Chronicles Of The Kid, the new album from Ayron Jones, released via Big Machine Records/John Varvatos Records, stands as an impenetrable ten-track rock’ n’ roll fortress. An impalpable, snarling energy that sees the musician rise yet again up the ascent of industry intrigue. Before the release, I was lucky enough to sit down with the artist.
Ayron Jones – Chronicles Of The Kid (Big Machine / John Varvatos Records)
Release Date: Out Now
Interview: Monty Sewell
Discussing the ideas, the instruments, and the incapability of Jones to be confined by the space given to him by others was an intimate eye-opener into the mind of one of rock’s most exciting players. We caught up with Jones just hours before his official album launch in his home city of Seattle, with some other surprising news
“Hello, how’s it going, guys?” Jones says. “Sorry, my video is off. I’m at the hospital. I just had a baby yesterday.”
Trying not to think too much about taking time away from Jones spending time with his newborn, I thank him for giving us whatever he can and dive right in with congratulations for Chronicles Of The Kid. A real book end of brilliance from start to finish, it sees Jones step confidently onto that next level. Pushing the boundaries into unseen Ayron Jones territory, it is bigger, better and just meatier than anything he has done before.
“Thank you so much, man,” the new dad says. “You know, it’s always a nerve-wracking time to get a record out there. And just to have some people that feel that way about the record right now. It’s reassuring, you know.”
With Jones’ debut album, Child Of The State, being recorded and released during the pandemic, the new record was sure to have had a completely different process. If not artistically, then certainly spaciously.
“Well, with the first album, I’d just signed my first major record deal,” Jones says. “You get in a room with some big songwriters and people that know how to put music out there. For the first time, you’re being tested as an artist. So I think that was more me just kind of kind of dipping my toe into this new thing that I’m doing. Then now, with this album, it’s a little more, you know, resolved.”
There certainly seems to be an underlining theme throughout the track listing. One of overcoming struggle, empowerment and determined self-conviction. The Title, for one, is a fist-to-sky declaration of success with a chorus to give any anxious soul the courage to dish out a bold poise.
“The thing for me with the theme was contemplating my existence. It was about getting signed to a big record label and then the world getting to know your name and going from 0 to 100. I was sitting on my couch when I found out I was number one in the US, and then, suddenly, I got three top 40 singles. My whole life changed and got turned upside down, and all of a sudden, I was out there in the world, and people knew my name. So you know, Chronicles was me coming to grips with who I am. It was almost like a rebirth.
“But it is also about what happens when you throw some kid who grew up poor, who didn’t have anything, out into the world. When you put a little money in his pocket, put a little fame on his face and then see what happens. I definitely like to talk about those things because they’re real, human experiences. And I think we all go through that in, in a different capacity, one way or another. We all deal with how people identify us, how we identify ourselves. That’s what Chronicles Of The Kid is really about.”
Jones has been known to speak out about his desire not to be wholly confined to just one genre. Despite being first and foremost a guitarist, the musician has come to terms with his own personal grasp on what making music means to him. Songs like Get High featuring such a strong, catchy opening lyrically (Feelin’ good as a mother fucker/ I feel alive as a mother fucker) do stand out as taking turns here and there away from the rock guidelines, dipping toes into various contemporary routes.
“Much of the hooky stuff is on the spot,” Jones says. “With my love of hip-hop, I wanted to infuse a little bit of that without being too cheesy about it. I didn’t want to try to go full-on rap mode, but I wanted to add these little things that I really appreciate about hip hop. Also, some blues hooks with songs like My America.
“This record wasn’t about just making a rock record, right? It was about really bringing together something that I’ve been dreaming about since I was a child. I always think about trying to bring these genres together. Rock, blues, soul and all these things but in a way that would see them blend seamlessly. Something that would keep bringing people back.
“I know some guys won’t get it, but this was always the game plan. Some people will get Chronicles Of The Kid, and some people won’t. Some people really appreciate that more indie vibe from the first record – which was still more grassroots – and some people understand what we’re going for now. But we want to be bigger than rock ‘n’ roll.
“Look, I’m always gonna be a rocker. It’s always gonna be in my soul to be that. But I also wanna bring something to the genre that will allow people who normally wouldn’t listen to rock to come in and really like what we’re doing and then turn them on to other bands in doing so.”
It’s an essence in words that truly carries itself into the music. Released as one of the singles from the album, Filthy is a sultry headbanger with a killer breakdown bridge, whilst The Sky Is Crying grabs you by the heartstrings and pulls tight, but in the most gentle manner.
With Chronicles Of The Kid containing some slick fire guitar solos, the topic of his main instrument is, of course, one to be covered.
“I play everything, man. But I go for whatever tone suits what we’re trying to capture within the song best. Sometimes a guitar has a great tone, but it doesn’t always match what we’re going for. For a chorus, for instance, we need a fat kind of heavy, mid-range bass chorus. Fender guitars are known for their mid, mid-bass range. They’re more high bid, you know.
“So if that’s the case, then I may go ahead and grab a PRS or a Les Paul or something that is gonna give me a heavier tone. Or an SG, but my Fender is definitely my go-to. That’s my weapon of choice. My sword of choice, if you will, is a Fender Stratocaster, but I’m no stranger to using different instruments to get the right vibe across.”
So no Telecaster?
“I’ve used a few tellies here and there. But it depends on the Telecaster, too, right? Like the thin line Telecaster is gonna give me a much more rock ‘n’ roll tone than just the straight, single coil telly. But I like all the instruments, honestly. I mean, it really is more based on the song.”
With the gentle humming of the hospital behind him, we wrap things up with a look into what the next few weeks will bring for Jones.
“Well, we’re heading off to the album launch party in a few hours, then we’re back on the road. It’s been a crazy week, and you know, on top of all this, I just had a baby a couple of days ago. We’re about to get out of here in like two minutes, you know. Oh my God, It’s just a crazy life I live. It seems that every time I drop a record, I have a baby. But it’s all so exciting.”
In a backwards compliment, the musician thanks us for speaking with him. Polite and gracious, in the short space of one interview Ayron Jones has managed to embody both the unapologetically good rockstar within him and the absolute gentleman he clearly is.
Jones and his touring band will play London’s Camden Assembly this 5 July 2023 before heading off to 2000trees Festival. This will no doubt bring about a demand for more dates as soon as we can get our hands on them.
A true class act with a compelling future.
Ayron Jones, Chronicles Of The Kid, is available from here.