New Zealand-based folk-pop singer-songwriter David Baxter accomplished what he considered to be a challenge to himself last year. Under the guise of Avalanche City, he released his debut full-length album, Our New Life Above Ground, in which he recorded, produced, and played every instrument on the album himself. The single, "Love Love Love," is double platinum in New Zealand after debuting on that country's singles chart at number one. Last month Avalanche City released the Love Love Love EP in the U.S. and hit the road with fun. for a string of dates on their current U.S. tour.
Before Baxter hit the stage at last week’s sold out show at The Independent in San Francisco, CA, he took the time to sit down with me to talk about what inspired him to make his successful album, teaching himself to sing, and what he looks forward to in his career.
How has touring with fun. been?
Really good, actually. It’s been really, really great. They’re great guys, and the shows have obviously been really, really good. I love American audiences, they’re great.
Has the audience been pretty receptive to a relatively unknown band?
Yeah, I would even say completely unknown. [laughs] But nice diplomatic choice of words. Really, really good reception from the audience. It’s been so good.
How was playing at SXSW this year?
Crazy. I don’t think SXSW can be anything other than completely crazy.
I read that you started playing instruments when you were really young. What drew you to play music at such a young age?
I don’t really know. [laughs] I’m not sure. I’ve got photos of me in my nappies with a fake electric guitar and sunglasses on. I’ve always been drawn to music, I’m not sure why.
What was your goal when you first started to create music? Was it just to create or did you want to make a career out of it?
To be honest, I used to just get taught songs from my guitar teacher when I was like nine or ten. And I would change the way that I would play a certain chord. Right from the start I was trying to change things and make them my own. I don’t know why. I’m not really sure if at that point in my life I had any kind of goal; I was just trying out new things.