We have a great song to introduce you to …
This song is the perfect song to listen to with friends around a bon fire, or by yourself to reflect on its heartfelt lyrics. And the delicious beat hits you in all the right places.
The song we’re talking about is “I Don’t Drink Whiskey Anymore” by Aaron Pollock.
Aaron Pollock is an incredibly talented singer/songwriter and has been writing for other artists. You may recognize a song that he cowrote for Ben Chase called “All Over It”. That single reached number 1 on the iTunes Country Charts.
“I Don’t Drink Whiskey Anymore” further proves how fantastic he is as a songwriter. About the single, Aaron says “[it’s] about bad habits, and how sometimes they come in a bottle, and sometimes they’re people that shouldn’t be in your life but are anyways.”
About Calgary Country Artist Aaron Pollock
Aaron’s music incorporates pop with a seductive groove that fits in with modern country vibes. He has been nominated for two Song of the Year awards at the 2019 Alberta Country Music Association Awards.
He has shared the stage with some of Canada’s biggest artists including Jann Arden, Brett Kissel, Jocelyn Alice, and Shawn Hook. Aaron was also one of 12 artists selected to participate in the prestigious Alberta-based development competition Project WILD.
We had the chance to connect with Aaron to talk about this new single. We weren’t able to meet with him physically on the Front Porch, so we caught up with him digitally instead. We chatted about everything from this new single, to recording music with JUNO Award winners, and life throughout COVID-19.
Check out the full interview below … but first, have a listen to “I Don’t Drink Whiskey Anymore”
Stream “I Don’t Drink Whiskey Anymore” on Apple Music and Spotify
Interview With Aaron Pollock
Front Porch Music: Aaron, thanks so much for joining us here at Front Porch Music! We’re so happy to have you with us. Why don’t you introduce yourself to our audience? Tell us a bit about yourself … where you’re from, when you got started in music, and a bit about yourself.
Aaron Pollock: Thank you for having me! I was thinking about it, and a front porch would have to be the ideal place to do an interview. I’m going to go ahead and picture being on one to get in the mindset here.
I’m Aaron, and I live in Calgary, AB. Prior to my career as an artist, I actually used to work in politics.
I’ve played and written music my whole life, but never had the guts to truly dedicate myself to it when I was younger. I went to university for political science and philosophy and wound up working in the Alberta Legislature. I met a lot of amazing people there, but was kind of unhappy because I felt my musical aspirations slipping through my fingers.
I left in 2014 and after realizing that my songwriting needed work, started to co-write with whoever I could. Since then, I’ve met a ton of amazing people, learned a lot, and written a whole bunch of songs.
Giving music my all hasn’t been easy, but it’s been worth it and it’s been a hell of a journey.
Front Porch Music: Congrats on your new single “I Don’t Drink Whisky Whiskey Anymore”! It’s a great single that showcases your songwriting and vocals. Tell us the story behind this song … the inspiration and the story behind it.
Aaron Pollock: Thank you so much. The song is a very special one to me so that truly means a lot.
The story behind it is a bit of an interesting one.
I wrote the song with three of my best friends (who also happen to be three of the best songwriters I’ve met), one of whom went through a painful divorce a few years back. A year after it happened, my buddy got an out of nowhere text from his ex recommending a new brand of whiskey she thought he would like.
They’d barely spoken since the divorce and in his taken-abackness, he realized he hadn’t had a drop of whiskey since she’d left (he’d since moved on to wine).
He came to our writing session a few weeks later with the title “I Don’t Drink Whiskey Anymore.”
I quit drinking almost three years ago, so the idea hit home with me. We decided to write a song about bad habits, and how sometimes they come in a bottle, and sometimes they’re people that shouldn’t be in your life but are anyways.
Front Porch Music: You recorded this song with some heavy hitting producers! What’s the recording process like with JUNO Award winners Spencer Cheyne and Justin Kudding?
Aaron Pollock: I approached those boys a few years ago out of immense professional respect, but have been extremely lucky in that we’ve since become really close friends.
The fact that we’re such good buddies at this point makes the recording process so easy and fun. Spencer was a cowriter on the song, and that made him come in with a really strong vision of how it should sound fleshed out.
Justin is one of the most skilled musicians on this entire continent (and likely planet), and having the two of them helping build that vision is a dream come true for a songwriter.
We recorded the song in Invermere, BC, and all stayed together in a cabin for a few days in the dead of January.
The trip was such a great hang, and the session resulted in a super soulful recording that I’m very proud of.
Front Porch Music: In the last while you’ve been making a name for yourself within the industry as a fantastic songwriter. Writing for artists like Mariya Stokes and Ben Chase … do you approach songwriting differently when you know you’re writing a song for yourself?
Aaron Pollock: Thanks! Although it’s pretty challenging at times, I really do love writing songs.
I judge the quality of a song by the strength of the emotional connection it develops with the listener. As long as you’re trying your best to accomplish that somehow, you can write a song in so many different ways.
Every artist (including myself) has their own particular sound and a particular way in which they say things.
As long as you’re staying true to your vision, it’s your job as a songwriter to think outside the box and help create something new.
When I’m writing for myself, the song has to say something that I really emotionally identify with, in a way in which I would say it.
Front Porch Music: What are the top 5 Canadian tracks you’re currently listening to?
1. “Timing is Everything” – Steven Lee Olsen
I remember sitting next to a musical mentor of mine at the CCMA songwriter’s round table in 2018 and hearing Steven play this for the first time. My mentor leaned over to me and whispered something along the lines of “that song’s a hard ten.” He wasn’t wrong.
2. “Hackin’ Darts” – Jade Eagleson
Jade is such a killer singer, and I love the way he honours his old-school country roots while writing super modern-sounding stuff. This song is so funny and so well produced (shout out to Gavin Slate)!
3. “About You” – MacKenzie Porter
The melodies in the song are so beautiful, and it’s so insanely well-written. Hardy is a cowriter on that one, and his songwriting might be some of my favourite in the world right now.
4. “Hurry You” – Leaving Thomas
I write a ton with Annika from Leaving Thomas, and I think she’s probably the best singer/performer I’ve ever worked with. I’m such a fan of all of her work. This song is groovy as hell and always makes me feel great.
5. “When I Meet My Maker” – Tenille Townes
Her whole album is a masterpiece. Every song contains A-level writing, singing, and production, but this one was different. When I listened to it the hairs on my arms stood up. It felt like hearing Creep by Radiohead for the first time.
Front Porch Music: Great song suggestions! Side note … we were crushed when Leaving Thomas took their final bow. They made such great music together. As an artist, what is your biggest piece of advice for young artists looking to make their way in country music in Canada?
Aaron Pollock: Put the craft over absolutely everything. NEVER give up on yourself, and the rest will follow.
Front Porch Music: So true! And finally, have you taken up any new hobbies throughout this pandemic? How have you been keeping yourself busy?
Aaron Pollock:Aaron Pollock:I’ve been working on my cooking skills, and decided to take up running again after a five-year hiatus!
Aside from that I’ve been writing a lot of songs. The lockdown actually gave me a chance to work with some amazing artists from across the country who I likely wouldn’t have connected with otherwise.
Front Porch Music: Looking forward to hearing what came from those sessions! Well, Aaron … thanks so much for virtually joining us on the Front Porch! Congrats again on the release, we can’t wait to hear what’s next for you!
Aaron Pollock: Thank you so much for the awesome questions. I really enjoyed answering them, and hope we can do this on an actual front porch sometime!
Front Porch Music: We look forward to that day!