After nearly disbanding during the recording of their latest release, Stop the World, Aranda is now doing better than ever before heading into the end of 2012; the band’s single, “Satisfied” peaked in the top 15 of the U.S. Active Rock Chart, the guys signed onto Wind-Up Records earlier this fall, and most importantly, singer/guitarist Dameon Aranda was able to overcome his addiction struggles that at one time had plagued the band.
For the new record, Aranda worked with acclaimed music producer and engineer, Johnny K (Disturbed, Adelitas Way, 3 Doors Down). And oddly enough, it was actually Johnny K that sought out Aranda about collaborating with the group. “He literally contacted us about working with us,” said Dameon Aranda, when recently talking with Alternative Addiction. “We didn’t really seek him out because we figured he’s Johnny K and he’s unaffordable. But he had asked the members of Halestorm who their favorite band was and who he should be looking at; and it was awesome because they told him he had to check out Aranda. So they put in a plug and via facebook Johnny got a hold of my brother, Gabe, and said he wanted to meet us and maybe try to help us out a little bit.”
During their first meeting with Johnny K, the band immediately connected with the producer and together they wrote the song, “Love Hitchhiker,” which eventually made the final cut for the album. “We hit it off so well at the beginning it was incredible. That’s actually where the first song we wrote for Stop the World, ‘Love Hitchhiker,’ was recorded. We sat up one night and bounced lyric ideas off of each other; literally we were laughing throughout the whole process of writing that song. I think we were just having so much fun with each other that it was kind of infectious. You can even hear it in the lyrics of the song; it’s just so funny and none of it really even makes sense. It was like a bunch of kids getting in there and writing a song so it was a lot of fun.”
But about a month into recording, the band was forced to go on a temporary hiatus while Dameon received help for his addiction issues. Fortunately, the singer was successful in his attempt to get clean and the band was able to move forward with the completion of the record upon his return to the group. Re-energized and excited to be back in the studio as a complete unit, Aranda then put together what Dameon described as their most focused and heaviest sounding effort to date. “I think it’s our most focused effort. When I say that I mean we were really all over the place stylistically; we love funk, blues, rock, and all that kind of stuff. But Johnny was telling us we had to hone it in a little bit so people could understand where we were coming from. So we went for a harder rock album and it’s really just a straight forward rock album…each record that you do is always special to you because it’s a different kind of thing but as far as Stop the World goes, it think it’s a good record but I honestly think we still have better in us.”
Following the success of the album’s second single, “Satisfied,” Aranda began to draw attention from labels and even turned down multiple offers before signing with Wind-Up Records in September. “I think they really just got who we were more than anybody else. It was just the right situation because I think we swore to ourselves after our last label that we would never sign another deal again. But the people at Wind-Up were almost like family; it’s a little bit smaller company so you get a little more attention and we feel like we already know everybody there…forget the financial stuff, it was more just the commitment level of where they want to take the band and what they want to do; and they’re already showing us right now they’re ready to take all the steps and actually give us a legitimate shot of having a career.”
From almost disbanding to having a top 15 single, it’s safe to say Aranda has come a long way since the recording of Stop the World in 2010. And as Dameon explained, he makes sure never to take any of the band’s success for granted; “I’m just thankful that we are blessed enough to be able to make music for a living. There are so many people out in this world that do things they don’t want to because they have to; I’ve been there. I’ve had to do so many things that I didn’t want to but for the sake of my family or for the sake of just eating, I had to do that. But God has blessed us with the opportunity to be able to make music, hang out with each other, and spend time with our fans…just doing something you love to do, there’s nothing like it. I wake up everyday and I’m thankful for my life, thankful for my family, and thankful that we’re able to do this.”
Aranda recently wrapped up a tour with Theory of a Deadman and is now looking to make plans to get back out on the road soon. The band is also hoping to select the track, “One More Lie” as their next single and a video for the song could be in the works as well.