AJ in Evolution (AKA AJ Fritscher) wasn’t always the rock star he is now. As a child, he was picked on by the bigger kids while growing up. He spent his adolescent years in a small town in Louisiana.
“The coolest memory I have of them was when they took me to ShowBiz Pizza to see the animatronic band,” AJ said. “Most rock stars begin playing music because they want to be like Jimi Hendrix or Eric Clapton, but not this boy. Yep, the animatronic band, Rock-afire Explosion, got me.” AJ says. “Don’t let this fool you, though, because the musicians behind the curtain were the real deal.”
It was there AJ’s obsession for rock music began to emerge.
“I used to have to sneak rock records like Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin into the house,” he said. “I would have to buy two records — one like Paul Simon to hide the ones my grandparents did not approve of, like Alice Cooper and Pink Floyd.”
“I write from experience and let my music speak for itself.”
He learned to play the trumpet and piano, and when he was 13, the family moved to Florida, where he played keyboard in a band.
“In ninth grade, I took piano classes to avoid PE and got really good,” he said.
He didn’t pick up a guitar until he was 16, and that led to his first venture into songwriting.
“It was a girl,” he says. “I really liked her and wanted to impress her, and I think I did.”
After finishing school, AJ got a “real” job and started his family.
“I really slowed down on my music during that time and didn’t start up again until the recession in 2008, after losing my job,” he said. “My wife at the time pushed me to focus on my music, and since I needed to support my family, that’s what I did.”
In 2009, AJ started Evo Fab Records with his partner Michael Fabrizio and released his first album, “A Work in Progress.” Since then, AJ in Evolution has released three albums. His most recent, “Barebones,” is a raw sounding acoustic record with very few effects, produced by Marc Sirdoreus. “Lackadaisical,” with the catchy hook “Hey Ho,” is a fresh infusion of classic rock and modern rock.
When asked where he gets the inspiration for his songs, AJ says, “I write from experience and let my music speak for itself.”
Currently working on a bluesy project filled with pop culture elements, AJ in Evolution’s next album is in its beginning phases. If you check out the tune “Say Hello to San Francisco” on YouTube, you will hear the pop-culture lyrics such as, “They got Starbucks and Apollo, bikes you can rent on the street,” complete with a standard blues progression. For more information on AJ in Evolution, visit ajinevolution.bandcamp.com.
STORY: Brooke Robles PHOTO: Fred Lopez