Today, Ayron Jones is not only one of the biggest up-and-coming names in rock music, but he’s one of the biggest names in the genre, period. Over the past year, or so, Jones has rocketed to notoriety with hits that showcase his gravely singing voice and prowess on the electric guitar, with whirling dervish solos.
Jones’ latest single, “Supercharged,” which he released about a month ago, showcases the artist’s sonic power and large abilities, but it also showcases restraint. On the track, which often enlivens audiences (more on that below), Jones doesn’t tear the roof off with a big solo. Instead, it’s all about the scream and shout from his vocal performance.
We caught up with the Seattle-based singer-songwriter, who released his hit LP, Child of the State, this year, to ask him about his latest track, how it hits fans, where it originated from, and how it makes Jones, himself, feel when it’s filling the stage with energy.
American Songwriter: What is the origin story of your newest single, “Supercharged”?
Ayron Jones: That song came to me. It was proposed by the label to work on that song from Nathan Barlow [of Big Machine/John Varvatos Records, which is Jones’ record label]. To me, I didn’t really understand the meaning of the song before I got into it. But when I dove into it, I realized it really does just embody rock ‘n’ roll, man, the spirit of rock ‘n’ roll, which is really awesome to me.
They came to me with the first line and I added the second line. Because, to me, “Supercharged” really was about living in the moment. Living fast, dying hard! Living fast, dying young! Living free, you know?
AS: As you absorbed the song and made it yours, how did you think about the song’s feel and tone? What creative fine line were you walking?
AJ: To me, when I first heard the demo—because, you know, they sent me the demo and I re-recorded it—once I heard the demo, I heard almost British pop-rock. Like, old-school British pop-rock. So, that’s what inspired the feel for the song. I added the second verse and the second verse really was about—to me, rock ‘n’ roll is really about sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll, man. So, for me, that second line was important to add the extra perspective into rock ‘n’ roll. “Supercharged,” for me, just has so much energy, you know?
AS: How do you know when a song is good and how can a song affect the trajectory of an artist when it is?
AJ: You don’t! [Laughs] It’s a crapshoot, you have no idea. You have no idea what songs are going to work or not. But, you know, what I try my best to do is infuse the song with authenticity and a spirit. I think that really is what determines how far a song is going to get, is how authentic an artist can get in their music.
AS: What has it been like to see a single change your life, as some of your prior hits like “Take Me Away” and “Mercy” have?
AJ: Absolutely. It’s insane, man. I started the pandemic as this underground artist all over the country and I came out as, right now, I saw this humbly, but I may be one of the biggest new rock artists in the world right now. I’m No. 1 in Germany, No. 1 in America, top 10 in the U.K. and France. Having had this success, it’s insane. Then I go to these festivals and—you know, yesterday, I played in front of 50,000 people. It was insane. It’s been insane. I’ve got cats waiting out for me outside of airport security, waiting for me outside my hotel.
AS: And you’ve worked so hard for this. I’ve known you for over a decade now, as someone who lives in Seattle, where you’re from, and I always bring this up to you, but I remember when you were playing to half-a-dozen people at small clubs in Seattle. Do you think about that ever, often?
AJ: That’s why I like these interviews with you, man. You’ve been there. You’ve seen when I sat in front of four people at Lucid Jazz Lounge in the U. District, and when I was struggling to sell-out shows in my hometown. The trajectory has been awesome. But more than anything, I hope to inspire other artists from my hometown. It’s easy to get caught in the cycle of Seattle. The city itself is its own market.
You can be big in Seattle and do just fine for the rest of your life, you know? But, like many other artists, I strive for more. I was one of the few to really break out and make it happen the last couple of years. I’m so thankful for that. But more than anything, I want to pour it back into my hometown, to inspire others to get out, too.
AS: You’re well known for being a killer guitarist. But how do you know when to unleash a solo or be more restrained, as you are in “Supercharged”?
AJ: There really isn’t a guitar solo in “Supercharged.” It’s more all about the chant. It’s more about the vocals, more about the vibe of the song itself, know what I mean? So, that’s something you got to really think about, when to open up and when to pull it back. And I think “Supercharged” really called for me to pull it back and really show people my songwriting and singing abilities.
AS: What does it feel like to play such a big song live these days, to real audiences?
AJ: Oh, it’s great. It took us a while to get the groove down because it was brand new. Having not played it live before, it was hard for us to get the groove down. But now that we’ve been on the road for almost a month and a half, the song has come together great. And the response from the crowd is amazing! It’s been incredible man.
AS: What do you love most about the song?
AJ: The energy of the song, I love how it makes people feel. It’s not typically a song that you would see me. It’s not typically a song that I would normally do, honestly. I really didn’t know if it was a song for me. Because it was so outside the realm—I’m from Seattle, man. My music’s dark and depressing [Laughs]. It’s in minor keys with a bunch of organ sounds.
That’s really where I really come from. So, I didn’t really understand the purpose of the song until I really got out and started playing it live and realized that it’s about the way that people feel. Every single time we play that song, people go nuts. They love it and that’s my favorite part about it, that people just get into it and the energy, it brings people alive.