Here is the full conversation, finally. This was such an awesome interview and maybe it's just me, but I found it really frustrating that it was broken up in sections and released one piece at a time. There, I said it. Anyway, I love that these guys are friends and we find that Tim Commerford (RATM, Audioslave, Future User) is one of the few people that Aaron trusted to bounce things off of during the creation of RUN.
We had previously posted the audio of the full interview that is on Soundcloud. Just to keep everything together here it is again.
Pretty sweet video of AWOLNATION performing RUN at Moody Theater on March 19, 2015. I can't wait to see this and the rest of the album live!
Aaron had a short Q&A with SRF Virus while AWOLNATION was in Zurich, Switzerland. Further insight.
My apologies for being so behind for this tour. Know that I am frantically trying to translate German while trying to find these gems. Aaron spoke with Max ( I could not find his full name ) at the egoFM studio in Munich before AWOLNATION's show. This is a great interview, and it is obvious that these two guys hit it off. Enjoy!
We know that you RUN on music, Nation. Well, AWOL and Spotify want you to create a playlist starting with I Am and using other song titles to describe what makes you you.
When you're finished, tweet the link of your playlist using #AWOLRUN. AWOLNATION will record an audio drop for 3 winners for the playlist that you choose.
You have until April 17, 2015 to submit your playlist.
More details here.
Many thanks to Kate Asaff for sharing her 33rd AWOLNATION show with us! Here is her review. Enjoy!
SXSW is a lot of things but kind to your body is not one of them. Case in point: Many of the people in line in front of us commented they were going to run right for the balcony of the Moody Theater in Austin, which has a great view of the stage and more importantly, seating. But tired though we were, nothing less than the front row will do for an AWOL show, especially the first show featuring songs from Run. Apparently a lot of other attendees agreed with us; the crowd started out sparse but was packed by the time AWOL was getting set up.
AWOL took the stage at 11pm; when the first chords of Run sounded, I was thrilled. I was not a big fan of some of their other openings; "Guilty Filthy Soul" is upbeat and fun but playing it first almost feels like trying to get it out of the way. Walking out to "Wonderful World" by Louis Armstong was...weird. But "Run" instantly grabs the crowd's attention and amps it up. I've heard Aaron randomly sing "I am a human being; capable of doing terrible things" on other tours, but now backed by Drew's grinding guitar it took on a wonderfully sinister tone. The air was charged and the crowd was ready to dance; by the time Aaron quietly said "Run" into the microphone everyone was headbanging. The stage effects unleashed a huge cloud of fog which gave everything a dark, mysterious air that was perfect for the song.
After "Run", they launched right into "Soul Wars"; playing those songs back to back is not for the faint of heart! It's awesome how well they complement each other; if anyone is worried that Megalithic Symphony and Run won't work well together, put those fears aside. They knocked out two more MS songs next - "Kill Your Heroes" (one of my personal favorites) and "Jump on my Shoulders." I love both of those songs but we were hungry to see more of Run live, which they delivered with the next 4 songs - "Hollow Moon", "KOOKS EVERYWHERE!!", "Windows" and "Dreamers". As good as they are on the album the songs are AMAZING live. I found myself getting misty during "Windows"; something about that song's final refrain of "I'm aware, and I don't care" just gets me. Although "Hollow Moon" got the best crowd response since it had been out the longest, "Dreamers" got the dance party going again complete with crowd surfers, because it just isn't an AWOL show if you're getting kicked in the back of the head. I saw Aaron point towards the balcony and when I turned around I saw that even they too-tired-to-stand were up and dancing.
Two more songs from MS were up next - of course "Not Your Fault" will always be a part of the live show, along with "Burn It Down". The one thing on every fan's mind, if they've ever seen AWOL live before, was will they still do "Knights of Shame?" I'm happy to report they did, and it was as awesome as always.
At this point the band left the stage, fooling precisely no one (as if they'd really leave without doing "Sail!") But there were still chants of "AWOL! AWOL! AWOL!" during their brief respite. We were lucky enough to get a 3 song encore including one more song off of Run - "I Am", which I can say, there was not a dry eye in the front row while they were singing. "Sail" is still a crowd favorite and as much as I know some people are sick of it, it is still awesome live. Aaron did not sing "Maybe I should kill myself" as usual, preferring to let the crowd handle that part.
Overall it was a great show - the band seemed eager to be performing in front of a crowd again and the crowd was definitely into it. I wished we could have seen a little more from Run, but the album had literally been out for 48 hours at this point; I'm sure as time goes on we will see more of it worked into the set and I personally cannot wait.
Full Set list:
Kill Your Heroes
Not Your Fault
Burn It Down
Knights of Shame
All I Need
I read A LOT about AWOLNATION. And it can get very repetitive. Not that I'm complaining. It comes with the, um, territory. But this interview of Aaron and his engineer on RUN, Eric Stenman really made my day. Tessa Jeffers asked Aaron new and interesting questions. Imagine that! And it was so freaking cool and fun to meet the only other person who was hearing and experiencing RUN as it was being created. So I'm a really happy camper right now. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I did.
Aaron Bruno’s biggest fear is to lose a musical idea. The AWOLNATION frontman often finds himself having twilight battles within his psyche, as his muse often hits at inopportune moments in the middle of the night when he should be sleeping. The problem: Should he get out of bed and record the idea? Or just let it go, get some shut-eye, and hope that another good idea will come around?
Judging by the currently charting single, “Hollow Moon (Bad Wolf),” which was born out of a 4 a.m. moment when a jet-lagged Bruno got inspired watching the sunrise—he should probably get out of bed whenever the music calls to him. Bruno says that song is among his favorites on Run, his band’s sophomore album. Band is a relative term here, though, because Bruno wrote, performed, and recorded everything on the album with only his engineer, Eric Stenman, by his side.
AWOL’s 2011 debut, Megalithic Symphony, came about much the same way, with Bruno tracking about 70 percent of the sounds. He wasn’t prepared for the level of success reached by “Sail,” his first hit. “I never expect anything to top the absolute phenomenon and freak of nature that ‘Sail’ became,” Bruno says. “It’s a weird miracle. If anything, it’s great to have that as an advertisement for people to check out what I’m all about.”
“Still to this day, my favorite part of this whole process is the discovery period of a song because you’re the only one
After years of trudging the trenches in punk and hardcore bands—Home Town Hero and Under the Influence of Giants among them—“Sail” has given Bruno the freedom to make his Megalithic follow-up the way he wanted. Run is a sophisticated collection of 14 songs that swim in contrasts, from Bruno’s catchy melodies and pristine falsetto to his savage low-end lines punctuated by a fearless growl and thought-provoking lyrics. Though Bruno is the studio mastermind, AWOL tours as a traditional rock group with Bruno at the helm, Drew Stewart and Kenny Carkeet on guitars, and Isaac Carpenter on drums.
Citing influences as wide-ranging as Radiohead (“OK Computer is an example of a psychedelic art record that I’m still blown away by”), NWA, and The Shape of Punk to Come by Refused, Bruno says rhythm and groove are what he’s about.
The core-shaking low-end on several of Run’s tracks is an undeniable force, yet there was no actual bass guitar used on the album. Those parts are actually guitars, and sometimes it’s hard to decipher what’s happening. “It’s a non-traditional use of guitars,” says engineer Stenman, “but there are a tonof them and they play a huge role on the record.”
Aaron doesn’t pick up the guitar as an art form in itself. He’s never going to know how to play scales or theory, or how to play an Em7 straight off the bat. Aaron picks up the guitar as part of his toolbox for creating songs.
Though Bruno has been playing guitar since he was in the single digits, bonding with his father over a nylon string and “La Bamba,” he maintains he’s a “basic level” player. Yet all of his songs start with a guitar and an idea. It’s where they end up that’s a little more complicated.
Read the interviews with Aaron Bruno and Eric Stenman at Premier Guitar.
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HERE COME THE RUNTS TOUR +
2/18/18 Rochester, NY
2/20/18 Boston, MA
2/22/18 New York, NY
2/23/18 Philadelphia, PA
2/24/18 Silver Spring, MD
2/25/18 Charlotte, NC
2/27/18 Atlanta, GA
3/1/18 Houston, TX
3/2/18 Austin, TX
3/3/18 Irving, TX
3/4/18 Kansas City, MO
3/6/18 Denver, CO
3/7/18 Salt Lake City, UT
3/9/18 Seattle, WA
3/10/18 Portland, OR
3/11/18 Portland, OR
3/13/18 Oakland, CA
3/15/18 Los Angeles. CA
3/16/18 Los Angeles, CA
4/6/18 Paris, FR
4/7/18 Frankfurt, DE
4/10/18 Lausanne, CH
4//11/18 Milan, IT
4/12/18 Munich, DE
4/14/18 Vienna, AT
4/15/18 Prague, CZ
4/16/18 Warsaw, PL
4/18/18 Berlin, DE
4/19/18 Hamburg, DE
4/20/18 Amsterdam, NL
4/22/18 London, GB
4/25/18 Dublin, IE
4/27/18 Moscow, RU
5/20/18 Gulf Shores, AL