What is your name and role within the band?
My name is Dom Littrich and I smack the drums and do some back up vocals.
How did Pacific Avenue form?
Myself and Ben used to live about 100 meters apart and we always knew each other from when we were real small. Sometimes I would be banging away on the drums and In between the brief intervals of silence I could hear Ben also playing away from down the road. So It seemed like the obvious thing to do, was to link up and start jamming. Ben then recruited Jack, who was a good mate from the same local high school, to play bass and we started to jam away. Our first gigs together were under the band name ‘Tropical Wax’ with our friend Grace on lead vocals. A year or so later down the track in 2017, Ben introduced Harry Obrien to us at a jam and some serious musical fusion went down. Harry went to a different high school, however we would often bump into him in the local area at gigs and in the surf. It really felt like it clicked right from the start, and about a week later whilst having a surf at Werri Beach in Gerringong we found a name whilst staring at a nearby street sign, ‘Pacific Avenue’.
How did you first start playing music?
I was lucky enough to be born into quite a musical family. My mum and dad both sing and my dad also plays the guitar. When i was in Kindergarten I spotted a violin at a garage sale and begged mum to buy it for me. She agreed but only on the condition that I promise to get lessons and practice. Turned out I wasn’t as big of a fan of the violin as I thought i was but due to the conditions I was stuck with the instrument. Around the same time I started learning the drums, and this was a whole other story. I loved the drums from my very first lesson and it wasn’t long before i was gifted a drum kit. After some very tough years for mum, I eventually learnt how to hold a beat and i was recruited in the family band. The first band of my own was formed when i was in year 5, under the name ‘Pinstripe’ we were the regular entertainment at the school fete and talent quest. Music has always been a huge part of my life and also largely responsible for the connection to my family, which i am very grateful for.
What’s been happening recently?
The most recent thing thats been happening with us is the release of our debut EP and all the stuff that goes along with that. We have been planning and preparing for a tour to support the release and also just keeping busy trying to get on top of merch and all that sort of stuff. Both myself and Harry have just returned from a little holiday as well to europe and America to get a bit of R and R in preparation for a big couple of months ahead.
You have an imminent tour, where are you headed?
We do indeed! So the tour starts locally with shows at Berry and Kiama, and then heads south down the coast to Melbourne, stopping off at Ulladulla on the way. For the october long weekend we are playing at Canberra on the friday evening, then cruising on in to Yours and Owls festival, where we will be playing on the Sunday. We then stop in for an all ages show at Sydney, swing by Newcastle
and then head up to the Gold coast and Brisbane for the ‘Hidden Lanes’ festival. Our final stop on the tour is a big hometown show down at the North Wollongong hotel. This is definitely our biggest tour yet, so we are all super keen to be on the road, performing and seeing a bit of the countryside.
How do you prepare for each live show and what do you have planned for this upcoming string of shows?
In the weeks leading up to a gig we try to get together as much as possible and really plan out how the set is going to run and how we can make it a show rather than just us standing there playing our instruments. We have been working on this quite a bit lately, so prepare yourself for some synchronized dance moves and extended outros!
We tend to have a bit of an unofficial ritual on the day of the gig where we practice during the day of the gig, eat some dumplings at the local dumpling house, then try to find an outfit through a process of mixing and matching clothes with each other. Sometimes I think we maybe sorta pull it off but definitely not always haha. After sound check and when we are just about ready to go on we have a bit of a warm/psych up session where we do some drills and stretches we learnt from playing under 8’s rugby league for gerringong. We then do our hand shake and head out onto the stage.
You’re touring in support of your new EP, what’s the title of the EP?
The title is ‘Strawberry Skies’. This is a hook line from a track on the EP called ‘Someday Soon’. We kind of just liked the image this line painted in our heads, and it reminded us of the place we all lived in together when the majority of the EP was written. For some reason it seemed that where we lived in Woonona always had insane sunsets, and so ‘Strawberry Skies’ just really gave a title to this period of absolute freedom in our lives.
What influenced the sound and songwriting?
The songwriting, particularly the lyrics, were influenced mainly by all that was going on moving out of home to a different area for the first time. For us as a band living together, life was made up of; new relationships, studying and working very little, surfing, jamming and playing our first gigs as a band, and just all the wild times which go with having full on freedom for the first time.
The major influences on our sound came a lot from what we were listening to at the time, combined with the classic aussie and brit rock which we have always loved. Big influences on the sound of the EP came from bands such as; Powderfinger, Silverchair, Foals, Arctic Monkeys, Oasis and Gang of Youths.
Where and when did you record?
We recorded at Sony Studios with Adrian Breakspeare in Sydney. Adrian was such a wonderful mentor and producer for the EP and we feel his input really created it as a polished body of work rather than just a collection of songs. We recorded throughout the later half of 2018 and the start of 2019.
How did you approach the recording/production process?
We would often head over to Ben’s place, where we would construct a bit of a home studio to create some demos. We would then listen over the tracks and see how we can alter the structure and parts to create contrast and dynamics through the songs. A couple of the songs however were just taken
into the studio as crappy phone recordings and we would then work on them there.
Once in the studio Adrian would listen over the tracks and get us to play them live in the studio, to see how he could add or take away parts to create more concise, punchy and powerful tracks. Whilst recording we would often come up with ideas on the spot and then we would run with that. For example we came up with the idea of creating a prelude to the track ‘You’ whilst we were all in there playing away. We thought it would be cool having an opening track to the EP which built some suspense and flowed straight into the second song with no pause. Also during the production process we would often add quite a few different layers to the songs, we actually even had Adrian playing some synths on the last track on the EP ‘Something Good’.
What do you have planned for the EP?
Your tour also includes a few festivals, being: Hidden Lanes, Lost Paradise, and Yours And Owls, what do you most enjoy about playing live and what can we expect from these huge shows?
For me playing live is everything. From when the first note is strummed or the first skin is hit I kind of just go into this weird space where you take on a character and just give it everything. Such an insane feeling and energy when the crowd is getting into it and an even weirder one when people sing along. For Yours and Owls I’m so keen to be playing in our hometown and to a whole bunch of our best mates. We always love putting on a bit of a show and when it is to a bigger audience on a bigger stage, it just gives us so much more energy and options to give it our all. We are super keen for the Hidden Lanes festival as we are playing alongside our local mates ‘The Vanns’ and ‘Tyne James Organ’ in a city we have only played once. Super keen to get to Brisbane and party the night away.
What do you like to do away from music?
All of us surf quite a bit so thats a really cool hobby we can all share together. We are all fond eaters of dumplings, so thats a big part of our lives too. I guess we all like dressing up a bit too and sometimes we film little skits. I’m not sure if they are actually overly funny but we seem to enjoy ourselves. I would also say partying takes up a bit of our time too, so you could catch us at the local pub every now and then.
Who are you listening to at the moment?
At the moment we are all been listening to a bit of Led Zeppelin, Catfish and the Bottlemen and Parcels. Recently saw parcels overseas at a festival in Budapest and it blew my mind!
What’s planned for late 2019 going into 2020?
Well we have our EP tour which takes us through to the end of October so that takes up a bit of time. We will be playing at Lost Paradise festival over new years so thats also something we are super excited for. We plan to release a bit more music at the start of next year, so keep your eyes peeled!
Favourite food and place to hangout?
Would have to lock in Dumplings and Bahn Mi for food, and favourite place to hang out would have to be Kiama Leisure centre when they have the Pool Toy inflated. What a time!