Denver musician shares his love of bass vibrations with Vail
Vail, CO Colorado
VAIL, Colorado – About the time 12-year-old Aaron Holstein’s parents found all of their precious vinyl scratched and destroyed was about the time Holstein, who plays in Vail Thursday, knew he’d found his true calling: mixer and DJ.
“I got like $300 worth of gift certificates to a dance music record store for my bar mitzvah,” he said.
Once he got serious, Holstein experimented with all different types of music: beatbox, gothic-inspired new wave music, boogie and jazz. He found that his true love was psychadelic bass beats. He plays bass with various bands, including Zilla, and creates his own music. When he flies solo, he is known as VibeSquaD.
“I make music to make people feel good and to make or create positive feelings for people through sonic vibrations,” he said.
1. Vail Daily: What or who got you turned on to electronica and dance music?
Aaroun Holstein: I got excited about elecronica music when I was a kid, living in Chicago in the beginning of the ’80s. Just going to dances in junior high and listening to all of the music that was associated with break dancing and hip hop, Run DMC kind of stuff. It was a big influence to a young guy and it was really fun music.
2. VD: Tell me about your newest album, “Joyful Noise.”
AH: That’s my third full-length album and it’s a continuation of the journey for me, the journey through bass. There’s 13 songs on there and it’s kind of a variety of tempos and it’s all really deep, heavy, juicy bass.
3. VD: You joined Denver’s “Future Jazz Project” in 2001. Tell me about that.
AH: Well Future Jazz Project is a really great group of guys that have been playing and still play in Denver on a weekly basis, for about 10 years now. They’re really good guys, drummer Damien Hines is an excellent drummer, and playing in a group like that is great. I’ve played about 300 to 400 gigs with them, I guess. I was the guitar player … I don’t play guitar at all anymore but I haven’t played in a band in a while and I don’t really have the desire to do so. I love making my own music.
4. VD: What medium do you use to create your music?
AH: Oh I use computers, definitely. I wouldn’t be able to do what I’m doing without computers. I love using it because I can basically get very close to the sounds in my head that I’m trying to create and use, and I make my own sounds to the computer using a microphone and I use the synthesizers to make the big, lush, heavy sounds that I couldn’t do with a string instrument.
5. VD: Can you give some insight into your experience working under jazz legend Yusef Lateef?
AH: What a great person he is, and a totally soulful human being. His music is really inspirational … I took his class four times – it was an improvisational group, and every instrument we had with us each semester he would compose something from those instruments only. And other semesters we would have vocalists or strings, and we would improvise and play together and it was great. He was great. Just to get to hang out with someone who was so deep into his art was very inspirational for me.
6. VD: What’s the difference when you play bass for the band Zilla versus when you fly solo?
AH: My role in Zilla is to play bass and keyboards and I stand in between Travis and Jamie and it’s a heavy responsibility to say the least. It never gets boring or stale because it’s always improv, and it’s tough because you have to make something that is cohesive and fresh and it’s all about inventing music with other people. Doing VibeSquaD solo is great because I can spend loads of time alone in the studio, and all of the music is 100 percent my stuff that I care the most about. I’m just really focused and I enjoy sharing my art with people because I made it all and I can re-create it for people. It’s a totally different experience than making music on stage …
7. VD: What can Vail expect from your live performance at Samana Lounge tonight?
AH: Well I’ve got a bunch of new music that I’ve been working on over the holidays and I’m excited to try it out on some folks. It will definitely be really positive and really funky and definitely have a lot of bass.
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