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1 year ago, this community lost Chris Avis. He shot some of the Programme shows and he certainly touched many of you out there. Here’s a remembrance penned by Josh Olivier of No Better:

Remembering Chris Avis, one year later.
I was eighteen years old, idealistic and wide-eyed, touring down the West Coast at shows I
thought would be much better attended. It had been a disappointing run—the reality of DIY
touring didn’t meet my expectations of it, and we’d put in a lot of work to make the tour happen.
But I got an email: Cavis Tapes wanted to do an acoustic session for us in Bakersfield. It
suddenly didn’t matter that we’d been playing in front of four people a night and that I’d been
slinging CD’s at gas stations to get to the next show—Cavis Tapes liked our band, and I believed
in what we were doing again.
I was beyond nervous to meet Chris. He’d filmed sessions with all my favorite bands, so he was
this sort of intimidating figure of Cool that I wanted to impress. But his friendship was
seamless—I have no idea if he knew how nervous I was to interact with him, but Chris and I
clicked. We talked bands, we talked industry gossip, we talked about No Better. We talked about
our histories with music, and we spoke with the same sort of ardor about the shows we’ve been
to, our relationship with different bands, about seeing this band or that one play on their first
tour, because we believed that each show we attended was a piece of goddamn history. Personal
history and scene history. We were scene historians. Especially Chris.
That’s why Chris documented like he did: because he loved DIY and it mattered to him. Because
he knew that, in some capacity, these nights and these sets deserve a place where they could last
forever. So, he filmed relentlessly, driving three plus hours from Bakersfield every weekend to
film big and baby bands. He filmed well—with care, dedicating himself to the mastery of his
craft—for all of us, because he understood how special and formative watching a band at a punk
show can be. He understood that it’s something worth reliving.
And I admired Chris so goddamn much. In part because he was a full-fledged, real-life adult still
engaging unapologetically with punk music. He consistently reminded me that I never need to
stop doing the things I love. That I never need to stop spending all of my money on band shirts.
That I never need to stop watching or playing music every weekend.
Chris coached our band. He made me believe that we were talented enough to do great things
and always pushed us to do more touring while the other people in my life belittled the fact that
we drove so far to play for so few people. He gave me permission to really care about No Better
and validated all of the thought that I put into playing music.The truth is that, in a lot of ways, I
think Chris cared more about the success of our bands than some of our own members did. I
remember one drive in particular, Chris talking about what it takes to really do music full time.
He talked about bands having the skill that it takes, but not wanting to put in the work—not
wanting to fully dedicate themselves to their craft in the way Chris did his. Chris believed in
work, he believed in music, and he believed in us. I cannot overstate what that means to me.
And, above all, he was an excellent friend. A walking reminder of the cross-generational and
cross-country relationships that can be formed through music. Chris would text me all the time,
talking shit on the Lakers or just asking how I was doing. Whenever a piece of music or
basketball news reminded him of me, I got a text. What could have been another night sleeping
on a stranger’s floor became a friendship that will stay with me, always, because Chris cared in a
way that just sort of just makes you gape.

I share this because I know that a lot of us had a similar relationship with Chris and that a lot of
us have made similar relationships through music. The comfort I’ve found in meeting
like-minded and vertiginously generous people through DIY music is sometimes lost on me, and
losing Chris has been a difficult reminder to thoroughly appreciate how lucky I am to have met
my best friends through shows. I share this because “community” is a word that we throw around
when we talk about DIY, and Chris Avis embodied this ideal. I share this because Chris will
always be a legend to me, not only because of the work he did, but because of the friend he was.
It’s been a year, and I still miss Chris every day, but I’m lucky to have known him. We all were.
Sunny Singh from Hate5six recently helped in completing the last of Chris’ videos: Sound and
Fury, 2017. Those can be seen here.
Cavis Tapes Forever. Chris Avis Forever and Always.

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