Plane Truth

We’re not saying that Michael Watson’s previous musical endeavor was a disaster. But when your new band is named after a World War I-era German plane company known for structural failures and crashes, things probably didn’t end well the last time around.

As lead vocalist and guitarist for Akron-based Aviatik (pronounced ay-VEE-at-ik), Watson thinks the band’s moniker is reflective of the new beginning it needed when 18-year-old singer Kevin Gerity joined the group a year ago.

“It’s kind of strange that bringing in the youngest person in the band is what brought [us] focus and maturity,” says 25-year-old bassist Alex Herman.

The addition of Gerity inspired the group to rework and rerecord much of its 2008 release as a double album, Reconstruction/Deconstruction.

“We wanted to hit the reset button and do it the way that we should have the first time,” Watson says. “This album is what that one was supposed to be.”

Reconstruction/Deconstruction, available March 19, tells the story of one character’s tragic struggle in a revolution. With harmonies and musical influences ranging from military rhythms to Spanish guitar, the arrangements are layered and deep, similar to Taking Back Sunday or My Chemical Romance.

The concept album made sense creatively, Watson says. The personal songs are easier to tell in the context of a story, including one track inspired by his grandmother’s death.

Everything’s not somber, though. “Another song, [“Back of My Hand”], is about how Mike got bit by a girl at a party,” says drummer Michael “Louis” Hausknecht, 24, laughing.

Other tracks are more central to the album’s storyline of revolt: “Fistful of Feathers” tells of the morning after a battle as losses must be weighted, things must be regrouped and successes are balanced with regret.

Aviatik embarks on a seven-state tour in March. The band hopes many more people will know its name after — even if they still have to tell folks how to say it.

“I’m starting to see [our] bumper stickers on cars I don’t recognize,” Hausknecht says.
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