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American rock sensation Ayron Jones returns with a new, more introspective album than his last. Music Waves met the Seattle musician.
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Music Waves was one of the first websites to mention Ayron Jones in France. Since then, the musician has gone from strength to strength where his concerts are always packed to capacity. The public has made no mistake: Ayron is gold. To coincide with the release of his new album, we welcome back for a third time the prince of rock, who keeps his feet firmly on the ground.

Hello Ayron, we meet again two years after our first interview for 'Child OF The State'. The album was an international success, reaching far beyond the borders of the USA. Looking back, did you expect it to be such a success?

Did I expect such a success? I don't know if I expected it. No. It was a real surprise for me. There was no way of predicting how things would turn out for us. It was a surprise for me, really. And as things progressed, I realized that we had a good record. And now, here we are.

You've been to France several times, and the public has been very receptive to each of your shows, which have all been incredible, with excellent musicians. What did you think of the French public, who have a cliché reputation for not being overly fond of rock?

People in France seem to be very receptive to me. They've shown me a lot of love and continue to do so. And that just goes to show that it's more than rock. It's true, it's rock, but it's more than rock. There's something special about the message and the acceptance of the words. I think that's what it's all about.

You're back very quickly, two years after "Child Of The State" with "Chronicles of the Kid", an even more personal album in which you seem to take stock of your personal and artistic journey. Why do you feel the need to take such a look at yourself at the age of 36?

Yes, at 36, I think I've lived through a lot. I've lived a lot of lives and I'm still living a lot of lives. When "Child Of The State" came out, I was sitting on my sofa, during the pandemic. Going into the pandemic, being relatively unknown. and coming out of the pandemic as an international name, as you can imagine, brought a lot of different things into my life that I wasn't used to at the time. Some of these things I handled well. Others have been challenges for me. I think that's the point of "Chronicles of the Kid". It's about explaining these challenges and trying to understand who I am within this new me, how I'm discovering my new self.

Does that mean that after this album you'll be free of your past demons?

I don't know if anyone is ever freed from the demons of the past...


They'll be with me for a while. But I think it's going to help me feel more comfortable with this new version of myself. This new artist, this new person I've become, the person people recognize now. That's the change you really have to get used to. It's like you're a different person and half the time over the course of a year, you become a completely different person. Not only for yourself, but also for others, more for others than for yourself. So it takes a lot of time. In general, we're lucky enough to have a lot of time to solve these problems. And I've had to, thanks to my family and people who love me, people who know me differently, I've kind of been forced to find out in a shorter space of time. I'm a bit more comfortable with who I am now.

And are you afraid of this recognition? Are you afraid of being recognized in the street, of fame or not?

No, it doesn't scare me at all. I think it can be a challenge. If tomorrow, from one day to the next, you become a world-famous journalist and people recognize you in the street, I think your life will be very different too. And you have to know how to deal with that. How do you become one? How do you accept it without losing yourself?


But being a celebrity means you have to do more shows and leave your family, and make sacrifices. Humanly speaking, it's very difficult to cope with...

Yes, it is. That's a problem. And I talk about it a bit in my album, 'Living for the Fall', for example, where it's about giving everything of yourself, sacrificing everything to become this new person. So there can be great difficulties in this area, that's for sure.

This album seems to be a little more upbeat, with a slightly more modern sound than "Child Of The State", which had a slightly more classic rock, garage-style production. How do you explain this evolution?

I think working with the producers Scott Stevens and Marty Frederickson really helped bring out this new guitar sound, which was important, because even though I think my guitar sound was good on my previous album, I think it was even more important to bring out the prominence of that sound from my guitar playing on the new album. So, in many ways, it's even more of a guitar record than Child Of The State was. But it's not just a certain guitar sound, but many different guitar sounds. The accentuated aspects of my rhythm playing. Sometimes it's the solo aspects, sometimes it's the writing aspects, but it captures all these different ranges of sounds that come from the instrument.

This search is reminiscent of the Jimi Hendrix Experience. Do you want to go down this road with an experimental guitar like him?

I don't know if I want to have the same experience as Jimi, but it was discovering myself as a guitarist. I've certainly explored and experimented and continued to evolve as a guitarist and as an artist. Because I don't know how to guess the way you evolve as a musician.

It's different because you played classical music as a child, so it's good for you to experiment with guitar and classical...

Yes, absolutely. It's taught me to make constant progress in sound and practice.

To make a classic rock album?

Yes (Laughs)! I think we've achieved that. There are certainly more modern sounds, but there are also classic rock sounds. And as you said, I wanted to create a classic moment, a timeless record, and I want to keep making timeless music. That's always my goal, to make music that transcends time. And I think we've captured a bit of that in this album, that's for sure.

In fact, the compositions follow this observation, with tracks that emancipate themselves from Seattle's blues and grunge heritage. Did you want to avoid repeating yourself?

It's certainly a challenge for us. I don't necessarily want to repeat myself. I want to keep growing and evolving as an artist. And this album, I think, was more an embodiment of taking those sounds and making them my own. It's like when we find our influences, you can be influenced by someone, but you don't want to be that person. You want to grab it and make it your own. So I think it was just a matter of taking the history of the sounds I'd come from, my influences, and finally finding a way to express that in my own way.

What's so appealing about your music is the authenticity you bring to it, particularly on the excellent 'Blood In The Water', a truly powerful and emotional hit. Where do you get this sincerity that we don't detect in other artists? Is it the fact that you've been through something out of the ordinary?

Yes, I think that's partly the case. But I think a lot of artists go through the same thing. I think a lot of artists go through things that aren't necessarily easy in their upbringing or childhood, and we turn that into something special for other people. And I think I'm just following that path, really. I mean, I take these things that were apparently difficult and hard and I try to create a kind of light for other people and create art for other people through this trauma, through these trials.

But these difficulties in the past may explain why you understand music, especially the blues, because the blues is originally about the suffering of black people, which you incorporate into your albums?

Absolutely. I always want people to know that, and maybe it's a question of culture, but I always want that feeling to come through in my music, that there's that sense of the blues in my sound, but a culture of the blues more than just a sound, like a feeling, more than anything. And I think that's also what makes it more than rock. It's going to be able to transcend the rock'n'roll genre because that's what blues does. The blues is in everything. And putting a of that blues in your music, just a , I think brings people together in a way and leads them to a kind of music that wouldn't otherwise exist.

Yes, but do you think that to make the blues and to understand the blues, you have to have had a lot of difficulties in the past, or be experiencing them in the present?

I don't think it's necessary to have had difficulties. I think it's important to dig deep, to be able to find something deep inside you, a soul, to be able to express it.

One of our favorite tracks - a difficult choice - is 'Otherside', which seems to be there to show that there are other points of view just as acceptable as the others. The composition is very modern. The solo is sublime! Did you feel like breaking away from your influences in this particular track?

I wanted to be able to speak the language of several generations of music. I can't pass on vintage sounds to generation Z, because it's not their language. But the best I can do is to speak their language and bring these two worlds together. What I was trying to do was not play music just for classic rock fans, but I don't want to play music just for modern rock fans. I want to play music for everyone, and I want to play my style for everyone. That's what I tried to do with 'Otherside', taking that modern sound and infusing it with the spirit of classic rock so that the younger generation would understand where I was coming from.

Do you think you've struck the right balance between classic rock and modern sound on this album?

I think I have. At least, I hope so. We'll have to wait and see. We'll find out when it comes out. But that was the point. We wanted to find that sweet spot, that place, the sounds of classic rock, but still be modern and pop. We wanted to find that, but without being pop. We want to find a good balance between hard rock and pop songs that you can sing along to and remember, without going outside the genre itself.

Your songs are the fruit of a collective effort. Why is working together important to you?

The reason it's important to me is that at some point, as a songwriter, no matter how good I am, there are times when the energy becomes mundane. If you're someone who sits in your music all the time without coming up with new ideas or a different perspective, your music somehow congeals. That's why it was important for me not only to reach out to other songwriters, but also to learn from them and evolve as a songwriter by working with other people. And I think you can really hear that in this album. There's an evolution in the songwriting, the music evolves and matures in a way that I think makes it very appealing.

However, you sign your records under the name Ayron Jones and not Ayron Jones and.... like Bruce Springsteen had the E Street Band...

I used to have a band. But the thing is, bands are hard to keep together. And even for this album, I'm working with producers, but they weren't part of my band as such. I talk to bands, of course, but I knew that if I wanted to continue to do what I do as an artist and showcase my talents as an artist, I had to be a solo artist to do it. Bands come and go. Musicians come and go all the time. It's really hard to keep a band together because of personalities, needs, desires and all those things. But I knew that if I was a solo artist, I could keep making music forever with whoever it was.

So you want to remain a musician and not a "manager"?

Yes, exactly. I want to play my own role. I don't want to manage a band. I want to play music.

The only song you've written on your own is 'On Two Feet I Stand'. Was this the track you really wanted to write on your own, to give yourself confidence and affirm that you're now standing on your own two feet and looking to the future without being haunted by the past?

I think for me it's a pretty old song. So it's a re-recording of an old song I had. And for me, that song is important because as you evolve and change, there's a lot of difficulty in growing up. But you always have to remember that the only person who's going to pick you up off the ground when you're feeling down, or bring you back down to earth when you're feeling too high, is you. That's why the song "On 2ft" was so important.

We know you're very sensitive to the struggle for equal rights for Afro-Americans in particular. Unless I'm mistaken, the previous album was partly composed when Trump was president. Today, with Joe Biden, do you feel that things are changing for the better, or is America still a powder keg ready to explode?

I think the world remains the same. You could say it's about Americans, but I think my travels and my experience as a black man transcend American culture. I experience it in Europe. I experience it all over the world. Japan, I've been everywhere. And the world continues to evolve and progress. All I can do is continue to serve as a kind of "tacit" ambassador to the world, to bring these cultures together and break down the stereotypes and preconceptions we have about people by showing them that our cultures are as diverse as our personalities, that the color of our skin doesn't dictate our culture or our personality. So I hope I can continue to serve as an example to other people to break down this idea that I have to be a rapper, that I have to be an athlete, that I have to be these things that fall into these stereotypes. Smart musicians and people of the world.

You talk a lot about yourself and your experiences. Your lyrics are very important. Do you feel that your lyrics touch people, and have you ever had any feedback on them?

On the last tour I just did, I think that especially with the new songs, the lyrics really spoke to people, which is rare. That's not very common. It's not often that concerts are really about that experience and the feedback. Most of the time, people aren't really listening to what you're saying. So the fact that an audience took the time to listen to what you were saying and that it had an impact on them was really important.

The first video released, 'Filthy', is very powerful in terms of its message. We can see you as a child, with your mom on drugs and you finding in Jimi Hendrix in particular the way to another life. It's a kind of biography in 4 minutes. Did you come up with the idea for this powerful video?

I think it's something we chose because the song is really sexy to begin with. So the original idea was to go that sexy route, but I think there were things that would have been lost in translation. So we made it a little more personalized to explain that as a person, I've evolved into this word, filthy, which in Seattle is an old term that means 'really cool'. I've become the embodiment of confidence. But to do that, I think we drew on autobiographical elements. Some of those things were more extreme versions, but we drew on history to tell that story, to say, this is who I evolved to become and be, and these are my influences.

Do you think music can save lives?

Music has saved my life. I can tell you that it has become my passport to the world, my passport to the hearts of people all over the world. I think it's become my driving force. You know what I mean? I don't know if my life was ever in danger. I think I would have been content to do something else if I hadn't made music. I wanted to seek and discover myself, to discover myself through music, travel and encounters. I think that's exactly the case here.

Now that you seem to have recognized and accomplished yourself with this new album, what's your next step?

Well, that's a good question. I haven't really thought about the next step - all I'm thinking about right now is how to get this music out to people, and then we'll see what happens. But I don't like to think too far ahead. If we try to live too far ahead or too far in the past, it takes us away from the present. So I really try to be present. And right now, I think my next step is to make sure that this music touches the people who listen to it.

When do you plan to start touring?

In July, I have a tour of France and Europe.

And we hope to be there for many more. Thank you very much for this interview.

My pleasure, thanks for all the interesting questions.

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AYRON JONES: Chronicles Of The Kid (2023)

Ayron Jones continues to break stereotypes with "Chronicles Of The Kid", an album of modern, sophisticated rock.
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