Interviews: AVANDRA

In this new occasion, we have had the opportunity to interview the Progressive Metal band AVANDRA from Puerto Rico. Check out the interview and follow the band on their FACEBOOK PAGE.

1. Where did you get the idea for the band name, you planned it or came out just like that? 

So, back when I had the idea to start a project back in 2011, I was thinking of doing a post-rock, post-metal one, and was very influenced by Russian Circles. I loved their album, Geneva, so thought maybe I should name the band Project Geneva: thank the gods I didn’t. A few years later, when I had some tracks written for what would eventually turn into the first album, Tymora, I was setting up a Dungeons and Dragons campaign with a buddy of mine, and the 4th edition was our pick. It had introduced a new deity with the name of Avandra, who represented travel, luck, and adventure. I thought those representational properties of her were in sync with my idea of what music and being in a band was (traveling a lot on tours; luck ‘cause “fortune favors the bold”; an adventure, cause this whole damn thing is a pretty massive undertaking and adventure). So, around 2013 or so is when the name Avandra became the permanent one for the band.

2. Why did you want to play this genre? 

Actually, as I mentioned above, I didn’t really plan on creating a progmetal /progrock band. I wanted to do something more “post”, but all my musical heroes were prog ones: Dream Theater, Opeth and Porcupine Tree. As much as I tried to stick with the “post” side of things, the prog side was always dominating. There are still post elements in our music, for example having an ostinato or repeating phrase and building on it, but the prog elements definitely dominate.

3. Did you know each other before the band was formed? 

I’ve known the bassist Gabriel Alejandro since like 2006, but the other guys since 2017. I started auditions after the first album garnered a lot of attention and people started asking me when they’d see us live. Little did they know there was no “us”, for the first album was a one-man project.

4. Each band member favorite band? 

Christian Ayala (guitarist, synth, and singer): Dream Theater, Opeth, Porcupine Tree

Adrián Arroyo (drummer): Genesis, Dream Theater, Rush, Pink Floyd, Steven Wilson

Gabriel Alejandro (bass): Primus, Marcus Miller, The Black Dahlia Murder, Jamiroquai, Bernard Herrmann

Luis Javier (guitarist):  Symphony X, Kansas, Queen, Porcupine Tree/Steven Wilson, Thank You Scientists

5. Who or what inspires you to write songs? 

Could be anything from musical influences from the past that are already ingrained in my DNA (like The Beatles, Tears for Fears, Savage Garden, etc) to more conscious musical influences like Dream Theater, Opeth, Porcupine Tree, to sceneries, like standing on the zenith of a mountain seeing the city lights below like stars hanging low in the sky.

6. Where was your last gig? 

La Respuesta in Santurce, Puerto Rico. Was also the reléase show for our second album, Descender.

7. Where would you like to act?

I love The Netherlands, so anywhere there would be amazing.  Same goes for Belgium, England, and Germany, though we would love to travel the world!

8. Whom would you like to feature with? 

Probably one of my heroes, Steven Wilson.

9. Whom not? 

Any number of musical acts that are gimmicky and are artists only cause their PR agencies have convinced many that they are.

10. Any of you has ever suffered from stage fright? Any tip for beginners on how to beat that? 

I (Chris) suffer horribly from it. It’s an “it takes time to get used to” type of thing. Dealing with the voice in your head that makes you very self-conscious of everything you do takes time. You have to push through and just feel the music. It’s all about attitude. As we musicians, we tend to think the notes being 100% correct is what matters, but it isn’t. It’s your engagement with the public that matters, and part of that engagement is laughing off any mistake and pushing through for them.

11. What bands have inspired you the most? 

As mentioned before, my Holy Trinity are Dream Theater, Opeth and Porcupine Tree, though there ar ea lot of “minor” influences, like Tool, Karnivool, ISIS the band, Anathema, In Flames, Children of Bodom, and a few others.

12. What's the weirdest thing a fan has ever asked you for? 

For now, nothing super strange has been requested of us. But, we will start touring soon, so when we do, I’m sure something new will pop up!

13. What do you think of your fans? 

Love ‘em. They have been super supportive of the band, and even though they are spread out throughout the world, there is a sense of community whenever we discuss things on our social media.

14. What do you think of our site?

I love how complete it is. You guys have track-by-tracks, behind the covers, and interviews! Most sites stick to interviews and reviews only, so I really love how complete you guys are.

15. Something add?

Thanks for reading! You can follow us on Facebook at and Instagram @avandrapr

Thank you for having us!

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