Our very own Mark Wincott recently visited Seattle to take in the sights and sounds of a city that shaped his musical upbringing, whilst he was there the buzz was building around a band called Ayron Jones and the Way who were being touted as members of the Seattle Movement. Their album 'Dream' was purchased and transported back to the U.K for all to hear on the council estate.
Mark caught up with Ayron Jones from the band to chat about not having super powers, smashing up guitars and dining with Gandhi, here's how he got on....
Please introduce the yourself and the band and your music in one sentence....
I’m Ayron Jones of Ayron Jones and the Way and we play Urban Rock.
The band is called ‘The Way’ how did you come about choosing this name?
When I was young, I wanted to make a name for myself and find my way…. So I made a name for myself, and created a way.
If you could describe your music in the form of a fictional character, who would it be?
Batman because he’s the only superhero that doesn’t have any super powers…. He just is.
The Seattle music scene exploded around the world during the 90’s with bands such as Mother Love Bone, Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Alice in Chains and Soundgarden to name but a few, what in your opinion was it about them that seemed to touch the people that became their fans?
Those artists were real. They didn’t compromise their music to meet anyone’s needs. Instead, they expressed themselves from a place that we can all relate to, and that place is the heart.
Sir Mix A lot has called you 'the future of rock', how does that feel to have respect from a legend such as him?
It feels really good and also affirms that all the hard work we are putting in is paying off and we are going the right direction.
'Dream' has such an eclectic style, ‘When Will I learn' and ‘My Love Remains’ are two strong tracks, heavy and soulful, are you aware of how your music makes the listener feel? What do you think it is about your songs and music that allows the listener to 'tune in'?
In some respects, yes, but in others probably not. I am aware of how I felt when I wrote those songs, so I’m sure a lot of listeners can relate to that emotion. But everyone interprets songs differently, so I’m sure other people respond to certain songs in a way I cannot relate to. I express myself from a very human place and try to put that in my music. I play emotionally and energetically and in the end, that’s what we are all made up of—emotions and energy.
What is an AJ and the Way live show like? What would future fans expect to see?
I think fans can expect to see something refreshing. It’s wild, distorted, heavy, and beautiful – everything that Rock and Roll should be. And sometimes, we smash guitars and stage dive for the cherry on top experience.
In your opinion, what is the BEST album/record ever released and why?
That’s a hard question to answer, but if I had to chose I would say the best album ever released was Are you Experienced by Jimi Hendrix and the Experience. Because of the important role it played and influence in development of modern rock. Without him and that album, Rock wouldn’t be what it is today.
If you had a chance to put together your own ‘super group’, who would be in it? (only living members please)
Myself on guitar and vocals
Mike McCready on guitar
David Grohl on drums
Bernie Worrell on keys
Les Claypool on bass
What was the first guitar solo you heard that still to this day gives you chills?
Little Wing by Stevie Ray Vaughn
Who designed the artwork for your Album cover?
It was a photo taken by our manager that perfectly embodied our city and the attitude of our album.
What classic song would you have liked to have recorded and why?
I would love to record “Spanish Castle Magic” by Jimi Hendrix Experience because it’s a badass song that expresses the attitude and feel of where Jimi and I both come from, Seattle, WA but more specific, the Central District.
I recently had an amazing time in Seattle; I found the Stalking Seattle tour, where Charity showed us the memorable places, of bands and the musicians that had a huge effect on my teenage years. Who were your influences when growing up and now?
When I first started out, there were a lot of blues and classic rock bands because of it’s guitar heavy music from artists like Stevie Ray Vaughn and Double Trouble. The Experience was a big one too. But as I’ve grown, I lean more towards soul music and music of the grunge era…. Like Pearl Jam and Nirvana, of course. And also artists like Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, and Ray Charles.
You have fans in the UK, are there any plans for you to come to these shores? What would the process be to book a venue etc?
That is definitely a market and I would love to play to that fan base. But at the moment we have a year of touring Mid-West, East coast and the South and will see about getting out to the UK.
All it would take is getting a hold of our manager through our website.
‘Baptized in Muddy Waters’ is such a great track, how did the song come about? Also what music has “brought you to your Knees?” see what I did there?
That’s really funny, I saw what you did there! The song has changed meaning for me over time. I started writing it when I was 15 and so over time the song has evolved and changed. So what it means to me these days, is that I follow the beat of my own drum. ‘Baptized in Muddy Waters’ is about forgetting what everyone else wants you to be and being comfortable in who you are.
What do you feel makes a great role model for the kids these days?
Someone who can install in young people a sense of power to take control of their lives.
First gig you ever went to and the last gig you have been to?
The first show I went to was Incubus in 2002 and the most recent was Train and Michael Franti in Vegas this past October.
Where did you record your debut album ‘Dream’ and what made you choose that studio?
We recorded at Sir Mix-a lot’s house, believe it or not. Working at his home gave us unrestricted flexibility to record and be creative.
Name three people (alive, dead or fictional) that you would like as dinner party guests?
Bruce Wayne, Russell Wilson, Mahatma Gahndi
There are many good bands and musicians out there, who would you ask the readers of musicmuso to look out for?
Reignwolf, He’s a really dope guitar player out of Vancouver, British Colomubia. Another good friend of mine is Grynch and Sol, both eclectic rappers out of Seattle.
Do you think we can ever live in a world where a chicken can cross the road without having its motives questioned?
No, we won’t. Those are the kind of questions that make the world go round.
What are your plans for the remainder of 2014 and the beginning of 2015?
Resting, writing, and preparing for the next year. 2015 is going to be a really big year with lots of challenges to be conquered.
We thought it was only fair to fire a few quickfire questions at Ayron and see how he managed.....
Coke or Pepsi?
Spray on deodorant or Roll on deodorant ?
Drum machine or the real deal?
Mac or PC?
MMA or Boxing?
Taco or Burger?
Lemmy (Motorhead) or Ozzy (Black Sabbath)?
CD or Vinyl?
Recording studio or Live Show?
Car or Motorbike?
Benaroyal Hall or The Moore Theatre?
Acoustic or electric?
Shower or Bath?
Tattoos or Piercings?
Robert De Niro or Al Pacino?
God or Google?
We'd like to thank AJ for taking time out of his busy day to read through our questions, we wish him and 'The Way' every success in 2015 and maybe, we might see him in the UK before long, fingers crossed! Please spend a few minutes taking a look through the band's social media pages, they're all listed below, just point and click, I promise it won't hurt a bit!
Interview by Mark Wincott