Over the past couple weeks, I’ve become acquainted with Aaron Gabriel, an under-the-radar singer-songwriter. He recently released his debut album, An Uninvited Guest. This week, I asked Aaron a few questions about his band:
An Uninvited Guest
Tell us a little bit about your background.
Growing up in a house with a lot of older brothers, I was exposed to a lot of different types of music. As a result, I’ve been influenced by a rather wide range of bands and musicians: Don McLean, The Replacements, REM, Van Morrison, Todd Snider, Great Big Sea…the list goes on. I’ve done some time in bands in the past, but I decided I wanted to make my own music the way I wanted to make it. True, it doesn’t always go the way I play, but it’s nice being the one in control. Sink or swim, it’s all on me.
Who is your biggest musical influence?
Don McLean, for his poetry. Paul Westerberg, for his honesty. Chris Trapper, for his sincerity.
Describe your style.
I think the best way to describe my music is alternative folk with hints of acoustic pop here and there. I am a big fan of harmonies, because I love how they fill out a song. I also have a strong emphasis on songwriting — I want my songs to say something. The way I see it, every song is meant for someone, even if we’ve never met.
Who is the most interesting current artist/band in your opinion?
While she isn’t exactly current, I have a tremendous amount of respect for Loreena McKennitt. She is an amazing singer and musician, and has made a successful career without compromising anything on the way.
What is your biggest goal for your music?
I’ve never expected to go far with my music. People who have heard it, for the most part, really seem to enjoy it. And while it would be nice to make a little money, I’m just as happy playing small shows and meeting that one person who had never heard me before but who walks away a fan.
How do you feel about the new-found appreciation for folk and Americana music in the public’s eye?
Personally, I’m thrilled. Good music, good songwriting…popular music on the radio really starts to sound the same after a while. It’s a nice change!
What can we expect in the future from you?
The future looks like it could be busy for me: I’m in the process of entering songwriting contests, working on a Christmas album that’ll (hopefully) be done this summer, finishing my next solo album, writing a musical based on a horror movie that was made in my hometown, and trying to come up with A Prairie Home Companion-type radio show for my local radio station. There is a lot of scary good talent in my hometown.
Would you rather tour or be making new music?
Both, really. I’d love to go to new places and meet new people — it’s a great way to expand my music, and it’d be a great way to get fresh ideas and inspiration for writing new songs.
Any plans for touring?
I live in Chewelah, which is a tiny town in northeast Washington state. There aren’t really a whole lot of touring opportunities around here. And since I work full-time (the sad reality of the independent artist), I can’t afford to take time off to tour. But what I’m hoping to get started doing is a series of house concerts: small, intimate performances in people’s homes to friends and family. That could be a nice avenue around these parts.
You can find Aaron Gabriel on: