AMA: “What does your family think of your music and career?” -Rochelle

Hi Aaron!

What does your family think of your music and career?


Hi Rochelle – I’m assuming you mean my wife and kids, and maybe my parents and siblings?

Ok, here goes…

My wife Heidi is the one who believes in me most. Whenever I’m doubting myself, she helps bring me back. I wouldn’t be doing this without her.

My kids wish I played faster music. They tease me that my music is sad and slow. I laugh and mostly agree with them, but joke back that my music pays for their video games.

My oldest sister Erica teaches English in Korea. She put one of my songs in her slide presentation and showed me. That made me smile.

My next oldest sister Ingrid used to host house concerts for me when she lived California. Had her friends not shown up, nobody would have attended!

My youngest sister Greta (I’m the 3rd child) asked me to sing in her wedding in 2009. It’s one of my biggest regrets that I said no. I wasn’t in a good place mentally, but still. (One silver lining: After that, whenever someone asked me to sing in their wedding, I said, “Sorry, I didn’t even sing in my sister’s wedding!”)

My mom has been there since the start. She’ll always tell me she likes a song whenever it comes out. It seems the only time she said she didn’t like a song was when I played “Hey Joe” by Jimi Hendrix at the county fair in high school. There’s a line that says, “I’m going down to shoot my old lady, you know I caught her messin’ round with another man…” and she didn’t think that was very nice.

My dad kept his thoughts to himself about my music for a long time. Later in life he apologized. He said he was worried I’d get a big head. I understood. Honestly, though, he supported me by unlocking the church doors (yeah, our family had keys to the church) so I could practice my guitar through the sound system. He kept the refrigerator stocked with Mountain Dew for when I recorded in the basement. And when I began touring, he always bailed me out when my car broke down.

Like I said at the beginning, I’m blessed. Not once has any family member made me feel ashamed to be doing what I’m doing. I try not to take that for granted.

Thanks for the question, Rochelle!


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