A few years back, my good friend Mike Banos ran a successful tshirt/apparel company. We had a little partnership together: he tried to rep our band as much as possible and we wore his shirts. They were seriously sweet. He has since folded the company, but this promo interview is one of the funniest Ive ever done. Enjoy.
19.5 Questions with Aaron Staebell
We’re just going to go ahead and keep the awesome train rolling here at KKBB. Welcome to the first addition of “19.5 Questions”, our little spin on the standard 20 questions. Once in a while we’ll pick someone we think is cool and pose them 19 queries. The 1/2 comes into play when we start a question, allow the interviewee to complete it, and then we answer it. A little weird I know, but we think it’s going to be sweet. For our first interview we’ve got Aaron Staebell, a Rochester based percussionist/composer who’s going to be rocking out at Java’s this Friday with his band Bending and Breaking. Be sure to get down there and check it out and peep the 19.5 Questions below…
KKBB: So you’re obviously an accomplished drummer/percussionist. Are there any other instruments you dabble in?
Aaron: I play piano well enough to write my music, and the melodica always tries to make appearances but it is heavily discriminated against.
KKBB: In your opinion, in a fight between a polar bear and a tiger, who comes out on top? For this hypothetical situation we’ll assume that the environment is a non-issue.
Aaron: Tiger. Look at the way he fought these affair allegations. Too soon?
KKBB: What’s your favorite scale mode?
Aaron: Someone did their research… Ionian when I want to sound nice, Phrygian when I want to be weird.
KKBB: What kind of kit do you have? Word on the street is you like to use non-standard objects as percussion instruments. Tell us more…
Aaron: I play Mapex, Gretsch and Yamaha at different times. Friday, probably Mapex. I also have suitcases filled with instruments, yes, instruments, such as plastic tubes, metal bowls, and bells. I am just trying to find the correct sound to fit the music and sometimes that sound isn’t found on a typical drum set.
KKBB: Who is your favorite Simpsons character?
Aaron: How can you say anything besides Homer here? Comic book guy rolls in at a close second for his sheer pathetic nature…. and Bleeding Gums Murphy did a lot to help us remember that jazz musicians don’t get health care.
KKBB: As an educator, what is the most common annoyance you have to deal with? Does it come from the students or faculty?
Aaron: The annoyance happens any time someone on either side doesn’t give 100%. We are so lucky to be able to do what we do in this country, where such a premium is put on getting educated. To not give your all is wasteful and frustrating. Plus it holds me back.
KKBB: Who did you see for your first concert?
Aaron: I went to the Philharmonic from a very early age, but my first ‘concert’ was 2 years ago when I saw Counting Crows. That night, Adam Duritz changed my idea of what a performer is.
KKBB: Obviously Java’s is at the top of the list but besides that, what’s your favorite venue to play in?
Aaron: I love playing at Eastman, where its more of a performance and less of a hang. My music is mainly to listen to, not background. I have had affairs with Boulder and Flat Iron Café. Currently looking for the next new place.
KKBB: Mac or PC?
Aaron: 13’’ Macbook with blue case, and iPhone 3GS.
KKBB: If we were asking you 19.5 questions, what would you want the 10th question to be?
Aaron: You meet your soul mate. However, there is a catch: Every three years, someone will break both of your soul mate’s collarbones with a Crescent wrench, and there is only one way you can stop this from happening: You must swallow a pill that will make every song you hear – for the rest of your life – sound as if it’s being performed by the band Alice in Chains. When you hear Creedence Clearwater Revival on the radio, it will sound (to your ears) like it’s being played by Alice in Chains. If you see Radiohead live, every one of the tunes will sound like it’s being covered by Alice in Chains. When you hear a commercial jingle on TV, it will sound like Alice in Chains; if you sing to yourself in the shower, your voice will sound like deceased Alice vocalist Layne Staley performing a capella (but it will only sound this way to you). Would you swallow the pill? (Note from Earl: I would totally swallow the pill. It would be an upgrade to almost anything on the radio…)
KKBB: Do you have a zombie contingency plan? If so, can you elaborate a bit for us? If not, why the hell not man?! SH*T IS GONNA GET REAL!!
Aaron: Do you really think I am stupid enough to put it up here? Where zombies can access it? Are you aware that zombies are a major design element for your company? You could be a zombie. I just wear them on my shirt and hope that they find a use for me. In other words, lay back and enjoy it? (Touché)
KKBB: Who is, in your opinion, the most overrated musician/band? Who is underrated?
Aaron: Man, can I just say that I feel like the industry is on its head? It seems as though the amount of thought and work that goes into a musical product is inversely proportional to the success and exposure that the group/musician gets. Its also true that the most fun gigs I play are the ones that pay the least, while the ones that make me want to stab my eardrums out are the ones that help pay the rent. Messed up.
KKBB: Do you think intelligent life exists beyond our planet?
Aaron: Sometimes I wonder if intelligent life exists ON our planet.
KKBB: Beverage of choice?
Aaron: Diet Pepsi all day.
KKBB: What’s your e-mail service of choice?
Aaron: Mac Mail, hosting Gmail 2x and an old school AOL account in case people from 7th grade want to reach me.
KKBB: If you could have infinite buy one get one frees of one coupon, what would it be?
Aaron: Chaplins from Java’s.
KKBB: What’s your favorite book?
Aaron: Catcher in the Rye.
KKBB: Do you think you can actually taste the love in home made cookies?
Aaron: I think you feel the love before you even taste it.
KKBB: What was your interpretation of the ending to No Country for Old Men?
Aaron: Oceanic Flight 815 will land safely, revealing that Locke is Javier Bardem, and he was never paralyzed in the first place. Time travel.
And for the 1/2 question we began with: If a monkey and a cowboy…
Aaron: …both start in Independence, Missouri in March, choosing to travel at a high rate of speed, only fording rivers and shooting buffalo at every opportunity to hunt, which one reaches Oregon with fewer family members dead of dysentery?
KKBB: It would seem to me that a family of monkeys would hold up better against the dysentery but I have doubts about their ability to manage a wagon/shoot guns accurately. So I’ll take the cowboy and his fam on this one. It’s close though…
And there you have it! Our first 19.5 Questions seems to be a friggin’ success. Make sure you get down to Java’s Friday for the Bending and Breaking Show and check out Aaron’s site here. ‘Til next time nerds…