AARON LEE TASJAN

1.0 – Can you describe the Enemies debut EP in 10 words or less?

Drink bottle of cough syrup, light self on fire, relax.

2.0 – What’s your favorite track on it? 

“Summer Of Legs” because it makes me think of spiders which makes me think of gummy spiders which are SUPER fun to eat.

3.0 – The recordings include several members of the Madison Square Gardeners, is it a continuation of the band but with a new name? 

No. The MSGrs will play again at some point I’m sure.  I play with a lot of the same guys because I think they’re the best musicians out there.  That’s the way it was in the Gardeners for sure.  I was just inspired to do something else musically this time around, that’s all. The music is different…But I’m not really the type of guy who says, “oh I’m going to write this type of song or that type of song,” I just write whatever sound I’m hearing in my head at that moment. I like to play all kinds of different music.  To me, it’s my guitar playing and weird lyrics that tie it all together.

 4.0 – In this day of meta tags and keywords, how important are titles in helping to define a bands image and audience?

Probably somewhat important…I don’t know though…to me it always starts with the music, the music’s gotta be good and it needs to really grab someone’s attention.  I mean is someone ultimately going to become a fan of my music because I played with the Dolls or Pat Green covered one of my songs or BP Fallon and I opened for The Kills or had our song produced and played on by Jack White? I don’t think so.  Maybe somebody hears about you that way or something but it certainly doesn’t mean they’ll ultimately like your music.  People are going to like what they like and you have to make your music in the face of that.  It’s not a bad thing really.  Music is magic and you can’t explain it to someone…not even with a nifty meta tag or keyword.

5.0 – What led you to pick up the guitar originally?

My family moved to Southern California when I was kid and I wasn’t allowed to start school for a while…I’m not sure why, I just wasn’t. We were grocery shopping and I saw a sign in the next door music store window that said, “Guitar Lessons: First Lesson Free.” So that seemed like a pretty good idea.  I loved the guitar so much.  I’ve no idea why, I was just drawn to it.  I bought a guitar a couple weeks before my first lesson…I wrote a song on it that day, recorded it on a tape deck and sent it in the mail to a friend of mine.  I suppose more than anything else, I wanted to write songs…then I heard Buddy Guy from my Dad and thought, “I need to learn how this thing really works.”  I should note that I still have no idea, but luckily no one ever asks me. :)

6.0 – Do you care about amps?

Um sure. I mean, I like to play through one that sounds good.  I’m not a “gear head” or anything.  I like things to be simple…I like Marshalls, Vox’s and Fenders.  I think if you’re doing anything, you should give a fuck.  Not caring in order to appear cool is like making sure you remember to take your swimming trunks to Christmas dinner.

7.0 – What’s your worst stage nightmare?

I don’t really have one.  To me, getting to play my songs for people is a dream and it’s always a sweet one.

8.0 – What’s your favorite guitar solo of all time?

Well, there are a few…almost any solo Luther Perkins played certainly, George Harrison’s solos are always great…I think Gary Clark Jr is really a fantastic new guitarist whose going to go far.  If I’m going to say favorite of all time though, I’d have to go with J Mascis’s solo from “On The Way” off of Dinosaur Jr’s record Where You Been? I just love it so much. It’s very primal and it’s imperfections are enhancements.  Just simple, brilliant, blood and guts twangerama.  My favorite!

9.0 – How did you hook up with The New York Dolls? 

Years ago I was playing in a band that BP Fallon was managing…co-writing most of the material with the singer and playing lead guitar.  BP brought Steve Conte from the Dolls down to see us and Steve and I really hit it off personally.  Anyways, I’d left that band about a year and a half later and one day the phone rings and it’s Steve and he’s saying, “My wife and I are having our first child and I don’t want to miss it, would you fill in for me with The Dolls?”  It was pretty simple really but man did I feel lucky.  Here was this guy who could’ve called anyone he wanted in the whole world and they naturally would’ve jumped at the chance and he called me.  It was a pretty heavy gig for me at the time because I was only 23 or 24.  It was my first real gig and SO much fun.  David and Syl are just two of the very best guys out there and I was honored to work with them.

10.0 – If you could have a one word rock star nickname what would it be?

Kevn, spelled just like that. With no “i.” If you know, you know.

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