Last year, The Pier slowly started to hear more and more about this group called Aer (pro-nounced Air). They showed up on tours with SOJA & Slightly Stoopid, even covering Slightly Stoopid live. The group is comprised of vocalists David von Mering and Carter Schultz who formed Aer in Wayland, MA. They have their own unique & original contribution of Hip Hop, Reggae, Pop and Indie Rock. On January 21st, 2014, the group released their second full length album with their 12 track self-titled release. You can read The Pier’s review of the album by clicking HERE! & see why it was given a 4 star rating.
The group will be performing at this year’s California Roots Music & Arts festival in May & we thought it was about time we connected with the group for a quick Q&A to further introduce them to The Pier community. No, they’re not roots reggae, they don’t sound like a lot of the reggae bands you may love or grow to love via The Pier, but they have their own unique sound, with reggae as an interesting influence. Check the Q&A below with our very own Andrew McClatchy as he shares a quick exchange with both David & Carter.
The Pier: For all of those who don’t know, who is Aer and what is the Fresh Aer Movement?
Carter: Aer is a group out of Boston, MA. We’re goofy and just doing what we love. The Fresh Aer Movement represents the exact same thing. Be yourself, and enjoy what you do. The Fresh Aer Movement is the FAM, or the Family. We want each and every one of our fans to be involved and feel a part of something. That’s what it is baaaaby.
The Pier: With the release of your self-titled album Aer on January 21, what can fans expect? They have already gotten a taste of the new music with “Wont Laugh” and “Spades, Clubs, and Diamonds” and it feels like a much grittier sound. It kind of strays away from the happy-go-lucky hip hop were used to from you guys.
Carter: Aer is definitely a bit of a deeper album. Not to sound overly profound, but it’s very honest and very straight up. We’re not hiding from our emotions, which in result makes the songs a bit less, “happy go lucky” and a bit more raw. You can expect to hear a new side of us lyrically and instrumentally, but we’re confident that everyone will mess with it.
The Pier: How long did it take to write the album, produce it, and where did all this take place? Why did you decide to self-title it?
Dave:It took about 8 months to a year. We recorded it at my house and at Carter’s house and the self title was something that we just thought fit well with the many different vibes of the tracks on the album. We want to have a lot to offer to the listener.
The Pier: I remember when “School” dropped in 2011 and it was a total stoner anthem – Would you say that this is going back to your roots? How have you guys evolved as musicians since then?
Dave: This album is us going back to our roots but also experimenting with new sounds and trying new things. There are some darker songs, some party anthems, and then just some chill psychedelic stuff.
The Pier: I hear people comparing you guys to Slightly Stoopid or even the Dirty Heads. I find that you guys have success because your unique. What would you say to those comparisons, and how does reggae music have an effect on your sound?
Carter: I’ve always been extremely interested in that scene, and I grew up listening to all of those guys. It has a huge influence on the way I tackle verses and melodies. We wouldn’t say we’re fully associated in that scene, but we love to dabble in it
The Pier: I think “Songbird” is one of my favorite tracks off The Bright Side and in general. I love the melody, the hook and the verses but I feel like there is definitely a message in that song. Is there something specific you are trying to express in that song?
Dave: We had made it for a school project and just decided to put it out on the album cause the vibe of the song just fit really well. I actually didn’t really notice how different the lyrics were until a bit later on tour when I was listening to the masters and we we’re like wait a minute, this song has something special to it. It’s got this weird peaceful trance that it puts you in. It makes you feel really together and glad to be with the people you are with
The Pier: Word of Mouth Tour is going to be pretty epic. How’d you come up with the name for the tour? How did you guys decide to roll with RDGLDGRN on this tour? Anything special planned for the tour or any cities your extra excited about?
Carter: Ooooh you’re so right, the tour is going to be nuts! The name just came from the way we love to gain fans, by word of mouth. It’s the most organic, respectable way to gain notoriety. RDGLDGRN was performing at KahBang in Maine with us, and after seeing their set they solidified themselves on our radar. When we were pulling together the tour, going out with them was a no brainer. For this tour, we’re going to have a full band (bass and drums) in addition to David on guitar. It adds a sexy deep groove to the whole thing. Amped for everyone to hear it because it’s a game changer!
The Pier: You guys mentioned being extremely interested in the reggae-rock scene and while you mentioned you like to dabble in the scene, I see you guys will be dabbling in the California Roots Music & Arts Festival on memorial day weekend in May, playing that Saturday, sharing the stage with Rebelution, Ziggy Marley, Iration etc. How did this festival grow to be on your radar & which bands are you looking forward to seeing perform? Will you be staying the whole weekend?
Dave: I wanna stay the whole weekend for sureee. Bunch of great bands on that lineup.
Carter: When we initially got the offer, I checked out the loose lineup. Right when I saw Ziggy, I got extremely excited. Such an inspiration. Any tour looks coming out of that festival would be huge. I’m just amped to be able to connect and shoot the shit.
The Pier: Going back to the new album, you guys have released 2 professionally produced music videos with the songs “Wont Laugh” & “Says She Loves Me” off the new album. “Wont Laugh” was directed by Tyler Yee & then “Says She Loves Me” was directed by Jakob Owens. How did you guys come to working with each director?
Carter: We thought that the new, different sound of the album required visuals of a matching level. We scoped the internet for days finding potential directors for new videos, and we ended up with those guys. Each work experience was real different, but all in all they captured the songs well.
The Pier: We appreciate the time fellas! I know y’all are busy on the road. We look forward to seeing you at Cali-Roots and having you guys get involved in the Artist Meet & Greets we’ll be hosting! Congrats on the new album & see you at the next live show!
Watch: Aer – “Says She Loves Me”
Watch: Aer – “Wont Laugh”