AWOLNATION is not just another run-of-the-mill band. Aaron Bruno, the man behind AWOLNATION, has captivated audiences and accumulated fans around the world with his music project that leaves many confused, provoked, thrilled or a combination of all three.
So which is it, you might ask upon hearing the new album, Megalithic Symphony. Is it a pop album, an experimental piece, an indie creation? In the most basic of explanations, Bruno says, “It’s just what I am”.
What was the creative process that went into the making of your new album, Megalithic Symphony?
Ideas come in the form of a melody, a lyric or a general beat or bass line. I do my best to record that idea into my voice memo – sort of a journal on my phone. Sometimes I work on it right away if it seems urgent because I know it’s a good one, and sometimes, some ideas I’m not sure they’ll be worth working on and I’ll get back to it whenever I get back to it. They usually come out of nowhere. I never just sit down and say, “I’m gonna write a song today.”
The order of the songs on the album seems very deliberate, taking listeners through very specific soundscapes. What was your ultimate goal for the listener?
More than anything for me it was survival. I wanted to put it together in a way that made sense to me first and foremost. A lot of the people, when I was putting the order together, they were like, “Dude you’re crazy for doing it this way.” But it didn’t matter to me. I came up with these songs, so of course I was the one to know what would make most sense and I wanted to be a little bit sarcastic and kind of throw people off. Normally you have an intro, this big build-up, then this big part, but I wanted to build up into a human element and into a vulnerable moment.
Did you want the album to be very genre-unspecific?
No, it’s just what I am. I don’t only listen to hip hop, I don’t only listen to metal, I don’t only listen to classical, country, old country or dubstep or pop music. I love everything so this is just who I am.
What sort of reactions have you gotten from the Sail music video?
I just wanted to make a song that I liked and when it came time for the music video I just wanted to make a classic, timeless-feeling video that had a little bit of mystery. I’ve read a lot online. There are these really deep conspiracy theories people have on the video – alien abductions and this and that. I don’t really like to talk too much about the meaning of songs because I don’t want to take it away from the listeners’ interpretation or the viewers in this case, but I’m surprised that people care this much.
Do you recall what you were going through when you first wrote ‘Burn it Down’?
Yeah, I just wanted to make a kind of party song sort of like ‘Bombs Over Baghdad’ by Outkast. It ended up being totally different obviously, but I just wanted to make something hot, that had a lot of energy and urgency like you just did a hundred lines of coke – in a good way, not the bad effects of cocaine, not that I’m advocating cocaine, but people know what it’s like.
On Lost Signal and Deep Danger what made you decide to integrate music and film together?
There’s plenty of great songs and plenty of great bands so I just wanted to go that extra mile just to make films that look like classic stuff I liked growing up and make people think a little more than just hearing a song. So many people are so confused by that and that was the whole goal I think – to get people to go, “What the fuck is this?”
What sparked the ‘Sail’ Remix Project?
Someone from the label came to me and had this idea and it sounded like a cool idea to me. I’m not a huge remix fan necessarily because once I’m done with the song, I’m done. I put so much of my heart and soul into the song, I don’t even want to hear it again except when we play it live…I don’t think too much about anything really when it comes to this stuff. I like for people to think for themselves and hopefully some of these songs help people get through the day or working on a remix helps them get through their day better. That’s all I’m really here for.
When was the last time you danced like the world is ending?
The last time we played, which was two nights ago. So it’ll happen again tonight I’m sure.