At first glance, Avenida Music may seem like your average cover band. However, the band’s unique take on classic songs has provided the soundtrack for many shows and private events in recent years. This band of brothers is more than just a band, however; they also operate Little Street Studio, a performance space, recording studio and lesson space in Indio. To learn more, visit www.littlestreetmusic.com. Vince Gonzalez is the guitarist and backup vocalist for the group, and he is the latest to take The Lucky 13; here are his answers.
What was the first concert you attended?
I went with my youth group to SoCal Harvest at Angel Stadium in 2005. There was a band from the U.K. that I remember well called Delirious? That was a lot of fun; I had never been to a music festival on such a large scale.
What was the first album you owned?
I want to say The Art of Translation by GRITS. “Ooh Aah” was on that album, and the track ended up going platinum and being featured in the film The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, which I thought was really cool.
What bands are you listening to right now?
Bad Suns, especially their Language and Perspective album, plus Switchfoot, Twenty One Pilots, James Bay, Colony House, and NF. Oh, and I just got my record player working again, so The Eagles and Bruce Springsteen are usually spinning at our house.
What artist, genre or musical trend does everyone love, but you don’t get?
I’ve noticed a lot of people my age getting really into lo-fi music/covers. It’s not bad, but I don’t quite get the craze, specifically when it’s a cover. I generally prefer the original, especially if the lo-fi version replaces vocals with an instrument or if it was some epic film score that now sounds like it’s being played with toy instruments.
What musical act, current or defunct, would you most like to see perform live?
U2. They have such big songs that play well for a large audience. I also like Bono’s voice and the Edge’s guitar playing/tones. Every U2 live performance I watch on YouTube seems like it would have been awesome to experience in person.
What’s your favorite musical guilty pleasure?
Early 2000s rock music: Nickelback, Daughtry, Lifehouse, 3 Doors Down and Keane. I was just hitting my middle school years when a lot of these bands were releasing their hits, so I guess it makes sense. After all these years, I still think they have some timeless songs, especially in lyrical content.
What’s your favorite music venue?
It’s got to be The Wiltern in L.A., but the Greek Theatre in Griffith Park is a close second. The Wiltern is a cool venue, especially for the lighting production. I’ve been there twice, and I really enjoy rocking out with the rest of the audience in the building. I like to stand at shows; it gives you more room to dance and jump around, so I definitely like hitting shows at The Wiltern.
What’s the one song lyric you can’t get out of your head?
“What if you had it all, but nobody to call, maybe then you’d know me,” from Justin Bieber’s “Lonely.” I listened to the song once a couple of weeks ago, and the lyric stuck. The sobering nature of the lyric really resonates and slows me way down. In some ways, I think a lot of us can relate to it, and then at the same time, I don’t think we ever could, if that makes sense.
What band or artist changed your life? How?
Being a part of Avenida has changed my life more than any other band or artist. To be in a group working with your brothers can be very challenging. The first few years, it was. We argued too much and had too much pride as individuals. Over time, through all the challenges that come with close relationships, we matured and started to love one another better. Jealous rivalries faded and gave way to ardent friendships. That can be tough amongst bandmates, especially family. I’m most certainly not the same person I was seven years ago, and that’s a good thing.
You have one question to ask one musician. What’s the question, and who are you asking?
The question: “Can we jam sometime?” directed to Jon Foreman. He’s my favorite songwriter, and Switchfoot is one of my favorite bands. I think any musician would flip if they got to jam with one of their favorite artists, and I’m no exception.
What song would you like played at your funeral?
Man, this is a great question. “Your Love Is Strong” by Jon Foreman would be my choice.
Figurative gun to your head, what is your favorite album of all time?
When I Was Younger by Colony House. The whole album was excellently crafted. I was listening to it during a really rough time in my life, so it kind of became part of that experience. It’s an album that helped me and that I genuinely enjoy musically. There are some great riffs, vocal melodies, drum work and lyric writing. Highly recommend.
What song should everyone listen to right now?
“On, And On, And On …” by The Vizitorz. That’s my shout-out to local music. It’s my brother’s group where we write and play original music. It’s a great song. For anybody looking for a more mainstream song recommendation, I recommend “Only” by NF off his album The Search. It’s one of my favorites right now.