The Denver-based latin-influenced rock trio, Avrell, delivers a completely new, maverick sound which is reflected in their choice for the band’s name. Geo explains, “I wanted to have a meaning for the band, so I chose my mother’s birth month. I changed the “b” from Spanish to “v” and used the spelling from a dialect of western France to give the word a new sound and new energy. With music, you deliver energy, so I thought it fit well.” But because Avrell is so focused on creating a dynamic, unique sound, Geo struggled to find members that shared his vision.
Through introductions by friends and colleagues, the current members were eventually led to each other. Bassist Ever Martinez says of the group’s inception, “We got thrown together through music. I met Geo in 2013 at a fashion show. A friend of ours introduced us to each other. Geo was playing a solo there and I was one of the judges. At the time, I was playing bass and getting into keyboards and he had written a gazillion songs already. All of his music was cool, so we started collaborating, working on arrangements. We started playing a few gigs as a duet.” But the duo was hoping to turn their musical pursuit into a full band. When the pair eventually met Edgar Lopez at a party where he was providing piano accompaniment, the current band was formed.
Ever explains Geo’s unique sound and vision made it difficult to find the right bandmates. He says, “Our music is different. Even in the Latino community, it’s very different. I have a background in music, and when I see Geo’s arrangements, it’s totally different: different use of chords, a different sound. It’s not easy to come up with something that goes along with what Geo is doing.”
While Ever had originally wanted to become a music teacher and had studied music theory in college, Geo is self-taught and doesn’t follow the traditional rules of music theory. Geo says of his songwriting, “Honestly, I don’t have any idea what I’m doing when I’m writing. I just do it.” According to Ever, “Geo’s style is very different, very unorthodox. He doesn’t care about some of the things that get pounded into your head in music school, like progressions. He just picks chords that sound good. I’ll come in and start putting his song into perspective, start cutting it down into pieces, and some of his stuff doesn’t make sense, but it does follow the rules. So we go from there, and we try to keep that essence. That’s one of the things that gives us our sound.”
For the band, it’s important that their sound and their songs aren’t forced; it needs to come naturally. When writing new material, the members of Avrell have a gut instinct for when a piece is finished. Edgar elaborates, “We just know when it’s right. We’ll keep trying different stuff until it hits. When we reach that moment, it just clicks, and we know that’s the arrangement and the lyrics. We know what we want the song to sound like. It’s energy. We feel content with what we’ve done.” This natural development during their songwriting is due to their mutual respect for each other. Ever says of their style of collaboration, “We’re not set in our ways; we’re not stubborn. We can give each other suggestions, and we can change or tweak something.”
Ever describes Avrell’s sound as ” very melodic and pleasing to the ear. It’s something that you listen to and want to hear again. It crosses a lot of barriers. Even if you don’t understand the lyrics, people seem to like it.” He goes on to explain that in the current political climate, crossing barriers has become increasingly important. He says, “In this world full of hatred, we want to have everyone singing and dancing with their loved ones. Our songs reflect that. All of our songs come from our heart. Whoever hears it will feel that.”