Par Avion as seen through the eyes of Bernard Yin
by: Bernard Yin
PAR AVION launched in 2014 as a vehicle for me to get back into instrumental music with a heavy surf influence. Surf meaning lots of reverb and no vocals. This flirts with many other genres such as country, rockabilly and film music (think spaghetti westerns). It also gave my wife, Rebecca, the opportunity to get her feet wet as a bassist in an actual band without lots of pressure. Having played in So Cal as well as toured internationally in numerous bands, I have always had my heart in twangy guitars and bands that were built around a certain sound; not necessarily in a retro sense either mind you! This band currently features Derek O’Brien who, despite being easily recognized as a So Cal punk rock legend (Social Distortion, Agent Orange and many more), is a most versatile drummer and percussionist. Derek is also a surfer and has often found himself playing the surf music genre over the years. In fact, in college I made a student video using Agent Orange’s high energy version of The Chantays’ “Pipeline”.
Here is a recent video of Derek drumming on Par Avion's non-traditional version of Wipe Out.
Spending most of my youth in So Cal, being a skateboarder and also a surfer, it was unavoidable that now and then the legacy of what was surf music would find my ears. We’re talking well before Pulp Fiction blew the roof off of Dick Dale’s version of Misirlou. That iconic piece of blistering rock and roll has not only been evocative of a glorified era in So Cal beach culture but for me, being half Greek and half Chinese, offered a fun hint that exotic melodies do have a place in rock and roll. Par Avion’s recent “Sonido De Avion” is such a piece whereby we pay homage to 60s Peruvian Chicha while layering on top of it a melody that is most certainly not what one would think an Andean villager would be blowing through pan pipes (It’s more of a trippy Painted Black homage). That said, the classic El Condor Pasa is pretty damn exotic and, well, you guessed it, we sprinkle that into Sonido De Avion as well! The reality is that classic 60s instrumentals were often spiced with Latin, Polynesian and other influences. Rebecca at one point suggested a Shakira cover and now Te Aviso, Te Anuncio with it’s tango intro is one of our crowd-pleasers. Definitely not an early 60s surf standard by any stretch but it never ceases to entertain and people still call us “surf”. This could grow into a 50 page dissertation on influences, suffice it to say that Par Avion strives to take great ingredients and have fun with them. Bottom line, taking such liberties is really in the genre’s DNA and in ours as well.
Catch us playing around and come August 2018, we will be part of the incredible festivities at Tiki Oasis in San Diego. We will be poolside on Sunday. www.tikioasis.com
Debut sampler video: http://bit.ly/surfthesky
A Patricia video: http://bit.ly/apatriciavideo
Downloads: https://paravion music.bandcamp.com
Social Media: https://www.facebook.com/VivaParAvion/ | http://instagram.com/vivaparavion/
A little more about Bernard Yin:
As a musician, Bernard has grown very rich in experience by virtue of the variety of bands he has recorded and performed with. This gets topped off with film and tv licenses. Such bands have included: The Fuzztones, The BellRays, WTFUKUSHIMA, Astra Heights, The MiGs, Medicine, El Vez, Pansy Division, Samba Hell, Said the Ripper, Brazil 2001, Permanent Green Light … uh … just to name a few.
Photo credits: Ethan Vella (header) & John Nikolai