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PREMIERE: AJ Croix Release New Music Video For “Bring Me Home” + Q&A

Kicking off a new week with awesome premieres, we are pleased to team up with NJ’s native AJ Croix for the premiere of his new music video for the single “Bring Me Home” off his new material American Idols.

Mixing Rock n’ Roll with Outlaw Country and American Roots, AJ Croix writes songs that speak of rebellion, salvation and the optimism that could only come from one’s true-life experiences. His upcoming solo debut album American Idols was produced and mixed by Malcolm Burn (Emmylou Harris, Bob Dylan) and is slated for release on April 29 through Creative Entertainment Network (CEN)/RED Distribution.

“AJ is the real deal. A true spirited singer/songwriter with plenty of guts and connection to the muse” – says producer Malcolm Burn. The CEN principals added, “We’re excited to be working with AJ Croix on the release of his new album American Idols, it’s great record and AJ is a welcome addition to the CEN/RED roster.”

Based in Northern NJ, AJ’s rich voice, rootsy style of guitar playing and heartfelt emotion come alive on the new album as he tells the story of one searching for redemption in “Bring Me Home.” “Please bring me home. Sleeping beside myself once again, In a motel alone where this all began. You weren’t the first but you might be the last, If you’re gonna save me you’d better come fast” or the plea’s of a man that feels he’s rusting away of “Train of Sorrow.” “This Train of sorrow…is coming down the line. That black train of sorrow …is coming down the line. Choking on the coal.  Wash it down with wine,” to the title track that speaks to the baseless worship of celebrity in our society, Kind eyes and a big bright smile, choose a face that fits your style. Love and hate are going viral. We love our American Idols.”

 American Idols sound is directly related to its content; filled with lyrically driven stories that speak directly to the listener, tinged with emotion, it comforts while eliciting chills.  “Music stirs my emotions. The emotions inspire me to make music. It’s really a vicious circle. I write what I feel and play what I can,” explains Croix.

When it comes to today’s outlaw artists and storytellers not many have the experience to honestly deliver the goods. AJ Croix on the other hand is no stranger to the road and true life experiences that fuel his songwriting. Growing up listening to and influenced by artists like Bob Dylan, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, A.J spent years evolving as a musician and turning on audiences near and far as the frontman and driving force in the AJC Band. Now he has emerged, not entirely unscathed as a serious songwriter.

Album pre-order begins on April 1.

 

AJ recently sat down with me to chat about his new album, the song and more.

Hi AJ, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

Hi, Thanks for asking.  I’m doing great. I’ve been pretty busy with this new album. Its one thing to write and record it but, it’s a whole different ball game trying to get people to hear it and buy it.  I thank you for taking the time to help me do that!!

Can you talk to us more about your single “Bring Me Home”?

Sure.  The songs inspiration and feel, is more like a hymn to me.  I was at the last Willie Nelson 4th of July Picnic and got to meet a lot of my major musical influences ( Kris Kristoffreson, Bobby Bare)   and just a ton of great folks.

At the end of the evening, Willie and family came out to do some of their favorite Hymns.  Now I had already been playing around with the melody and lyrics but I needed the feel…  the rhythmic expression behind it.  What I saw that night inspired me and Bring Me Home popped into my mind… so I was like “Oh Yeah … That’s what my song is!! It’s a hymn”

Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?

The story is like almost all of my songs. It comes from a real life experience and a feeling.  Bring Me Home is song that many people can relate to and apply their own meaning but, to me, it’s about a time when I felt very alone and realized that I needed saving and couldn’t do it myself.  I didn’t care who or how… heaven, hell or my family.  Just get me.

Let’s talk about the video for Bring Me Home?

We had to do it on a shoestring budget but our goal was to apply the emotion of that song into the video.  The damn thing had me in tears by the end.  It’s a pretty powerful statement and tribute to all those that know the feeling and meaning of that song.

I’ll have a couple other videos ready to go soon.  A cartoon for “Topside Of The Grass” and a video with lots of symbolism for “Train Of Sorrow.” I’m working on one for “The Road” right now. That song is one of my favorites!

The single comes off your new album American Idols – what’s the story behind the title?

Ha! I think it’s pretty apparent. The world of art has changed for the muse. It kind of reminds me some of those films where people are brainwashed by being force fed imagery and messages over and over again until they are convinced that what they see and hear is good, bad,  right or wrong. Basically however the mass media and corporations want you to see it.  It’s about exposing the BS and starting a revolution to introduce people to the truth and not the TV. It’s about the growing anger in our country for those that see it and are trying to make a difference.

How was the recording and writing process?

The writing process is always the same for me…  I hear it in my head and try to pinpoint the emotion and reason behind the melody.  Usually the story emerges naturally from an episode in my life.

Recording the album was incredible.  The basic tracks were done live with drums, guitar, vocals and maybe the steel guitar.  It was old school where you had to come in everyday and perform.  The producer was looking for emotion and presentation, not perfection and auto-tune.  We cut the whole album in a couple short weeks.  There are tons of after hour stories that will become part of future songs.

What was it like to work with Malcolm Burn and how did that relationship develop?

Malcolm and I got hooked up through a mutual friend and studio musician.  The studio cat told me to send something to him. He thought Malcolm would dig it.  Coming from a player of his caliber that meant a lot.   It’s hard to get that kind of introduction to someone like MB.  He has no shortage of gigantic talent around him all the time.

So I did… I sent him just basic tracks of me and an acoustic.  Malcolm got back to me and said “let’s make an album” I immediately thought … “hell yeah.” Then everything starts flying at full speed.  It’s a rush for sure.

Oh Man! It would take a short story to sum that question up.  First of all, when an artist gets to work other artists like the ones on this record, you get a little intimidated until you hit a groove.

Malcolm is so good at his craft!  Just look at his career and who he’s worked with!  I’ve never worked with anyone like him in all my years.  He devotes every ounce of brainpower to the music while you are working. His listening is so intense and you just know that if he doesn’t like it… he’ll change it up.  He is not afraid to make you work.

It was one of the best musical experiences I’ve ever had.

How much did he get to influence the album?

A ton. I mean, come on, your working with Malcolm Burn, you have to let go and let him do his thing. Why on earth would you waste that opportunity?  You can do whatever you want in your own basement.  He has a sound, it’s unmistakable, and it’s honest.  Listen to Emmylou Harris (Red Dirt Girl) and then listen to track 5 “The Road” on this album. Not the same song, but listen to sonic character and realize that is Malcolm Burn.

What life struggles and achievements in your life inspire the lyrics on this record?

Everything.  I’m no different than anyone else. We all have had broken hearts and bent minds.

We have all mourned and rejoiced.  We have laughed and cried and we’ve all been lost and found.

Was there an emotion in particular that influence the material as a whole?

I tend to write about affairs of the heart.  It’s always been the thing in my life that has caused total happiness or total regret … not too much in between.  A friend of mine asked me once if I was ok after he heard a happy song that I wrote.  LOL!

Any plans to hit the road?

Well, we are trying to put something together. I’d probably start in Texas… and might even stay there 🙂

What else is happening next in AJ Croix’s world?

Oh you know… just working hard and raising a family. And by the way…my family.  My wife and kids are my driving force. They keep me moving and creating. They never doubt me and I never doubt them.

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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