Hi, how are you?
I'm good, thanks.
Would you mind introducing yourselves and telling us what instruments you play?
I'm Alex Aaron. I sing, play guitar, piano, melodica, harmonica, percussion, etc. Pretty much whatever is lying around.
How long has the current band line up been together?
Well, the band is essentially just me. I usually find whoever I can to play shows with me. The past couple of years I've used the same musicians for shows and recordings.
How would you describe your music to someone who hasn’t yet heard you?
It spans a number of genres and changes with each album. Overall I would say it's folk mixed with rock, bluegrass and pop.
What have you been up to recently?
I have been recording two albums simultaneously and playing a few shows here. Very hectic.
What can your fans look forward to in the next 12 months?
Two new albums : 13 Girls and Buffalo Alice. Shows, shows and more shows.
Did you always want to be in a band?
No, and I still don't. But I have always wanted to be a musician. I prefer to make the music I want to make without compromising my vision to appease other band members. I have a very specific vision when I write songs and don't like deviating from that.
What music did you listen to while growing up?
A lot of rock from the 50's and 60's until I was 14. That's when I was introduced to Weezer and started to listen to the current music from that point on. I don't know anything about 80's music, which makes me sad.
How long have you played your instruments?
I've been singing since I was 3. I started playing guitar around 10 years ago. I just started playing piano six months ago.
What were your first music making experiences?
My buddy Clint and I would get together and write ridiculous songs that were meant more to irritate than entertain. We wrote such classics as “Banana” “Booger Bear” and “Carlos the Fuzzy Rubber Bunny”. We didn't even do drugs. Just retarded kids I guess.
Are you self-taught or did you have lessons?
Self taught. I hate taking lessons. It seems much more honest and satisfying to figure things out on your own. I have watched other people play to learn chords and such, but I've never taken guitar lessons. That may sound impressive until you hear the music. It's kinda obvious.
What is your current equipment?
I play my Gibson J185 most of the time. I also use my Gibson Les Paul 1960 Reissue when I need an electric guitar.
If you had an unlimited equipment budget what would be on your shopping list?
More Gibson acoustics. I think I would like 4 more. Maybe another electric. I'm not a big equipment guy. I'm happy with what I have and it gets the job done.
Do you use the same equipment live as you do when in a studio?
Do you have a set routine when writing and recording or does it depend on each track and the inspiration?
It's different every time.
Which software/recording process do you use?
Like I mentioned before, I'm not well educated on gear. I just show up at the studio and record my songs. I let them worry about the equipment. I know we don't use a computer. That's about all I know. Equipment tends to bore me.
Would you sign with a major record company?
I guess it depends on the type of deal they are offering. I'm not interested in making money with my music. I just want to play shows and have people show up. The way I have it set up right now, any money that I make on downloads, CDs and other merch goes straight to my manager who then uses it to pay for recording and live shows.
Do you find the process of recording enjoyable and does it get easier the more you do?
I love recording. It's the most fun I can have. It's like playtime for me.
Do you try to capture your ‘live’ sound on recordings or do you think that the ‘live’ sound and recorded sound should be different experiences for your fans?
I prefer them to be different. I like to give the audience something different. Every song I play changes with each live performance. Sometimes songs will have a rock feel to them, other times that same tune might sound like a bluegrass song. Depends on what my band and I feel like doing.
Do you any favourite tracks from your album?
That's tough. I have favorites from all five albums. The one I'm finishing now, “13 Girls”,
has so many catchy songs and they sound very different from what I've recorded before. I think “Brittany (My Dandelion)” is the catchiest song I've ever written. I love playing it live too. It always grabs everyone's attention. You'll find yourself singing it days later.
Do you write songs only about personal experiences?
Usually I write hybrid songs. Parts of it are about me, parts about friends, and parts that are creations of my mind. Occasionally I write songs that are based solely on my experiences.
Do you find song writing easy or difficult?
It's easy. I don't sit down and force myself to write. I wait until something pops in my head and then I go sit down and write it.
Is there anyone who you would like to collaborate with on writing songs or performing?
I always record with Aaron Sturz and Chris Morrissey. Both are very talented and seem to have figured out my style and what I try to create.
Do you use any websites like ‘Reverbnation’ or ‘Soundclick’?
I use Reverbnation. It is essential and does everything you could possibly need.
How do you relax?
I'm a pretty laid back guy. I enjoy float tanks. There is nothing more relaxing than that. I also enjoy relaxing with some weed.
Have you ever entered any ‘battle of the bands’ competitions?
Yeah, once. We placed third. I hate battle of the band competitions. It promotes a competitive environment for musicians and bands and that's really frustrating. Music is art. If someone is creating that art only for the purpose of making money, I feel like it has no soul. I create music because I love it, not because it can make me money. I think we should be promoting more of a community of musicians who help one another. There are so many advantages to that, but too many musicians are stuck up and self-important to allow that type of community develop.
What are your day jobs if you have them?
I own a photography studio in downtown Minneapolis. It's essentially a co-op so it requires very little work in my part. I spend most of my time disc golfing.
Would you like to be full time working musicians or are you happy with things as they are?
I'm happy with my life now. I would be open to playing more shows, but I'm not going to bust my ass trying to make it happen. I don't want music to become just a job for me.
Is there anything you'd like to add?
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