Joe Avio burst onto the scene earlier this year with the release of his debut single, “Models” and today, he is showcasing another side of his artistry with his latest track, “Waste“. Avio’s latest project finds him digging deep within his own experiences and influences for introspective tracks that are sure to connect with listeners, but it’s not without diversity, either. While his debut single, “Models” finds him looking outward and serves as a commentary on Los Angeles, his second single, “Without Your Love” is a wistful ballad and the light and exciting guitar-based “Waste” finds him showcasing yet another side of his dynamic sound. With “Waste” out now, we caught up with Avio to talk about his influences and his plans for the rest of the year. Listen to the new track and read the interview below!
Prelude Press: Despite the challenges facing the music industry these past few months, you’ve had an exciting year with the release of your debut single, “Models” earlier this summer, as well as “Without Your Love” in August and most recently, “Waste”. What has been the highlight of your year so far?
Joe Avio: That’s a tough one, it’s certainly been a weird couple months! I guess maybe the quarantine? It’s been frustrating to be isolated but I’ve had the opportunity to spend a lot of time with loved ones and stay detached from the stress of releasing music. I worked really hard over the last year without much time off so it’s been nice to take a step back and see what happens as everything comes out.
You’ve been involved in music and playing different instruments from a very young age – how do you feel this upbringing has affected the music that you’re writing today?
Playing multiple instruments definitely opened me up to plenty of genres I wouldn’t have been exposed to had I not been trying to learn to play! For instance, I’m by no means a master mandolinist but when I was trying to learn I went through a pretty crazy Chris Thile phase. I don’t think that would be obvious listening to what I’ve put out this year.
All of your music is self-produced, written and performed. What sort of freedom does this give you when you’re writing? Does it ever become challenging to check or push yourself?
As soon as I have any musical ideas I can immediately hear the whole track in my head. I guess it’s a good thing? But it can be easy to get stuck in a box and close myself off to ideas that might elevate the track. As far as production goes it’s not entirely self produced! I usually start by working out most of the tracks on my own, but later in the process I get in the room with my friend Cole Mitchell to finish them off. Sometimes it happens super quickly with minimal extra work, we just mix it and that’s that. A lot of the time though we’ll add elements, figure out better arrangements, and really push the production. It’s great to have Cole around because when I’m on my own it’s easy to settle but when we’re together it’s easier to push through, and a lot more fun!
I used to think that cowriting would somehow take away from an artist’s message but I’ve gotten reallllyyy into it over the last few months! Waste is actually a cowrite with Adam Yaron and Without Your Love was a cowrite with and was produced by the artist Grant. As far as collaborations go that was basically it for the project but I’d love to explore it more in the future.
You’ve mentioned before that “Models” looks a little more outward than much of the music you’ve been working on lately – can you tell us about what inspired the track?
Totally! I think I was just kind of overwhelmed by LA. Obviously it’s an amazing city, I love living there. That being said, when I wrote Models I was just focusing on all the things I was experiencing that I hadn’t seen before. People abusing prescription drugs and hopping on the freeway, social media acting as a testament to your value as a human being, the fetishizing of religion? I guess I’ve always struggled with the idea of faith but I saw people going to these big church ceremonies in expensive cars wearing designer fits or whatever and it just struck me as kind of odd.
It being the first song that many people would hear from you, did you have any goals in mind when you first started working on “Models”?
I think my only goal really was to tell a story. That and create something so sonically grandiose it paralleled the city the song was about.
You’re now releasing your new single, “Waste”. Can you tell us a little bit about this track?
Waste is really fun for a change! It’s just supposed to be light and exciting. It’s way more upbeat than most of my other stuff and I’m super happy with the way it turned out. It’s totally guitar based which made it feel a little more natural to me and brought me back to how I felt when all I wanted to do was play guitar for 9 hours a day. That being said, the production is definitely pushing the boundaries of what sounds I’d normally use in a track. There’s a lot of foley going on and maybe even some screams so I’m excited to hear what people think.
What would you like for listeners to take away from “Waste” or your music in general?
I guess that no matter how they feel, they aren’t alone. When I was growing up, I consumed music like crazy. I looked forward to long car rides because I could just zone out and listen to records on my Walkman. I used to run every day because it was an excuse to just listen to music and not think about anything else. As I got older, I realized that listening so much really just helped me articulate my feelings when I was finding it difficult to do so. Sometimes emotions are confusing. Still, when you can define them, put them into words as music often does, you’re way more in control. You can kind of quantify how you feel and everything gets a lot less scary.
With a handful of singles out now, what can fans expect next? Do you have any other big plans for the rest of the year?
In a month or so there is one more single on the way! A month or so after that there will be a full nine song project out. Now that I have all this music out of my system I’m really just excited to get back in the studio and start creating again. That’s all I’m really focused on right now.
Thank you for taking the time to chat with us! Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Stay safe and thank you for having me!