Dream: An Interview with Ayron Jones of Ayron Jones & The Way

Ayron Jones has been a staple of Seattle's music scene since 2008. With the songs on Dream, it's obvious that the rest of the world is about to take notice of what he and his band have to offer.

I had a chance to ask Ayron some questions about the band, songwriting, gear, and what is next for this phenomenal west coast band.

Playing With Chaos (PWC): How did your band form, and how did a rock band get involved with Sir Mix A Lot?

Ayron Jones (AJ): Ayron Jones and the Way really started in 2008 when I really started hitting the bar scene. I had already done a few small shows and really wanted to start making a name for myself. So I hired some musicians I knew to be my rhythm section. This went on until 2010 when I met DeAndre Enrico and Conrad real. We hit the scene pretty hard finding little success until 2012 when we entered the Hard Rock Rising global battle of the bands. Through participating in the contest we got Sir Mix A-Lot's attention. He showed up to a show and was floored. After that he offered to produce our album. During the recording of the album we decided to change drummers and hired Kai Van De Pitte as our drummer. We had our album release back in October and now here we are. 

PWC: Who have been your influences as you became musicians and continued to grow as musicians?

AJ: While I can't speak for the other guys, I will say my biggest influences have been great guitar players, great musicians and great frontmen. Stevie Ray Vaughn, Kurt Cobain, Michael Jackson, The Red Hot Chilli Peppers, the list is truly endless.

PWC: Your album is one of the first I've heard in many years that has a sense of soul to it that is not manufactured by a record label executive, or studio equipment. How do you approach the songwriting process and what inspires your creativity?

AJ: Being a recording artist is very similar to being a painter. I try to write music that is universally relatable, infused with artistic expression. I take a story of my own and approach it as if I was telling someone else's.

PWC: We're major gearheads at Playing With Chaos. I must mention that I really enjoyed the guitar tones throughout the album because it's a distinctive tone - clean or "dirty" it sounds like Ayron Jones. What does your live/studio rig consist of to get that distinctive sound?

AJ: For the album we actually took a hybrid approach to get the sound I wanted. We captured the tone from my live rig and had another channel running from my guitar to the mixing board at the same time. What you hear on the album is a collaboration of my sound and mix's ear. For my live rig I play through a standard crybaby, DS-1 distortion pedal, TS-9 Tube Screamer, MOAB boost pedal and then the Boss PS-6 Harmonist, all through a Fender Hot Rod Deluxe. 

PWC: You had the opportunity recently to open for BB King. What was that experience like?

AJ: Opening for B.B. King was surreal. Definitely one of the greatest honors of my life and most humbling. 

PWC: Seattle has more than once been the city that has spawned a musical revolution, first with jazz in the 1940's, then with grunge in the 1990's, and we can't forget that Jimi Hendrix and Heart also had their roots there. How is the current scene in Seattle allowing rock music to flourish in an era where pop seems to rule the mainstream airwaves?

AJ: Seattle is cutoff from the mainstream. The closest media Hub is LA. I think because of that Seattle is just a giant stew of unique influences. Genres don't really exist here and because of that new music is constantly being invented. Especially in the rock area. 

PWC: What are the upcoming plans for touring and/or a follow up to "Dream"?

AJ: We have some things in the works but nothing solid just yet. 

PWC: What advice do you have for a young person who is considering starting a band and making a life for themselves in the music industry?

AJ: I would say this is the era of the indie artist. Business savvy will get you there and talent will keep you going. Learn the business and no one will stop you from getting where you want to go. Become the CEO of your own brand. 

PWC: Are there any special thank yous or messages you'd like to give to any specific individuals, fans, groups, etc?

AJ: I'd like to thank our friends, family, fans, and my crew. It takes a village. 

Thanks to Ayron for taking the time out of his schedule to speak with us. You can keep abreast of all things Ayron Jones and The Way via their Facebook page, Twitter feed, Instagram,or on the band's website. While you're there, be sure to pick up a copy of their debut album Dream. You can check out a review of Dream right here on Playing With Chaos.