Monday, April 25, 2011

"Folk songs in the debris..." Q&A with Aaron Thompson, DC singer/song writer.

Meet Aaron Thompson and his band aptly named, the Aaron Thompson band!  We met Aaron almost a year ago while he was performing at a local art maven's birthday soirée.  His soft, earthy sound was memorable and we're glad to see things taking root in this budding musical career.  Read on to see what projects he's got in queue.

Q.  So give us the details of the cool gig you have coming up this Thursday night at the Renwick Gallery in DC?

A.  The show we played at the American Art Museum in January worked really well, so the Renwick Gallery asked me to play at Handi-hour, an arts & crafts happy hour with home brewed beer from Churchkey.  Janel Leppin (janelleppin.com) and Lex Paulson will be playing with me and the boys on cello and piano.  We recorded parts separately for my first album (aaronthompson.bandcamp.com) and this will be the first time we're all playing together.  The show is next Thursday, April 28th at 5:30 and cover is $15.  Beer's included!  More info here - http://bit.ly/hOxjnd

Q.  How would you describe your bands style and who influenced you musically growing up?

A.  We play folk songs in the debris of the music we've listened to growing up.  Some may not be folk but they all tell stories and build on that, and we try to make all the parts work with the story.  Leonard Cohen, Bob Dylan and Jeff Buckley had a lot of influence on me growing up.  When I was a kid there was always classical piano music in the house, and I went through a punk phase in high school before I heard Jeff Buckley.  He covered Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah and I knew that was the kind of music I wanted to play.  Only I had to shift it a little because my voice isn't so angelic:]

Q.  You mentioned that you've got a mini-southern tour coming up.  What towns & clubs are you hitting?

A.  It started Friday and we played at The Garage in Charlottesville.  Then there's Gillie's and a small show inside a silo in Blacksburg, The Billups Art Gallery in Nashville and then back up to DC for the Renwick show.  I have a show in Baltimore at Golden West Cafe May 7th and The Living Room in New York on May 18th. 

Q.  What was it like filming the video of your song A Record A Wheel Video?  The result was amazing. 

A.  Thanks.  It was cold, and it was hunting season:) Chris Keener is a great producer and working with him on this one was a lot of fun.  His family owns a cabin up in PA in the middle of nowhere, and we found some train tracks nearby that fit the mood of the song.  We played it a few times til the sun went down and went back to the cabin.  O yes, and I made it out of that wreck alive somehow.  The driver is probably scarred for life.

Q.  You recently returned from an epic trip cross country where one of the high lights was getting to play at SXSW!  Tell us about that experience. 

A.  I met up with the boys from Wandering Hat a few months ago to talk about making a music video and they mentioned they were getting ready to drive a Winnebago across the country and had an extra spot.  I immediately jumped on board.  We drove to California and back and I set up a few shows along the way.  The good people at the Blind Pig Pub in Austin let me play there during SXSW under the condition that I'd have a backing band, so I got in touch with a band from San Antonio and they were all in.  The day before they cancelled on me and while I was grieving to Jess Dye (myspace.com/lightfootva) she offered to sing harmony and play drums.  So she saved the day.  

The new video was shot by the house boats in Sausalito, CA.  Sonya Harway lives out there and sings the harmony part. CLICK HERE TO WATCH THE VIDEO of Houses In Water

Q.   What and who is behind Wandering Hat Production

A.  Wandering Hat is a few filmmakers from Falls Church who make some really great short videos.  One of my favorites is a video called December 15th (wanderinghat.com/?p=314).  Brian Stansfield started it and now they all work as one living, breathing organism that runs on coffee and microprocessors.  It's pretty incredible to watch.

Q.  For those who want to track you down please provide us with the name of your Youtube Channel  and the link for your website!


Q.  How do you find new music these days?  Pandora?  SoundCloud? 

A.  Mostly through good friends.  I've found a lot of great music on Pandora.

Q.  What are the 5 songs and artists that have been looping on your iPod this week? 

A.  Leonard Cohen - Chelsea Hotel, PJ Harvey - Battleship Hill, Tom Waits - Hoist That Rag, The Jesus & Mary Chain - Dirty Water, Wild Nothing - Chinatown

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