“PEOPLE AREN’T ALWAYS SURE WHAT TO THINK OF ME,” ADMITS ARIS, A YOUNG, OUT ROCKER WHO HAS CALLED BROOKLYN HOME HIS WHOLE LIFE. HE WALKS TO THE BEAT OF HIS OWN DRUM AND OFTEN RALLIES AGAINST STEREOTYPES. “I’VE HAD LONG HAIR AND A BEARD FOR A LONG TIME, BEFORE IT WAS TRENDY,” HE LAUGHS.
His new album, “Twilight Revival,” was inspired by the tragic loss of his mother during Hurricane Sandy. Beginning with its first release, “Twilight,” a song that celebrates music and its power to lift people out of dark times and reignite a fire in their hearts, the album reflects Aris’ personal journey toward healing. Two variations of the title track are being released simultaneously: a rock and an EDM version. Both comprise the artist’s gritty vocals and minor key refrains, and both exude the drive-for-life passion the young artist is becoming known for. He will perform tracks from his album at Rock Bar on Friday, March 21, and at the GLBT Expo on Sunday, March 23.
Is there a gay sub species more rare than the gay grunge rocker?
There are more of us out there than you might think, although we’re often elusive and misunderstood. There used to be a belief that you couldn’t be out and rock out at the same time. I like challenging that notion. Rock has always brought out sexual fluidity in men – Freddy Mercury, David Bowie, even Kurt Cobain have spoken openly about their experiences with men.
Does your uniqueness help you score dates?
A lot of men find long hair sexy. I definitely find long hair sexy, especially on guys like Jared Leto and Brad Pitt. Most people I’ve dated get mad at me when I cut my hair or tie it back. Maybe because it’s wild or somewhat different? It certainly stands out in a sea of fauxhawks and fades.
What attracts you to rock?
I love electric guitars and hard hitting drums. I also love the space singer-songwriters carve out in the rock genre. It’s raw and powerful, and often dark and sexy. Rock has such an interesting history, with roots in soul music, which I’m also very drawn to. I was inspired during my childhood by the music my mother listened to, which included a lot of rock from the ‘50s, ‘60s and ‘70s. My teenage years were heavily influenced by the ‘90s rock movement. There is real power and honesty in the rebellious nature of rock.
Tell us about your new single, “Twilight.”
It is all about the power of music to lift us out of the darkness. It’s about celebrating life and moving forward with intention.
How does the song compare with the rest of the album?
“Twilight Revival” is very diverse sonically. It’s a mix of EDM, rock, pop, soul and folk. Without darkness, there can be no light. I wanted to explore that on the record. It carries forth the themes of celebrating life, finding rebirth and rejuvenation, and rising from the ashes.
You’re performing the only gay rock bar in town, Rock Bar. For the uninitiated, what does one wear to Rock Bar?
To quote Kurt Cobain: “Come as you are.” Be yourself. Celebrate your own personal truths and identity, and be ready to have
a great time. I’ll be playing a variety of originals and covers. Bring some friends, have some drinks and break dawn on the dance floor with us.
Do we have to worry we’ll be swept into a mosh pit or anything?
In a crowd full of sexy, scruffy guys, you may very well be swept up into a mosh pit, but since it’s a gay club, it’ll be more of a posh pit.
Aris performs Rock Bar
(185 Christopher Street)
Friday, March 21@ 10 p.m.
and The Jacob Javitz Center on
Sunday, March 23 @ 2 p.m., part
of the GLBT Expo. For more info,