Aaron Holstein of VibeSquaD: "It gets pretty chaotic on stage sometimes"
Britt Chester VibeSqauD at the Ogden Theatre last fall.
After being on the scene for more than a decade as a member of Future Jazz Project, Zilla and Sporque, and on his own as VibeSquaD, Aaron Holstein's profile has been steadily rising over the years. After a hometown show this Saturday, March 10, at Summit Music Hall, with Eskmo and Phutureprimitive, VibeSquaD will head out on the road for a series of dates with Bassnectar on the VaVa Voom tour. We recently spoke with Holstein about his upcoming tour, what he does in his downtime, and his plans for the future.
Westword: Can you tell me about how you got on the VaVa Voom tour with Bassnectar?
VibeSquaD (Aaron Holstein): To start, it's a really great opportunity, and I am stoked to be opening for Lorin. This is going to be my chance to play in front of a very large crowd, but I have known Lorin for a long time. He is my peer outside of the music scene, and we have done a number of shows together. We actually did a whole West Coast tour together a number of years ago when I played in a band called Zilla. The outgrowth from all our previous years of playing was what really gave me the chance. I think he wanted something a little bit different from his style to really get the crowd roaring, but it's going to be really fun, I can tell you that.
Do you have anything new planned for one of your biggest tours?
I am finishing up my next album, called Orphan Alien Pt. 2, which is the continuation from Orphan Alien Pt. 1 that I dropped in the fall. I'll be releasing some singles before the tour, along with a mixtape. In short, I will be releasing a bunch of music, then hitting the road pretty hard in spring, then festival season will start.
I saw that you got two sets at the Wakarusa Music and Arts Festival this year. How did that come about?
I got to play a two-and-a-half-hour sunrise set last year. I was coming from California, so when I got to Wakarusa, it was really late, on the last day. Plus, it was a killer set. When I got offered this year, they gave me a midnight set in some tent, then another sunrise set like last year.
What are some of your hobbies other then music?
I am into photography. That means I always have a camera on me, and I especially like traveling, too. When I go on tour by myself, I often rent cars. I try to explore all of my stops and normally scope out where all the good spots are in town. When winter comes around, I like to go snowboarding, and in the summer, camping is my thing.
You have performed on quite a few stages during your career. Are you looking forward to any on this upcoming tour?
I have been fortunate enough to play pretty much all the stages I have laid my eyes on, except one, which kind of bugs me -- Red Rocks. Not only is it a beautiful venue, but it's a goal of mine. The first time I saw a concert there was in '93. I have had my heart set on that place for a long time. Aside from that, there are some large-scale venues on this Bassnectar tour I will be playing. I would like to hear what my music sounds like in a big venue because I am used to being billed at clubs, theaters or warehouses. It's all fun on different levels, but most of all, I like the variety that music has to offer.
Is there a chance that you will be expanding your label?
I put out tracks on my own label, but there has been some talk of me putting some of my friends on so their music can reach the public more efficiently. Realistically, I am really busy with my family, so some of that extra entrepreneurial energy is put forth to throwing a Frisbee with my boys or going snowboarding with them -- stuff like that. I would love to grow the label a bit, and I have been making some cool clothes for the tour, and on top of that, I want to have a huge production for my tour in the fall -- so that's kind of where my head is at.
You had a dance crew on stage with you at the Ogden Theatre in September. Any thoughts about doing that again?
I've done that a few times with the Break EFX crew, and they're my homies, so it works out nicely. It gets pretty chaotic on stage sometimes. In the future, I want to refine the show so the dancers can sync with the music even more. Don't get me wrong: I still want the show to pop off, but it's hard to keep up. It's great because there is a dance response to my music, too.
People are putting videos of themselves dancing to VibeSquaD tunes. I've started to get to know some of these people, and we'll most likely be working together in the future -- some real cool stuff. It would make touring much more difficult with ten extra dudes. The next time I do that will most likely be a large local show.
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