Calabasas alt-rock band Audiovent formed as The Vent in the '90s. After signing to Atlantic and changing their name, they released the album Dirty Sexy Knights in Paris in 2002, and it looked like their star was only going to rise. However, two years later they had split up. A reunion tour with Hoobastank was planned for 2018 and ultimately abandoned, but Audiovent are performing a show at the Viper Room on Jan. 11, so we chatted with guitarist Benjamin Einziger about it all.
L.A. WEEKLY: You guys split in 2004 — what prompted the reunion?
BENJAMIN EINZIGER: Over the years, 15 to be exact, we've gently broached the idea of getting together to rehearse and/or play a concert as Audiovent. However, the reunion concept would usually fall by the wayside, and another year would pass by. About six months ago, I'd posted (on my personal Facebook page) a live concert we'd played for MTV at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, and it received a rather compelling response; lots of remarks from people telling us to reunite, write songs, go on tour, etc. Our friend Dan, from the band Hoobastank, wrote me a message, telling me he “missed our band's music,” and asked me if we'd open for them on their national tour. I asked the rest of Audiovent, and they were all down to give it a shot. Unfortunately the Hoobastank tour was canceled. However, that prompted us to book our own reunion show at the Viper Room.
The music industry and climate has changed a lot in those years — how will you deal with that?
I don't really think or care too much about that. I'm more inspired by creating art with my friends, and bringing some of the knowledge I've learned over years to the old songs, and new songs. I will, however, include one of the struggles I've come across and can't seem to find a clear solution. We're not sure how to connect with our fans who purchased our record all those years ago. Not having Facebook, Instagram or even MySpace back then really creates a challenging issue for us today. For example, we’d sold 142,000 records in the USA alone — our Facebook page (we started a couple months ago) only has 1,500 people so far.
What had you been doing before the reunion, musically and otherwise?
After Audiovent called it quits, I put a band together called Agent Sparks. We signed to Immortal Records, and put out an EP and an LP. We had a fantastic time but the band definitely had a time limit, as we were all getting older and more concerned about the future and our financial stability. After Agent Sparks ended, I started composing music for television — mostly commercials. I'm now a creative director for a global music agency called MassiveMusic, creating music and sound design for all types of media.
Any new material planned?
Yes. We'll be playing three new songs at the show. We've also created rearrangements for a couple of older tracks that needed some refreshing. I’m hoping we can come up with enough new material for a new record within the next six to 12 months. We’ll see what happens.
What can we expect from this Viper Room show?
Older men playing rock music. Ha! I personally think we sound way better than we did in 2002. We have a clearer understanding of who we are as people and as musicians now. It's certainly much more musical now, and still rocks.
Audiovent play at 8 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 11, at the Viper Room.