Interview: Aaron Miller of BASECAMP

BASECAMP is a musical trio (consisting of Aaron Miller, Aaron C. Harmon, and Jordan Reyes) out of Nashville but their sound is definitely not country.   The trio creates electronic with R&B styled vocals.  Their electronic beats have a heavy U.K. garage influence.  BASECAMP brings their down tempo, R&B-fused electronica sounds to Aisle 5 in Little Five Points.  In anticipation of this upcoming show I got a chance to talk with singer produce Aaron Miller their music, vinyl and what he is listening to these days.

For people here in Atlanta that may have never seen you perform live what can we expect to see and hear at Aisle 5?

We are experimenting with a lot of interesting lighting options.  We are playing with the visual side of the show to make it something that really adds to the live performance.

What are your thoughts on why so many bands like BASECAMP are breaking down the barriers between genres and making music that appeals to a broad audience?

I feel that it is because, culturally, the world is becoming a much smaller place.  You have bands like us, a band from Nashville, that was inspired by UK electronic music.  The lines are getting a little more blurred because the world is such a smaller place.  Which I think is a good thing.

With the world becoming so flat, do you feel that regional influences on music still exist?

There are definitely some regional music movements that are still going on.  For example, I am a big fan of Footwork that is out of Chicago.  In Nashville we had a big post punk garage rock movement for a while but that was never really something we were interested in stylistically so we were never part of that movement.  Being from Nashville though and having such an affinity for electronic, hip hop and R&B and just not having an outlet for it in the city we are thankful for the web and social media.

How important a role does the web and social media play in breaking those traditional boundaries?

When we first started it made all the difference in the world. It was incredibly vital for us.  If we started without these options and just tried to play some shows at local clubs in Nashville we may have slowly built a very small following.  It’s an ever changing landscape, just look at the shift in how people view Soundcloud and the emergence of Spotify and Apple Music since 2013 when we first started.  Shifts happen every couple of years and we are constantly watching the way that we listen to music change.

With the landscape changing every two years what are your thoughts on the longevity of your music?

Music has a shelf life now since you have access to so much music.  I’m guilty of it, I’m constantly looking for something new to listen to.  I’ll listen to some music for about two weeks but then a ton of new music comes out and I completely forget about the record I was listening to two weeks ago.

Making timeless music, is definitely a goal for us. The goal of our music is that we just want to make great music.  Music that we will be happy with. That is why I’m so happy about our latest record.  I can still go back and listen to it and still enjoy it.  This can be hard to do when you have heard it 600 times when you are trying to finish it.

I’m very interested to see how we feel about our music in 10 to 20 years and more so to see how our fans feel about it.

I appreciate that you are trying to put out what you feel is good music.

That’s really all that matters.  We just want to make good music and music that feels true to us and doesn’t feel fake.  As long as it feels honest and we are doing it to the best of our best ability I’m happy.

What was the first album that you added to your personal music library?

It was at Sam Goody and I spent my allowance on Will Smith’s Willennium

What was your most recent addition to your personal music library?

I have been collecting vinyl a lot over the last couple of years. My most recent purchase was J Dilla’s Jay Love Japan.

Why the love for vinyl, what makes it special for you versus downloading the music?

As much as I love Apple Music and being able to access music when ever I want to,  the one thing I’m missing from that experience is having the physical copy of the music.  When it’s an album that I really love, I want to feel like I “own” that record.  Vinyl is ageless and is the highest quality way to listen to music.

Nothing beats those first few seconds when the needle touches the vinyl and a song starts to play!

Oh yeah!  Especially for me being the music nerd that I am.  When you find records that were actually mastered for vinyl, it’s a totally different experience.  I had this experience with Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp a Butterfly.  The first time and ever listened to it on vinyl it was mind blowing for me, I heard all these details and subtle nuances in the production that I had never noticed before.  It was like listening to the record for the first time ever.

What was your first live music experience?  Which venue and which artist?

It was probably my dad, he has been a touring musician my entire life.  A lot of my first live music experiences was from backstage when he performed with people like Donna Summers.

The first show I ever went to on my own was Weird Al Yankovic when I was about 12.  He was hilarious to the average 12 year old boy.

If you could cover one album in your music library which would it be?

I have thought about it a bit over time.  I would want to cover In Rainbows by Radio Head.

What artist do you wish more people had in their music library?

One of the records that I have listened to endless at least once a week over the past year has been A New Place 2 Drown by Archy Marshal.  He also has another project called King Krule that is really cool also.

BASECAMP at Aisle 5

BASECAMP In Stone Tour came to Aisle 5 in Atlanta on January 18th.  Enjoy photos and more here.