Formed in the aftermath of a Queens of the Stone Age concert in Helsinki in summer 2013, Avant Garden is a Finnish alternative rock band formed by Jaakko Inkinen, Teemu Kaipomäki and Ville Hardén (and occasionally joined by Samuli Hyvönen and Konsta Vehkala on stage). The three originally met during a gap year in a music education program in 2009 and bonded over their love of music as well as an absurdist sense of humor. Wondering why they’d never tried a project together they decided to give it a shot.
The trio gathered at Kaipomäki’s place in Jämsä for a weekend session of jamming and songwriting, at the end of which they had put together three songs and agreed to continue the project further. Inkinen assumed the role of the band’s lead singer and guitarist while Hardén played bass. Multi-instrumentalist Kaipomäki would play the drums in the studio but preferred performing as a guitarist live, while also agreeing to share the vocal duties to ease the pressure on the inexperienced and uncomfortable front man. While not interested in loyalty toward any particular genre, they drew inspiration from the sounds of the Californian desert rock scene as well as alternative, indie and psychedelic rock.
During its first year, the group (at the time going by the name Space Cadet) worked on an EP based on the songs they had written. In fall 2014, Kaipomäki rented a locker room in a former police station where the band could properly rehearse and record. After settling with the name Avant Garden the EP was titled The Amazing Adventures of Space Cadet. It was released through their own micro-label Kello Neljän Levyt on November 14, 2015, a day after their first live performance. By the time of the release, a full length album carrying the the band’s name was already in the works.
In 2016, Kaipomäki moved into a new apartment, which would serve as the new recording studio and rehearsal space. The place was jokingly entitled Rancho de Lasol as a reference to the renowned Mojave Desert studio Rancho de la Luna and a Finnish windshield washing fluid label Lasol, infamously consumed by dossers as a cheap substitute for alcohol. The band started drawing more psychedelic influences to the mix, first with the Beatles-influenced imagery on “The 48 Hour Road Trip”; a weekend mini-tour through six cities across Southern Finland, and later in 2017 with the release of “The Easy Way Out”.
The release of the self-titled debut delayed and a decision was made to cut out a couple of songs originally intended on the album in order to speed things up. Avant Garden finally saw its release on October 2017, again through Kello Neljän Levyt.