Ο Αμερικανός κιθαρίστας AARON KUSTERER μιλάει στο Pyramis News

Hello Aaron! Nice to have you! What inspired you to create an EP focused on vocals rather than instrumental guitar work?

Hi! Thanks for having me. That’s a great question and I’m sure some of my friends probably think I’ve lost my mind. Haha! Growing up, I was extremely drawn to the guitar from a really young age and wanted to listen to pretty much anything that had guitar in it. But, most of what I heard as a kid (Age 7-13) was all song-focused music. That really set the stage for what my ear gravitated towards initially. When I first heard some of the instrumental guitar greats (Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, etc), I was blow away and that turned into a really fun detour in my upbringing as a kid and into young adulthood. It taught me quite a lot. However, slowly but surely (and partially through working as a professional guitarist), I found my way back to a version of where I first started. I’ve always loved singing and in my 20s, I started taking it a bit more seriously. I started writing more and as an engineer, started working on the vocal production side as well. All of this to say—I took the long way around to come back to what made me fall in love with music and rocking out in the first place. “A Little Louder” is absolutely a representation of that and there is more music coming soon!


How did you approach the songwriting process for «A Little Louder» compared to your previous projects?

Things have changed a lot for me over the years regarding writing. Among many, one key element is what a powerful tool a demo can be when evaluating what a song is or could be, and also what it might need to get it across the finish line. In years past, I often would write a song and think, “oh here is my song” without considering that workshopping a song is important. Like making a good dinner, sometimes it takes time to sort out what needs to happen in a song and that is okay. For A Little Louder, I tried to really take my time and work the tunes—often changing elements that didn’t flow as well, and in a few cases, changing entire sections because better options presented themselves.


Can you tell us about the meaning behind the title track «A Little Louder»?

Well, A Little Louder is the name of the EP and on one hand, the hope is that listeners want to just turn it up a bit louder. This EP is meant to be cranked up loud! In sort of a subtle way, it’s also a cheeky response to the typical “can you turn it down a little?” or “could you play a little quieter?” that might come from certain softer-edged concert-goers that received a little more than what they paid for, sonically speaking.


What emotions or experiences influenced the lyrics and melodies in the EP?

Overall, I love exploring things that not everyone talks about. I believe we often have things inside us that we feel or want to say but are afraid to vocalize. There are even things in our subconscious that can drive us to feel a certain way and sometimes we can’t even quite pinpoint why we feel the way we do. Pulling those things out into the open for discussion makes for a different experience for the listener. I truly enjoy delving into that psychology. For A Little Louder, each track is definitely personal to me. “Only Be Me” originally stemmed from being told a really long time ago that I couldn’t really sing by someone (though I wanted to) but morphed into a song about being put in a box—told what I should or shouldn’t be. “Learning to Feel” is about recovering from a really difficult time in a relationship, sorting through those feelings, and reconnecting with that same person. “Your Road” is about the desire (especially as a guy) to fix every problem a spouse brings to you even though you technically can’t fix it, and acknowledging that often those battles are your spouses, not yours. Finally, “Leaves” is one of the more esoteric tracks on the record. This was my way of sorting through some of the issues socially/politically that have arisen over the past 5 years or so, partially through drawing a comparison to the way the seasons change (the day the leaves turned).


How did your work as a producer impact the recording and production of «A Little Louder»?

I think it probably influences things up to a point for sure. One can learn from just about any situation if you’re open to it. For me, the influence definitely presents on a technical front as you can find new ways of doing things from working with an artist that you hadn’t tried before. The artist says “hey, what about this?” and then that gets the gears turning on how you might accomplish it.


What was the biggest challenge you faced while working on this project?

Well, I went through a studio change that made things a bit more difficult to finish things when I wanted to. Getting used to a new location is always a challenge but where there is a will, there is a way.


How does your work with Slow Burning Car influence your solo music projects?

This particular situation is unique in that SBC (Slow Burning Car) already had a very established vision long before I started working with them. My goal in that group was/is to support Troy (Spiropoulos) and execute things according to his vision, So, with regard to style/sound, I would say they that SBC and A Little Louder are two autonomous things. That said, I will point to my earlier answer regarding the technical front. Troy definitely allowed me to experiment a bit with what we could pull off in the studio and that is always a beneficial thing for growth that I carry into many other projects I do.


Do you have a favorite track on the EP, and if so, what makes it stand out to you?

Learning to Feel would probably have to be my favorite. I really love big choruses! For me, the chorus and danc-ey feel make for a really fun song.


How important do you think storytelling is in music, and how does that play a role in your songwriting?

I think storytelling is very important in music, but I think there’s a number of ways to do it. Telling a story in the way Sting or Bruce Hornsby might go about it is incredibly descriptive and I love that a lot. However, there are some songs that need a simpler message/delivery. I’ve had to learn that at times, that’s okay. Everything revolves around context and I think that’s the most important thing to consider. The great thing is that as the writer, you can get to decide how far you want to go. It’s up to the listener to then decide how far they want to go in their imagination.


What do you hope listeners take away from «A Little Louder» after listening to it?

I hope listeners take away some fun music, introspective lyrics, and above all else—some element that makes them want to return to it again and again.


What are your plans for promoting and sharing this new EP with your fans and new listeners? Thank you for the interview!

I’m looking at taking this project to the stage later this year so that is definitely a start. In the meantime, I have two singles that I’ll be releasing soon as a follow-up to A Little Louder. Please follow me on Instagram, Facebook, and my website for the most up to date information. Thanks for having me!!


Aaron Kusterer – Learning to Feel (Official Lyric Video)








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