AWOLNATION’s Aaron Bruno got whole stadiums and millions of Viners on their feet with his energetic anthemic songs “Run” and Sail.” Now the Californian will bring his instrumental powerhouse on the road for Making America Rage Again, featuring the Prophets of Rage, a bass-throbbing super group of made up of Rage Against the Machine, Public Enemy's Chuck D and Cypress Hill's B-Real. The 37-year-old calls from his call in L.A. where he’ll play a few headlining gigs before the tour kicks off their tour in Virginia this month.
Given the name of this tour, do you consider yourself a political person?
No, absolutely not. I have opinions, but they’re more social or musical for that matter. I’m being asked a lot about that now, but I didn’t go to school for politics and the flag I wave is for music and how it can bring us all together, instead of dividing people.
Did you expect the kind of social media reaction through Vine that “Run” received as a single?
Certainly not for that song. I thought it was a good song to start the record with, but I didn’t think it would have this kind of reach. Then again, I didn’t think think “Sail” would be as big as it was. With albums I’ve found, you keep your head down and hope that people will enjoy.
Did you spent a lot of time going through the Vine submissions for run?
[For social media], I’m aware of what’s going, but it becomes very self indulgent to always be looking in the mirror, so to speak. To me, the ones that I enjoyed the most were comedic. The first one I noticed was the dad who take the Barbie from the girl and she went crazy after him.
You released an updated version of “Run” in July titled “Run (Beautiful Things),” which has a more positive spin on a heavy song. The lyrics change from “I am a human being/ Capable of doing terrible things” to “I am a human being/ Capable of doing beautiful things.” What was the meaning of that?
At the time I wrote the [original] song, it was admitting that we’re doing stuff we’re not necessarily proud of —we’re all human beings. Only once you admit that and get the monkey off your back can you move forward from those things. It was a confessional [song] to me.
After a while, it seemed like there were so many good things in the world, and I naturally started singing it that way and putting a positive twist on a dark-sounding song. When we decided to make the song available for commercial avenues, like radio, I decided to re-sing it. I feel differently now than I did before. You have both versions out there of me — the dark and the light.
You put your vocal chords through a lot on these songs —how do you keep yourself healthy while on tour?
I put really good stuff in my body. I’ll have a few drinks here and there, but even that I try to make as healthy as possible. Being in punk and hardcore bands in the past have helped me a lot when it comes to singing. My voice has been stretched and dragged through the mud and lit on fire. When I sing aggressively like that, it just feels good. It’s like itching a tickle that won’t ever stop.
If you go:
Aug. 21 at 7 p.m.
The Xfinity Center
885 S Main St, Mansfield
Aug. 26 at 7 p.m.
PNC Bank Arts Center
Exit 116 & Garden State Pkwy, Holmdel
Aug. 27 at 7 p.m.
620 Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn