Hi AJ, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?
Hey thanks for having me! I’ve been great thanks, super busy but that’s the way I like to be. Although we’ve got a new lockdown starting here in the UK today for a month so I guess it’s back to playing scrabble and drinking wine until December.
Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Time Out”?
I’d love to! It’s my debut single and I’m so excited it’s finally out in the world!
Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?
I wrote the track the week after I’d broken up with the first love of my life. It was a pretty rough time for me and I always find music to be the best shoulder to cry on in hard times.
Any plans to release any sort of video for the track?
I released a lyric video alongside the track which really captures the essence of the song. I may have some clips of me performing “Time Out” on deck, so stay tuned.
How was the recording and writing process?
I wrote the track with my close friend Jordan Lees. I went to his flat in Guildford, Surrey and together we wrote this song. It was the first thing that came to me as I sat down at the piano. I was desperate for some kind of emotional release and the words just kind of spilled out of my mouth as soon as I started singing. It was earlier that day that I had begun to realise that the breakup was for our own good and that I had to let her go so we could grow on our own. Once the song was penned, Jordan produced a demo of the track and a load of elements from that demo ended up in the final version.
What was it like to work with Brad Mair and how did that relationship develop?
I had worked with Brad Mair during my time with the band ‘Tors’. He produced an EP of ours back in 2017. I loved working with him and knew then that I wanted to work with him on my solo material when the time came. I flew out to his place near Barcelona and the rest is history. He’s a ridiculously talented human and feel very lucky to have collaborated with him on this track.
How much did he get to influence the song?
He’s a fountain of creative ideas and sonic textures. We bounced off of one another really well in creating a direction for the sound of the track. He add’s so much warmth and grit to his productions and I hope it translates here.
What role does the UK play in your music?
I think it’s a subconscious role. In the way that where you are effects everything about a person. I write about my world and those around me and the I am surrounded by the rhythm of the UK.
How has the pandemic influenced your writing process?
It’s made it much lonelier for sure with co-writing not being an option. The lockdown made me look inwards generally and I think this shows in the songs I’ve written since March. It was a time for big change for me as I re-evaluated my priorities and found the confidence to shift all my focus onto my own music.
You have been known for making a career covering other bands – do you tend to take a different approach when collaborating with someone else rather than working on your own?
When I’m writing, having someone else in the room helps to push me in a direction that I otherwise wouldn’t have gone in. It forces me outside of my comfort zone. That’s not to say I don’t love writing alone – most of the tracks I’ve written have been written alone. But having the co-writes helps me to keep things fresh.
Does the new single mean we can expect a new material – how’s that coming along?
I have a bunch of singles that I’ll be releasing over the next 6 months or so. Culminating in an EP that’s scheduled for release in the summer of 2021.
Any tentative release date or title in mind?
Hoping to get the next track out early next year!
What else is happening next in AJ Wander’s world?
Lots of board games and long walks in the countryside to help me keep a hold of my sanity.
Watch “Time Out” Video: https://youtu.be/s9Xg3Pq9TOU