California - May 21, 2015
Geyser spoke with Aaron, lead-singer for AWOLNATION, just as he was getting ready to set out on tour for their new album, Run. Following the incredible success of their previous album, Megalithic Symphony, Run is set to take AWOLNATION's music to another level.
The tour runs until mid-September, with it's Canadian premier in Vancouver, British Columbia at The Commodore Ballroom on May 28th. The full tour schedule is available on their website.
G: We end Megalithic Symphony with Knights of Shame and then are brought back into your world, and mind, with Run. What growth happened between these tracks?
A: I actually never thought of it that way, in fact you may be the first person to bring that to my attention. It’s kind of interesting. I never thought about the way the record ended going into the way this new one would begin. I can just say that this record is really just where I’m at now, or where I was at the time of writing it, and Run seemed like a great way to start a record. It's something that would grab my attention. I knew I had a massive audience that was going to listen to whatever I put first on the record. I thought it would make people aware and prepared for what was going to come on the record. Ready for all the twists and turns.
G: Was there a particular song on Run that was cathartic for you to record? One that helped you let something go, or figure something out about yourself?
A: I would say the whole record was very much therapeutic, and not always in a good way. A lot of facing the mirror kind of moments, and trying to figure it all out.
G: Reading through the comments people have written for Run I found someone who said it makes them feel invincible. Have you ever read a comment or review on your music that really blew you away?
A: Not so much comments, because, I can admit to you that if I read a thousand comments and there are fifteen negative ones I’m likely to gravitate towards those negative ones, so it really doesn’t do me any good to check that out. Usually someone will make me aware of some of the spectacular and important comments, but mostly it’s in person when I hear those kinds of things that really gets to me. Being able to look someone in their eyes and see that what I’ve done has affected them in a positive way, like getting to hear that these songs helped to get them through a dark time, it doesn't get any better than that. If I have a positive impact on someone's life, I don't think it can get any better than that. You can sell all the records in the world and do really well, don’t get me wrong, but it all comes back to music that makes you feel something. Music for real.
I guess also seeing music lovers and fans that feel similar about my music to how I felt about music growing up, knowing how many records affected me and became the soundtrack to my life, getting me through different relationships and real life issues - how they shaped the human being I am today from the way I dress to the way I speak or walk, it all comes from music. It's pretty overwhelming, humbling, and flattering that I've affected anyone that way.
G: It must be the craziest thing to get to experience that in person.
A: It does not feel real at all. And then at the same time I don’t take myself too seriously, it’s music. If you’re going to put yourself out there and write songs, you can’t expect the whole world to take it as religion. You can’t take yourself too seriously, because we’re just so lucky to be able to play music for a living in the first place.
G: How do you do what you do? Touring and playing in new cities night after night, what keeps you healthy and grounded?
A: I think exactly what we just talked about has a big part to do with that. If you’re going to write songs and people are going to be affected in a positive way. It’s hard to make money these days, and maybe it always has been but it certainly seems like times can be difficult and we have a lot of odds against us, even with our weather. From this drought in California to other issues, in the States you can turn on the news and feel like the world is going to end yesterday. But, if you keep your head down and stay positive there are still a lot of beautiful elements of life left. I suppose I try to take that approach to the whole idea of touring. There are people spending their hard earned money to come see us every night, and I’m so used to playing in bands that played in front of less than ten people, so to have an actual audience participating in our show, that’s enough for me to keep going.
G: Here's a fun one for last, is there any special object you bring with you on every tour?
A: Just now, before this interview, we were loading a bunch of stuff on the bus before we actually start our tour and I’d say the one thing that will be really important to me is to have my own pillow. My own pillow case at the very least on this tour, because there’s nothing worse than having to sleep and realizing that the pillow combination you have is just not up to par. We all know what it’s like to be in a hotel with seven-thousand pillows on your bed and none of them seem to work. You keep trying new ones out throughout the night and it’s no good.
G: Thank you for taking the time to chat with us! Best of luck on the tour.