Oklahoma City oil and gas man Albert Aguilar is the most atypical musician I’ve ever interviewed. The earth’s natural elements fuel his paycheck; music is more of a hobby for him, despite his EP and upcoming album that would suggest otherwise. I spoke with Aguilar in Dallas late last year during his first national tour alongside British artist Lee MacDougall. We sit down in the green room of Poor David’s (which I always want to call ‘Poor Richard’s’, but that’s a side effect of me being a junkie for The Office) where he hands me a Miller Light. As I set the beer down on the counter, his tour manager enters the sullen room and tries to pay Aguilar the earnings from his performance, but he refuses to accept the cash.
The tour manager places the green in Aguilar’s hand, before being chased down by the musician who tries to shove the money down the manager’s bowling shirt. Muffled, argumentative voices are overheard for a good two minutes as I begin to laugh into my tape recorder. He’s the only musician that I have ever seen refuse money.
“I feel bad, there are a lot of struggling musicians out there. Me, yeah I get paid for [performing], but…” he tells me, his eyes resting on the ground. Aguilar’s day job provides him with something few musicians have: peace of mind and a reconciled checking account. The money doesn’t matter to him. “Yeah, I just like to play,” he confesses.
The men finally settle on an amount of money that Aguilar is comfortable accepting, and he sits down to continue our interview.
Aguilar describes his music as “real and honest.” Says the musican, “I honestly feel like I have something to offer if you really want to listen.” Also, can we talk about how pretty he is? Because, damn. (more…)