The Longest Journey Begins With a Single Step

Posted by Jonna Ambur on May 13, 2010

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Aaron Lewis. Husband, son, brother, friend .. musician, photographer. There are many facets to a man that likes to think he’s just “a guy”.

In the beginning of 2004, he was going through major life changes. He was laid off from his first investigative job after the company developed financial problems. At the same time, he decided to branch out and explore different musical styles and he left his first touring band. Expected changes, perhaps but nonetheless a real jolt to have them happen at the same time.

Aaron started spending 8 hours a day at home applying for jobs. He was willing to take anything as long as he could make some cash. His girl, Cherilynne, was supportive beyond expectations. She would encourage him, assure him that it would be okay and reminded him that it was okay to relax and enjoy his down time. While he heard the words, he didn’t understand how he could “relax”. He felt he needed a job in order to be the husband she deserved and a good person in general.

Remembering how much Aaron liked taking pictures, Cherilynne convinced him to buy a cheap camera film camera and take some photography classes at the local town recreation department. At the same time, she was suggesting that he really think about what type of work he always wanted to do and to work toward making that happen. No matter how unreal it would seem. He spent the next 6 months or so driving around Connecticut taking pictures of everything he could, applying to every private investigative firm on the east coast and working to put a new band together that played the music he had always wanted to play. At the end of those 6 months and almost the end of his unemployment benefits his luck changed for the better. He had found 2 jobs working for some smaller private investigative firms, started the writing and recording process with a new band, “When the Deadbolt Breaks”, and had 4 huge photo albums full of the photos that he had taken.

Aaron’s photography became known under “Lounge SevenZeroEight” and his recording studio was “Room SevenZeroEight”. Since both avenues were so closely intertwined and meaningful, he wanted to run with a mutual theme.

It’s now 2010.

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Aaron is still taking photos. His style while some may consider it dark and somber is really reflective and thought provoking. He experiments with textures, lighting and concepts. He follows his feelings for that moment and rolls with it. Whether it’s shooting still life, models or live bands, he always puts his own spin on it. He even has 2 calendars in the works to showcase some of his newest projects.

He’s still playing music. “When the Deadbolt Breaks” has just released their 3rd record through FuzzTown Records and the 4th, is wrapping up. He’s also working on a new rock ‘n roll project called “ThunderHoof”, which will be recording at “Room SevenZeroEight”.

It’s hard to believe that all of the last 6 years could be summed up in one tattoo, but it most certainly can. Aaron has been a tattoo enthusiast for years. He’s commemorated many of his life’s events with ink. Some happy, like the signing of his first record deal. Some devastating, like the date he lost a dear friend. Most recently he’s added a chest piece to his collection and it’s the most meaningful yet.

Aaron’s SevenZeroEight tattoo represents this whole venture. It’s a script SevenZeroEight bookended by two sparrows. The SevenZeroEight is his birthday, July 8. The sparrows hold some of the most significance. It’s been written that sailors would get sparrow tattoos after they crossed the equator the first time, or that the sparrows represent sailing their first 5,000 miles. Since 2004, he has traveled a great distance from where he was to where he his now. He’s got his wife, his music, his photography, his family, his friends and his tattoo art. Now he has a killer new piece that he can see in the mirror everyday and remember his journey. He finally feels that this place, this feeling, this moment is where he finally should be.

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Last modified on January 23, 2011

Categories: Behind the Ink, Recent Updates
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6 Responses to “The Longest Journey Begins With a Single Step”

  1. Steven B Says:

    I know the feeling when you wrote ” he didn’t understand how he could “relax”. He felt he needed a job in order to be the husband” I have been in that spot myself. Good Write up.

  2. John H Says:

    Out of work myself almost 3 years and on the verge of disability I can relate to the emptiness Aaron has gone through.
    I too a photographer and artist find freedom, joy and fulfillment.
    Your article captured the essence of any persons struggle to find their way through life and how it is all linked to “Seven Zero Eight.”
    Great job.

  3. Aaron Says:

    Thank you for writing this. I’m extremely flattered and humbled!

  4. Jonna Says:

    Thank you so much for the compliments! I’m glad it was so well received. xo

  5. Steve Says:

    Out of work myself almost 3 years and on the verge of disability I can relate to the emptiness Aaron has gone through.
    I too a photographer and artist find freedom, joy and fulfillment.
    Your article captured the essence of any persons struggle to find their way through life and how it is all linked to “Seven Zero Eight.”
    Great job.

  6. Laure Getler Says:

    thanks for the new cool post.