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Featured video: Avant Garde performing "Tongue of Fire" at the E.O. Smith Battle of the Bands, 1988.

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Featured article: Avant Garde

Zoom promo 2.jpg

Avant Garde (later known as Zoom) was a progressive heavy metal band from Connecticut. Featuring technical and heavy guitar solos, a dramatic production sense, and hair metal aesthetics, the band was formed by Rivers Cuomo and his childhood friends at E.O. Smith and Rockville high schools. Drawing inspiration from Judas Priest and Kiss, Avant Garde's lineup consisted of Cuomo on guitar, Justin Fisher on bass, Kevin Ridel on lead vocals, his brother Eric Ridel on guitar, and Bryn Mutch on drums. The band relocated to Los Angeles from Connecticut in 1988, changed its name to Zoom.

The band released three demos, each recorded on cassette tape. The first two releases were untitled, but - as Weezer albums would do later on - took their names from their packaging color: The Blue Demo (1987) and The Purple Demo (1988). These were followed by Somethin' Different! (1989).

Justin Fisher would later perform in Shufflepuck, Homie, Nerf Herder, and Psoma. Ridel would lead AM Radio and a number of other bands. Mutch still plays live in the Connecticut music community.

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Featured song: "Never Forget" Icon - YouTube.png


"Never Forget" is the sixth track from Avant Garde's second demo, The Purple Demo, as well as the final track on the band's third demo, Somethin' Different!

"Never Forget" features an extended instrumental guitar section that appears[citation needed] to feature three distinct parts: solos from Rivers Cuomo and Eric Ridel, followed by a duet between the two. It isn't known who performs each individual solo. The song was played live at at least two of the band's performances: Avant Garde concert: 05/24/88 and Avant Garde concert: 04/21/88.

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On this day... May 23

May 21 | May 22 | May 23 | May 24 | May 25

Featured image


Merch from Avant Garde, Rivers Cuomo's pre-Weezer 1980's hair metal band.
Photo credit: Joel-G
c. 1988

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Featured quote

From a December 1994 article in the Hartford Courant

[Kevin] Ridel is not surprised that Cuomo has achieved such success with Weezer. But [another] person is: Kenneth Holton, Cuomo's high school music teacher, a classical theorist (and decidedly not a metal fan), who listened to Avant Garde just to encourage a favorite student.
"He was fascinated by heavy metal.…He had very long, teased hair all around his head. My chorus got a reputation for having the kid with the long hair," remembered Holton, now retired.
"It's been really interesting for me. I hear a lot of harmonies and the chord changes of pop songs [in Weezer]. I was really surprised to hear all that coming through. [Cuomo] rejected all that entirely in high school."

- Roger Catlin (Staff Writer from the Hartford Courant), Hartford Courant article - December 4, 1996

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