Om ni var uppmärksamma under Siestafestivalen kunde ni se en man med för mycket kläder för en festival kuta från campingen mot scenområdet. Det var kallt, folk med vin insytt i väskan lunkade mot Royal Republic, jag var på väg till en intervju med Aaron Bruno i AWOLNATION. Jag hade ingen aning om att jag skulle intervjua frontfiguren till ett band som just nu är väldigt stort på andra sidan atlanten, sådär en-miljon-sålda-skivor-stort. Det är visst många som äger Megalithic Symphony. Jag visste inte ens att jag hade hört ”Sail”. En låt med cirka två miljoner youtubeträffar. Flåsande, trött, och lite förvirrad mötte jag upp bandets promoansvarig i Sverige och gick backstage för att göra vad som trots allt blev en jävligt fin intervju. Bruno satt och käkade när jag träffade honom, och vi flyttade över till ett annat bord och så — voila! här är vårt samtal. Om ni inte kan engelska får ni kontakta mig på firstname.lastname@example.org för en svensk översättning.
Ge Hit Musiken: What kind of music do you make?
Aaron Bruno: There’s electronic elements, there’s organic elements, there’s really everything I’ve listened to as a kid, from Prince to Michael Jackson, to Nirvana, to Refused, Minor Threat, Radiohead, Neil Young, The Beatles of course, The Beach Boys; I’m a huge fan of electronic music aswell, Hot Chip, Justice. The record I made is very eclectic. The most commonly asked question is what style or genre the music is. I refuse to answer, because I don’t know how to.
GHM: That’s awesome, it’s really the best answer. You have a great taste. What’s your favorite Prince record?
AB: I don’t have a favorite record, I just listen to individual songs.
GHM: Oh, that’s cool, but what’s your favorite Prince song?
AB: I think ”When Doves Cry” is the best song he ever made. But I also love ”Kiss” (Not the band KISS, I hate the band KISS). The song taught me how to sing in my falsetto. I listened to it when I was a little kid and I thought he sounded like a girl, I thought it was a woman singing and I realized shortly after that that I could also sing like that and sing very high. Prince was such a gangster — and, you know, women liked him — so his high falsetto, in addition to Michael Jackssons’, made me feel like a man for singing what I was embarressed to sing before. It was the same way when I discovered Jeff Buckleys Grace record, I fell in love with it and stopped worrying whether people were judging me for the way I was singing.
It caused me to be very depressed. And very broke, financially. Destroyed, homeless, not knowing how to buy burritos.
GHM: How old were you when you discovered these artists?
AB: I didn’t discover Jeff Buckley until I was 21, but I was probably 5 or 6 when I discovered Prince.
GHM: Did you have a musical family/upbringing?
AB: Yeah, my mom and dad are huge fans of music. My dad taught me how to play guitar at a really young age and my mom could play guitar aswell, and piano. They taught me all the fundamental basics.
GHM: How do you feel about playing in Sweden?
AB: I just found out that I’m related to Carl Michael Bellman, on my moms side. To come here and play music is really emotional for me, it’s like tracing your family tree roots. I relate to the people here, I’m half swedish even though I wasn’t born here. My moms never been here and she’s the one with the last name. So I take photos and e-mail her. She gets emotional and cries.
We played in Stockholm last night. It was such a beautiful show. It was on a rooftop overlooking the city. It was a wonderful experience. This is the first time I get to play in Sweden with this band. We played for 350 kids last night. I call them kids, but you know, in the hardcore scene we call them that. I’m 33 but I still feel like 9. Last time I was here — with my old band — we toured with The Sounds from Malmö. We bonded with them and became best friends instantly. Me and my guitarplayer Drew have the same birthday — which is weird — and Jesper the keyboardist of The Sounds has the same birthday as us. We felt like we were our own gang.
GHM: Are you a fan of any other swedish bands?
AB: I’m a huge Refused fan. I got to see them in 1996 before The Shape Of Punk To Come. It was an honor to share the same flyer with them, when we played Coachella — and also with Radiohead, the same flyer as two of my favorite bands. We’re playing with Refused tomorrow in Germany. I’m also a huge fan of The Hives, of course.
GHM: Are you a punker?
Yeah, I grew up in the punk and hardcore scene. Once I turned 15 or 16 I discovered the underground — first I found the punk scene, which was a little bit more mainstream, and then I discovered hardcore music, which, back then, was way more underground. The record I made is very much pop but it has the spirit of the underground, the spirit of indie, and, you know, fuck the man. The worlds pretty fucked up. Especially now, it’s so hard to make a name for yourself in the music industry. I never taught I would. I’ve been in two bands before this one that didn’t do as good as I wanted to. It caused me to be very depressed. And very broke, financially. Destroyed, homeless, not knowing how to buy burritos. But it was a huge inspiration and it fueled the fire to write alot of the songs on this record. Now we’re touring the world and we’ve sold alot of records. I never taught that this would happen, ever. I just wanted to make a record that I was proud of. That maybe a couple of my friends would support, get a couple of people to come to the show and maybe eventually we could do a west coast tour. It ended up blowing up beyond my wildest dreams.
GHM: It went pretty fast.
AB: Yeah, it was about 6 months to a year and we had sold a million copies. In Canada it went double platinum. The record is getting closer and closer to becoming gold. Hopefully we’ll get to two million aswell. And hopefully we’ll be able to spend the rest of the year playing awesome shows.
GHM: You are related to our most famous poet. Have you read any of Bellmans poems?
AB: Yeah, I have. I’ve bought a CD that is translated to english, but I don’t think that it is the same. It doesn’t have the same effect. So what I was thinking is having maybe one of the members of The Sounds help me figure out a way to do a cover song, by translating something in a cool way to english. And another thing: I got to eat at the restaurant that was born in 1722 that he used to hang out at [Den Gyldene Freden]. It is really expensive but the label paid for it. I couldn’t afford it. I felt really weird walking in, I looked dirty and there were all these rich kids in there. I felt a little out of place.
GHM: Okey mate, the last question: how do you feel?
AB: I wake up every day and feel like it is all a dream, that God is gonna look at me and go ha ha ha I was just kidding. Every day I’m alive it all feels like a dream come true. I’m really, really grateful.
Aaron avslutar intervjun med att säga att det är en bra grej att jag inte har hört hans musik, för att jag kommer bli blown away när han senare spelar. För att veta hur det gick får ni läsa min krönika på Kulturbloggen.com. /Bojan Buntic
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