Meade Ave got its start with Aaron Paoletta, the founder of Bad Sue Records LLC. Aaron moved to Las Vegas, NV from rural PA to pursue his goal of becoming a chef. A classically trained musician, Aaron instantly bonded with Seth Peavler, another musician turned chef, when the two worked in the same hotel/casino. Both men expressing their desire to shift gears and pursue a career in music led to several projects that would eventually evolve into Meade Ave. When the pair met Stephen Johnson they instantly felt a connection and began writing and recording music at the Bad Sue Records studio which, at the time, was located at 3311 Meade Ave in Las Vegas. While trying to decide on a name for this newest musical endeavor, Aaron noticed the Meade Ave road sign and thought it would look interesting as a band logo. Obviously the name stuck and Meade Ave was officially born. The trio would go on to release an EP entitled ‘At the Beginning’. In early 2013, personal and creative differences began to arise which led to Stephen leaving the band.
Around this same time, Aaron had reestablished contact with a former co-worker, Joe Arduini, who also happened to play guitar. Joe, Seth and Aaron established a bond and on April 27, 2013 Joe was officially added to the lineup as guitarist and vocalist. A long time musician, Joe was able to write songs quickly leading to the next 3 EPs, ‘The Meade Ave’, ‘Ionosphere’ and ‘Silvercord’ as well as the single ‘Desperate’ being released in just over a year. It was with Joe that the band truly began to make a name for themselves in the Las Vegas music scene. In May of 2014 Joe informed the band that he was moving. Initially shocked, all three members decided to try and make the long distance work but unfortunately, it was not to be. Joe left the band in September of 2014.
In June of 2014, Seth had met Jeff Bowling, a professional wrestler, stunt performer/fight choreographer and former U.S. Army combat veteran, and introduced him to the rest of the band. Initially, the intention was to expand Meade Ave into a four-piece with a new vocalist. However, the band quickly signed Jeff on as the General Manager due to his experience and contacts within the entertainment industry in Las Vegas. Jeff introduced the band to Blake Wolden, a Las Vegas native and guitarist, with the intention of Blake becoming a touring guitar player for when Joe was not able to be at a performance. Upon Joe’s departure from the band, Jeff and Blake were officially added to Meade Ave’s lineup as vocalist/songwriter and guitarist respectively. On September 26, 2014 Meade Ave officially posted ‘Born Again’ on their website, the newest single written and recorded by the current lineup. On April 30, 2015 Meade Ave released ‘From the Ashes,’ the first full-length studio album from the band, which solidified a change in sound and direction from the Alternative Rock Meade Ave had been known for, to a distinct Hard Rock/Metal sound.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: What city and state are you from?
MEADE AVE: MEADE AVE is a Hard Rock/Metal band that hails from Las Vegas, NV. Blake Wolden (Guitars) is also from Las Vegas and has lived there all his life. Jeff Bowling (Frontman/Vocalist) was born in London, KY, spent his younger and early teenage years in Minneapolis, MN and spent his High School years in Marion, OH. Aaron Paoletta (Drums) is from Mercer, PA and Seth Peavler (Bass) is from Ledyard, CT.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: What is your music background?
MEADE AVE: Each of MEADE AVE’s members have strong backgrounds in a variety of musical styles.
Jeff Bowling’s father is a Gospel singer and Guitar player and his mother sang in the church choir and played Guitar and Piano. Jeff tried Guitar at 4 years old and again at 16 but just never took to it. Instead he received classical training on Violin, played Trombone in Middle School band and also sang in Middle School and church choir. In High School he began to explore more musical outlets and ended up playing Keyboard and Synth in an Goth/Industrial band called CORROSION. He was the Lead Singer of SMEGMA for 1 year and after joining the Army he became the Lead Singer for THE BASTARDS, a NYC based Hardcore/Punk band for 3 years. In 2008 he and his wife began an Industrial, Folk and Experimental Noise project called LUCID. In 2014, Jeff joined MEADE AVE as Lead Vocalist and Frontman. Jeff also holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Audio Production from the International Academy of Design & Technology.
Aaron Paoletta’s father was a drummer for the Pennsylvania based cover band, EVEN FLOW and his mother was a classically trained pianist. Aaron himself is a multi-instrumentalist who is classically trained in Saxophone and has been playing drums since the age of 4. Aaron has performed with his High School jazz band, pep band, marching band, concert band and honors ensemble. Aaron, along with his brother and sister, formed the Jazz band ONE TAP POP in 2008. He plays Saxophone, Drums, brasswind instruments and Clarinet proficiently. He also plays Guitar and Bass but not with the same precision. Aaron is the founder and owner of Bad Sue Records, LLC and Roadshow Studios in Las Vegas, NV.
Blake Wolden, unlike the rest of the band, did not really come from a musical family or really have an interest in music until the 7th grade when he picked up Trumpet and played in his school’s symphonic band. A music credit was required and in his words he picked Trumpet “Because it was the easiest instrument to carry on the bus.” A long time fan of Heavy Metal music, Blake put down the Trumpet and picked up his first Guitar at the age of 16. Blake taught himself the instrument through, playing by ear, covers of Metallica and Pantera songs. At 17 he was invited to some jam sessions with a garage rock band started by the former, touring Bass player of REO SPEEDWAGON, John Redhawk. After perfecting his playing under the tutelage of Mr. Redhawk, Blake began to jam with several, small local bands until joining MEADE AVE in 2014.
Seth Peavler is a classically trained Clarinet player who began playing at 12 years old. In High School, Seth learned Saxophone and played in his school’s jazz band. After High School, Seth left music behind completely to begin a career in Culinary Arts. In 2010 he picked up Bass and began playing it in studio sessions with his friend, Aaron Paoletta. This would eventually lead to the creation of MEADE AVE.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: What are your songs about?
MEADE AVE: MEADE AVE’s first LP, From the Ashes, is a concept album that tells the story of the band, and its individual members, from the beginning to where we are today. Each song on the album is a chapter of the overall story. “In the Beginning,” “Enlightenment,” and “The Journey” describes the early days of MEADE AVE from deciding to start the band, through the indecision and sacrificed time each member had to endure and finally the excitement and adrenaline rush of the first concert. “Prelude,” “Cycles,” “Denial,” and “Revelation” cover the anger, resentment, feelings of abandonment and abuse suffered by the members at the hands of less than professional managers, promoters and even early members of the band that harmed the progress of MEADE AVE. From the Ashes, Born Again and Redemption are the climax of the story which explain the current line-up finding each other, getting themselves back on track and figuratively being reborn from the ashes. Threads of Fate and The (w)Reckoning cover the sense of family, brotherhood and united purpose that MEADE AVE now has with each other and our fans. These two songs stand as a message to the world about how we will not stop and showcase the type of music the listener can expect from MEADE AVE moving forward The (w)Reckoning lays the groundwork for the MEADE AVE MILITIA which is the network of the band, our family and our fans. So it is Done! is a bonus track only available on the physical CD of “From the Ashes” and is a destruction ritual set to music that serves as one final vent about the pain suffered by the band which was previously covered in “Prelude-Revelation”. It is a song whose purpose is to close the door on the past so that MEADE AVE can look solely to our future.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: What is your favorite song to perform and why?
MEADE AVE: It is difficult to pick a favorite song to perform. We love the songs we have written and the reaction the audience has to each one in their own way. If the band, as a whole, had to pick a favorite we would call it a tie between “Redemption” and “Enlightenment” because we tend to play those two to each other on stage and we create our own energy feedback loop. We all have so much fun playing those two that sometimes we even forget we are on a stage in front of an audience. However, each member of the band has their own favorite for various reasons. Jeff and Aaron both prefer “Born Again”. Jeff loves performing it because it is the song with the most audience participation and he gets to watch the audience feel the song and send that energy back to the stage. Aaron likes it because sitting in the back, on the drums, he doesn’t get to see how into the set the audience is but when everyone’s fist goes up and they start chanting ‘HEY!’ he can finally see and hear them. Blake prefers Denial because it reminds him of the gritty, dialed down metal he grew up on and pumps him up. Seth prefers “So it is Done!” as it is hard-hitting, angry and groovy and we almost always get a mosh pit started in the crowd.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: What has surprised you the most in the pursuit of a career in music?
MEADE AVE: There have been several surprises on this path. Some great and some horrible. Each band member has their own things that caught them off guard but as a whole MEADE AVE has been most surprised by how hungry fans are to hear new music, how quickly they embrace a new sound and a new band and how supportive the older guys in the industry are of us. Aaron Paoletta was most surprised by how difficult it is to make music into a career yet how strong the high of being on stage and feeling the energy of a large crowd is. Blake Wolden was most surprised by life on the road. Especially how weather can impact a tour schedule such as when we were driving through two tornadoes while touring Texas in May of this year. Seth Peavler was most surprised by how much strain and pressure being in a professional, career band can put on your personal and family lives, both mentally and physically. Jeff Bowling was most surprised by how fast the music industry and the fans expectations change and evolve such as the advent of digital streaming, bands being signed and dropped from labels, etc.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: Who are your musical influences?
MEADE AVE: MEADE AVE is a diverse band with an equally diverse list of influences. As a whole, MEADE AVE looks at Metallica, Pantera, Disturbed, Godsmack, Led Zeppelin and our fellow Las Vegas musicians, Five Finger Death Punch as the biggest influences. Individually, Aaron cites Dave Koz, Def Leppard, Aerosmith, Pearl Jam, Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra, his own father and the Mercer High School Band Director, Travis J. Weller as his biggest influences. Blake cites Dimebag Darrell Abbot (Pantera, Damageplan), Kirk Hammet and James Hetfield (Metallica) Ryan Knight (The Black Dahlia Murder) and Korn as his source of inspiration. Jeff was influenced by Boyd Rice (NON, Death in June, The Boyd Rice Experience), Peter Murphy (Bauhaus), Nick Cave (The Birthday Party, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, Grinderman), Sex Pistols, Black Flag, Rancid, Bad Religion, Nirvana, Trent Reznor (Nine Inch Nails, How to Destroy Angels) Alice in Chains, Maynard James Keenan (Tool, A Perfect Circle, Puscifer) Stone Temple Pilots and Marilyn Manson. Seth draws his inspiration from Reel Big Fish, The Ramones, Queen, Anthrax, Streetlight Manifesto, Iron Maiden, John Entwistle (The Who) and Les Claypool (Primus).
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: How would you describe your music to people?
MEADE AVE: MEADE AVE likes to say we toe the line between Hard Rock and Heavy Metal by using a classical song structure fused with raw aggression and emotion to give our fans a powerful musical and emotional experience. If you listen to our music you will hear bits and pieces that could belong to several genres and obviously reflect each band member’s individual influences but at the end of the day, we are a new school Hard Rock/Metal band that writes music with an old school feel.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: What makes you stand out from other artists?
MEADE AVE: The #1 thing that separates us from other artists is our professionalism and work ethic. We are almost always the first band to arrive at a venue, whether we are headlining or not, and the last to leave. We never cancel shows no matter how sick or tired we are (literally, the only exceptions are for deaths in our families). When we arrive at a venue we talk with the sound engineers, bartenders, promoters, security and see what we can do to make their jobs easier. We hit the pavement in every city we play in and promote our shows street team style again, whether we are headlining or not. From a fan perspective, what sets us apart is that we are fans ourselves. Unless we are getting ready to go on stage we do not hide in the green room. We are at the bar, in the mosh pit, at our merch stand or standing out front having a smoke with other fans. However, when we get on that stage the fans get a high energy, well-rehearsed and big arena style performance regardless of the size of the venue. We create an environment where the fans are the rock stars, our friends and our family and they, the MEADE AVE MILITIA, know that they are an integral part of the performance. Musically, it is our unique backgrounds that create a blend of old school Heavy Metal and modern Hard Rock that creates a well polished, high standard sound with an aggressive grit that is reminiscent of an underground, garage band.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: What would you like to see changed in today’s music industry?
MEADE AVE: MEADE AVE only sees a few issues with the music industry as it stands today. First and foremost is the inability the industry has had to embrace the modern, digital format of music. With streaming and downloading being the #1 way that fans seem to be getting their music these days, the industry needs to catch up, embrace that and find a way for the artist to get paid for their music without making the fans feel ripped off. The other big thing we see wrong with the industry is the promotion of personalities over talent. Obviously an image is important for any musician but when one’s entire basis for being promoted on a worldwide scale is that image and the person behind it has very little to no actual talent or musical ability there is something wrong. Meanwhile there are bands and solo artists with years poured into their craft and thousands of dollars spent on gear, lessons, and fine tuning their ability who will never be recognized. Basically, MEADE AVE would like to see the music industry go back to focusing on the music.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: What are some upcoming projects that you are currently working on?
MEADE AVE: MEADE AVE does not like to stay still and stagnate. We have a lot of projects we are currently working on. Right now we are currently writing a theme song for and independent professional wrestler, Hangman Jesse Stone, which should be completed in the next couple of weeks (it will be available for free to our fans once it is complete.) We are also working on a theme song for The Crazy Joe Show at the request of Crazy Joe himself. While doing that we are booking and preparing for the next leg of the From the Ashes tour which will take us through California, Oregon, Washington, Nevada, Idaho and Utah. We have several shows coming up including a return to the world famous Whisky a Go-Go in Hollywood, CA on December 7, 2015 and we are finishing up writing on our next EP, Ritual Noise. Once we get those demos cut we are going back into the studio to record Ritual Noise and it should be available early 2016. Ritual Noise is one part filling in gaps in the story off of From the Ashes and one part preparing fans for our next album cycle.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: What are your career goals? Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
MEADE AVE: Our long term career goals are to be signed to a major record label so that we can put MEADE AVE’s music into the hearts and hands of fans around the world in the absolute best way possible. We want to establish ourselves in the music industry as the new standard for what a Hard Rock/Metal band is supposed to be while not forgetting where we came from, what we had to do to get there and be able to use our experience and name to help younger bands continue that legacy.
In 10 years we see ourselves in the studio, working on our 6th studio album (assuming a 2-year album cycle per record), planning our next world tour to promote that album and having established MEADE AVE as a name fans know always puts out music they want to hear and puts on a performance they cannot afford to miss.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: How can your fans access your music and contact you?
MEADE AVE: MEADE AVE spearheads this worldwide organization called the MEADE AVE MILITIA. In order to be a part of the MILITIA all you have to do is be a fan of our music and further the cause of putting Hard Rock and Heavy Metal back on the top of the music industry. That being said, we LOVE to hear from the MILITIA and we encourage all members, worldwide to contact us. You can send us an email at MEADEAVE@GMAIL.COM or message us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/meadeave. It will always be a band member responding to your messages as we believe that being personal with our fans is the only way we ever want to operate. Beyond that you can learn about us and check out our music at www.meadeave.com, www.reverbnation.com/meadeave and follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/meadeave. To purchase our music you can click the shop link on our Facebook page and website to order directly from the band or you can pick up physical CDs at all Zia Records locations, Doc’s Records & Vintage in Fort Worth, TX, Forever Young Records in Grand Prairie, TX. If you prefer your music digital you can find our album, From the Ashes, and the singles from it on Google Play, Amazon mp3, iTunes, CDBaby.com, Spotify, Soundcloud and just about any other digital music site.
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