It’s been three years since the release of AWOLNATION‘s debut record Megalithic Symphony. Taking a break from writing material for their new album, the Los Angeles “genre-less” group came to Toronto last weekend to take the stage at our very own Riot Fest. Ahead of their performance, we were lucky enough to sit down with AWOLNATION frontman Aaron Bruno to discuss playing the festival
and its line-up, spending money on good meals, his love of sushi, and creating their new album — enjoy!
AMBY: Thanks for having a chat with me today here at Riot Fest. How’s the festival been treating you?
AWOLNATION: This is our second Riot Fest – we did one in Denver a year ago. It’s great because we get to play with some of my childhood influences like playing with The Flaming Lips and The Cure at the same time. Combing genres at shows is always cool because we feel like we’re genre-less. We’re kind of the weirdos at all of the shows.
AMBY: There are a lot of amazing bands playing this weekend. Which sets do you look forward to catching?
AWOLNATION: I think I’m going to catch whatever I can. We play pretty close to once we’re done this interview. We’re good friends with Rise Against and Billy Talent so I’m going to try to check them out as well. We have an early flight tomorrow – which I know is boring information, but it’s true – so I’m probably going to have to get to sleep so I’m not a bum or drunk at the airport tomorrow [laughs].
AMBY: When you’re on tour, which activities does the band get into to have some fun?
AWOLNATION: I try to have the best meals I can find. I’ve been good at saving my money… I still drive the same shitty car I drove before and stuff like that.
AMBY and AWOLNATION: [laughs]
AWOLNATION: I spent my money on good meals. I like to experience whatever the culture of the city has to offer, too. I don’t try to do a ton of touristy stuff, but I try to find out what the best coffee shop is or the best cocktail bar is or the best little place to shop at is.
AMBY: Since you’re big on meals, is there a favourite kind of food you look for while on the road?
AWOLNATION: Sushi is kind of my thing. It’s a great thing I can eat without getting too full before we play. Sushi is my jam. I’ll probably die from it, actually. I’ve had so much sushi.
AMBY: [laughs] You’re currently working on a second album.
AWOLNATION: Yea, we are.
AMBY: Comparing this one to the creation of your debut Megalithic Symphony, are you trying anything new as far as experimenting goes? Which direction are you taking the album?
AWOLNATION: That’s really for you guys to decide. It’s an extension of where the first record was at and hopefully this new one is better and our audience wants to go there with me.
AMBY: As far as actually making this new album, what have been some of the highlights?
AWOLNATION: The coolest thing about this record is that this studio is only fifteen minutes from my house. I’ve been able to drive there to do what I want to do with one of my best friends who’s the engineer on the record. It’s just me and him in a room. The whole thing has had such a good vibe. The waves have been really good, so I’ve been able to surf in between sessions, on my way to the studio, and on the way back. Everything is really good.
AMBY: When things get hectic, is that where you usually retreat? You go surfing?
AWOLNATION: That’s my retreat whether things or hectic or not. You know what I mean? If I’m having a bad day I’ll surf or if I’m having a good day I’ll surf.
AMBY: For the album, have you come up with a working title yet?
AWOLNATION: I have a couple that I’ve been kicking around. One I thought for sure, but now I’m not sure about that one now.
AWOLNATION: I think when it’s done, I’ll know.
AMBY: Taken from that forthcoming release, your song Some Kind of Joke was featured in the latest Iron Man film. If you could have your music featured in any film or show, which would you choose?
AWOLNATION: I would love to score a PT Anderson movie. That would be my dream. Jonny Greenwood from Radiohead scored There Will Be Blood, which is one of my favourite soundtracks. I would love to work with him. Any film that I believed in would be really nice to work on.
AMBY: Lastly, what’s the best part of being in Awolnation?
AWOLNATION: Aside from all of the obvious answers… We’ve been more successful than I thought we’d ever be… especially at this point in our career. We get to play with all sorts of different bands, like The Flaming Lips [points across our table to Wayne Coyne].
AMBY: And now your influence is sitting right across from us!
AWOLNATION: [laughs] Exactly. It’s a big dream come true.
Thank you AWOLNATION, for giving us your answers!
Interview by Alicia Atout | @AliciaAtout