Aaron Bruno can normally be found behind a mic and immersed
in a crowd of faithful followers. But for this summer afternoon the
lead singer and creator of Awolnation can be found on a tour
bus, graciously opening a few windows into the genius that is his
music. The tour circuit can be a long and grueling time, however you
wouldn't have any idea by this encounter.
With the vastness of cookie-cutter bands nowadays it's refreshing
when someone takes the book of rock 'n roll and completely rewrites
it; at least that's the feeling one gets with from sound of Awolnation.
Sure, some familiar elements can be heard; there are stiff guitar
riffs, smooth bass grooves and a lick of alternative angst, but there
are also a pop beat and a set of synths that give the music that Jackson
But this music isn't planned, rather, it's inspired. Aaron states,
"It really is much like a spark in the brain that comes to me.
Or at least I find the best songs that I write come out of nowhere".
While the thoughts may come out of nowhere, the inspiration itself
seems to manifest more for the artist on that of a surf board. Once
the idea begins to create itself, Aaron turns to his friends. Some
of these friends may be electronic and some may be fellow bandmates.
Hours and hours can go into the finessing of the next Awol masterpiece.
But in the end, the singer still wants it to be just music. "I
still think of these songs as almost nursery rhymes with a bunch of
weird stuff around [them]. So I will always want [the songs] to be
easy to digest or remember".
In addition to creative and inspired music, Aaron has paid special
attention to the art that is Awolnation. His main goal behind the
album art is fairly simple, "I want it to look and appear the
way that the record feels and sounds to me." Simple to say, but
not always simple to create, thus he calls on the help of a group
of artists call The Uprising. This team has one main job -
bring the music to life visually and make it one of a kind. They've
done just that, over and over again.
While we talked through topics of who would be the better touring
band, The Beatles or Stones, as well as how much Awolnation
"spotifies", eventually we landed on a subject often hard
for musicians to discuss. It's a difficult enough task for a fan to
put the label of "favorite" on a song, but for the people
who create the songs it's even harder. But I still asked. "My
favorite song is the last song 'Knights Of Shame' because it's twelve
minutes." At first the answer wasn't quite what I was going for,
but then he elaborated, "I've always wanted to make a record
that had sort of an epic, ambitious song that was longer than 6 minutes."
'Ambitious' is an encouraging and rare word to hear from an artist,
but for Aaron ambition meant making a statement about himself. "That
song is sort of a celebration of everything I've been through with
my music in my life." Ambitious and even a little humble, Aaron
showed me a few sides in that question.
The twenty minutes I spent with Aaron were pleasant to say the least.
While the music of Awolnation is full of energy and dancing, the lead
singer is quiet and soft spoken. But the most enjoyable part of all
of it was his honesty and the fact that in the end he's simply grateful
to be doing what he's doing. The hundreds of fans gathered for his
set at Buzz Beach Ball 2011 were pretty grateful as well. And with
just about 30 minutes to woo us, Aaron and his gang turned that festival
into a dance party. Unfortunately, the 'epic masterpiece' didn't make
it into this set, so that will just add to the many reasons to see
More Music Features
e-mail the chief
Like this article?
it to a friend!