Interview: Aaron David Gleason Talks About The Release of HAPPENED IN MY YOUTH

Gleason's best work to date arrives today

10 Videos That Get Us Quaking About SHAKING THE BLUES AWAY! Starring Nicolas King At Chelsea Table + Stage

Aaron David Gleason is an artist with some pedigree behind him. A third generation show business artist, the singer-songwriter has spent much of his career focused on rock and roll music easily labeled as edgy and innovative. A fan of Gleason's since his days as a young upstart, this writer has watched both the man and the artist grow, spherically, as he undertook to produce shows and direct artists in venues like Feinstein's/54 Below, and become a certified personal trainer and yoga master, all while continuing to focus on his own music. When this Zen Rocker asked me to listen to his newest song and offer an opinion I told him "I don't know, I rarely have any opinions" and he laughed and laughed.

Then I listened to the song.

"I don't want to offend you in any way. But, with all respect for everything you've ever written and recorded in the past, I think this is my favorite thing you've ever done." That is the exact message I sent ADG, just before asking him if he would consider debuting the single on Broadway World Cabaret. With more and more rock and roll being performed on the cabaret and concert stages of New York City, I was absolutely positive that the song would go over well with Manhattan's growing audiences of the edgy and innovative, and I, quite greedily, wanted to be the person to introduce the new composition. Why, stop there, though? I wanted to know more about the song and about Aaron's writing process - surely the music lovers would too.

10 Videos That Get Us Quaking About SHAKING THE BLUES AWAY! Starring Nicolas King At Chelsea Table + StageSo I'm happy to not only share HAPPENED IN MY YOUTH with our Broadway World Cabaret readers, but a little digital interview that took place between Aaron and I, just hours ago, as he prepared for the big release of his new work of art, my favorite he has ever done.

And a prodigious family legacy continues...

Aaron David Gleason welcome back to Broadway World and thanks for letting us help you announce your new single today! Happened In My Youth is one of the most exciting pieces I've heard in a while - I understand it was inspired by a real-life event. Are you comfortable sharing the story?

Sure, Happened In My Youth is about meeting your high school friend, every year, for dinner. You've been girding your loins on this dinner more and more every year. Politics and the current landscape have fractured whatever it was you once had in common--this year it all boils over in a confrontation. It was written as a scenario that I and many people are currently experiencing--en mass.

Songwriting can be inspired by so many different factors - of all your songs, is this the most personal source of inspiration you've experienced?

I've never been so incensed, horrified, and passionate as I am now, so that's making its way into the music. I also made a pact with myself to be more direct, honest, and raw.

What would you say is making you incensed, horrified and passionate right now, and what led to the pact you have made with yourself?

Just... EVERYTHING. ;)

What was the simplest source of inspiration that ever led to the creation of a song for you?

Probably seeing another band or artist and wanting to do something just like "that." That's simple. It's not as much of an odyssey of songwriting or poetry. You're trying to emulate at best and at worst you're copying.

The process of writing a song varies from artist to artist - but does it vary from song to song?

It can. I love doing that, but I drive my co-producer insane that way. For me, I tend to start with chord sequences, but more and more I start with beats, sounds, lyrics.

Put a picture in my head of the steps that occur when releasing a single into the world. How would Happened In My Youth pick up traffic and find an audience?

I honestly think Tik Tok is a pretty cool hang. There is good cheer on that app. There is true collaboration going down and it's exciting. I've been focusing a lot of time over there, all the while also doing the normal self-release thing--in my case, Distrokid has been fantastic to work with.

In what ways has the music industry changed since the advent of the streaming age of listening?

You got 4 hours? Honestly, I'll bring the coffee.

Do you have enough for everyone? Honestly, just the top three biggest changes you've seen over the recent years would enlighten us about the conditions with which songwriters are living and working right now.

Instagram, Tik Tok, and Spotify. If you aren't making content that looks like it belongs there, then you're a step behind.

You have a background in rock and roll that you have used to inform your work in the small venue circuit of the music industry. Is there a chance that your individual approach and personal style might transition to the musical theater world in the future?

I would love to write a musical, or Rock opera, it's been a lifelong dream. I have more support here in this community than I ever did anywhere else--it's home. But am I there yet? No. This song is my first step towards it. In the meantime, I'm studying, collaborating, and heading in that direction.

What are the chances that this very song could be the one to start that journey?

I'm hoping there's a good shot!

Where can listeners find Happened In My Youth to listen and to buy?

Spotify and Apple Music are favorites. itunes I think still exists.

(Editor's note - it does.)

Aaron David, thank you so much for sharing your story and this wonderful new song with us. I am sure everyone will love it as much as I do.

You are the best. Now I have a question for you: If you were a classic film noir movie, which would you be?

It has to be Double Indemnity. Billy Wilder, Barbara Stanwyck (my favorite) and those sunglasses. Come on, now!

Enjoy HAPPENED IN MY YOUTH on YouTube below and visit the Aaron David Gleason website HERE


Photos: Gavin Lee Celebrates Fred Astaire at Birdland

Two-time Tony Nominee and two-time Drama Desk Winner Gavin Lee made his Birdland debut with his solo show “Steppin’ Out with Fred Astaire” on Monday, May 29. Having played two Fred Astaire roles during his award-winning West End and Broadway career, Gavin, with a little help from Gershwin, Berlin, Porter, and a pair of tap shoes, filled the show with songs and stories that made Fred a true star of the Golden Age of Hollywood.

See HANDS ON A HARDBODY Reunion Concert, Jenn Colella, Shaun Cassidy & More at 54 Below in June

This month, 54 BELOW will present some of the brightest stars from Broadway, cabaret, jazz, and beyond.

PRIDE AND STORY: The Songs Of Brandi Carlile Will Play The Cutting Room

Pride and Story: The Songs of Brandi Carlile is at The Cutting Room on June 30 with an all-queer cast and band. The 7 pm concert will celebrate the end of Pride Month by paying tribute to the nine-time Grammy Award winner with proceeds benefiting The Looking Out Foundation.

54 Below Presents British-style Panto PETER PAN-SEXUAL in July

54 BELOW, Broadway's Supper Club, presents R & R Productions' naughty British panto, Peter Pan-Sexual written by Robert K. Benson on July 13th.



Recommended For You