Aly and AJ
Official Web Site
Aly and AJ Bibliography: (click on each album cover to view tracks and Aly and AJ lyrics)
Aly and AJ Biography
Celebrating their first gold album on the Hollywood Records label, aptly entitled Into the Rush (August 2005), Aly & AJ Michalka have been propelled into the music scene at an astonishingly rapid pace. Their first single, "Rush," was recently released to Top 40 radio and immediately became one of the most added songs (#2). The video for "Rush" debuted on MTV's TRL on February 15 and was shot in Hawaii by award winning director Marc Webb. Impressively, music isn't their only talent. The girls recently signed a multi-layered deal with Disney, which includes their own pilot on the Disney Channel called "Haversham Hall," which was created as a starring vehicle for the sisters to spotlight their acting abilities. Aly & AJ also recently filmed Cow Belles, their first movie together, in Toronto which premiered on the The Disney Channel March 24. The premier was the second highest rated cable program of the week; second only to The Sopranos. With so much activity going on in such a short time, Aly & AJ are truly becoming a force to be reckoned with in Hollywood.
Aly & AJ's brand of melodic rock is refreshingly unique in today's musical landscape, harkening back to a time when rock music ruled the radio with giants like Heart and Fleetwood Mac while still evoking modern day themes. In a review of their sold-out Los Angeles tour stop, the Los Angeles Times quipped, "...blending their voices in tart harmonies and favoring a folk rock sound somewhere between Avril Lavigne and Fleetwood Mac." On their debut CD, Into the Rush the multitalented duo prove they're close in spirit and in heart.
The two wrote all but two tracks on the album. (Their versions of "Do You Believe In Magic" and "Walking on Sunshine" were featured on the hit film, Herbie: Fully Loaded). What's more, Aly co-stars as Keely Teslow in the hit Disney Channel series, Phil of the Future, which allows her to sing and act, while AJ has had guest spots on Six Feet Under, Oliver Beene and Birds of Prey, and regular roles on CBS' The Guardian and the classic soap opera General Hospital.
"When you're an actor, you get to be somebody else, to create a character from the ground up, which is cool," says Aly, the more introspective, impulsive and artistic daydreamer of the two. "But music is our heart, our soul, and our roots. It's who we really are. The emotions are all right on the surface."
"We can be very different, but we're similar in many ways, too," says AJ, who admits to being the more outgoing, organized, active and neurotic. "The whole blood harmony thing comes naturally to us. There is an amazing connection when you're sisters, a real chemistry."
That personal kinship can be felt all over the tracks on Into the Rush. The single, "Rush" is an inspiring ode to holding steadfast to your dreams. "No One" (which was featured in the film Ice Princess and TV's The Alias), features soaring harmonies with the emotional underpinnings of their own roots in gospel and country. The pair tackles weightier issues in "Sticks and Stones," which takes on the playground bully with an anti-violence message, and the moving "I Am One of Them," a stark condemnation of child kidnapping.
"Aly and I are good listeners," says AJ. "We take things in and observe what's going on around us. We call songwriting 'lyrical poetry.' We want people of all ages to relate to the subjects."
The kidnapping of a young Florida girl from a car wash spurred AJ & Aly to pen "I Am One of Them," in a creative way to raise the public's awareness of child safety. To that end, Aly and AJ have become active in raising issues such as the need for more Amber alerts and to passing laws to get predators off the streets.
"We just want to remind kids-and adults-without scaring them," says Aly. "We're trying to prevent this sort of thing from happening by teaching kids to make wise choices, to be aware of their surroundings. We really feel vulnerable, because it could happen to any of us."
"Slow Down" encourages listeners not to succumb to peer pressure to do something they don't want to do, especially in relationships, while "No One" and "Speak for Myself" illustrates the importance for fans to forge their own identities and not compare themselves to others.
"People can get lost in a crowd," says Aly. "AJ and I are all about being no one but ourselves. You only have one life to live, so take advantage of it. Don't waste it by trying to be too perfect. We just want to remind people because they sometimes forget. Kids don't want to hear this stuff from their parents, but they'll accept it from someone they consider a contemporary."
"We just want to be real, genuine, express the way we honestly feel, and let that come out in our music," adds AJ.
That has been the case since the L.A.-born sisters were raised in Seattle, where they started playing piano at 6. They both picked up the guitar three years ago and started to write songs just six months after that.
"We play off each other's strengths," says Aly. "We never force the songwriting. It's always inspired by something that happened to us or one of our friends. It just kind of happens... which is nice because it comes from a totally pure place."
Like the folk-rock energy of "Rush," "On the Ride," with its loping reggae beat and an Avril Lavigne-esque punk-pop bite, captures the pure exhilaration of being young and successful in show business, but thankful at the same time.
"We're so lucky to have such an amazing family and team," gushes AJ. "There are ups and downs, good times and bad. We're on a roller-coaster, but we're loving it."
AJ's "Protecting Me," which was featured in an episode of Phil of the Future, is that rare teenage anthem, a paean to long-suffering mom and dad.
"Our parents keep us in line and down-to-earth," Aly says about the possible downside of show business fame and success at such a young age. "We have our own convictions and morals, which AJ and I are very committed to. There's no reason to stray from those beliefs. We get our strength from having each other to lean on."
As for any rivalry with other sister groups, such as their Hollywood Records label mates Hilary and Hayley Duff, for example, AJ quickly puts that notion to rest.
"They are so sweet and so encouraging," she says. "It's fantastic we're all making music together. They work really hard, and it shows us what's possible to achieve. They're about our age and going through a lot of the same things Aly and I are. They're amazing role models."
In fact, Aly & AJ are pretty good role models themselves.
"AJ and I want to be a voice and accountable for the message in our music, what we're supporting and writing about," says Aly. "We stand for what we say. We won't back down from that. We're always gong to write from a genuine place in our hearts. If you don't do that, you can get lost."
One listen to Into the Rush is all it takes to discover Aly & AJ are indeed speaking for their generation. Trust us, they won't get lost in a crowd.