Interview – Jamie Robb Gibson (Aversion Theory)

Aversion Theory

So tell us your story. Where did you grow up? What made you decide to become an artist?

I grew up in Pennsylvania. I was born in Wilkes Barre, PA.  At the age of five I moved to Hershey and I’ve lived here ever since and I love it. It’s a small town but it’s where I call home.

I guess at an early age I decided that I wanted to become a musician, because I loved music so much. There were so many times that I would come home from school, go to my room and put on an album and then I would air guitar, air drum and lip sync in front of the mirror, and basically pretend that I was performing for a crowd.

How did you come up with that name? What was your inspiration behind it?

The name Aversion Theory is taken from my old band Suture Seven’s first album, it was entitled Aversion, and I intended to call the project Aversion, but I did some research and found out that there was another band that already had that name.  I really liked the name but I had to come up with something to go with it, so I threw around a lot of names to go with it and finally came up with Theory thus Aversion Theory was born in April 2014.

Do you ever make mistakes during performances? How do you handle that?

I think every artist has made a mistake while performing; if not then that’s quite odd. I was the vocalist for Suture Seven, and a few times there were some mishaps like forgetting the lyrics during a song or dropping the microphone. And being the drummer of Death Machine there were some mishaps while drumming dropping your stick having to grab for another one or breaking a stick and having to grab for another one or just losing the beat a little bit. The bottom line is that you have to keep going; you can’t stop. I was told you have to just work through it keep performing and you know everything should fall back into place eventually or hopefully.

Do you tour? Anything interesting happen on tour that you think our readers would enjoy hearing about?

I have never toured extensively. I’ve played a lot of shows with both Suture Seven and Death Machine, but they were usually just traveling to the show and traveling back and nothing really out of the ordinary; just your average rock and roll experiences. I have as yet not played any live shows as Aversion Theory, but I hope to rectify that in the near future.

Where do you usually gather songwriting inspiration? What is your usual songwriting process?

I usually get my inspiration for my songs when I’m out and about walking my dogs, or just taking a walk. I get ideas in my head as I’m out there, it’s peaceful and quiet and I usually get a melody in my head and then add the lyrics and vocals to it. But the important thing is when I get home I record it right away, because a lot of times, more than once, I’ve had ideas in my head that I thought were great, but when I got home I didn’t do anything right away and then later on they had disappeared right out of my head. As far as how I go about my songwriting, I work on the music first. I do the drums, the guitar, the bass, the synth, and any sounds. I work on that and get that done first then I go back and I write the lyrics and add the vocals, so I usually work my vocals around the music and I know a lot of people do it the other way but I feel more comfortable doing it this way.

If you could perform anywhere and with any artists (Dead or Alive) where and who would it be with? Why?

That is a really tough question. There are so many artists that have been around that I would love to perform with. My favorite band of all time is Cheap Trick and I got to meet them once. They’re great guys and I would love nothing more than to perform with them. But I would also love to perform with Nine Inch Nails. I believe they are one of the greatest bands of all time. And it would have to be at Wembley Stadium because I would like to play a super big venue.

When was the first time that you can remember feeling the impulse to become a musician?

Like I said earlier, I basically had the impulse to become a musician at an early age. I love the music and listening to so many different albums and different styles of music. I think it was my destiny to become a musician.

What moment/person/piece/etc. served as the catalyst for your starting down the path of a practicing musician?

There’s so many answers to that question! I think just listening to so many different albums. I remember my one friend putting on a John Cougar album, and it was the song “I need a lover that won’t drive me crazy” and I thought to myself, “man, this is what I want to do. I want to do what he’s doing!”

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You can check out Aversion Theory‘s music on Spotify, Bandcamp, iTunes, Amazon + 200 other digital music outlets courtesy of Halo Askew Entertainment.  For more info, www.HaloAskewEnt.com

2018 – The Year of Buzz

We're thankful for all the organizations that help us spread the word this year

Reflecting back on 2018, there’s so much to be thankful for; so many people to be thankful for.  But to understand 2018, I really have to give credit where it’s due.  A few years ago, before I made Halo Askew a “legit” business, I adopted a couple philosophies from someone who’s made himself accessible to ask advice from:

1.   D.T.O. – Do The Opposite (but be smart about it).
2.  Always have something else to sell.
3.  Find someone who is more successful than yourself and ask them what they need.
4.  Always say yes.

Martin Atkins (PiL, Nine Inch Nails, Pigface)

Granted, I probably apply these ideas slightly outside of his normal context, but I don’t think he’d disagree that my application isn’t off base.  My personal music preferences usually lie in the Industrial category, but most of the buzz I have comes from Euro-Pop love songs.  Also, I don’t use social media for calls-to-action or to perpetuate a “persona”; I use it for everyday life (which drives my manager absolutely bonkers).  I never invested in a lot of merch (I stopped printing CD’s and now provide USB bracelets).  My highest selling product: Me!  My “something else” is providing audio technician and engineering services for large format events and productions (I’m a proud member of IATSE – the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees).  And then for the last three years, I teamed up with Kim Cameron (who definitely fits under #3) and no matter what music-related service she needs, I say yes.   I consider DJing to be my “weakest link,” but when Kim offers me a stage, I say yes.  When she asks for a conventional Ragga track, I say yes.  When the shop foreman at Sound Associates asks if I can build a keyboard summing solution or a theatrical reading audio reinforcement system, I say yes. (It never fails that I find out it’s a high-profile gig after-the-fact).

Ok.  I’ll be honest.  I felt I needed that intro because of how many times, THIS YEAR ALONE, I’ve had to defend my business decisions to people who really thought I’m doing things “wrong” and I kinda realized that maybe I had done a piss poor job at connecting the dots in a more obvious way.  Here we go.  Hope that helps. 

Highlights of 2018

It sounds a little ridiculous, but I had some amazeballs gigs this year.

I headed up and mixed a theatrical reading of an upcoming jukebox musical by Britney Spears.  I was hired by David Weiser (Weisersound) to assist in providing keyboard support for Universal/NBC‘s Emmy Award Winning, Grammy Nominated “Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert.”  The super-sexy, super-swank, Cirque du Soleil-owned venue, Heart Ibiza, plastered my name (literally) all over Ibiza Town, Spain, and hosted Kim Cameron, myself, and Rocky On Percussion on their dope stage as special guests of the Ibiza Burlesque Festival.  Oh, and I was the Audio Assistant for Gettin’ The Band Back Together on Broadway.

Three tracks I produced this year (and their music videos) were given recognition by the Global Music Awards, the Latitude Film Awards, the European Independent Film Awards, and the Orlando Film Festival, while around sixteen international, independent film associations, including the Forwardian Film Society, honored Scumbag by Mars Roberge; a film that included my track with Elaine Benavides, Liquid Bluez.  There’s nothing that makes an eyeball bulge a little more than seeing your show supported by Pete fucking Tong‘s International Music Summit (sit in on a Skype call with Deadmau5 and his and Calvin Harris‘s manager: check).  Then there was that cool interview with Italy’s leading Lifestyle publication, Livein Style Magazine.

Against all odds, and with the help of my newly hired (and fellow CRAS grad) assistant, Lauren Neidenberg, I was able to DJ and perform at the Amsterdam Dance Event, Netherlands, hosted by Kashmir Lounge DJ Cafe.  At that show, I debuted Drive With Me (To The Edge of Space), an eccentric track, with eccentric remixes, with two of the women that I’ve worked with since we were in diapers, Wendi Hughes and Elaine Benavides, which went on to rank #25 in the Top 100 Progressive House charts at Beatport.  

The biggest music distributor in China, TenCent, picked up a couple, super weird Ambient tracks and placed them at five Chinese record labels, a major theme park placed a track in one of their halloween themed attractions, and I’m ending 2018 with a newly signed band, Ten Cent Toys, hired for another Universal/NBC live in concert production, and producing music for an upcoming animated children’s feature film (there’s rumor of voice over action on this one).  

And now, is that stupid call-to-action that I hate so much:

Does following a guy who works in professional entertainment AND talks about his step-kids, science experiments, and awesome lamb-chop recipes sound like something you’d be ok with?  

Follow my personal Facebook: @haloaskew.  

Do you like Industrial, House, Ambient, and Euro-Pop songs?

Please follow me on Spotify: Kris “Halo” Pierce or, if you’re feeling adventurous, check out my playlist, Halo Askew Entertainment, for a few hundred hours of music that I’m proud to a part of.