“Dameon and I have always had a stronger bond than most brothers,” says Gabe Aranda. He and Dameon spent much of their childhood constantly moving from place to place, which helped knit a tight relationship. “When you have just that one person who is a constant, it brings you much closer.”
From the very beginning, music was an important part of the way the two related to each other. As little brothers often do, Gabe always wanted to be a part of what Dameon was doing, and since Dameon was into music, naturally Gabe was too. “Dameon infected me with music,” he says. “I was all boy – I wanted to be outside in the dirt. Dameon just wanted to be inside with his record player. Literally, as a four-year-old. He loved the Beatles. He would recruit me into singing Beatles songs with him, somehow working out parts even at that young age. I would do Paul’s part and he would do John’s part. We didn’t know they were harmonies; we just knew that it worked.”
Because of their friendship, any sibling rivalry that cropped up sparked only healthy competition between them. Over the years, they’ve whittled each others’ talent into diverse but complementary skill sets. “We made each other better by having that competitive spirit, especially as we got involved in music,” Gabe said. “We don’t think about who’s the better singer. We think about who is going to sound better on this part, whether this song is screaming for a wailer, a rock singer, or a more soulful voice.”
The brothers didn’t waste any time – Dameon says that every time he learned a few new chords, he would use them to write a song. The two also always worked hard at developing their on-stage energy and antics. “I never wanted anybody to think I was average,” Dameon says. “Gabe and I are constantly working on new ideas for our shows.”
Music soon became more than their hobby. It became their dream. “There was a point where the switch happened, and we just knew this was what we wanted to do,” Gabe said. “All of a sudden, nothing else really mattered, and we were going to become the best band in the world. For twelve-year-old kids, we were pretty good. We wanted it badly enough that we were willing to work hard at it.”
They formed their first band when they were in middle school, eventually forming Aranda near the end of high school. They played out several times a week all around Oklahoma, while also holding down full time jobs.
Years later, after constant practice honed them into a polished band and they had created a small army of fans in Oklahoma, their friend Sam Watters (Color Me Badd) got them in front of Tommy Mottola of Sony, who signed them on the spot. After two years of work on the album, Sony went through personnel changes and canceled the deal. Though the process didn’t end with a completed album, the Arandas were thankful for the growth and further development they gained through the experience. Feeling like that was the end of their days as performing artists, Gabe went home to Oklahoma City and started a small business, and Dameon was offered a publishing deal writing songs for other singers. (He has since worked with artists such as Jessica Simpson, Kelly Clarkson, and Mark Ronson.)
It was in 2006 that Aranda were signed to Astonish Records by Adam DeGraide. Dameon and Gabe again worked with Sam Watters and his partner Louis Biancaniello to create an outstanding debut album, which releases April 22nd, 2008.
“We want to go out there with high energy, keep rocking, keep everybody entertained,” Dameon says. “Our hope is that you keep coming back for more.”