AWOLNATION Singer Aaron Bruno Talks Alternative Radio, Loving Nirvana

2013-08-19

Story by Anne Erickson

Interview: AWOLNATION’S Aaron Bruno says Nirvana is the band that inspired him to play guitar

AWOLNATION frontman Aaron Bruno was thrust into the national spotlight with the release of his single “Sail,” a catchy electro-pop ditty that blends live instrumentation and electronic beats to chart-topping accord.

At the time “Sail” started to break in 2011, Bruno says everything on alternative radio sounded, well, the same. He likes to think “Sail” changed that momentum.

“I think we were one of the first bands lucky enough to break through the mold of alternative radio,” he told Audio Ink Radio. “With ‘Sail,’ we provided a lot of other bands the opportunity to be played on radio. Quite a few songs –- hit songs –- I can tell wouldn’t have been written had ‘Sail’ not been written before them. I’m flattered when I hear similar songs, but now it’s time to think of next thing. I think everything is starting to sound similar on the radio again.”

As for what bands inspired Bruno when he was first getting into music, one stands out: Nirvana.

“Nirvana is the band that made me feel like I could pick up my guitar and sing along,” Bruno said. “I would play their songs in my bedroom. I did know how to play a couple of chords on guitar, but nothing fancy; just basic guitar.”

He added, “When Nirvana came out, I watched ‘(MTV) Unplugged),’ and that night as a kid, I stayed up all night and, based on memory, tried to figure out how to cover ‘Where Did You Sleep Last Night,’ which they covered. I’ll never forget. It was a breakthrough moment for me. That started all of it.”

(Photo by Harper Smith.)




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