When Aaron Spohr bought his first guitar in Sept 2003, recording and selling his debut album, "A Dreamer's Disease" was the furthest thing from his mind. "When I first bought a guitar, I immediately started writing songs," he says, "they just started to flow out of me." The release of "A Dreamer's Disease" in April 2009, was, as the folk/rock/reggae influenced artist says "surreal." "I started writing songs as a form of expression, and these ideas that were floating around in my head just started to get clearer as I wrote. I never dreamt that I would be one day recording and playing my music live." His musical style has been influenced mostly by the music that he used to learned to play the guitar, and the content by his world travels. "I was living abroad when I was learning to play the guitar, learning Jack Johnson, Simon and Garfunkel, and Bob Marley songs. I just wanted to play the songs I listened to, and they naturally permeated into the music I wrote." The well-travelled musician cites his time in New Zealand in 2008 as responsible for most of his debut album's material. "I had a lot of time in this beautiful country to relax, surf, and let these ideas that were bouncing around in my head kind of settle down. I think travel and new cultures do that, they bring perspectives that we just don't get in North America."
But in conversation, Spohr is quick to mention that although the album is made up of his songs, ADD is very much a family affair. "The album, and really the whole idea of playing live, kind of came from conversations I had with my brother Kenton. He's an up and coming engineer/producer with a lot of passion, and he kind of pushed me into the whole process of recording." Kenton, the middle son of three boys, recorded and mixed ADD, as well as playing bass and electric guitar, and the youngest brother, Stefan, is featured on the drums and backup vocals. The two younger brothers currently make up the band playing live with Spohr and he is loving every minute of it, "it's just so much fun to play with them, because we have so much musical and personal chemistry, I know audiences can feel it because we have a lot of fun on stage, and hopefully make it sound good as well."
With the steady success of "A Dreamer's Disease," the Kamloops, B.C. native has found that the business side of music doesn't always feel like the right place for the humble artist. He says he struggles with self promotion and the mass marketing ploys of his contemporaries, "It seems like I've fallen into this world that is kind of backwards to my attitudes in life. I find it hard to tell people to come to a show of ours and that kind of self promotion, it's just not in my nature to tell people how good I think the music is." Luckily, he concedes, Kenton, who has toured with North Carolina scream band Alesana, keeps him focussed on the marketing aspect of musicianship, however reluctantly. And it seems to be working too, with steady sales in retail outlets and online, ADD seems to be eye-catching enough to deserve a listen from inquisitive strangers. The album art, which features a simplified leafy green stencil of an acoustic guitar on its cover has drawn great reviews, and Spohr attributes it to their unique perspectives regarding music products. "When we were talking about this album and the whole musical package, we wanted people to feel like they had bought something worth buying, that we had put a lot of time into. That's how we feel about everything, our merchandise, our show posters, all of it. We wanted to make art out of everything." When asked to describe ADD, he says that the songs are his expressions of life, love, and a little social commentary. Lyrics are not just a formality he says, "I've never viewed music as a means to an end, like wealth or fame, and my songs are not just vehicles to get me somewhere. They are a part of me that I hope people can relate to and enjoy. Playing live is something I do for fun, and I feel really blessed that people enjoy it."
Aaron Spohr and his brothers were recently featured performers at Thompson Rivers University, as well as multiple venues around the Okanagan. Aaron is currently playing around the Okanagan and Vancouver in the fall of 2009 before hitting the road on a New Zealand tour in January 2010. His single "Sky Add Water" is gaining popularity on college radio across western Canada.