iRod and the Auxiliary – Interview – Thanks for Asking

Written by on March 31, 2024

iRod and the Auxiliary – Interview – Thanks for Asking – by Liam Sweeny.

RRX: Every comic book hero has an origin story. What is your origin story? (points if you tell it like a comic book origin.)

iROD:  I can remember being interested in the guitar from a very young age with no access to any sort of musical instruments. Except and old acoustic mom kept hidden away that belonged to my late uncle who had been murdered at gunpoint at the age of 23. I would sneak into her room and play with it whenever I could get the opportunity and eventually, she would let me have it around the age of 17. It was old, couldn’t hold a tune very well and was already missing a string. But now it was mine.

Over the course of the next year I spent many hours alone in my room strumming along  to the radio on that out of tune guitar that had a dwindling string count. I learned two things that year. Rhythm and my first chord that my step father a self-proclaimed “3 chord hack” had taught me.

I met some close friends in middle school that would later become band mates. We were into a cool new band called Green Day and wanted to be just like them. We basically had a band formed before we could even play any instruments.

By my 18th birthday I had broken every last string on that acoustic and gotten the best present ever. My very first electric guitar. Over the course of the next year, I would spend the weekends hanging out with my best friends. Smoking lots of weed and learning to play the guitar together. We formed a punk band named M.U.T.T. and the rest is history.

RRX: Every artist’s first song is a milestone. But so is the latest song. Describe the first song/album you recorded, and also the latest song/album you recorded; what are the differences?

iROD:  The first record I made was with my first band. (M.U.T.T. – the Hot Dogs and Meat Sauce E.P.)  After receiving a large settlement for a lawsuit. Our friend offered to pay for the studio time. It was a cool experience though he eventually went MIA to spend the rest of his settlement on drug binges, leaving us with no way to pay the bill and we ended up just distributing the unfinished demos which were not great sounding but did make us feel accomplished.

The latest album I’ve released (iRod and the Auxiliary – 1984×4)

It’s been 20+ years since my first record and I’ve since taken the music production aspect into my own hands. As well as the writing. Being a solo artist can certainly be overwhelming and lonely at times, but it feels very rewarding when I can finish a project in house without sacrificing my vision or having things fall apart on the count of anyone else’s negligence. I like to think it came out a lot better than my first record.

RRX: Like songs, every artist has a unique feeling about their first show. What was your first show like? Was it your best show? If not, what was your best show like?

IROD:  My first show is something I can hardly remember but I was a nervous wreck and I’m sure we didn’t sound great but what we lacked in skill we compensated with intense energy. After that I was hooked for life.

I think the best show I’ve played was a packed house on March 26th, 2010, at Valentines in Albany we opened for one of my favorite bands Silverstein. It was the first experience I can remember of playing with an international touring act. It was a sold-out show and we definitely put the footwork in hustling tickets because the crowd energy was amazing with the help of all our friends that showed up. I had broken a string with no backup at some point and just blasted through the set. By the time it was over It was an experience I still haven’t forgotten and few have come close. Those were the good days.

RRX: Music genres are difficult for some artists. Some strictly adhere, others not so much. What is your perspective on the genre you play, or the genres you hover around?

IROD:  I tend to bounce around genres a bit. My most current release “1984×4” is somewhere between alternative pop/EDM. The prior EP was Alternative/Hip-hop.

RRX: It’s a lot of fun living in the present, but we all collect memories and give birth to dreams. We’re talking dreams here. Where do you see yourself next year? In the next five years?

I’ve spent almost 25 years making music and it’s led to a lot of other creative curiosities. Within the next year I’m going to really be taking a serious look and my future endeavors and likely being getting more into visual arts. Depending on what that looks like in 10 years’ time, I should be doing something more lucrative for a full time job that also fulfills my creative needs. Once I get my video chops up to par and devote my skills to a niche that’s in demand and interesting to me, I plan to go hard on my YouTube game with something like completely unrelated to music.

RRX: We all get a little support from those around us. And we also can be impressed by our fellow performers. Who do you admire in your community, and why?

IROD:  I’ll always have much respect for Jason Irwin for hosting the first open mic I had ever had the guts to play alone. And his work ethic and networking hustle is something that I always wish I had more of. Brian Michael is an inspiration to Glens Falls Arts scene through his Annual festival “Gem Fest” and some other events like open mics and Emo Nights we’ve done together. Andy Scullin of Shortwave Radio Band and podcast “Unsigned 518” for being the first podcast to have me as a guest, promoting the local musicians and overall just being a very positive influence on anyone connected to the scene. Really the list could go on and on so I’m sorry if I left anyone off here.



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