Long and Winding Road (UMS Edition): Aaron Thomas Collins of A. Tom CollinsBy Ricardo Baca | July 14th, 2011 | 2 comments
Do you remember your first record? Your first concert? Well this isn’t about that. This Long and Winding Road is about three artists/records that influenced you over the years –- you as a musician, Aaron Thomas Collins. So let’s talk about your road.
Age 6: Private piano lessons
When I grew up, we weren’t poor, but we didn’t have a lot of money. But no matter how bad our financial situation got, my dad always made sure that me and my brother and my two younger sisters always had private piano lessons. My dad made sure that we were all cultured. His dedication to that taught me that art is important and music is important. It rounds you out.
Age 14: The Stooges, “Raw Power”
I started listening of a bunch of punk bands in middle school. A lot of it was pop punk and NOFX and Bad Religion. And I have a bit of an obsessive personality, so I kept tracing that stuff further and further back. Later I went back to the Clash and the Dead Kennedys and the Sex Pistols, and even further back than that, stuff like the Velvet Underground. I remember the first time I heard Iggy Pop’s “Raw Power” – I remember thinking, “That’s the kind of music I want to play. This is my stuff right now.”
Now: Snake Rattle Rattle Snake (and other locals)
To be honest, I’m at a point where I’m listening to a lot of my friends’ music and going to a lot of my friends’ shows. At South by Southwest this year, you walk around and you see bands play and I always think to myself, “Man, Denver has five bands that are better than this.” Bands in Denver are making really original music, and since we’re in the middle of the country, we don’t have such a little brother complex – we don’t look at the coast to influence us. And then we have a really original concept about music, and it’s not as much about mimicking something else. It’s people having original ideas and a burgeoning artistic scene. That’s the most recent influence – listening to bands play in Denver and not sounding like each other but inspiring each other to create. And I’m talking about Bad Weather California, Paper Bird, Snake Rattle Rattle Snake and others. There are all these band that don’t mimic each other or sound like each other, but they share the same community.
A. Tom Collins plays an enviable slot at this year’s UMS — at 1 a.m. Saturday night at the Mayan Theatre, following the Black Heart Procession.
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