By Mark Partin
Photo By Eyeamsurreal
Music ruled in my home in my Wonder Years. Dust, Buffalo, Black Sabbath, Sun Ra, Lee Morgan, Rory Gallagher, Led Zeppelin. Blue Cheer, Iron Cross. It was all great then and so diversified. Time portal to 2021.Aaron Wall artist extraordinaire the man behind the band 'Red Beard Wall' brings his diverse, huge talent and love of all things music and life to us here for a special conversation.
Thanks for sharing the time with us Aaron. What music was an influence for you in your youth?
Thank you so much brother! It’s a tremendous honor to be here! Honestly since I can remember, my whole life has been music. My earliest recollection is around the age of 3 starting the journey with Alvin and The Chipminks. I have been drawn to bands and jams from jump. I was both a metal and hip hop kid simultaneously. On the heavy side it all started with Van Halen, Zz Top, Motley Crue, Ratt, GnR etc. On the hip hop side, it was Run D.M.C., Beastie Boys, A Tribe Called Quest, DJ Quik. In my teen years it was all the Death Rowstuff, a lot of East Coast Boom Bap as well. Also at that early teen stage, I discovered Metallica/Megadeth. Onto Pantera, Sepultura, and Slayer. Earth Crisis, Helmet, Snapcase. And then I discovered Mastodon. That band changed everything for me. From there I just dove head first into all that is sludge, doom, stoner and 'heavy'. It's just been a journey of soaking in everything I feel is good, and touches me in someway emotionally. Being Texas born and bred I love underground country, as well as traditional jazz, and many other genres. I try to keep the palate plethora vast.
'Red Beard Walls' self-titled debut album in 2017 with Gero Argonauta's label 'Argonauta Records,' how did you get there from forming in 2016?
In 2016 I felt like writing some songs. Basically just for my own enjoyment. I did a little 3 song demo and I felt the songs were pretty damn good! I entered into contest on 'Doomed and Stoned' way back then, and had an amazing response. That prompted the motivation to say the hell with it, I’m doing a record. I saved up some cash planning to go to a studio to record the 1st album. After some pondering I thought the money would be better spent, by investing in some quality recording equipment and just take an internet crash course. Soak up every article, video, blog, anything else I could find. It totally consumed me and I found I had a love for the technical side as well. I recorded the record at home and was hella proud of the collection of songs. I sent it out to 4 or 5 labels and Gero at Argonauta Records snatched it up within a few days. Then began the path of heavy I have been on since!
I hear the likes of many bands at different times in your music but in your very own 'unique, heavy sound.
Most definitely! It's literally just me trying to put all of my favorite things from my favorite bands into a song, and mash it all up. Then luckily it reforms into something, cool, unique, and of its own sound. I think that goes back to having so many different influences. Its truly like a 100 bands combined in every song. Sounds like nothing else, and everything I love all at once.
The live and overall scene in West Texas at the time you were starting up, what was it like then compared to now?
Out here in West Texas where I’m located, it's extremely rural, isolated, and unpopulated. My 'home' base(s) as far as the scene- Austin and San Antonio. Followed closely by Dallas and Houston. I've always been treated warmly and accepted with open arms. Those places are where my musical family resides. I love them
In Febuary 2019 you released the highly acclaimed lp 'The Fight Needs Us All' How did you get from start to finish on this stunning project.
This record changed everything for RBW. The reception to 'The Fight Needs Us All' was mind boggling. And listening back now, it was a somewhat prophetic lyrically. I think people related and it helped them try to understand, along with me, what was coming in the next few years and future to come. It really melded with the times that were coming, and then came. I had come off the 1st album, as well as playing close to 100 shows to support it with some good early momentum. My whole mindset was to get in the studio and get another album done to continue that forward movement. I didn’t rush through the writing and recording for the sake of getting it out by any means, but I just went in hard. All passion, focus, full bore hardcore. I put so much energy and fervor into it. The funny thing is, I honestly don’t remember much about writing or recording it. It just came out like a purge and it was exactly how it was supposed to be. I was definitely just a vessel of the heavy gods on that album.
Your new release coming July 2 on Brad Frye's stellar label 'Desert Records, the lp titled ' 3'.... I mean wow. Your 4th release in 4 years It is for me a devastatingly heavy post post-hardcore masterpiece with solid grooving riffs that pack a hell of a punch. Tell us how it came about.
I greatly appreciate the kind words my friend! I don’t care what anyone says...'3' is the best RBW record up to this point. This record came about, because you know...COVID. I’m lucky enough to have a killer home studio and with the pandemic, it offered me the time. I got back from tour in Nov. 2019 after more than doubling the show schedule from the 1st album to the 2nd. I was ready to get my mind into writing mode for a new record after the THUNDERCHIEF/RBW shows and with COVID it gave me the time to really dig in and write some jams! I’m beyond proud of this collection.
You are well known in the Underground Scene as a caring, super friendly supportive artist that carries over into your music. The lyrics in '3' they seem much more personal this time around.
I just try to always give back, and return the kindness and positivity that’s been given to me. I’m extremely honored and grateful to be in this position. And you nailed it brother. The lyrics, the riffs, the beats...were so very personal. This record is far more introspective, and not as much of an outward commentary on the state of things. It's me, trying to understand what my part is, and what my contribution can be. The songs on 3'' hit me harder emotionally than anything I have ever done. This is the first time in my life where there have been songs I have written that literally made me cry when I listened back. Made me know I did right by me. And that’s really all I can do. These songs are all of my soul and every bit of my heart. I gave absolutely everything I have in me to these jams.
Unlike so many other talented bands there has been very little band member changes made in Red Beard Wall's 5 years with either addition or subtraction. Introduce your fellow band brother.
The reason for that is because one, live RBW is a two piece. And two ,Up to this point I have also played the drums on all of the recordings. But...I am beyond excited to announce that the new and permanent member is the mighty Texas brother Roderick Pink. He absolutely slays on the skins and it’s fucking awesome to finally have a brother 100% dedicated and motivated to push this thing to a new level! We are coming to destroy everything.
I dig on your band name 'Red Beard Wall' 1st choice or after a good long party you felt inspiration?
I appreciate that! The band name has worked out amazingly well! People get all kinds of meanings out of it and have all kinds of different assumptions as to what it actually means. I like to keep it that way for now. Got to have the mystery! I will say this though, it has a supremely simple origin. Those that know...know.
Frank Sinatra crooned in his anthem 'My Way' "Regrets, I've had a few, But then again too few to mention". Anything you might have done differently from what you know now?
Learning experiences for sure but, ABSOLUTELY NO REGRETS.
Advice to the many many Stoner/Sludge Heavy Metal rock influenced artist's who are just starting out?
Do exactly what you want. Don’t let anyone tell you shit. Work your ass off and never, ever, ever stop!
What's ahead as far as touring plans ?
Touring plans...YES!! EVERYWHERE !! We’ll be out and in your area my people! Come see us for jams, hangs, buds, and hugs!! ALL LOVE. ALL RESPECT. ALL GRATITUDE. ALL HAIL!!! Thank you so fucking much Mark for this amazing opportunity. You know how I feel about you...you are family! Much much love, gratitude, and respect always!! ALL HAIL !!
'3' will be available to buy on CD/DD/Vinyl via Desert Records July 2nd 2021.
Red Beard Wall Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/redbeardwall
Red Beard Wall - bandcamp : https://redbeardwall.bandcamp.com/
Indoor Live Photos By Eyeamsurreal
Outdoor Live Photo By Tim