exposure to event promoters, and increased our streams quite dramatically. With social media you can also create targeted ads with your content which further increases the exposure and gets your music out there.
Check out Pacific Avenue’s latest music video for their single Easy Love here!