Aranda ‘Stop the World’ With Rock ‘n’ Roll
Aranda are currently heating up radio with the single ‘Undone’ off their latest album, ‘Stop the World.’ The Oklahoma rockers, who have toured with Staind and Shinedown, among others, are led by the brother duo of Gabe and Dameon Aranda.
Among other tour dates in 2012, Aranda will play the massive Rock on the Range festival taking place May 18-20 in Columbus, Ohio. They’ll be joined by such acts as Incubus, Marilyn Manson, Shinedown and Rob Zombie on the star-studded bill. Aranda will also play the equally massive Rocklahoma festival taking place May 25-27 in Pryor, Okla.
Gabe Aranda recently checked in with us from a van on the road and dished about ‘Stop the World,’ sharing a bed with his brother (don’t worry, you’ll see what he means) and much more.
How does ‘Stop the World’ compare musically to your first disc?
Our first disc is more eclectic, from a lot of the fans perspectives obviously that’s what they love about us. From our perspective, what we’re wanting to achieve which is having this as a career, we kind of have to take some positions and sometimes we can’t base strictly it on what we want to do. We felt like we really needed to hone in just to not confuse radio which is a huge part of what helps break a band in a genre that we’re in, so trying more or less to walk the fine line of doing what we think will help us career wise but also staying true to what we do and personally enjoy.
How was it working with Johnny K (Disturbed, Sevendust etc.) and the overall experience of recording this album?
First of all, the facility he’s got is pretty amazing. It’s like an old six story building so the ambiance there is just really cool, from a creative perspective it’s something else to draw from even if it’s subconsciously. Johnny himself, I mean his work speaks for itself, the accolades that he has. With us it was primarily more about honing us in on something real direct, stylistically we tend to be all over the place so on this record we tried to do something a little more straight ahead rock and stick with those roots. Overall, it really benefited us to work with him.
Can you talk a little about the first single ‘Undone’ musically and lyrically?
The song starts with a droney guitar hook and the melody of the chorus came first, without any lyrics at all and then when we went to write the song that guitar hook came up and so that right there created the framework of the song. Lyrically, it was really dealing with some personal stuff, dealing with people close to me that were dealing with a lot of mental anguish at that period of time. When I was writing those lyrics, I was trying to write it from their perspective, how I would feel like if I was in there position which can be a precarious place to write from. What I love about the song is that I feel like it speaks to something bigger than just everyday things so it’s always nice to hear fans come up and it’s almost therapeutic. We just don’t want to be that band that’s putting stuff out there that’s not really doing anything just for the sake of partying [laughs] — just really trying to have stuff with substance out there.
You guys have shared the stage with some big names over the years, how would you describe playing with Staind last year?
It was awesome, anytime you can get on the bill with bands that are in another stage than you are it’s such a huge deal especially if you’re a fan of their music — that’s how it is with Staind. Those guys have been around a long time and have connected with a fan base that’s massive and so for us it was a privilege just to be out there and being able to get in front of their fans and garnishing some more fans of our own. We’ve been out with Shinedown and Puddle of Mudd, bands that have done some significant things for us. It’s almost like a rite of passage, their work ethic, their stage performance and you feel like “we do belong” and that we can hang with all those guys musically and work ethic wise. As a band it gives you more confidence as well.
Who would you love to go on the road with that you haven’t toured with already?
Honestly, the Foo Fighters, we feel like would be the perfect fit but who doesn’t ?[Laughs] Every band would probably say that same thing. I would feel funny sayin’ it but we’ve always felt like the way they perform and the type of rock’ n’ roll that they do, they do that real rootsy kind of straight ahead rock ‘n’ roll it’s almost a little throwback , a little more classic sounding. We feel like it would just be a fun fit. Who knows? If you’ve got connections, let me know.
I wish! I recently interviewed Lzzy Hale of Halestorm, who said that she wanted to collaborate with Aranda. How does hearing something like that make you feel? And would you be open for a collaboration?
First of all she’s an amazing amazing talent, in my opinion she’s the face of female rock ‘n’ roll right now, really all of rock ‘n’ roll but as far as vocally, Lzzy’s just a freak of nature. [Laughs] When we first saw her, we were just like, “Oh my God, this girl is just unbelievable.” Obviously when you see her live, she’s really that good and we’ve gotten to be good friends with them and have talked back and forth about collaborating for a while. We’d be open to it, at this point it’s just a timing issue. In fact, believe it or not, when ‘Undone’ was first written I talked to her about actually doing that as a duet, it was kind of funny that it ended up being our first single that would have been interesting to have her on that song. She’d have stolen the thunder from me so…[Laughs]
For anyone who hasn’t heard Aranda yet, how would you describe your sound to them?
It’s just straight ahead rock ‘n’ roll, very vocal oriented, a lot of energy I feel especially onstage we give everything we have, you kinda take it or leave it. Our sound is new, classic type of rock ‘n’ roll, lots of harmonies, guitar solos, we’re suckers for all that stuff. It’s just a privilege to be out doin’ what we’re doin’ we definitely don’t take it for granted and just try to enjoy every moment of it, even on the 17 and 18 hour drives.
How would you describe your relationship with your brother and fellow musician Dameon? How is it being in a band with your sibling, is there sometime cases of having that sibling rivalry?
There definitely was early on, we’ve literally been singin’ together since we were five and six years old so a lot of that worked itself out in our early teen years. Now there’s no rivalry like that at all, we’re on a journey together, we’ve got the same goal and we’re tryin’ to do it together as a unit. Early on, him getting better at something would motivate me to get better especially vocally, even if it was more subconsciously it motivated me to get better.
I think had we not been in a band together, I don’t know if your could say we’d be the same people. It’s fun, we get into cramped situations at hotel rooms, we don’t mind sleeping in a bed together since we’re brothers, so it gets less awkward in those moments. It’s like, “Well we know where we’re sleeping, you guys figure it out” then the rest of the guys are getting under the covers and making sure nobody touches each other. [Laughs]
To put it simply I wouldn’t want to do it any other way, I wouldn’t want to do this without him, it’s been very special over the years being able to share that, now that we’re actually adults and we’re carving out a career for ourselves. A lot of brothers grow a part and move out, but we moved in together and have been together ever since.