Friday 28 September 2018

An Interview With Aaron Wall From RED BEARD WALL

US Sludge/Stoner Rockers – Red Beard Wall – made a name for themselves with their excellent S/T debut album which was released in May 2017. This album became a firm favourite of mine very quickly. As the band play a heavy distorted mix of Doom, Sludge and Stoner Metal sounds. Plus it’s so damn catchy as well.

The album went on to receive some acclaim within the Doom/Sludge/Stoner Metal community. Aaron Wall is the mean creative force behind Red Beard Wall. However he’s ably backed up by by drummer George Trujillo on the drums whenever the band perform live.

Red Beard Wall have been busy recording their upcoming second album due for release in 2019. With that mind I wanted to catch up with Aaron and see how things are going with Red Beard Wall and what we can expect from the new album.

Aaron kindly agreed to do this cool interview.

Hi Aaron. Thanks for doing this interview. How are things with you today?

Greetings Outlaws of the Sun! Thank you so much for having me! It's a true honor! Things are going tremendously well in my world! Stoked on the months ahead!

For people not in the know can you give a brief history of how the band came about and what the current line-up is today.

The abridged version goes as such… I had been out of music and bands for a few years as a side effect of a tumultuous time, that left me reeling in basically all aspects of life, including my creativity and passion for music. I'll spare you the mushy details (I met my lifesaving wife), so fast forward to late 2015 and everything had turned for me.

I got the passion back and decided to write a few songs just for me, for fun. I was honestly extremely happy with what those original 3 songs became, that I decided, fuck it, I’m gonna do a record. No expectations of putting anything out necessarily, I just had the joy of it back. I wrote, performed all instruments/vocals, recorded, and mixed the album in my living room.

I was really proud of it so I sent it out to a few labels as just a shot in the dark. Amazingly to me it drew some interest, but none more than Gero at Argonauta. As the cliche goes...the rest is history.

To answer the line-up question, my live drummer is the homie, George Trujillo who is an absolute beast. He's crucial to the Red Beard Wall live vibe. Other than that, it's a creative line-up of one. The bearded one.

You released your debut album last year. What a response that album received. Did it surprise you how many people reacted to the album? I still listen to this album all the time.

Yeah! Very very much so, it was damn near overwhelming! The support and love I received was about a gazillion times more than I ever dreamed of. Even though I poured everything I had into those songs, and I was extremely proud of the record, you just never know. This community Steve, our community, can not be praised enough.

If I could shake everyone's hand, look them in the eye sincerely, and say thank you, I most definitely would. The means more to me than I could explain. I'm just grateful for that record. It has made many of my dreams come true. Including, but not limited to, the opportunity to do it all over again. Thank you to you specifically, Mr. Howe. You've been extremely instrumental in the momentum, and success the band has. Grateful to you sir.

Looking back on your debut album, would you change anything about it?

Nothing at all! I love those songs as much now, if not more, than I ever have! Any change in the whole arc of the cycle by me, would've fucked it up more than likely! Ha! I feel like I was just a vessel. I just put the work in, stayed out of the way and let the universe do it's thing. It rewarded me tenfold.

Did you realise before your debut album was released that the album would receive that kind of response. It struck a chord with the Sludge/Stoner Metal scene. Well in my humble opinion.

I honestly didn't think about the response that much, mainly because I didn't even know what to categorize the music as. I was just really happy and proud of the songs. I will say, though, that I am so fucking happy and fortunate it found a place in the "scenes" that it did. It feels like home to me. It's where it was meant to be, and it's where I wanna be. It's the people. All the amazing bands and people within.

Now you will be releasing your new album very soon. Can you give any details what the album is called and when it’s expected to be out?

Yeah man! It's coming! It's titled "The Fight Needs Us All," and it'll be out worldwide on vinyl, CD, and all digital platforms in February 2019 on the mighty Argonauta Records. Official release date, album art, and track list will be announced next month! Teaser tracks, exclusive song art and limited merch in the weeks after. Really stoked to unveil everything, especially the jams! There are 8 brand spanking new songs on the record, and it's banger after banger.

Will it be the same sort of style of music your debut album contained? Or have you changed things round for this album. Any hidden surprises at all?

It's overall not too far of a departure from the debut. It's just MORE, and in my humble opinion, a huge step forward. Better, heavier, and catchier riffs, more mature and ear-wormish melodies. Guitar wise for sure, but vocally even more so. I experimented with vocal harmonies that came out absolutely killer! I really hope people enjoy it. I think as a whole, the album is super solid. But what the hell do I know! Ha!!

Argonauta Records are releasing this album again like your debut album. Was it an easy decision to stay with Argonauta Records?

There was no decision. It was a given. Gero took a chance on me. He did not have to. I do not take that for granted, even in the slightest. Plus I was lucky enough to be signed to Argonauta pretty early on. There definitely weren't but just a few US bands on the roster at that point in time.

I feel like we've grown and expanded together in a truly artistic and organic way. He's helped me grow and hopefully I've done at least a small part to contribute to Gero's and his labels growth. I'll continue to be loyal to Argonauta because Argonauta has been loyal and tremendous to me. It means something.

Did you have any other offers from record labels wanting to sign you to their roster?

I had a few inquiries. Labels putting out feelers. I was definitely not looking for other labels. I'm exactly where I need to be at this point in the journey.

Gero (Owner Of Argonauta Records) has had a great year releasing albums from a wide range of great artists. Did you feel under any pressure when making the second album from your other bands signed to Argonauta Records releasing cool albums? Or did you focus on your own thing.

Man did he ever, and he's still going! The dude is killing it! No other way to say it! I put more than enough pressure and work on myself, just to make it as good as I possibly can. That's really all I can do. The way I look at having so many amazing bands on our label, releasing stellar songs and albums at what seems like a dizzying pace, is just inspiration. Makes me, make sure to keep busting ass and growing.

Did you do anything differently recording the new album compared to your debut album?

To tell you the truth, not a whole lot. The only major differences were in the gear used and things in the technical recording realm. Other than that it was not a huge departure. The main difference was just the knowledge I had gained since the debut. In both performance, recording, and engineering, and how I was able to use that progression in skills to make the new record better in every single facet and phase.

Will you be touring and promoting the new album heavily?

Most definitely! Argonauta alongside ALL NOIR have a pretty extensive PR campaign leading up to release and there will be shows a plenty! Doing some dates with the impeccable Backwoods Payback at the end of November to kick things off and then we'll be out there everywhere and anywhere for a good while pushing The Fight Needs Us All into every nook and cranny that it can seep into.

Any word on European Dates?

Nothing solid yet, but I am vigorously working on it. I'm truly hoping to be over around this time 2019. You will see my face. Mark it it down..

What comes first to you? Music or Lyrics.

Music comes first when I write. I never even ponder on lyrics or vocals until the song is musically finished. When writing lyrics, I listen to the songs and let them tell me what should be said and how it should be said. I feel like it's more organic that way in a sense. I don't question and pine over things a whole lot. I trust my creativity. I just try my absolute best to stay out of the way and let it do it's thing through me. Seems to work best for me, and my soul.

What inspires you when writing music?

The riff! It's the motherfucking riff! Spectacular riffs are my air, and I need to breathe. Nothing inspires me more. Period.

Thanks for doing this interview. Before you go do you have any words of wisdom to say to your fans?

My absolute pleasure my brother! Thank you so much Steve and Outlaws of the Sun! It's an honor and privilege to grace your site. Grateful and thankful for all you do! Also quickly, a gargantuan thank you to each person, that has shown me support and encouragement, or critique for that matter. Thank you to the friends I've made so far along the way. The true brothers and sisters. The family that we are in. The family of true, real, and honest, heavy music.

You are all an integral and crucial part of my dream. No words could ever repay you for the joy you've brought and continue to bring to me. Means every damn thing! ALL LOVE. ALL GRATITUDE. ALL RESPECT. ALL HAIL!!!

P.S. Please please grab my new album The Fight Needs Us All! Feb. 2019 so I can continue to do cool shit like this!

Teaser tracks coming sooooooooon!!!

Words by Steve Howe and Aaron Wall


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