Published on March 8th, 2018 | by Darren Paltrowitz


AWOLNATION’s Aaron Bruno On “Here Come The Runts,” Nirvana & His Favorite Album Of 2017

As formed and fronted by Aaron Bruno — a former member of Home Town Hero, Insurgence, and Under The Influence Of Giants — AWOLNATION is arguably the most successful artist signed by Red Bull Records. The first AWOLNATION album, Megalithic Symphony from 2011, was certified platinum in the United States and gold in Canada, and its single “Sail” sold over five million copies in the States alone. Seven singles were released from 2015’s Run, which featured Bruno as its sole producer and songwriter. Last month, AWOLNATION released the long-anticipated third full-length from AWOLNATION, Here Come The Runts, which charted in the Top 20 of the U.S. Billboard 200.

I had the pleasure of doing Q&A with Bruno via e-mail about Here Come The Runts and his early days as a musician. More on AWOLNATION — which also includes drummer Isaac Carpenter, guitarist Zach Irons, keyboardist Daniel Saslow, and bassist Michael Goldman — can be found online at; the band also keeps up a Twitter via @AWOLNATION.

What do you wish more people knew about AWOLNATION?

Aaron Bruno: I have never thought of that. (laughs) I can say that we are coming from an honest place, and what you see is what you get.

I’ve read that you started playing guitar at the age of 10. Who or what inspired you to start playing? Was it Nirvana’s MTV Unplugged?

Aaron Bruno: My dad taught me to play guitar at an early age. Nirvana’s Unplugged really inspired and floored me. It pointed out how simple and vulnerable a song and performance could be. I’ll never forget that night.

I’ve also read that you were a baseball player and are an avid surfer. At what point did music take over sports as your main passion?

Aaron Bruno: I think it was always my main passion, but I NEVER thought it to be an option for me professionally or whatever. I was way too scared and insecure to sing in front of anyone.

At what point did you go from using Red Bull’s recording studio to doing most of your recording at home?

Aaron Bruno: I made most of the first record there, and then they stopped letting me use it. (laughs) I think I wore out my welcome.

Here Come The Runts is your latest release. Rather than asking you where that name came from, is there any connecting between the Runts and your last album being called Run?

Aaron Bruno: Wow, I honestly never thought of that, but if you don’t mind, I may use that in future interviews?!?!

Do you have a favorite song on the new album?

Aaron Bruno: I really love them all.

Are there any projects that you have been working on outside of AWOLNATION?

Aaron Bruno: Yes. I produced and co-wrote the Irontom record Partners, and continue to work with them.

When not busy with music, how do you like to spend your free time?

Aaron Bruno: I love being active whenever I can. I surf whenever there are waves.

Here Come The Runts aside, what was your favorite album of 2017?

Aaron Bruno: Irontom’s Partners.

Finally, Aaron, any last words for the kids?

Aaron Bruno: Try your best, and not to take yourself too seriously.

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About the Author

Darren Paltrowitz is a New York resident with over 20 years of entertainment industry experience. He began working around the music business as a teenager, interning for the manager of his then-favorite band Superdrag. Since then, he has worked with a wide array of artists including OK Go, They Might Be Giants, Mike Viola, Tracy Bonham, Loudness, Rachael Yamagata, and Amanda Palmer. Darren's writing has appeared in dozens of outlets including the New York Daily News, Inquisitr, The Daily Meal, The Hype Magazine, All Music Guide, Guitar World,, Businessweek, Chicago Tribune, L.A. Times, and the Jewish Journal. Beyond being "Editor At Large" for The Hype Magazine, Darren is also the host of weekly "Paltrocast With Darren Paltrowitz" series, which airs on dozens on television and digital networks. He has also co-authored 2 published books, 2018's "Pocket Change: Your Happy Money" (Book Web Publishing) and 2019's "Good Advice From Professional Wrestling" (6623 Press), and co-hosts the world's only known podcast about David Lee Roth, "The DLR Cast."

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