Aaron Williams Band Entertainment

Aaron Williams Band at House of Blues | An Interview with Aaron Williams

Friday, May 06, 2016 Kathleen Lieffers

Aaron Williams Band played the famous House of Blues Chicago last Saturday, April 30th. Not only did the band enter with a bang, but the band completely owned the night. The band consists of Aaron Williams on lead guitar and vocals, Courtney Stone on vocals, Kris Ahrens on drums, Mike Hayes on guitar and vocals, and Dan Wonsover on bass guitar.

I was immediately blown away by Aaron William's incredible stage presence and knew instantly why it was called Aaron Williams Band. He owns the stage and shows his passion too easily. He made you feel like you were a part of the music and he made you want to be a part of the music. Not only was Williams showing off his passion for rocking, but Courtney Stone belted out the songs so smoothly while keeping her groove on dancing with the songs. The entire band seemed to play off each other. We even got an appearance from Brian Connelly on Mandolin!

Aaron Williams Band live at House of Blues Chicago April 30, 2016. From left to right - Courtney Stone, Michael Hayes, Aaron Williams, Kris Ahrens, and Dan Wonsover. 

I know Aaron Williams through a show he has been putting together for June 9th at Uncommon Ground in Wrigleyville, Chicago. We had spoke back and forth through Facebook because I (Yes, your whimsical writer) will be performing at this June 9th show as Kathleen Lieffers of The Jades. After talking about this show a great deal, he had invited me to his band's show at House of Blues on April 30th. I, in return, snagged an interview with the extraordinary talent.

Kathleen: How did you first get started in music?

Aaron: I’ve always loved music and listened to records from an early age. In Jr High, I stayed home sick from school and I saw Nirvana’s Smells Like Teen Spirit on MTV. You could have counted backwards from 5 minutes before I was sneaking out my mom’s old guitar and started picking notes. Haven’t put the instrument down since. I started playing in bands within a year, but never serious. All broke up almost as fast as they started. Wasn’t until High School when I joined a band called Wooz that lasted until I started Columbia College. Once there, the rest of the world opened up to me. I met a ton of talented people that opened my ears to great deal of music. Started seriously then.

K: When did Aaron Williams Band form?

A: AWB formed in the Columbia College Dorms. Since then have released three albums “Zen Feat” “The Ever Winding Road” and “The Art of Electricity”. Over the years, I have had many different musicians on my albums and it’s been a real gift to have so many talented friends contribute.

K: Who are some of Aaron Williams Band's musical influences?

A: It’s hard to pin point influences and inspiration. I could list the Rock greats: Tom Petty, REM, Paul Simon, and Nirvana. I could list more modern influences like: Decemberists, Band of Horses, Punch Brothers, and Black Keys. My Country/Bluegrass love for Alison Krauss, Nickel Creek, Bill Monroe, and Johnny Cash. But I think I am most influenced by the Chicagoland musicians and bands I meet on a weekly basis. There is so much talent in this town and it is easy to be challenged, motivated, and inspired by the hard work from your fellow artists.

K: What is something you want people to get out of your music?

A: That is quite a question. I guess I’d love the listener to feel the song, lyrics, and music as deeply as I do. Most of my songs probably won’t be completely understood on a first listen and I’d hope the music intrigues to the point of wanting to dig deeper. It’s in those moments I think people find their own meaning and purpose in my music. Also, to write a song that gets caught in people’s head, that’s always rewarding to hear someone say. The song “Ash” from The Art of Electricity album seems to be a fan favorite and I always see people singing along to that one most.

K: What is your favorite part of performing?

A: Feel the energy from an audience. The rawness and the vulnerability. The urgency and the intensity. Above all, I love performing and letting go. Wearing my heart on the sleeve and pumping my art into the room; it’s a great feeling. When all the star’s align, a live show can be the greatest moments of a musician’s career.

K: What is in the future for Aaron Williams Band? What goals do you want to accomplish for the band?

A: I will be putting out a new single featured in the indie film Mind Over Mindy staring Larry Thomas (Soup Nazi from Seinfeld) and Jim O’ Heir (Jerry from TV’s Parks and Recreation). The film is traveling around the film festival circuit right now. I will be spending time promoting the single Oh Mindy I wrote for the film. I’m also working on a collaborative project titled The Ex_Files, I’ve written four songs for the album and should be released late summer or early Fall. AWB also throws our yearly music festival called Homegrown Arts and Music Festival. It’s the fourth year running on August 6th at BaseCamp in Lisle. The future will be promoting those projects and our previous releases live on the stage, video, and online via iTunes, Amazon, Google +, Spotify and more.

Aaron Williams Band's most recent album entitled 'The Art of Electricity' released December 13 2015. 

Aaron Williams posted on Facebook (almost immediately after their show) their setlist while also writing that it was the first time ever being played this way. He is close with his fans and even closer with the music which is a beautiful thing to be guilty of in today's music industry.

Stay tuned for AWB's discography on iTunes, Amazon, Google +, and Spotify and seriously check them out if you get the chance.

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