In this edition of On Rotation, we spoke with the one and only Aaron Jaws Homoki. Known for jumping off jaw-dropping heights in skateboarding, Jaws lets us in on what he has playing through his headphones. To our surprise, Jaws is a big fan of techno and house music. Learn where it all started from to Jaw’s latest rave adventure in his interview below.
What’s your favorite type of music?
My favorite type of music I like to listen to these days I’ve been listening to since I was a kid is just straight techno. I love techno and house music.
Who introduced you to techno and house music? How did you get into techno and house music?
My uncle David was into it and what really sparked it off was the Mortal Kombat soundtrack. When I was a little kid, my mom bought us that CD because we loved the movie so much and on that CD there is this one track, that’s by Orbital its called Halcyon On And On and it’s this nine-minute epic techno trance type song that’s one of my favorite songs. I still listen to it all the time. So it’s pretty much my uncle David and the Mortal Kombat soundtrack; that’s where it all started.
Did you have a lot of friends growing up who were into that same type of music?
Yeah so my brother and I, we were into it, and we kind of had a few friends that were into it. We figured out what raves were and I think my first rave or warehouse party was when I was like 16 or 17, and then after that, I was just like ‘this is the best shit ever!’ (laughs).
That’s so rad. I’ve been to one rave back in 2013, and it was insane. I can’t imagine what the very first warehouse parties were like.
Yeah, these were more like underground warehouse party type vibes, and I just fell in love with the energy of it like how the music doesn’t stop, and it’s going all night, and positive vibes and everyone is dancing all the time. It’s not like a punk show, which I’m down with that too, like getting in the mosh pit is so fun. I’ve been to a few punk shows back in the day, but the energy of being with a group of people that are dancing and feeling the music, I really fell in love with that whole energy.
Do you have any memorable raves that stand out from the rest?
The first one that I fell in love with is this band called The Bloody Beetroots, and they were kind of a live show. So they had the keyboard up there and a live drummer as well, and they would just kill it so hard. That was one show that I really liked, and just recently I went on this cruise called The Friendship. This dude, Destructo (aka Gary Richards) he throws these events, and it’s a five-day cruise, and the whole time on the cruise, there’s like stages set up everywhere and its all just dance music, techno, house. Then you go on this little island, and they have stages there on the island and dude you’re just out there vibe-ing. So yeah, it’s a five-day rave cruise, and that was amazing.
I just saw a clip of that on your Instagram and noticed it was recent.
Yeah, it was in January 2020 right before all the COVID stuff hit, and so luckily, I got to go on that and I’m going to go on that every year from now on it was the sickest thing I’ve been to in a very long time.
Where did the cruise start and stop?
So we took off from Florida, and I think we were pretty much in the Bahamas and went to this private island. It’s actually neighboring the island where that Fyre Festival that never happened. I went by myself too, which was awesome because I didn’t have to babysit anyone. I just went solo dolo and I was just walking around meeting new people and hanging out with a couple of the DJs. It was rad. I had to experience just alone first before I can go back and be like ‘alright my friends, you guys need to go on this next year.
Any artist you’d like to watch perform that you haven’t in the future?
The ultimate would be going to see the Chemical Brothers. I have never seen one of their shows, and it would just be amazing to go see them. Daft Punk if they ever play a show again and then there are a few others but mainly the Chemical Brothers that the next big show that I want to go to.
You’re the first person I’ve interviewed so far that gets hyped up on techno. That’s rad!
Dude, I’ve loved it since I was a little kid, and I think it really plays a role in my skating. I do like to go to the skatepark, and I put on a mix that’s a two-hour long mix, and it’s a beat that just going on in your head consistently and keeps me flowing and the energy level high inside me. If I’m having a little bit of an off day, I’ll just throw in the headphones, put on a mix that I like, and kind of get more in the flow of skating rather then getting stuck on a single trick or something. It helps me flow a little bit better when I skate. And if I’m trying a gnarly trick that I’m pretty scared of or something, I’ll throw on a song that I’m feeling at that time and put it on repeat and just go off that song. You know with a techno song, it builds up, drops, and kind of stops, and then it’s a heavier build-up and a heavier drop. So I’ll like to wait until that build-up is going and right as the drop goes in my headphones I just go and feed off that vibe.
Are you mostly playing music through headphones or do you play on a speaker?
Usually, my headphones because honestly, not a lot of people like the techno, so I’m not trying to blast out the session with people who aren’t into the music. Sometimes, if the vibe is right and I’m with a crew that’s down, I’ll be like ‘let’s bring the speaker!’ but yeah, usually it’s through the headphones and not trying to blow out the session the techno music.
So on tours, while traveling in a van, do you ever get handed the aux cord?
(laughs) It depends on who’s van I’m in. The Birdhouse van they’ve grown to like some of the stuff that I’ll play and they’ll toss me the aux cord every once in a while and jam out for a little bit. My friend Dakota Servold—who rides for Foundation—I’ll go on these Tum Yeto missions, and every once in a while, he’ll toss me the aux cord and play some more mellow techno, and they dig it sometimes.
Anyone else in the van that has influenced your music taste?
Dude, Leo Romero has an insane folk, not necessarily country but more like folk or blues type playlist that he’s always playing. I’ll be Shazaming songs from his left and right (laughs).
Talking about folk music, how did you get into playing the mouth harp?
Well, one day I was bored as hell, and I thought beatboxing was really cool. So I was looking on YouTube, and I typed in techno beatboxing, and a video popped up, and it was this dude playing the mouth harp like it was techno. I was like ‘ho-ly sh-it.’ I need one of those!’ At the time, I had a rolled ankle, so I couldn’t skate and I just went online and looked on Amazon and just ordered a harp and that’s pretty much it.
I totally thought you playing the mouth harp was inspired by folk music and not techno.
A lot of other people do play it with folk-type music. Every once in awhile, Leo plays on his acoustic guitar and I’ll sit next to him and jam out.
Do you play with anyone who has a techno style?
I got my friend Westly he goes by Paul West on Soundcloud he lives a stone’s throw away from my house. He has a studio set up and has some 303 synths and a drum pad and stuff. He’ll make a little beat and record my harp into it. He’ll mess with the sound of the harp to make it sound more sharp or make it sound sicker, I guess.
I also started a little side project with my friend Ross who goes by Dross, and we started a little thing called Acid Mouth. He’ll be playing the synthesizers and the drum pad, and I’ll just go on my harp. We’ve played one live show together, and it was a blast. He lives in Chicago, and I live in [Arizona] Phoenix, so we’ll send each other samples and we’ll mash it together and make a little track out of it. It’s quite fun.
Is Acid Mouth available on any music platform?
I think we have a Soundcloud. He runs it all, but mostly it’s pretty hidden music. The only thing we released was we made ten tapes like little cassette tapes that you have to put into a Walkman. We made it really hard for people to listen to(laughs), but that’s what makes it super cool.
Any skate videos that had an impact on your music taste?
Menikamti they had some cool music in there. I can’t necessarily name any tracks out of it, but I remember I liked Eric Koston’s song in that. Also the Flip Sorry video I loved all the music in that. The intro song I Wanna Be Your Dog by The Stooges and then Ali Boulala’s part had Grey Matter and Alex Chalmer’s song Let’s Go Get Cokes I remember that one too.
How much control or say did you have in your past video parts for song choice?
I usually leave it up to the editor because I trust the editor with whatever they’re feeling, and they’re the ones putting together the footage. If they have a song that sounds right and I’ll be down with that.
The one video that I really choose and made sure I used was for my Push Project part. That was with Jared Lucas, who was editing it and we had nine months to film it. I remember getting in the van with him, and we went to Northern Arizona, and I played this song by the Chemical Brothers called Escape Velocity, and Jared was like ‘Aaron, do you want to use this song?’ and I was like ‘Fuck yes I do!’ that was the jam I was playing a lot on that trip in particular. So we used a Chemical Brothers song, and I was very stoked to use that song.
If you had all rights reserved for any song for a part, what would you use?
Daft Punk’s Digital Love. But there’s no way in hell we could ever get the rights it probably cost a billion dollars. Maybe one day I’ll be able to meet them or something and be like ‘hey, you want to throw me this song?’ (laughs)
I’ll end it on a fun note, do you hop on the karaoke mic and what’s your go-to song?
Whenever the beers are flowing, then the Karaoke is going and that song ‘I wish you would step back from that ledge my friend’ Jumper! [by Third Eye Blind] That’s the song.
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