West Avenue Band “Only One”

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West Avenue Band is an audience driven trio, hailing and freezing amidst the depths of Wisconsin. They have just released their debut single entitled “Only One” which rocks the spirit of rock-n-roll, and alternative metal. Like a raging tsunami of melodics West Avenue Band are a most extraordinary group of artists who every hour snatch the tatters of their bodies out of the frenzied cataract of life, who’s bleeding hands and heart hold fast to the intelligence of their artistry.

Members of the band include: vocalist extreme Quinn O’Meara who also beats the drums, bassist Rhiannon and guitarist Tristan P. The song was produced by psych band Revolushn fearless leader No Mansfield, a top multi- instrumentalist in his own right who has worked with Aretha Franklin, Berlin, No Doubt, Devo and others.



We exchanged questions and answers with the band regarding their music, their hopes and their visions…..

How was West Avenue Band born?

RHI: It was spring of 2021, Quinn’s father had just passed away the previous fall, leaving him with something newly missing from his life. Up until that point, Quinn had taken up the drumming position for his Dad’s legendary band “Koke.” With the Koke story coming to an end, both Quinn and Rhiannon felt the desire to continue the legacy of hard rockin’ hicks from the sticks!

QUINN:  Rhiannon started messing around on my Brother’s old bass, and soon she was schooling everybody. We spent a lot of time together just jamming and working out how to be a tight rhythm section.

QUINN: So back when my Uncle Rick was still cool, he let us live in my grandmother’s abandoned house in Fifield. That became our base of operations, and also the namesake of the band; the house being located at the end of West Central Avenue. Rhi and I got together with an old classmate, Micheal, who played around on guitar a little bit, and invited him for a jam. We all thought we sounded really great, so we decided that we shouldn’t sit around on our butts in the woods anymore, working for asshole-billionaire-resort owners, and quit wasting our talent. Michael was a good singer, but wasn’t the best guitar player, however, he knew someone who was… So we called up this 16 year old kid named Tristan and told him to come audition. We had him jam to some Band of Gypsys and that was it. He was in, no questions asked. We were all really impressed. Michael didn’t last very long after that, (being more interested in steady money and college chicks,) but that didn’t matter. I took over singing duties and we solidified ourselves as an electric power trio, the likes of which haven’t been heard since the 70s. We made our debut during my Dad’s life celebration, the gigs followed, and the rest is history. 

What is your inspiration for your new release? 

QUINN: Well Park Falls is about 20-30 years behind the rest of the country, culturally, mentally, and technologically. I feel like it’s the isolation and us all being so poor that really inspired us to write and record, yeah, but also just pure passion for doing it. We all really love making music together. A lot of the groups we hear sometimes suffer from being a little “out of touch” with the audiences. So, we wrote some songs that proletariat folks can relate to. We just don’t get the exposure up here and have to dedicate a lot more time to just working to eat and live. Very blue-collar shit. It gets really old…. We saved up all the money we had and flew to San Francisco to do the EP with NO Mansfield from Revolushn. We are still not financially recovered from that! 

Thus far what are your biggest challenges and greatest triumphs? 

RHI: Our biggest challenge has been finances. Quinn and I don’t have our own home or studio anymore (that has to do with the un-cool Uncle,) and the only thing Northern Wisconsin has stayed up to date with is the housing crisis. It’s just as bad here, if not worse, because it’s so cold! Other than that, getting exposure and our name out to the world has been a huge challenge as well. Booking our own gigs always poses a challenge, most places don’t bat an eye at you unless an agent speaks on your behalf.

Making a record with NO Mansfield has been our greatest success thus far and getting to meet and play with some world class musicians. Also playing with Duwayne Burnside at the 2023 Deep Blues Fest at the Silverdome Ballroom in Neillsville, WI. We actually just went to see the show because of Left Lane Cruiser’s appearance as well as some of the Burnside family. Little did we know, Quinn and I would be closing the show, playing some Muddy Waters covers with Duwayne. 

Tell us about Quinn? 

QUINN: I have always loved music for as long as I can remember. I used to express myself with song as a child and learned several instruments in school. I started to really take drumming seriously when I was 15. A kid in my school named Shane had sent out a flyer asking for a drummer and bass player to start a band with to mess around before school. I told him I play drums and he said great, let’s meet up tomorrow morning and jam! I did not have a clue how to play drums, sometimes we’d mess with my Dad’s kit buried in the basement, but I didn’t even have a beat down. I went home that night and told my Dad I had joined a band and he had to teach me how to drum now!!! So he did, and I went in the next day and we started a band. Shane was none the wiser. From then on, I received a lot of awards for my singing and stage acting, even a scholarship to Dorian, but me being a great fool, I decided to follow in my old man’s footsteps and be a drummer first and foremost. His band reunited in 2016, and soon after I joined NO, Ed, and Eddy onstage as Koke’s new live drummer. It was a blast, and still my favorite time spent on stage. After he passed, we started our own band and I finally nailed singing and drumming simultaneously. It wasn’t until now, however, that I really feel like I’ve stepped out of my father’s shadow, and become my own kind of ‘Music Man.”

Tell us about Tristan? 

QUINN: Tristan is West Avenue’s youngest member, joining when he was only 15! He started playing guitar at 13; when his father gifted him an acoustic guitar after he had taken interest. Aside from ALWAYS playing his guitar, he enjoys the outdoors, sports, and bodybuilding. He’s also a bit of a gambler! 

And tell us about Rhiannon? 

QUINN: Rhiannon, who’s namesake is owed to Fleetwood Mac, has no musical background, unless you count singing into a hairbrush, but she always imagined herself growing up to be a rockstar like Joan Jett. She grew up in the emo/punk scene and has since matured into an avid fan of the blues. Rhiannon and I met in the fall of 2018, and through this new relationship, found that she now had access to a plethora of musical instruments. A Squier bass guitar found hiding in the basement was her weapon of choice, and her introduction into the musician’s world. Although once primarily a talented visual artist, music quickly began to dominate her interests, and her ability started to improve immensely. Rhi is the band’s booking agent, advertiser, and social media guru. Her future in rock and roll looks bright, to be sure! 

What is your ultimate stage fantasy? 

QUINN: I would have to say for now opening a show for Robin Trower or playing with his band. Playing at Red Rocks would be cool too.

RHI: Touring with another band internationally. I just have to see more of the world. I’d also love to have an extensive team of artists/designers. I’m imagining an impressive art show with crazy visuals and lighting. I think visual arts really top off a performance, bringing it to that next level. 

TRISTIN: Playing a sold out show at Madison Square Garden.

Who are the band’s biggest music inspirations? The list is extensive so we will try to narrow it down to the best…

Koke

Cream

Hendrix(Band of Gypsys)

Blue Cheer

Black Sabbath

Robin Trower

Grand Funk

Karen Carpenter

Rush

Radio Moscow

Marcus King

Dan Aurbech (Black Keys)

The Raconteurs and White Stripes

RL Burnside

Led Zeppelin

Greta Van Fleet

Rival Sons

RHI: I am particulary inspired by strong female leads. Grace Slick, Janis Joplin, Joan Jett. I’m always awe struck by a woman that has courage and soul so delicately balanced. I also can’t get away from those funky bass lines… If I hear a driving line in a song or a particular group that is known for it’s bass tone/sound, I’m all over it! One day I’d like to find that balance and push myself to be a stronger lead.

(So many more different artists and genres as well that we all personally enjoy.)

What makes West Avenue different from all the rest? 

QUINN: The biggest thing is attitude. None of us really have big egos or anything like that. We really want to drive forward the message that it’s totally about the music. The industry today is so obsessed with how you look, and act rather than the music being made. It seems like any skimpy blonde who can smile and play scales will get a record deal. I see and hear a lot of the same re-hashed stuff from young groups, everyone stays within the money-making comfort zone. We are a real working band, and we’ve put in countless hours honing our craft and promoting ourselves. It’s music for music people. We also have a drummer who doubles as lead singer… top that!

If you could have me ask you any question on the planet, what would it be and how would you answer? 

What are your goals as a musician?

TRISTAN: To write as many songs as I can, and encourage anyone and everyone to make music. 

Where do you see the group a year from now?

QUINN: Tired, hungry, and happy as hell because we are a national touring act.

Why did you choose music as a career?

RHI: It makes me feel a certain way like nothing else does, and it’s the best outlet for my emotions. I feel like I transcend humanity and go to another plane of existence when I’m performing. It’s how I communicate, and if done well, those emotions are relayed back to me from those who listen. It’s a beautiful moment where despite who you are, your beliefs, your background- in that moment we’re all in it together. 

West Avenue Band On The Web:

Linktree: https://linktr.ee/westavenueband

Youtube: https://youtube.com/channel/UC4n1ajuIc7IC3SDDM7aWVMw

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/westaveband

Instagram: @westaveband https://www.instagram.com/westaveband/?hl=en

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/7k0xlDcgGy9dMzuDfZpNJa?si=88TN3EhaTHm7R_9Eq_awNw

Photo Credits: West Avenue Band

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