1. Hi Aja, welcome back to VENTS! How have you been?
I have been really good. Very busy with new twins, a 4 year old and a new record coming out.
2. Can you talk to us more about your latest single “My Man”?
Yes, I have always loved feel good music that sort of takes you back to another time. This song is exactly that for me. In fact, the entire record has throwback feel. All different types of music with my voice being the common thread. “My man” was probably my favorite song on the record when we finished it. It really blossomed into something different from when I first wrote it on an acoustic guitar. Its also a very romantic song, which is sort of different for me.
3. Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?
I think actually watching my husband rise in his career path as the singer of a modern rock/pop band. Its such a turbulent road, and it can have such a deep effect on a persons emotions and well being. I think everyone just assumes that when you “make it” in your career path that you are sitting in a mansion on a hill with a margarita in your hand. That couldn’t be further from the truth. Its a really hard journey. In the end of the day after all the loud craziness that surrounds something like that, we would just be in our little home or hotel room cuddling with our 4 year old and ordering pizza. I would just look over at my husband with adoration that he could be such an amazing father and friend in a time of chaos. Who he is inspires me.
4. Any plans to release a video for the single?
Yes! I have an awesome video. Im really excited about it. Joshua James who produced my record stars in the video with his wife Emma and they are so beautiful together. I love the chemistry. I can’t wait to share it.
5. The single comes off your new album *Sandy *- what’s the story behind the title?
It was inspired by the movie “Grease”. In the past people may have known me as a fiery singer with a lot of intense emotion. This is a departure from that. Like a vacation. Just me relaxing into my life and finding harmony.
6. Is this Sandy based on a real person?
She is the lead character in the movie. She is fictional, but I suppose I felt like I was channeling her a bit.
7. How was the recording and writing process?
The writing was simple. It was on my own timeline in my house with my dads 1955 junior acoustic Guild guitar. When I drove to Utah I was 6 months pregnant and I had decided I needed to make the record then or it might not happen for a while. I drove to Joshua’s house and we recorded the whole thing in 5 days with the exception of 2 songs that were done with other people. Joshua helped fine tune the songs. He is such a great writer that he helped me flush out some things that were not working and write new parts. He knew exactly what I wanted. We were both thrilled.
8. Known for your hyperactive and wild performances on Nico Vega – what made you want to seek for a more acoustic and Roots driven sound?
Its really whats in my soul. Nico Vega was born out of the rebel child I felt like I was growing up. I will always have a nostalgic piece of me that stays that way. But as an adult, I am much more calm and I love balance. I am also quite spiritual in my own ways and I gravitate toward calm grounding music in general.
9. Have you always wanted to put together a record like this in the past or how did this come about?
I have been writing music like this since I was 15 years old, so I guess its been a matter of time.
10. What role did Utah play on the writing of this record?
I didn’t actually know Utah was where I was going to record the record until last summer. Dan (my husband) and I were listening to Joshua James in the car and the lightbulb went off. We just knew it was the right place.
11. Where did you find the inspiration for the songs and lyrics on this material?
Some of it came from my life after Nico Vega. As a mother, and as someone who has been through so much. My experiences humbled me. Being an artist in the world we live in is very challenging. Especially if you want to do it your way. We live in a complicated time. The industry is very demanding, and the ways of the past have died out. Thats really hard for someone like me. I want to do things at my speed. I don’t want to wear tons of makeup, or be sexually extroverted. I am just a girl from Eugene Oregon. I grew up barefoot swimming in the river. I tried to play the game for many years in my band, but I have always been an acquired taste. I love what I do, but only if I am doing it my way. The second I am doing it for anyone else, it becomes work, and then its like pulling teeth for me.
12. Any plans to hit the road?
I don’t know. I just had the two babies and my husband will be touring off and on for the next 2 years while we home school our 4 year old. Its hard to say right now. If I can fit it in harmoniously I certainly will.
13. What else is happening next in Aja Volkman’s world?
I will always keep writing, but for now, I need to make sure my family is getting what it needs. Hopefully I will be able to play some shows here and there in the meanwhile.