Singer-Songwriter Aaron Lee Tasjan is indisputably one of Americana music’s most original and eclectic voices. His latest album Tasjan! Tasjan! Tasjan! , released in early February, furthers that reputation and has garnered overwhelmingly positive reviews. Recently I spoke with Tasjan about a number of things relating to his music and the resultant conversation is below.
Americana Highways: Who do you consider to be your biggest musical influences?
Aaron Lee Tasjan: Music is the influence. If I hear music I like, it will probably influence me at some point.
AH: Can you name five of your favorite albums for your fans?
ALT: I absolutely can. It’s a talent I developed at an early age though the answers have changed and will continue to change. I’m much more interested in leaving space for what can be my new favorite but today I’ll say: A Most Immaculately Hip Aristocrat by Lord Buckley, The Amazing Nina Simone by Nina Simone, Carl & The Passions by The Beach Boys, Kiwanuka by Michael Kiwanuka, and last but not least, And Nothing Hurt by Spiritualized.
AH: Growing up, is there a specific point in time that you can point to when you first knew that you wanted to be a performer?
ALT: It was 4:26 pm on September 20th, 1995. My family moved to California and I got a 3/4 sized Hohner acoustic. It sounded nothing like a harmonica and everything like a lifelong investment in trousers.
AH: What inspires you as a songwriter?
ALT: Anything really. Just wrote a whole verse about pants people were wearing at the coffee shop the other day.
AH: Given that your music is so eclectic, how would you describe your songwriting process?
ALT: It starts with a bang and ends with a strategized bang.
AH: Is there an overall theme that guided you in creating your latest album?
ALT: Yes! Me! In same the way Darth Vader was Luke’s father, I am the theme of my album.
AH: What is it about the new album that you feel makes it different from your previous work?
ALT: The title, the songs, the cover, the outfit, and the feeling OK with being misunderstood.
AH: What does music mean to you?
AH: What advice would you give to any aspiring singer/songwriter?
ALT: Don’t follow advice from people like me.
AH: What can you tell us about your future plans for 2021?
ALT: Ever seen the show Family Matters?
AH: What is one thing that gives us hope for the future?
ALT: I love you guys but I really don’t feel qualified to speak for you on that? Me? I’m hoping for more people to think of others instead of themselves and to spread love and kindness and do good impressions of animals that make me laugh and tell me dirty jokes.
Aaron Lee Tasjan’s latest album Tasjan! Tasjan! Tasjan! is now available on his website.