After his first EP « GUITS », released in 2015, Brooklyn emerging singer-songwriter and producer Aaron Taos has finally returned with a new single definitely more pop.
For the young artist, making music » it’s not about perfection, it’s about giving your best ! » and that’s what he did with OFF MY MIND.
It’s an absolutely brilliant synthpop gem with warbling psych guitars and shifted beats to create a lovelorn anthem with a delicate emotional charge.
Thanks to Aaron Taos
Interview : Renaud Velin
I got my first guitar when I was very young, maybe 6 or 7. My parents were pretty keen on me playing in the jazz band and then orchestra when I was in middle school, but I never really liked it. My first instinct when I pick up an instrument has always been to write a song; so playing other people’s music was not fun or exciting for me. Then from ages 12-17 soccer was my life, I was on a bunch of travel teams, high school, and ODP. I really wanted to play in college and then become pro, but it wasn’t in the cards. I was definitely good – I even made the All New England my senior year and then went on to play two years at Vassar College, but by that point music had taken over and it felt like something I was naturally better at and could actually make happen for a career. I’m not a naturally a good singer or even guitar player, but creating music has always been what excites me most.
Two years ago, you released your very first EP ‘GUITS’, which was very indie rock with an ubiquitous guitar. Then you released some singles with a guitar always present but resolutely more pop. HANDS arrived as a very catchy hit with a low beat, a groovy and sensual vibe. OFF MY MIND, your new single is in the same spirit, in the same desire, no ? Your desire is to work on something more deep in the emotions with the softness of your vocals ?
I come from a very garage-rock mentality. In high school I was in a band that carried me through college. Our influences were Arctic Monkeys, The Strokes, and Bloc Party type bands, so gigging and jamming loudly with guitars and drums was really my first introduction to music. The GUITS EP came about when I first got ableton and started recording myself with an mBox in my apartment in Brooklyn and at my parent’s house in Connecticut. It was a very trial and error process and I didn’t really know what I was doing. Most of the tracks don’t even have percussion because I was so bad at drum programming/mixing. The new material is sounding more “pop” leaning because I finally have access to people who can help me flush out my ideas better.
You said that OFF MY MIND was about the feelings when you start to fall in love with someone. The state of your mind at the beginning of a relationship. You have been inspired by your own private life and your girlfriend. The love relationship remains an important theme in your songs (HANDS, ILL, …). Women and love are your first source of inspiration, no ? And you will describe yourself more like an eternal romantic or a passionate seductor ?
Definitely would describe myself as an eternal romantic rather than passionate seductor haha. For one reason or another, usually my first inclination when I start writing is to talk about relationship/women related things. Two of my favorite artists/writers over the last couple years (Alex Turner and Drake) talk about relationships and emotions frequently so maybe I’m influenced by those storytellers indirectly. Either way – I agree. I try to write about what’s going on in my life. Only then am I really excited by a song.
The duo TŌN produced and mixed OFF MY MIND. How this artistic collaboration came up ? And I heard you are actually right now back in studio in LA with them, it seems that you like to work together and this collaboration will last for a while. What do you bring to each other ?
I was introduced to TŌN through a mutual friend, Glenn MacRae. He knew I was going to be in LA over the summer and he thought we would be a good match. TŌN is made up of Adam Korbesmeyer and Jerry Lang. Adam comes from more of a indie band world and Jerry from a hip/hop/jazz perspective in terms of production. They intersect perfectly with the kind of music I’ve always listened to and wanted to make. I’m really glad I met these guys, they’re amazing producers/writers and friends now.
You have always been very productive and creative, what are you preparing for next months?
In terms of the next few months… I will have a music video dropping soon for Off My Mind, which I’m excited about. I have a bunch of new material on deck, so honing in and picking which song I’m excited to put out next. Hoping to wrap it all up with an EP this summer or fall.
Tanaka Bros directed all your videoclips, Johnny Frank is your musician and partner in crime, tell us who is your crew, who’s is your closest team ?
I met the TANAKA BROS when I first moved to the city and PA’d on their independent film. We hit it off and they liked my music so the choice was obvious. They are extremely creative dudes and know how to execute behind the camera. Johnny Frank is one of my best friends from home; he has been my main musical writer and collaborator for quite some time. He has his own project coming out soon – I should send you the link, it’s rad.
You already got a real talent for the live session, you are really good on stage ! Will you go to more stage soon ? it is something that you want ?
Live performances will be coming soon. I want to take the time to make it right, so I’m not rushing into gigging soon, but hopefully in the next month or two.
What does it take to be a good fisherman ? patience ? Is this something you need for music too ?
I’ve been fishing for so long that it’s hard to think of it in that way. It’s less of a patience thing than it is just part of the process overall at this point. I grew up fishing in the Long Island Sound for Stripers and Bluefish and besides patience, it takes a lot of technicality! Some guys go super hard with fishing at the exact right time of the tide, the right bait, over a reef or structure drifting at just the right speed. Ocean fishing is exciting for me; fishing in fresh water in lakes or streams is more of a relaxing thing.