Take a healthy dose of classic Simon & Garfunkel, add in a touch of more modern artists such as James Blunt and Oasis, and you get Good As New, the new CD from L.A. transplant Aiden Moore. The album was just released and is starting to draw accolades for the acoustic-based singer/songwriter.
Aiden came to this area in 2010 because of his “day job,” which is to play bass in the Broadway show Spiderman. Although the show hasn’t official opened, the previews have been selling out and the show has gotten massive publicity, as much for the accidents that have hampered the production as the show itself. In addition to his duties on the Broadway stage, Aiden also plays in the band Carney, which is helmed by Reeves Carney, the star of the Spiderman show.
“It was an unusual transplant for me because I moved out here for work on the Broadway show, where there are tons of very talented musicians,” Aiden says. “At first I felt really unsettled. But now I feel the contacts that I’m making out here are equally viable as those out in L.A. I’m hoping that New York will be a good launching point for my solo thing. We’ll have to see what happens.”
Aiden started working on his own material several years ago and posting it on MySpace. It didn’t take long for people to start asking him about the songs, and a number of them ended up being used on other people’s profiles. “That was when MySpace was actually cool,” he laughs. “The songs are from my experiences as much as possible, and as honest as possible. I like it when you feel someone’s being honest with you. I don’t usually talk too much about the literal meaning of songs. I like that songs can be interpreted different ways. If you hear something in it, it probably is from an actual moment.”
The music has a great deal of textures to it, with some extremely adept finger picking, and percussion that infuses a mood into the music, as opposed to a more standard drum beat. That most likely stems from Aiden’s eclectic influences, which range from Nick Drake and Iron & Wine to Bob Dylan. While other artists have influenced him, it’s mostly acoustic-driven music that has affected his writing and production.
“I had a lot of creative ideas that ended up on the album,” Aiden relates. “A friend of mine named Mike Castonguay ended up producing, and is actually responsible for it happening. When I met Mike I was working with an artist named Jake Coco. I was playing on it, and when I met him I picked up one of Jake’s acoustic guitars and played Mike a song. He was very encouraging, and he said if there was a time that we both had off, we’d record something together.”
Aiden played a few solo shows in the old stomping grounds of Carney, especially a somewhat infamous place called Molly Malone’s. But he‘s looking forward to the opportunity to start playing around this area. “I want to be doing stuff around here as soon as possible. I want to be playing to support the album. Ideally, once the show us open and settled in, I’ll be doing regional gigs around the area.”
Aiden’s music lends itself to playing solo, but he can perform with a duo partner or with a full six-piece band. “It comes down to who wants to do it and who’s available when I have a gig,” he says. “One of my favorite aspects of a song, or songwriting, is that when someone writes a song you can strip that down to just a voice and acoustic guitar and the song still stands up. I can’t say my songs are like that, but that’s what I strive for. I’m not opposed to playing gigs just me, but I think it‘s more exciting and visceral when you have other people.”
“That’s one thing that makes me sad about the album that I would change, especially being in Carney and being in a band. Something magical happens when you play with musicians night after night. There’s a communication that reaches a whole other level, I think it would have been cool. It’s something I look forward to in the future.”
A standout track on the album is “North Star,” which has gotten a strong response from a lot of people. And while he doesn’t want it to sound like he’s tooting his own horn, Aiden considers it a great compliment that so many different people have different favorites from the CD. He likes the fact that different people connect with different songs.
“Good As New,” in some ways is a look into Aiden’s outlook on life in general. “It’s hard to name an album, the same way it’s hard to name a band,” he muses. “It’s something you’re stuck with. You want it to, in some way, represent what it’s about. I felt that ‘Good As New’ was one of the songs that represented it. There‘s a side of me that’s an optimistic person, in the sense that you go through things in life, the difficult times, they grow you. It’s hard to say that without involving my faith as a Christian. In light of that, the theme of my music and my life is the sense of overcoming whatever it is I’m overcoming in my life, or whatever other people are overcoming.”
Aiden’s solo career right now is part of an extremely hectic schedule. “I got some good advice at one time,” he says. “Don’t quit your day job unless you have another job lined up! That applies to me because I have a lot going on right now with Spiderman and with Carney. I hope to eventually find a way to balance those things. I’d like to tour with Carney, and to eventually tour with my own music. I’ve never done this before. Depending on how people react to it will shape what happens. Hopefully people like it.”
You can check out Aiden and the new album at myspace.com/aidenmoore and cdbaby.com/aidenmoore.