Featured Artist Interview – Aaron English
November 24, 2014
Q. What age were you when you knew you wanted a career in music and what was your biggest influence?
Grunge was happening as my brothers hit their teenage years, they’re my older brothers and I needed something to rebel against, so I rebelled against Seattle rock music. I hit 12 years old and was looking for my own music and I found it in England. My early influences were English, every single one of them. It was English pop that was as far from Seattle grunge as you could look for in music. Tears For Fears were a big one, it had nothing to do with the artistic merit, I just thought “wow this sound is so different” and it made me want to say something musically, whereas grunge never did.
Q. You’re well known for playing the Piano. Why did you choose the piano?
I was told to take lessons when I was 7 and I was a good boy and never stopped. It didn’t particularly interest me I was just told to do it, like doing my homework. My parents said “you’re going to take Piano” and it never occurred to me to stop. Then at some point it became a really good idea, but that wasn’t until years later when I thought “I can do something with this”.
Q: You have been writing songs and playing shows for quite some time now. What is the most memorable thing you’ve experienced in your career?
There are constant memorable experiences because you never know where you’re going to find yourself, its a really strange business. If I had to pick one, I remember playing at a festival in the swamps near St Luis, in the middle of the wilderness right on a river and it was 100 degrees with 100% humidity, there was fog everywhere and there were moon moths the size of dinner plates Flying around. Two of the members of my band are bald and these moths are flying up and getting stuck to the bald, reflective heads of these musicians and the moths are attracted to them. The two musicians looked like they were wearing toupees, only they were made out of moths, and all the instruments were sticking together because of the heat.
Q. How much of a difference does social media make in relation to reaching your fans?
Social media has really changed the game; you connect directly with fans and fans expect to connect directly with you. This makes a huge different because it’s no longer a producer and consumer with the middle man which is Rolling Stone, Columbia records or BBC TV, It’s so much more direct now. It improves that connection and relationship, unless you want to hide.
Q. What has been your biggest challenge as a singer/songwriter?
I would say that it is having to wear all the hats yourself, that is the only downside to the independent music path. If you don’t do the traditional music business route then you have to do so much of it yourself. I see this happening on every level; the budding singer-songwriter and the well-established ones having to be the Booker, the promoter, the artist, chauffeur and everything.
Q. What are your feelings about the change of the music industry in terms of streaming services and the decrease in popularity of physical albums?
It makes it harder to figure out where money is going to change hands, but it was pretty artificial 50 years ago and 25 years ago the ways in which you made money never made a whole lot of sense. Now things have changed dramatically and, though it may still not make a whole lot of sense, we are still feeling our way around and figuring out how this one works.
Q. Your track Believe from your album ‘American [fever] Dream’ is a great track. What inspired you to create this song and what reaction have you gained from Believe?
‘Believe’ was a top 20 radio hit in the US, which is great! I wrote it around the last political cycle when people were voting for the next US president and it was in the middle of a recession and international conflict. Basically, it didn’t feel like the political climate was great for believing in anything much. people would have voted for nobody if they could. So the chorus goes ‘believe in me’ and the idea was to believe in each other, you start by believing in one person. You start with what you can believe in, no matter how small.
Q: What plans do you have for yourself and your career in the near future? Do you have anything exciting coming up?
My plan is to record and release a song AND a video every month for a year and then put that together as an album.