Aaron Keylock debut album Cut Against The Grain will be released on Provogue/Mascot Label Group on 13th January and is a strong statement of where Aaron is now, a teenager who has been rocking hard since aged 12 and now finally releasing his much anticipated debut album.
Lauren had a great chat with Aaron regarding what to expect and the inspiration behind the album.
(LC) Hi Aaron, I’m Lauren from Silver Tiger Media. Thank you for taking the time to talk with me today about your new album Cut Against The Grain. Due out in a few days (Jan 20th ) through Mascot Records.
What was the main idea behind the title for this album? It’s just the story of my life really. The songs on the album are songs I’ve written about being the one long-haired hippie kid from Oxfordshire trying to make my way playing rock n roll and I guess that’s the inspiration behind most of the songs. All of the different experiences I’ve had and all the good times and struggles that go along with being who I want to be.
How much time did you spend writing/recording the album? I wasn’t really writing for the album, they’re just songs I wrote over the last three years and I had about 30 songs together before I started recording so it was mainly just picking the 11 I wanted to put out. It took about 2 weeks to record the record though, I went out to LA for just under a month and finished it in about 2 weeks. It was a cool experience and I can’t wait to make the next one!
Is there a song on the album you are looking forward to playing live the most? There’s a song called Sun’s Gonna Shine which I always love to play live. We get to just stretch it out and jam which is what I love to do, play with the rhythms and just let loose. But all the songs mean something to me and I love to play them, it always means a lot when people put their hands together for a song you wrote at home. That’s why I got into music because records moved me so it’s great to see people connecting with your songs in the same way.
Is there a story behind the album if so what is it? The isn’t really a story or an idea I planned when putting it together but a lot of the songs message is about being honest and passion. I believe in honest music and I think that comes across as a message on a lot of the songs.
What first got you really into the blues at such a young age? Well, my old teacher showed me a 12 bar blues and recommended Muddy Waters to check out and jam too, and that was my introduction to it. I then started to jam to records and exploring other blues guys and I just become hooked on it really!
What kind of reaction are you hoping this album will have on the fans? It’s my first album so it’s really just an introduction to who I am as an artist and a person really. When I was making the record I didn’t really have anything like that in my mind other than I wanted to make a record that I liked and I would listen to at home.
You once went out for some food after soundcheck and because you where underage security wouldn’t let you back in. What was going through your mind, knowing you had to be on stage in 10 minutes? Well, that’s only happened a couple of times actually! I just wanted to get up and play, the sound guy eventually came up and talked the bouncers round so it was all cool.
You have played over 200 live shows what is your favorite venue and what venue or place would you most like to play? My favorite show so far was Shepherds Bush Empire when we played with Blackberry Smoke. It’s a great sounding room. I also got to see Johnny Winter play there just before he died so that made it extra cool to me. There’s loads of great venues that would be awesome to play the one that always sticks out is probably Brixton Academy though. I saw my first concert there when I was 10 so that’d be cool to be able to play some songs there!
What are you hoping the future brings? where would you like to be in 5 years from now? My only goals are really just to keep improving as a songwriter and as an artist. I hope to be able to keep making records I like and to play as many shows as I can and that’s been my main goal since I’ve started just to keep moving forward playing music I love.
What was it like supporting The Graveltones throughout the UK in 2014? Those shows were great! We played 4 shows with them I think and they’re a great band and lovely guys. We got on really well and we always catch up at festivals when we can! I saw them at Ramblin’ Man Fair again last summer so it’s always great to catch up with guys like them.
Is there anyone you would really like to share the stage with someday? There’s loads of artists/bands that I’d love to play with. I guess the main ones for me would be the people that got me into music and influenced me as a musician. I always thought the Black Crowes would stand out as one of the main ones though as the first ever live show I saw was watching them at Brixton academy and that was the moment I knew I wanted to play shows and make records so that would be pretty special!
What do you love most about playing live? I think just getting up on stage and being able to just let loose and just jam the music that I’ve written. We try and keep everything as fresh as we can each night and there’s always something one of us will play and we all turn and smile at them and that’s what’s great about it just being able to lose yourself in a song and just jam.
What interests you more, playing guitar or singing? When I first started music I was obsessed with blues guitarists and that whole thing which I still am, but I think what interests me the most is the writing and that’s my expression in both ways really. I still love to jam and to learn as much as a blues guitarist as I can but the best way to express yourself is through song writing.
How did it feel to play your style of blues music at festivals like Download and Bloodstock?
It was cool! I mean it was full of rock n roll people and that’s a big umbrella of things. To me rock n roll isn’t a strict genre like country/jazz/blues it’s just about the freedom of expression and being able to play whatever you want. I wouldn’t call myself a blues artist because I don’t really play blues. I love the music and that’s where I came from but my expression as a 19 year today is so different. Rock n roll is anything from Bob Marley to Johnny Cash to Leon Russell to Lemmy! I think a rock n roll crowd will always appreciate anything like that.