Avalon is one of the leading and most in-demand producers in the psychedelic trance scene today. Over the last decade, Avalon has headlined every main psytrance festival and appeared at multi-genre electronic festivals.
Hi Leon. I believe you have a new full-length album in the works. Can you tell me about that?
Since I first started, from all my projects included I have released 7 albums. During this time I have been gathering knowledge and inspiration.
Finding out where I’m at right now, what makes me dance on the dance floor at parties across the globe. It’s now I feel I am finally ready to embark on the next Avalon solo album.
I have just started this adventure and hope to have it finished by the end of the year.
You have been with Nano Records since 2007. What has it been like being a part of the Nano family?
It changed my life, seriously! When I joined Nano Records not only did it get my music out there to the world but I met lifelong best friends. It’s like an extended family, brothers from another mothers kind a thing! Love that crazy gang!
You have also released on the likes of Spinnin’ Records, Iboga, & IONO to name a few. In your opinion, what makes a good label; one you are comfortable releasing your music on?
A good label is important to get the support you need as an artist. It really helps navigate all the chaos out there as the label is on the case everyday with all parts of the scene and has a wealth of knowledge that can really help you focus on what you as an artist should be doing.
If you have the right team supporting you it can really help lift you to the places you want to get to. I think it’s important for new artists to release on big labels if they can, to get their music heard as widely as possible. The channels labels have in place can really help with that exposure to new audiences.
Spinnin Records was a landmark release, it was the first psy trance track to be released on the biggest dance music label in the world, so it was great to be part of that.
Last year you built a new studio. Has it streamlined your ability to produce? Any specific gear that you’re close to?
Yeah, I finally built my dream studio. I got my dream ATC 45 speakers and c6 sub. The room is massive and professionally built and treated. No excuses now [laugh]
You also have two side projects, Killerwatts & Future Frequency. Any news with these projects?
Well, I released a new album for each project within the last year, also singles within the last months. So they are fully rocking. It’s all about the vibe when we’re together in the studio and on stage, that creates the unique experience and sound for each project.
You spend a lot of time on the dance floor at festivals you play. Is it important to see things from the crowd’s perspective?
Sure it is, but to be honest I just love to party, feel the vibe with the people and just kick up that dust. The okes be jollin!
Do trends form from season to season within the psytrance scene? What do you see rising in popularity soon?
Gated indian triplets? Oh wait a second that was last season [laugh] I feel right now the trend seems to be a lot of new full on projects trying to recreate the UK psychedelic Nano sound!
We’ve also seen psytrance feature more prominently at multi-genre electronic dance events. Do you think it will continue to receive mainstream attention?
I’m playing some of these events and I feel it’s hitting a peak. It will probably last a few years longer. Let’s see!
What is the UK scene like right now? Is it growing?
The UK scene is at a all time low sadly. There are a couple of good festivals left just about surviving. Underground scene in my opinion is nothing compared to how amazing it once was. It was where I began!
This won’t be your first time in South Africa.
It’s been a few years since I last visited. It’s a known fact and I will say it again. Cape Town is my favourite scene, in many ways. The community feeling, the people, the place, it’s just magical. I can’t wait to be back, got lot’s of new tracks. Get ready!
Do you have any personal rituals that keep you level headed in an otherwise chaotic industry?
I try to keep fit and healthy, it’s really important to have this balance. It just makes all the travelling, late nights and other demands of the job so much easier and manageable.
Have you achieved all your goals?
To be honest, I have. I’ve played the peak slots at pretty much all the major festival I ever dreamed of. I have also collaborated with all the people that inspired me in the first place. I guess the next thing is to take the Avalon sound to the next level and release the long awaited follow up Avalon album.
Any upcoming releases you want to mention?
Yes, Raja Ram’s Stash Bag is out next month. It’s called Heavy Sheet with old favourite legends of mine, Xerox and Illumination.
Thanks for the interview, see you at Origin! Anything to add before we finish off?
I can’t wait to party with you all in Cape Town, get ready, we are gonna have a BLAST!