On May 14, 2019, pop-rock duo Aly & AJ will perform tracks from their new EP, “Ten Years,” along with some of their classic hits at the Wellmont Theater. After a decade-long hiatus, the musical duo will bring tracks such as “Churches,” “Don’t Go Changing” and “Potential Breakup Song” to Montclair, New Jersey. Assistant Entertainment Editor Sharif Hasan interviewed the sisters to discuss their return to their music scene and other projects they are involved with.
Q: Your singles, “Churches” and “Don’t Go Changing,” have a very unique sound compared to your older music. How has your song writing process changed over the years?
A: AJ and I started to drift away from making pop-rock music. That was very much a sound of the early 2000s, but we felt like we needed to tap into a different sound that made sense for where we are now in our lives. That inspiration came from the music of the 80s.
Q: Where did you draw inspiration from for your new EP “Sanctuary?”
A: There wasn’t anything specific that inspired this new EP, but the theme of “Sanctuary” came very easily to us. This collection of five songs isn’t as relationship based as “Ten Years” was. It’s more self reflective. We touch on many different subject matters such as rebirth, depression and self-worth.
Q: How does it feel to be back in the spotlight after your 10-year hiatus?
A: It feels incredible, almost like a rebirth of some sorts. We feel very blessed to know that our fans have followed us for this long and are not only interested in us playing the old tunes live, but the new ones as well.
Q: Has the music industry changed at all since you left?
A: Oh, big time. Streaming and YouTube didn’t even exist when we put out our first album. The way music is consumed now is completely different. It’s not nearly as profitable for artists, now that CD sales aren’t really a thing anymore. Most artists survive off of meet-and-greets, touring and branding opportunities now.
Q (TO ALY): “iZombie” is in its fifth and final season. What did you most enjoy about being a part of the show? Did you learn anything from playing Peyton?
A (ALY): I feel very lucky to have the friendships that were created from this show. We all started out as strangers and now we’ve made these lifelong relationships over five years. Peyton is such a loyal friend to Liv, and I think that’s one of her greatest qualities. Hopefully some of that has rubbed off on me.
Q (TO AJ): “Schooled” is the new ABC spinoff of “The Goldbergs.” What was it like transitioning to another show?
A (AJ): It’s been really fun to go from one show to another with a lot of the same people I know and love. The writers are so talented and they just know how to write for us actors now. I feel really comfortable playing Lainey, and to be able to continue telling her story is really special.
Q (TO AJ): How does it feel playing Lainey in a different time period?
A (AJ): I love it. The 90s were my thing. I think Lainey is best suited in this era. Seeing her in this era as a teacher just feels right. She still manages to be a rebel in the work space, but this time it’s rebelling in support of her students.
Q: Looking back, are there any songs in particular that you are most proud of? Are there any songs you wish you could change?
A: We’re very proud of the past records we made, regardless of the changes we would give them now. If anything, we especially look back on our melodies with a certain fondness. I think we’d probably change some lyrics and production now looking back on it, but we’re still very proud of “Potential Breakup Song” and the life it’s had since we first released it.
Be sure to catch Aly & AJ at the Wellmont Theater on Tuesday, May 14. Doors open at 7 p.m. and the show will start at 8 p.m. Ticket prices for general admission are $26.50 and are available for purchase on the Wellmont Theater website.