Dylan McDonald and The Avians deliver an intoxicating brand of eclectic rock reminiscent of John Lennon and Neil Young and legendary artists of the 60s and 70s. However, they create their own path and make a distinct mark on the musical landscape. “That comparison is flattering,” McDonald admits. “They are such influences to use musically that it makes sense that people hear it in our music, but I am humbled anyway.” McDonald is the sole songwriter on the record and the son of five-time GRAMMY Award-winner Michael McDonald. “Sometimes it is frustrating because people expect to hear my dad’s iconic voice in me…and it’s just not there. Musically we are very different,” McDonald says.
The band features McDonald on lead vocals and guitar, Daniel DeMonico on lead guitar, Matt Heasley on keys, Taylor Lonardo on bass guitar and Joshua Cobb on drums. The newest additions to DMATA are singers Jackie Wilson and Lo Carter. (And sometimes DMATA are accompanied by Carl Gatti and Mikie Martel on horns).
Although DeMonico and McDonald have played together for many years, the current incarnation has come together within the last year. Before the band “evolved” to The Avians, it was called Dylan McDonald and the Stay Highs-- a nod to a certain segment of society that has gravitated to McDonald’s music. He jokes, “Well, my dad was a Doobie Brother!”
“This band is different than any that I have been in,” Cobb confides. “It’s a lot more old school because we record live. It’s all recorded live in the studio and not many bands do that anymore….It’s about being together. I enjoy doing these songs that way. To me, it is like showing respect to the past.”
McDonald echoes Cobb’s enthusiasm. “Everyone is really strong in their instrument and brings something different to the performances,” McDonald says. “I feel like our songs are constantly evolving. We tweak them all the time, and they change and grow, just like we do as musicians.”