AWOLNATION ‘sails’ into new tour


Kari Rowe

As of December 2014, AWOLNATION’s single “Sail” had sold more than 6 million units, becoming six times multiplatinum. 

By Arts & Culture Reporter

The electronic rock band AWOLNATION made history in 2013 after its single, “Sail,” remained on the Billboard Hot 100 chart for 79 weeks, the second-longest Billboard streak ever.

Frontman Aaron Bruno had previously been part of bands Under the Influence of Giants and Home Town Hero but ended up leaving them and starting AWOLNATION, which released its first album, Megalithic Symphony, in March 2011.

The band’s album Run debuted in March 2015, pushing the group back into the spotlight. On Feb. 22, AWOLNATION appeared on “The Late Late Show with James Corden” to perform “Woman Woman,” the third single off the album.

The Chronicle spoke with Bruno about the “Wintour is Coming” tour, the band’s latest single and a possible third album.

THE CHRONICLE: Where did the name AWOLNATION come from?

AARON BRUNO: Originally, [AWOL] was a nickname of mine. I attached “NATION” to it once I started writing new songs because I thought it was time to come up with an ambitious name in hopes that maybe there would be, metaphorically speaking of course, a nation of people that would be into the same kind of music I was into.

Why did you choose “Woman Woman” as your third single off of Run?

[“Woman Woman”] seems like one of the “poppiest” songs off the record and probably the easiest to digest. We wanted to start with “Hollow Moon” first and then “I Am” because we wanted to cater more toward our initial diehard fans first before we went with the song that would have the widest appeal.

What was the “Woman Woman” video inspired by?

The song speaks about the idea of being natural. I couldn’t think of a more natural situation than being [naked] in the most natural state possible. Honestly, the director Marc Klasfeld and I came up with the idea together. He really wanted to do it and was passionate about it, and the rest is history.

Are you working on a third album?

I’m constantly writing, so it’s just really a matter of time to see how far Run takes us before it becomes evident that I need to start the third record.

How is the “Wintour is Coming” tour going so far?

It’s really cool. [Fall Out Boy and PVRIS] fans seem to be really open and passionate about music, so it’s our pleasure to try gaining new fans. We spent most of the first record and this one headlining, so it’s nice to open up for a much bigger band and have the opportunity to gain new fans. 

Usually, when you’re the headliner, you definitely want to make sure you give everybody their money’s worth. It’s less pressure not being the headliner or main event, so it’s pretty fun. It feels more like the punk rock days of having to prove yourself rather than being the main event.

What are you excited about for the rest of the tour?

[I’m excited] to play every night. I really know what it’s like to be down-and-out and hit rock bottom multiple times with my career, so it’s an absolute blessing to wake up every day and play music with my buddies on stage and share a common vision and goal to do the best we can and try to get better. My favorite thing is when we come up with new things to do each night and ways to change up the set, try to become the best we can be.

AWOLNATION, Fall Out Boy and PVRIS started their “Wintour is Coming” tour together Feb. 26 in Florida after Fall Out Boy’s solo show Feb. 25 in  San Juan, Puerto Rico. The tour is scheduled to stop in Chicago at the United Center, 1901 W. Madison St., March 12.