AV Super Sunshine is the name of a group, of a person and, most certainly, of a sound.

The enigmatic entity creates "new classic rock." That is, his songs are thoroughly modern, but are arranged with guitar-heavy hints of '60s psychedelia and '70s hard rock. It's an elegantly contemporary sound that is shot through with echoes of the rock 'n' roll past.

"Yes, it is AV Super Sunshine, a gro...up," says this out- of-nowhere singer/songwriter. "I guess I'm also AV Super Sunshine. I make the music that I do because I grew up on classic rock, a lot of the stuff from the late '60s and early to mid '70s. I would say it's from Led Zeppelin up until Aerosmith, that kind of sound. Alice Cooper, Black Sabbath, Cream, Emerson, Lake and Palmer and all of those are all part of my DNA."

You'll also hear references to The Small Faces, Donovan, The Blues Magoos and their contemporaries in the striking audio collage that is the debut album by AV Super Sunshine. The swirling electric guitars in tracks like "Chameleon" and "Skeleton Man," the atmospheric production of "Baby Goodbye" and "Girl Hey Hey," the hippie vibe of "Super Sunshine Girl" and "Wavy Gravy Baby" and the art-rock textures of "Going Blind" and "Nervous Ways" are sure signs that this is no ordinary record.

From the doom-y opening riffs of "Fire Away" to the throbbing bass and organ sustains in "Happiness," from the uplift in "Just a Cloud" to the churning rock of "Why," AV Super Sunshine is marking out a highly personal and unique musical vision.

AV Super Sunshine, the person, is a native of Wisconsin whose early music development seems conventional enough. But his life experiences since then have been anything but.

"The first record I ever bought was an album by Alice Cooper called Killer," he recalls. "I think I followed that with a Black Sabbath record. I've been playing guitar since I was 18. When I started playing guitar, I was very heavily into Frank Zappa. He was a big part of me picking up the guitar and wanting to learn to play. Also, he was obviously a very hard-working songwriter.

"I realized that to play at his level would require years and years of practice. So I started playing in garage-type bands with four-chord punk rock and everything else that was happening.

"Disco and new wave put an end to the classic-rock sound, but in the early 1980s, there was a resurgence of young bands playing from the heart. That's when I started bashing out uptempo rock stuff in bands."

But AV became sort of frozen in time. For 15 years he made no music whatsoever.

"I got really sick," he relates. "I had a very big portion of my life that wasn't very productive." He became mentally ill.

"I didn't realize how sick I was. I kind of hit bottom in 2009, and that's when I was diagnosed with severe depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress syndrome and bi- polar disorder.

"But that's also when I started playing again and really writing from the heart. It is about that time when I began writing things that I felt. Rather than trying to write songs to please people, I started writing songs to please myself.

"I read an interview with David Bowie. He made a comment that he was just trying to write from the heart, but that because he was a human, if it moved him, it would have to move other people. I believe that. I try to write songs that other people understand and maybe help them with my experiences."

AV's rehabilitation began in a coffee house in the college town of Oshkosh, Wisconsin. He forced himself to perform in public again by going there. He sang at a weekly open-mic night at the venue for two years. Then he became the event's host.

"A lot of young kids in their early 20s come in with their guitars. I work with them. I have three different bands with three different sets of those kids. They need somebody to help them put their songs together and learn how to go out into the clubs. That's where I play bass, because these kids already play guitar and sing, and they need a bass player.

"It just so happens that in each of those bands there is a least one LBGT kid. So because of that, I ended up for the past two years managing a stage for the Milwaukee Gay Arts Center at the Milwaukee Pride Fest. That's been a really good experience, because it is helping both me and them. "

Encouraged by his progress, AV began attending music conventions and professional songwriting seminars. Whenever he played his songs at these, top show-business executives praised his talent.

"I saw that James House and Danny Flowers - well- known country songwriters - were giving a songwriting seminar, so I went and saw them. Both of them are unbelievably great people, and so friendships started. James was very interested in my songwriting. So we started talking. He has a lot of faith in what we're doing. He's been really positive, a role model as well as a friend. James has helped me quite a bit.

"Eventually, it got to the point where he said, 'Come on down and let's record.' And during that process he said, 'Let's take this thing on the road.'"

From being a guy who could barely get off his couch to face the public a few years ago to being a touring rock musician has been a remarkable evolution for AV Super Sunshine. This blast-from-the-past is continuing with it because he thinks his music might help people.

"Yes, there's bits of influences from my earlier career in my sound and in my writing," reflects AV. "But more than anything else, I think this is a healing record. That's why I think AV Super Sunshine is a good name. Because I want to try to help people and to spread some sunshine."

AV Super Sunshine and the roots-rocking Troubadour Kings are the cornerstone artists of the new record label Victor House Records. The company will also market solo efforts by singer-songwriter James House.


media: Jennifer Bohler jballiance@comcast.net
general: info@AVSupersunshine.com
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