Face of the Astronaut EP
A weather damaged drum set from the 70's, a gift from his father. A small-town, local band decides to make him their bass player even though he's never touched the instrument before. Early guitar noodlings with an older sister's acoustic, the intonation a mess and the strings a half-inch from the fretboard. Crassly responding to feedback from a random A&R guy, his college band boots out the singer and moves him from behind the drums to frontman. It takes him about three months to get through a show without losing his voice. Years later, someone describes his vocal style as Green Day meets the cast of Rent. Aaron still isn't sure if that was a compliment or a slight, but the man was smiling affably when he said it, for what it's worth. These are the early, formative steps in the music career of Aaron Hill. Hill's early songwriting was filtered through the genres of the bands he was playing with; ska, pop-punk, and so on. As his own voice began to form, Aaron's style began to incorporate the layered, anything goes mentality of the progressive bands he listened to early on in his bass playing days like Yes and ELP, along with the focused, melodic, lyrically opaque stylings of singer-songwriters such as Elvis Costello and Michael Penn. Even when it isn't apparent at first glance, Aaron's material comes straight from his life experiences. 'The stuff I write that really pleases me comes from some emotional reaction to current events, personal or otherwise. Even if it seems obtuse and nonsensical, it's usually because the topic is too personal to discuss plainly, so I code it until it's about two steps away from straight speech. I've tried writing nonsense; I never want to listen to those songs much after I write them, and I always prefer to write songs I would want to hear. It's the only goal I can rely on.' Aaron Hill & the Crimson Guard is the latest project from the former lead singer of NYC-based bands Conquistador (as seen on Comedy Central's Premium Blend) and The U.S. Patent Office. The FACE OF THE ASTRONAUT EP, a five song disc that touches on such topics as mistaken identity and the loneliness of space travel, serves as a launching point for what should prove to be a fruitful solo career. The countdown has begun.