If you’ve never heard Ayron Jones and The Way (AJ and The Way) before, you’d swear you were listening to a reincarnation of Jimi Hendrix playing guest guitar in Seven Mary Three, featuring background beats by Tupac.
As complicated as that sounds, it’s really not. In fact, this unique sound makes AJ and The Way one of the best bands to come out of Seattle in recent memory. Move over Macklemore, because I’m not kidding.
I had the pleasure of interviewing front man, Ayron (Eh-Rahn) Jones for an advance to the Daily Record, Ellensburg’s daily newspaper. During our conversation, Jones described his musical influences growing up and to no surprise, they contained some of the best musical legends ever.
What is surprising, though, are the range of genres these artist’s inhabited that inspired this Seattle-based musician.
“I’m really into Michael Jackson, Prince and Stevie Wonder,” Ayron Jones told me in a phone interview, as he moved about his kitchen making food for his children. “Also the grunge guys, like Pearl Jam, Nirvana, Mudhoney, also the Presidents of the United States of America.”
Much like Jones and his band-mates, many of their influences originated in Seattle and went on to define a genre they helped create. Having started in 2010, the group began as a three-piece blues rock group which evolved into the hard to pinpoint Seattle sound they’re known for.
“The same thing that’s happening to us is the same way Nirvana was described,” Jones said. “People don’t really know how to define us. We’re throwing all of those pieces together and fusing that Seattle sound.”
That sound is what helped put them on the map. Before they hit popularity in the Seattle area, rapper Sir-Mix-A-Lot discovered them in 2012 and pitted them as “easily the best talent in Seattle right now.”
AJ and The Way have since played alongside Sir-Mix-A-Lot in their sold out album release show for “Dream,” their debut album. The band has also opened for notable music legend B.B. King at the iconic Moore Theatre in Seattle.
“The popularity is just a result and consequence of what you’re trying to do as an artist which is to touch people and reach people on a massive scale,” Jones said. “Its been pretty great.”
You can catch Ayron Jones and The Way this Friday at the Student Union and Recreation Center (SURC) Pit at 8 p.m. on the CWU campus. Somehow the show is free, which should come as a pleasant surprise considering the gravity of such a performance.
Come see what all the buzz is about, and don’t forget to bring your ear plugs if you don’t like it loud.
Cause it’s gonna get loud.
Listen to their music at http://www.ajandtheway.com/ for a sneak peek.