Interview with Aaron Grant
The first time I heard a song of mine on the radio I was actually sitting in the studio at Country 94 in Saint John, NB. We had just finished a live interview and then right after that she played “Heartbreak Bullet”. It was pretty exciting to hear it but the real moment of excitement came a few days later when I was driving in my truck. Krista from Country 94 came on, talked about the interview we had a few days previous and then played the song again. Hearing myself sing on the radio station that I always listen to my favorite artists on as I was just cruising down the road was definitely a major moment that I’ll never forget!
Why do you think the song ended up getting so many requests?
I think “Heartbreak Bullet” resonates with people because it’s something that just about everyone has experienced one time or another. It’s relatable because it’s such a universal concept. Also Saint John is great for supporting local music. Plus it’s up beat!
The single comes off your debut EP, which “was written about finding strength in a beat you down kind of world”. Care to elaborate on that?
I find every time you turn on the news there’s a new plane crash, shooting, another war, a scandal, something bad. All negativity all the time. And if it’s not that there’s someone out there trying to put you down or take from you. That’s what the song “Stand” is about. It’s about standing on your own two feet when there’s no one left to rely on. It’s about living life on your own terms.
Are there any plans for more Aaron Grant recordings any time soon?
Definitely! I’m working on all kinds of songs right now. I’m always writing, whether it’s sitting down for a session or jotting down hooks and lyrics on a napkin or post it note if I wake up in the middle of the night with a melody or unique phrase in my mind. It’s not uncommon for me to wake up with something in my head, sing it into my phone recorder at 3:00am, then roll back over and go to sleep. Lol. I’ve lost a lot of good material by NOT doing that. Never again J I plan on releasing a single to radio this summer or early fall. It will be available via my website aarongrantmusic.com.
You live in Saint John, NB. How do you find the music scene out there?
The scene out here is great. Very unique. Saint John is very supportive of local talent. The bars and clubs here are also great to work with and are willing to give people a chance. In fact there is a permanent stage on the Boardwalk that is always host to music all summer long with various bands not to mention Saint John Idol, SJ Country Idol, the NB Talent showcase and more. It’s thriving in the summer months. If people are in this part of the world they should check it out for sure. I would also recommend musicians contact some local bars who want to play small shows in the area.
What are some of your favourite venues for live music there?
Well I mentioned the Boardwalk stage already. I frequent the Caske and Kettle Irish Gastro Pub and the Barrel’s Head Gastro Pub and Wine Bar pretty regularly. Also, the 5 and Dime often has great live music.
You wrote a song for a little girl named Jordyn and played it at her benefit concert. Can you tell us a little about the fundraiser?
A friend of mine has a little 5 year old girl who was diagnosed with Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG), which is a very rare and aggressive form of cancer typically found in children ages 5-9. As a musician, my natural response to these types of things is to put my feelings into lyrics and sing the things I want to say. So I just wrote out this song really as a prayer.
There have been 4-5 fundraisers I think. Everybody in the community has stepped up. The response has been very positive. There have been huge auctions and dances, including raffles, draws, 50/50, toonie tosses, and lots of other benefit type stuff. They money is to support the family through this difficult time as their parents have had to take time away from work to support their daughter through various treatments and long hospital stays away from home. They are also following up on some very expensive treatments outside the country which may provide some benefit.
I hope people can take a moment to contribute to the GoFundMe page here: https://www.gofundme.com/help-5-year-old-jordyn-fight-cancer
Isn’t it beautiful to see communities work together in times of need?
Yes it really is. To see people step up and be so selfless is truly inspirational. It speaks well to the integrity and compassion of the community and shows what the people in it are really made of. It goes to show what we can achieve if we just focus all our energy on one goal.
You picked up guitar at the age of 14. Do you remember the feeling of getting into it?
Yes for sure. I had a family around me that was always playing music. It was impossible to avoid. There was always guitars kicking around and people singing. When I very first started playing I didn’t know any chords so I just strummed the open strings with a melody in my head. It was music to me but probably not to anyone else within an earshot. Lol. I couldn’t understand how my uncle Larry could just know where to put his fingers and wonderful music would play. So I hounded him and aunt Nancy to teach me chords and songs and I just never stopped.
What were some of the first songs that you learned?
The first song I learned was “Your Mama Don’t Dance and Your Daddy Don’t Rock and Roll” by Loggins and Messina. Catchy tune. So I played it incessantly lol, which I think now, must be why Larry taught me a new song, “Sweet Home Alabama”. After that I started learning the blues and played them for years.
You came from a musical family. Do you think that influenced how your music sounds today?
I think it definitely does. Country and blues were the name of the game where I came from and it caught my ear early on. I really liked the soulfulness of the blues and the honesty of country music. I can just come out and tell it like it is without too much in the way of abstract metaphors, although I think they have their place sometimes.
How was recording your first EP, was it what you had expected?
Recording was a fun experience. I knew generally what needed to be done, but I had never done it before. The producers we’re great to work with and guided me through the whole process. I do remember they were exhausting days though. The studio was a two hour drive each way. Then each song had to be sung about 5-6 times each. It took several hours to do but there were only 5 songs. It was a tired drive back home. When it was all said and done though, it was very rewarding.
What do you have planned for the summer of 2018?
I have shows booked which are posted to my website. I will be doing a festival in Yarmouth this year as well which is to raise money for local schools. It will be fun I am looking forward to it. I’m also doing an acoustic show at the BMO theatre in Saint John in front of about 100 people or so. I’m excited for this because it will be mostly original material. I also have a few other things in the works. I plan to be back in the studio soon which is very exciting! I have a lot of new music which I can’t wait to share.