Awolnation’s multiplatinum song “Sail” was just the beginning in their rise to success. After releasing the EP remix version of their 2015 album Run earlier this year, the group is ready to return to Austin and stages all over the world with their alternative, electronic rock sound. Awolnation’s frontman Aaron Bruno spoke with The Daily Texan about their recent music, performing in Texas, and what’s next for the band.
The Daily Texan: I know a lot of people choose “Sail” as their favorite song, but what’s your favorite song that you’ve written?
Aaron Bruno: It really depends on the night. I think it is safe to say that it is always fun to play whatever is newest to us or whichever song we switched up a little bit or keeps us feeling young at heart by throwing ourselves out there. Any time you try something new you could fall on your face, and that is pretty fun. It’s like jumping off a cliff [and] you don’t know if there is a landing or not.
DT: What inspired the songs from Run?
AB: I would say that this is definitely more of a personal record in a lot of ways compared to the first one. If you really love music and it’s all you do and think about mostly, it’s hard to say where the inspiration really comes from. The songs I write are really the songs that came out of me at that time. I never sit down and write a song that sounds like this band or that band, or up tempo or down tempo, it’s what naturally comes out of me — I try to not get in the way of the flow.
DT: What is the most challenging part for you in writing an album?
AB: Sometimes the songs come out very naturally, but every once in a while, you will hit a roadblock. For me it’s when I have a body of music that I think is incredible but I don’t know what to sing to it and it’s like I spend too much time worrying about this instrumental piece that is great and there are all these melodies but I probably should have thought about the vocals earlier on.
DT: You’re touring next week in Houston, San Antonio and Dallas. So is this the same set list that you will be playing at ACL or will we get to hear something different?
AB: I just don’t know, we kind of play by ear. It depends on the mood and it depends on the vibe of the day when we get up. There is a lot of different options and that is the beauty of having a couple albums out. I remember at the beginning thinking “we get to play a full set and we only have one record to fill an hour and fifteen minutes.” It’s nice to have so many different options and different weapons.
DT: What is your favorite part about playing in Texas?
AB: Well, Texas has a special place in my heart. Austin was the first place that played us on the radio and it really took off there and started there. It was also the first place that we played a show and you could tell it was going to go really good or at the very least we knew we would be well accepted. The show was just incredible. There were so many people singing along and it was louder than the PA system and it was the first time this ever happened to me. Of course, this was also the first massive festival that we played and it was around 40,000 people, a sea of people as far as the eye could see, all jumping together.