He’s walked a well-worn path: struggling musician, label malcontent, stage wrecker. Yet the collected gaffes of a frustrated, wayward wanderer have been exceedingly transformative. Aaron Bruno has emerged an artist who, after a grueling search, has finally found his voice.

AWOLNATION looks to continue the momentum with the new album ‘Run’

Despite financial rewards and complete creative freedom—the twin holy grails of the music industry—he finds little comfort in past triumphs. “My biggest fear is letting people down,” says Bruno.

Maybe that’s because Bruno has lost everything. Twice. The wiser version of the man on the couch has gone to great lengths to ensure this will not be a trilogy.

“Any minute my dad was going to pull me aside and ask me what I was going to do with my life,” says Bruno. “My parents were definitely disappointed. I’m sure they were terrified.”

For the first time he realized he might not become the man he set out to be. His rep was in tatters. He had no money and no other plan. “I was 30,” he says. “And what did I have? Nothing.”

Bruno’s hit song “Sail” would become the second-longest-charting song in Billboard Hot 100 history.

Bruno wrote and recorded “Sail” in two hours, in one take. Engineer Kenny Carkeet felt it needed a redo because of some distortion. “Who cares?” replied Bruno. “No one’s gonna care about this song anyway.”

The Bruno before you is pragmatic and thoughtful. Friends say loyalty is a defining quality. He tried the rock-star thing but found himself a better fit. He refrains from lavish purchases…

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