Music is about a listener’s interpretation of the lyrics and tempos expressed in a tune. The variety of the musical genres allows fans to find that area of music they relate to and admire the most. So, due to this diversity music is a source of liberation. A select few artists possess enough talent to create tracks that can harbor a variety of meanings rather than a specific theme, which only spreads the musical freedom for that artist even further. Let’s take this general thought to a particular artist, AWOLNATION.

AWOL is a band of spontaneity, who will not impose the meaning of a song onto a listener, but leave the speculation entirely up to the fan. AWOL’s tracks can be placed beside any emotional hardships or pleasures of the listener, if that is how he or she chooses to interpret them. The happily unguided tunes off of the band’s debut, “Megalithic Symphony”, create an album that is an exclusive experience for each ear that crosses it.

The LA-based band’s album dropped March 15th via Red Bull Records. Each of the 15 tracks off “Megalithic Symphony” sound entirely different from one another, keeping the album’s lyrical and synthetic pop beats creatively refreshing. One of our favorite albums of the year can be credited to the band’s innovator, Aaron Bruno. The uninhibited artist has put his indisputable talent out there for all fans to listen to with his debut project and we could not commend him more. His recording artist capabilities channel across to his performance abilities with his music videos for, “Sail” and “Burn It Down.” AWOLNATION has got it all and has not nearly let that talent overwhelm a listener’s musical freedom. See it if for yourself in our interview with Aaron Bruno.

What are some similarities and differences you experienced in making music as a solo artist and as a part of a group? Do you prefer one over the other?

It’s the difference between writing and making artistic decisions with a group verses with yourself. I have enjoyed the group process ever since I was 15 years old. I have learned sooooo much from the guys I have written with. I don’t think I could have ever done my own record with my own vision had I not learned how to write with those guys. I feel very blessed to have been on this journey and to have grown up with a few extremely talented songwriters. But, it feels pretty great to only have the man in the mirror to judge my songs, artwork, and vision at the end of the day.

Why name your solo project AWOLNATION? What’s the story behind the name?

It is simply a musical escape from the day to day trials and tribulations of life.

What is the meaning behind the album title, “Megalithic Symphony”?

That is open to the listener to decide.

With some of your tunes off “Megalithic Symphony”, I hear elements from the artist Mika. What artists have inspired you to create this album?

Beatles, Michael Jackson, Jeff Buckley, N.W.A., Refused, George Michael, Neil Young, Nirvana, Prince, Public Enemy, etc. I love all genres of music, I am just a huge fan of good songs and good beats.

With an album compiled of 15 tracks, what separates and/or unites each track from the album?

You would have to answer that for me, I just did my best to take the listener on an epic journey. I hope you enjoy the ride and come back for more!!!

One of my favorite tracks off your album is “All I Need” for many reasons. How is the writing and recording process different when you record songs that have a much slower tempo? Is it harder or easier for you?

No one style of song is easier or harder for me. I approach every song with the same attitude, I just want it to be the best it can be and true to itself. There are no rules, I don’t stress too much. If I am having a hard time with a part, I usually move on to another song or call it a day. I want to keep songwriting as fresh as possible. I see a lot of bands/artists spend too much time on 1 vocal part for hours only to redo the part the next day. I don’t fight the natural progression of my songs, I sort of ride the wave to wherever it wants to take me.

What is the love story behind “All I Need”?

It’s whatever you want it to be. Everyone can make it their own story.

With every track off your debut, I hear such a wide vocal range accompanied with precisely coordinated tempos. Do you put more care into one of these elements over the other? How do you balance these elements so perfectly?

Everything is instinctual with my songs. There is no formula, I just keep my head down and then look up from time to time, only to notice that I have a few new songs and hopefully love them.

Your music video for the track, “Burn It Down,” is so entertainingly unique. Why did you choose to feature it in a courtroom and with Samantha Ronson as the judge?

Thank you very much. I just wanted to make a light hearted video that had magic, so that’s what we came up with. Sam just seemed like she would be a great judge, she is a very good judge in music to me.

Speaking of Samantha Ronson, I also learned she remixed your track, “Guilty Filthy Soul.” What was it like working with her? What other artists help to contribute to your album?

I trusted her to do what she wanted on the remix, I don’t get involved in remixes. As far as other artists on the record, it’s all in the liner notes and would take too long to explain again.

Is there an overall message you feel “Megalithic Symphony” expresses?

I’m not sure, that is open to the listener.

While you are on tour, what are some of your favorite tracks to perform off of “Megalithic Symphony”?

I truly love all of them.

by Lonnie Nemiroff

AWOLNATION
AWOLNATION

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