Monday, July 20, 2020

Meet Aaron Simmons

Courtesy Of Aaron Simmons

    Okay all of my Country Music fans! Here is a new gem for ya coming out of Minnesota. Meet Aaron Simmons! He just signed with Highway 14 records/32South label Group in Iowa. So let's get into it and meet this talented young man. I got a chance to ask him some questions and I loved his response to them, so let's go!

   Did you always want to be a musician?
       ~Though I've only been seriously pursuing a career in music for four years, on some level I've always known that I wanted to be a musician. As a kid, I sang the national anthem at many of my hometown's sporting events. I was also involved in a few musicals growing up, as well as being a percussionist in the school band for nine years and a bass in my high school choir for four. I'm 25 now, but I didn't pick up a guitar for the first time until I was well into my 18th year, as I wanted to play guitar for "I Won't Give Up" by Jason Mraz, my senior choir solo. 
  The summer after high school, I was a founding member of an *extremely* local bluegrass band, the Root River Crawdaddies. The group consisted mainly of neighbors that I had on Third St SW in Stewartville, MN, and we played together for two summers. After that second summer (2014), me and Christina Meline, one of my best friends, the fiddler for RRC and my current band, both agreed that we wanted to do something more: rehearse more, play more and have even more fun. Though we never played for more than a hundred people at a time those two years, I developed the continuous itch to get back on stage and perform, I just didn't get another outlet for it for a couple years. 

   After two years of community college at RCTC, I moved to Moorhead, MN in 2015 to study at Minnesota State University, Moorhead (eventually graduating with a degree in Multimedia Journalism, 2018). While there, I spent every free moment I had trying to get better, and I would take any opportunity I could get. Some of my first solo shows took place at my college dining center, the winery I served at when it was an extraordinarily slow Sunday, and as a brief opener to "Movie Night in the Park" in my hometown.  

  Now four years later, I play solo 6-7 times a month in bars, restaurants and fairs all across Minnesota, North Dakota and occasionally Wisconsin, driving an average of 3,000 miles a month. I have a five-piece band, Aaron Simmons and the Roadkills, that has opened for Scotty McCreery, Parmalee and many regional bands playing both my original music and a mix of modern and down-home country and folk covers. I wouldn't be where I am today without God, my family, my friends, my girlfriend and my band. "Even though I am a long ways from where I have my sights set and with every day that passes I know I am doing exactly what I have been called to do, and I wouldn't have it any other way."(This comment truly shows how determined Aaron is and that he will not settle for less then he deserves. I can't blame him because his voice is amazing!).

Now I you are from Minnesota but are you currently living in Iowa?
   ~I am originally from Stewartville, MN. I call that my hometown. Since the fall of 2015, I have been living in the Fargo/Moorhead metro region, flopping between the two cities almost every year. At the current moment, I am living in Moorhead, MN. On top of all this, I still hold a full-time job as a videographer and photographer at Flint Group, a marketing agency based in downtown Fargo. 

Courtsey Of Aaron Simmons

How do you get your inspiration for your songs and do you write all of them yourself?
    ~Of the nine-track, 32-minute album, I wrote everything but nine words. When I was stuck on the bridge of "Sunset in My Rearview" a couple years ago, Zach Zurn, my producer at Carpet Booth Studios in Rochester, MN, suggested the line "I love being with you," and it stuck. Also, when "That's My Hometown" was in its early stages, Josiah Smith, who has been a Roadkill from the beginning and played bass on "Third St SW," suggested the line "thought we were cool" as the ending to a line about eating Dairy Queen ice cream cones. It was a tasty tag to the phrase, so we kept it.
  Everything else is a compilation of my conscious thoughts from as far back as 2016. I think any musician will tell you that there is no tried-and-true process to writing songs that works every time. Sometimes, I can clear my head of all distractions and hash out a fresh idea from a feeling I had recently.  Other times, I'm at lunch with some college friends when a phrase or melody hits me out of nowhere. I've learned that I need to get it recorded as quickly as possible or it might be lost forever.
   I write the best when I'm alone at my parents' cabin in Otter Tail County, MN. It's remote, cozy and disconnected. After my album is out, I will have released 10 songs. Four of those (two on one night) were created within those four walls and a fifth got it's start there. It's the closest environment I have to a sure thing. Still, I've spent a collective three or four weeks there during the COVID era of social distancing, and I have yet to come up with anything worthy of any airtime. My inspiration comes randomly and many times, in waves.

    I loved all of his responses especially the last one because I like to keep to myself and be alone when I am trying to write a blog or even just trying to focus on what I am writing about. However his album "Third St SW" is coming out on August 28th, 2020 and is up for pre-order on iTunes right now. Aaron also has a single called "Waterway Wave" coming out this Friday(7-24-2020) he also has a single called "My Hometown" coming out on August 7th, 2020. If you like his music make sure you follow him on his social media(I love following my favorites because it keeps you up on whatever is going on with them and their music).
Courtsey Of Aaron Simmons


IG- aaronsimmonsmusic
TW- aaronleesimmons

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