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"The stories behind my music are raw, but when I sing it for a crowd, I don't feel sad, I feel empowered and understood." - Avalon Stone

Posted: May 23, 2024
I have always looked up to Chris Cornell, his range and raw creativity, and how his music took so many forms.

Photo by: Lucky Seven

Avalon Stone: Igniting the Stage with Grunge-Infused Alt-Rock Magic

DRAG ME' available now! Bursting at the seams with raw creative energy, Avalon Stone draws from her rock roots (Alice In Chains, Black Sabbath, Smashing Pumpkins, The Cranberries) while adding a heavy and more modern flair (Pretty Reckless, Bad Omens). In an era where the echo of grunge still reverberates and the allure of alt-rock captivates hearts, Avalon Stone emerges, embracing her past while carving a new musical destiny.

Soft edgy lyrics filled with relatable secrets grow into raw, power- filled alt-rock anthems with massive vocal range, white-hot grungy riffs, and soulful solos. "I delve into the dark recesses of the mind in search of understanding and connection," Stone shares about her lyrical approach, crafting verses like "Drowning in a place void of water..."; "Your words are bullets and tears are mine…" Her music speaks a language understood by every listener's heart and soul.

Her story is a testament to the profound influence and healing power of music. Hailing from Kitchener, an hour southwest of Toronto, she took her initial steps onto the stage at a tender age of 10. Since then, she's graced over 300 stages, captivating audiences at festivals and venues across Ontario and the United States, from intimate bars to colossal festival stages boasting 15,000+ fans. With nearly a decade of performance experience under her belt, her audience is entranced by the fusion of youthful authenticity and the energy that comes from years of igniting stages with passionate performances. "There's nothing quite like the connection forged with my fans and fellow bandmates on that stage," Stone reflects.

Armed with an arsenal of songs that share her profound insights into the human experience and a trusty sword honoring her legendary namesake, Avalon Stone launches her solo career with unwavering determination. After sharing the stage in the summer of 2023 with iconic acts like Big Wreck, Sass Jordan, and Kim Mitchell, she's now in the studio, partnering with producer Kevin Dietz (known for his work with Glorious Sons, JJ Wilde, and Billy Talent). Avalon Stone invites you to embark on a transformative journey that blurs the lines between genres, generations, and emotions as she unveils her debut Album Chained through 2024.

The healing power of music – According the NAMI (National Alliance of Mental Illness) says that listening to music stimulates the nucleus accumbens part of the brain, in turn increasing dopamine levels in the body.

 Research suggests that listening to music is not only pleasing but is effective as a form of therapy and emotion regulation as well.

You probably didn’t need a reputable source to convince you of music’s healing power. It is a fact of life. When we experience frustration, emotion, or depression we often turn to our favorite song, or artist for comfort. Music is a gift. Without hesitation, a true artist can take you on a journey that will free your mind.

Now, I am not talking about some mystic muse and hocus pocus. Music can chemically alter your state of mind. It is a natural drug without any side effects. I am not sure where most of us would be without the healing power of music. Our guest today is Avalon Stone. She is an artist with raw energy. Avalon has deep roots that are linked to the grunge genre of the 90s. However, she puts her own mark on the music she produces. She has the courage to embrace her past to carve out a new musical destiny. You got to love it.

INTERVIEW WITH AVALON STONE AND GUITAR THRILLS MAGAZINE

Guitar Thrills: First, I have to say that the name Avalon Stone sounds like a movie star. I wonder if she ever considered an acting career. Good thing for us, she deiced to pursue her dreams as an artist. She is extremely talented. 

Guitar Thrills: Hello Avalon. First, were you born Avalon Stone or is a stage name? 

Avalon: I am so lucky that I was named Avalon, but not lucky enough to have Stone as my natural last name. I chose it for myself because I felt connected to it in a way my real last name never did. It's related to my father's Favorite books; Avalon is the mystical island where Merlin was trained and Excalibur was forged. Excalibur, known as the sword in the stone, it just fit.

Guitar Thrills: I was thinking it was a great choice either way. 

Guitar Thrills: How has music helped you power through some of the most difficult times of your life, or even music career?

Avalon: Music has stuck by my side consistently, without question, like the most loyal of childhood friends. It’s always been something I can rely on. When things got really hard at the beginning of the pandemic, I read stories about musicians in Italy playing off their balconies to help people think about something other than fear and death for a little while. So I started doing shows in the park behind my house, and people in my neighborhood listened from windows and yards. Eventually we started streaming them and people all over the world wrote messages about how the music helped them get through. That connection helped me power through.

Guitar Thrills: What about music draws you to it, as a tool for healing? 

Avalon: For me, my music has always been so authentically received and reciprocated. That isn't always true when I try to communicate my feelings in ‘normal’ ways. Before I'm ready to talk about something, I usually write about it. The stories behind the music are raw, but when I turn that into a song and sing it for a crowd, I don't feel sad, I feel empowered and understood. Often people come up to me after a show and tell me they felt heard by a song or a lyric. Being able to connect that way and do that for someone is the most healing thing I've ever experienced. 

Guitar Thrills: I totally agree. I always turned to music as a source for getting through the worst times of my life. That is most likely the reason, why I have worked in the music industry for many years. 

Regarding your choice in genre. I think it’s perfect. I think there is a trend for many young artists to sing heavy metal. I get it. However, when there is someone ready to step outside the box, I am all for it. Especially when they have been influenced by the Grunge genre of the 90’s. Who are some of the bands that influenced you, as you were digging Grunge? 

Avalon: The genre is more of something I fell into rather than chose for myself, which makes it feel much more real for me. I have always looked up to Chris Cornell, his range and raw creativity, and how his music took so many forms. One of the first songs I ever wrote was after he passed away when I was 14. When I graduated and started writing again, I realized my new music had a familiar grunge vibe, so I put some of my old favorites on repeat, like Alice in Chains, Nirvana, Stone Temple Pilots, The Cranberries, Sabbath, Evanescence, and I added new favorites like Badflower, Bad Omens, Dead Poets Society, Erra, Whitechapel, The Pretty Reckless. Existing in this time with so much music to be inspired by has also meant that my own music doesn't always fit only one mold. I love how the Grunge genre mixes with modern hard rock, metal, and sits on top of my blues and classic rock roots. 

Guitar Thrills: Great choices. Some of the bands that have inspired you, are the ones that I cling to the most. I think Grunge is something that was short-lived but influential in many ways. I think it’s cool that you picked up the torch and continue to run with it. That is why you will go far in the music industry. We certainly have your back. 

When did you truly believe in your abilities as an artist?

Avalon: This is an interesting question because I always believed in my abilities as a vocalist. Yet, I never really saw myself as an artist until I stayed away from what was expected of me and went towards something that felt real for me, which is what you see now. 

Guitar Thrills: When did you start performing with your current band members? 

Avalon: It’s a bit complicated because the Kitchener music scene is filled with talented musicians and collaboration. I performed with Tyler (drummer) for about 4 years when we were in a different band together, occasionally performed with Donovan (bass) over about 7 years, and Caleb (guitar) has been with me for a little over a year from the beginning of this project. Tyler and Donovan joined the band around 8 months ago and we have been going strong since.

Guitar Thrills: Do you mind giving us the names and titles of your band members?

Avalon: On guitar is Caleb Bourgeois, on bass is Donovan McKinley, and on drums is Tyler Shea who will be featured on the next set of songs that are coming out shortly.

Guitar Thrills: What continues to drive you as an artist? Do you have a goal in mind, that you must reach?

Avalon: What drives me is connecting with people, especially when performing live. My main goal is to tour all over the world, connecting with people and exploring as much of life as I can get my hands on. I feel called to this life. Of course, there are other goals that aid that journey but mostly, I want to do something that I love, with people that I love, and music, even at its current level, has already provided me with that.

Guitar Thrills: There are so many people talking about failure, and how to get past it. How have you approached failure in the past? Did you ever think it was a possibility?

Avalon: I always think it’s a possibility. Every day. I used to be so paralyzed by the fear of failure that I spent a whole year yearning for the courage to create this life for myself (which is, in part, what my debut album is about). Experiencing failure has helped to soften the overall fear of failure, because I have always gotten back up onto my feet (eventually) and moved onto something better. And now, I’m learning to see it not as failure, but timing. If I miss out on an opportunity, maybe it's just not time yet, I’ve got more work to do, or maybe another opportunity is a better fit. It helps me keep moving forward, especially when it feels hard.

Guitar Thrills: How have you dealt with the success that you have experienced? Has it changed you at all?

Avalon: I am a strong believer in constant evolution, so it’s difficult to say if I have been changed by any success I have experienced so far. If anything, I think it has made me more confident in myself, which leads me to dream bigger and reach farther. I'm so flattered when people ask me for signatures, pictures, advice, etc. I hope that will never change.

Guitar Thrills: Is there anything about the current state of music that you wish you could change?

Avalon: I do wish that there was more focus on raw rock music, that analog vibe, especially live, because I feel that we have lost some feeling and meaning overall. On the other hand, I am ecstatic that anyone who feels a pull to create music now has so many tools to help them do that. 

Guitar Thrills: What are you currently working on, and when do you expect to release it to the public?

Avalon: I am currently working on an album called Chained, and we’ve dropped a few singles so far, and the rest of the album will keep coming out this year.

Guitar Thrills: I really hope we get to interview you again. Please keep in touch with us, as we would enjoy a follow up to our interview today. Also keep an eye out for your interview, as it will be published in the June issue of Guitar Thrills Magazine. Which features Gavin Rossdale from Bush. 

Avalon: That’s exciting, Bush is awesome. It was a pleasure chatting with you, it would be cool to connect again after Chained is all out! I’ll have more to share because I’m already almost done writing the second album.




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