December 1, 2020 Interview – Ayron Jones
Seattle, Washington has produced some of the most iconic names in Rock-n-Roll history. From Jimi Hendrix to Heart to Nirvana and beyond, there is something special going on in the Evergreen State. Fast forward to present day, and you now have the talented Ayron Jones primed to become the region’s next rising star.
Taking Rock radio by storm early in 2020 with the striking single “Take Me Away,” a Top 20 US hit, Jones possesses a sound that cuts to the bone. Channeling personal experience into his music, his lyrics are real, his guitar work is electric, and his stylistic approach is second to none. Now plotting to release his debut full-length album in 2021, Jones took the time to talk about his journey in music, personal influences, artistic approach, and a whole lot more.
Cryptic Rock – You have been involved in music for some time now. You have shared stages with the likes of B.B. King, Guns N’ Roses, Jeff Beck, and so many more. Briefly tell us, how would you describe your musical journey to this point?
Ayron Jones – It’s cliché to say but surreal is the only word I can think of. I didn’t have the same opportunities as some more fortunate dreamers have had. Instead, as Drake so eloquently put it, “I started from the bottom now I’m here.” From the coffee shop to the bar, to the music club, to the festival stage. I played whenever and wherever I could, constantly honing my skills with an empty cup approach. Years later, here I am with a self-written, co-produced, top ten hit and during a pandemic no less. So yeah, surreal is how I’d describe my journey.
Cryptic Rock – It is all thanks to a great deal of hard work and determination. You have a really raw emotion in your guitar playing and singing. Some might even say you project a throwback sound to a more classic Rock-n-Roll era. That said, who are some of your influences?
Ayron Jones – I’d say I have a vast array of influences ranging from Seattle music heroes like Nirvana, Soundgarden, Pearl Jam, and Jimi Hendrix. Also bands like Rage Against the Machine, Dr. Dre, Prince, and Michael Jackson. When it comes to my guitar and my records, that Seattle sound was the blueprint to which all those other influences are channeled through.
Cryptic Rock – Very cool. You can certainly hear that in your music. You alluded to your top ten hit, the single “Take Me Away,” released earlier in 2020. A really great track with a ton of passion, what was the inspiration behind the song?
Ayron Jones – When my Producer Eric Lilavois and myself met for the pre-production of “Take Me Away,” we knew we needed a big sound that would turn heads and remind people of a golden era of Rock. The idea was to take that unhinged Seattle Rock sound, and give it that Audioslave treatment, then top it off with that Michael Jackson-esque R&B vocal delivery. Above all else, tell a story but not like a typical Folk or Rock-n-Roll story. Instead I decided to deliver the story more like what you’d see in Hip Hop: use setups and punchlines with words that people could remember and sing to. That’s how “Take Me Away” became what it is today.
Cryptic Rock – Well it came out awesome! You have followed up that track with the latest single, “Boys From the Puget Sound.” A slightly different sound than “Take Me Away,” what is the story behind “Boys From the Puget Sound”?
Ayron Jones – “Boys From the Puget Sound” was written during the Indie era of my career, back when I was playing with my group Ayron Jones and The Way. Here we were, three brown dudes touring the US in these small towns all over the country and because I had worked my way out of playing the bar scene, talent buyers who booked us really thought we were a Blues band. However, when we started playing they quickly realized that we were a Hard Rock group. Now, most of the time people loved what we did and we almost never had a problem with the venues that hired us. The issue was that we were so loud that people outside the venue would call in a noise complaint, which of course garnered the attention of the local police. That’s after this happened a bunch of times I decided to write a song about it, thus “Boys From the Puget Sound” was born.
Cryptic Rock – Wow, that is pretty wild how it came to be. You are now on Big Machine/John Varvatos Records! So can we expect a full-length album soon? Furthermore, would the music you have released thus far be a good representation of what we can expect from the album?
Ayron Jones – Yes, a full-length album is currently in the works, and we are hoping to have everything done and out by early 2021. I’d say the songs that have been released are a good sonic representation of what’s to come, but I haven’t revealed my full deck of cards just yet. There are certainly more layers to be peeled back when it comes to me, as an artist, and I’m looking forward to sharing that through this upcoming record.
Cryptic Rock – It will be exciting to hear the album when it finally hits. In recent years the topic of race equality has been on everyone’s mind. Sadly inequality and injustice has existed for many years, so this is all nothing new. Do you feel like we are taking the proper steps to making a positive change?
Ayron Jones – I can’t say for certain whether I’m taking proper steps or not, that’s really left up to the perception of the observer. However, I can say that I am working with the full intention of making the world a better place for all of us, especially in times like these.
Cryptic Rock – And music is a unifying force we can all use right now. A lot of people stereotype others. If you are black, they stereotype you; if you are gay, they stereotype you; if you are an Italian-American, they think you are in the mob. Do you let this type of closeminded thinking get under your skin, or do you focus your energy toward more positive outlets?
Ayron Jones – I’d be lying if I said that stuff never bothers me. I’m only human and there are times that things like that can get under my skin, but I’ve gotten to this point in my career by staying centered and grounded in my emotions. I try to take every experience and use it as a way to learn or teach, no matter how difficult it may be to look past the negativity. I’ve learned the best way to break a stereotype or things like hate is not to react, but offer a space of vulnerability. Getting to know someone different from you is the best and only way to neutralize hate.
Cryptic Rock – Very good point. Last question. Cryptic Rock covers movies as well, particularly in the Horror and Sci-Fi genres. If you are a fan, do you have any favorites in these genres and why?
Ayron Jones – I’m a huge movie fan! My first favorite would have to be Comedy, followed by Sci-Fi, followed by Martial Arts, then Drama. I love all these genres because of the imagination that goes into each of them, especially when I can smoke a J and get lost in a good story.