After getting the chance to open at Bridgestone Arena, one of the largest venues in Nashville, AWOLNATION’s lead singer Aaron Bruno spoke with the Vanderbilt Hustler about his experience and the band’s rise to fame.
Vanderbilt Hustler: How was your concert last night? Was there anything special about this show?
AWOLNATION’s Aaron Bruno: It was great. There’s something great about each show.
The crowd was engaged in the first note. Sometimes, like now, we’re an opener, so you can tell if it’s an AWOLNATION-type of crowd. You’re definitely always trying to get new fans… These are obviously a heavier crowd, so it’s been a fun challenge to tap into that audience and trying to better ourselves at all times.
VH: Your latest album has lots of different genres on it. Do you think your meteoric rise to fame has made you want to explore that a bit?
AB: I personally think the first album was like that [having a range of genres]. I think that, if anything, the success of the first album confirmed my instincts that I was on the right track, so I continued to do that on the second album, and will do that on the third.
VH: What was the the important lesson you learned so far from all those different bands?
AB: You can write a better song. You need to believe in yourself that way. If I become too precious about a song, and it doesn’t do too well or well at all … I would feel too defeated and throw in the towel. So, I need to keep the mentality that, alright, no one heard that song, so I’ll just continue on and keep writing so that people do hear them. I just want to be a part of the solution, rather than the problem. I want to write songs that help people get through their day, just like the bands I listened to growing up helped me to do.
VH: What has been the highlight of your career, if you have a single moment? Especially given your steady rise.
AB: Generally, I’m so blown away it just all worked out, and I didn’t need to take a different career path.
I don’t know if there was any particular phone call or concert that stood out.. Looking back, the first show that we played than the P.A system in Austin, TX. It was a really small club. It was actually Stubb’s [http://www.stubbsaustin.com/]… that was the first time I realized, “Oh wow, maybe people are getting the songs I wrote.” It was an overwhelming moment.
VH: Were you always passionate about music or did you fall into it sometime later?
AB: I remember when I was young I was touched by different chord progressions felt and the relation between a minor chord and major chord. In the 80s, a lot of that would happen in the bridge, and I remember asking my mom, “What is this feeling I have?” A bit of a sadness, a bit of a victorious feeling amongst the sadness. It was probably a George Michaels song, for all I know. It just felt so great, and I was overwhelmed by the emotion I felt and the power of music as a whole.
VH: Do you see any room for evolution in your career and what would that be?
AB: Yeah, of course. All in all, like this conversation we’re having or if I’m talking to our drummer Isaac about songs we’ve listened to growing up or something else, each minute I’m trying to evolve as much as I can. The next record will be better than this one, and this one, I feel, is better than the first one. I’m very proud of what I’ve done; I just feel like I could always get better.