Interview with AARON KUSTERER
What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
My mom is a music teacher and my dad played guitar so music was a huge part of our household. Initially, piano was required in our home and after a few years of that, I was drawn to the guitar through my dad. When he got sick of me asking to play his guitar, he bought me my own. After that, I was hooked. Were it not for music, it’s hard to say where I would be today but I suppose it would either be something in electrical engineering or psychology.
What do you like to do when you are not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
I spend a lot of time with my wife, working out, and cooking. For me, working out tends to coincide with music that raises your adrenaline so that is definitely a factor when it comes to making music. However, the lyrics I write are often based on experiences I’ve had and for this most recent EP, a lot of that revolves around the relationship I have with my wife.
How long have you been making music?
Where are you based and how did that influence your music?
I bounce back and forth between Los Angeles, California and Honolulu, Hawaii. Those locations probably aren’t a direct influence but LA tends to revolve around major hustle and Honolulu is way more chill. If anything it provides my life with some balance and that in turn, helps with creativity.
Tell me about your most memorable shows, if you haven’t played live what is your vision for a live show?
As far as memorable goes—probably a tie between playing with Jennifer Batten back in 2010 while I was working with the Air Force Band in St. Louis, Missouri and then playing with Eddie Money in Pittsburg in 2018. I’ll take it a step further though . . . most bizarre/unique/memorable would be playing in a women’s prison in the Dominican Republic while on tour with the Air Force Band in 2009.
What is your favorite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you have not already?
Currently, one of my favorite places to play is a place called the Starlight Theater at Pala Casino. I would love to play Madison Square Garden one day. That would be pretty cool!
If you could play any show with any lineup, who would be on the ticket?
Vinnie Calaiuta, David Paich, Lee Sklar, and Joe Williams.
What is some advice that you would give to someone who is just getting into making music and some advice that you would give to your younger self?
Don’t put limitations on yourself based on some kind of pre-conceived notion of what you “think” you should be. Learn from those who have gone before and allow yourself to be influenced and grow from everything you can get your hands on. Don’t dismiss anything simply because it doesn’t fit into whatever narrative you think “you’re supposed to have” as a musician. Allow growth to happen.
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
Probably Only Be Me. While musically I kind of just cut loose on it, it’s the lyrics that mean the most to me on it. The above advice is something I should have taken a LONG time ago and I allowed both my own preconceived notions of what I thought I was trying to be along with what other people told me I was to shape my growth—rather stunt my growth. At the end of the day, we can only be ourselves.
Which songs are your favorite to play and which get requested the most?
My favorites to play are probably Learning to Feel and Only Be Me.
What is your creative process, and what inspires you to write your music?
I tend to write things that I feel are missing in much of the music that I hear on the radio. For inspiration, I frequently draw on life experiences for lyrics. On the music side though, I love things that are big and exciting as long as a song calls for it, I’ll always try to make things exciting to have that “wow” factor.
Do you have messages that you like to get across in your music? if so please tell me about them.
I like to address things that I think we feel at times but don’t talk about. I try to get listeners to think and contemplate. Not just consume. I like giving a listener words to chew on.
Do you have any new singles, videos, or albums out that you would like to tell me and your fans about?
Yes, I have a new EP entitled “A Little Louder” that was released on October 11th of this year. You can listen through all of the main sites for music (Apple Music, Spotify, etc). I’ve included a link below:
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that is coming up?
For the moment, more music. I have a follow up single I’m working on but I would like to start taking this project to the stage.
How can your fans best keep up to date with you, any socials you want people to check out?
You can find me on Facebook, Instagram, and my website.
Apple Music: https://music.apple.com/gr/album/a-little-louder-ep/1710092522
YouTube Music: https://music.youtube.com/playlist?list=OLAK5uy_ntWmoNSy19I2Y-3HQJVRiSrUrDm_C8kY0
Amazon Music: https://music.amazon.com/albums/B0CK9H44QF
Linktree (all links including streaming): https://linktr.ee/aaronkusterer
Public Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/aaronkusterer1