Billboard Hot 100 Fest
BottleRock 2015: Awolnation Made New Album for Core Fans, Not Pop Crossover Audience
When Awolnation mastermind Aaron Bruno sat down with Billboard at BottleRock 2015, the genre-bending artist explained his mindset while constructing the group's second album, Run.
While he remains blown away by the crossover success of "Sail" -- which peaked at No. 17 on the Hot 100 -- he made sure to keep Awolnation's new music targeted toward the longtime fans, not just the ones who casually enjoy their hit song.
"This is the first time I made a follow-up [album] with any anticipation," Bruno tells Billboard of Run. "It was a pretty overwhelming feeling to know that there would be millions of people that were gonna actually hear it. With the first record, no one reviewed it because no one cared about it at first, and then it slowly grew and grew and got bigger and bigger.
"There was a lot of pressure, I guess, to make sure that I gave back to our core fanbase -- the people who believed in us at the beginning -- and not just the folks that got into 'Sail' at the end when it crossed over into the mainstream and kind of infiltrated the pop world, which I never thought would happen."
Bruno also explains that prior to taking the stage, he prefers silence to shots. "I like to be alone before we play, as much as I can. As far as having people around and all the chaos that is usually surrounding our touring life, I like to get away from that. I enjoy just being alone and reflecting on the journey a little bit and all the ups and downs it took to get here."
Watch the full interview above and check out Billboard's day 3 recap from Napa Valley's BottleRock here.