Q&A Scene: Aaron Keylock

Tell us about your new single/ album/ tour?

My album Cut Against The Grain [was] released on January 20th. It’s 11 songs I’ve written and collected over the last 3 years and it’s just a story of my life. Going against the grain to the normal way of life I guess. I recorded it in LA with Fabrizio Grossi and we finished it in about 2 weeks. It’s just a raw rock n roll album.

What’s your favourite work at this point in time?

Well this is my first record and I’m really happy with it so I’d say this record! That was what was important to me when I was making this record that it was something I would listen to at home and be happy with. I wasn’t making it for anyone else which is important as it’s my expression which is why the songs mean so much to me.

How would you describe your sound in food form and why? 

I would say organic. I learnt to play on stage and I’ve always tried to become a better artist. If it doesn’t feel natural I don’t do it so that kind of sums up what I do.

Tell us a quick, on the road or studio, anecdote.  

I’ve had some great times out on the road making music over the last 5 years, there was one night that always sticks out to me. It was after our 2nd show supporting Blackberry Smoke which was a huge thing to me! We have a friend who came to the show and we all went back to his bike workshop for a after party I guess and it was just a great night! It’s in an old church full of motorcycles, snakes, strip poles and alcohol. We always try to catch up when we play near him, it’s always a good hang!

What, or who, inspires you?

I guess just becoming a better musician and person. I always write and play honest music which is important to me and I guess that’s what inspires me. I never write a song to preach to anyone as I definitely don’t want people preaching to me but I write honest feeling and I think that’s what I love about playing rock n roll.

Which song do you wish you wrote?

Like a Rolling Stone Bob Dylan. I think everyone wishes they’d written a Bob Dylan song but to me it’s just so raw and really. It has a great vibe and the lyrics are just great.  

What’s next for you?

Just to get the album out there and to keep playing as much as I can and then hopefully make another record I guess! That’s all I want to do really, I just love writing and playing music!

What’s your scene?

70’s rock n roll I guess! I love the Grateful Dead and Leon Russell and I also love early Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin! All of those guys are everything I love about rock n roll music and playing shows! I think Leon Russell said being on the road is a hippie commune bona fide and that’s what I’ve always been about music and why I love being on the road.

Aaron Keylock picked up the guitar aged 8 and by the age of 11 he was rocking the clubs in his hometown, Oxford. Already a young road rock warrior with hundreds of shows under his belt; at age 12 he was arguing with club doormen who wouldn’t let him into venues he was booked to play.  He’s performed at the historic Jazz Café and Alexandra Palace in London as well as the Ace Café. He’s played Biker rallies across the UK where Harley Davidsons would screech on the stage around him, filling the room with smoke during the gigs.

By the time he was 13 years old Aaron was playing every night of the week and met modern guitar icon Joe Bonamassa who gave the young gun advice from his time as a young guitar hero; aged 14 – he was bundled out of the backdoor of the Camden Blues Kitchen as the London Riots raged across the city; at 16 he supported US rockers Blackberry Smoke on their ‘Leave A Scar’ UK tour, bedding down in shops after each show with one night sleeping in a workshop surrounded by motorbikes, rifles, snakes and a 9 foot python.

The crowd at the UK Bloodstock Festival head-banged to Against The Grain in 2014 and at Download 2015 (UK) he played to a squeezed-to-capacity tent. Since then, he has gone back on tour with Blackberry Smoke for the 2016 ’Like An Arrow’ tour, been on the road with The Answer, The Cadillac Three, The Graveltones, Wilko Johnson, Joanne Shaw-Taylor and Dan Patlansky as well as performed blistering sets on the 2015 festival circuit at Dot to Dot and Ramblin’ Man.

While referencing his heroes including Johnny Winter, Rory Gallagher, The Allman Brothers, The Faces, Led Zeppelin, T Rex and Blackfoot, Aaron writes all his own songs.  He explains, “It’s the music I grew up with, it’s what I like, but you can’t base yourself on someone else. You’ve got to be inventive and see what comes out.” 

Momentum has been building over the past few years for Aaron Keylock, and with Cut Against The Grain he looks set to launch himself on the world full throttle.



About Mary Boukouvalas 1576 Articles
Mary is a photographer and a writer, specialising in music. She runs Rocklust.com where she endeavours to capture the passion of music in her photos whether it's live music photography, promotional band photos or portraits. She has photographed The Rolling Stones, KISS, Iggy Pop, AC/DC, Patti Smith, Joe Strummer, PULP, The Cult, The Damned, The Cure, Ian Brown, Interpol, MUDHONEY, The MELVINS, The Living End, Foo Fighters, Smashing Pumpkins, Rage Against The Machine, The Stone Roses –just to name a few - in Australia, USA, Europe and the Middle East. Her work has been published in Beat magazine, Rolling Stone magazine, Triple J magazine, The Age Newspaper, The Herald Sun, The Australian, Neos Kosmos, blistering.com, theaureview.com, noise11.com, music-news.com. She has a permanent photographic exhibition at The Corner Hotel in Richmond, Victoria Australia.