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The Pencilstorm Interview: Aaron Lee Tasjan - by Erica Blinn

Ohio's own Aaron Lee Tasjan, on tour with Social Distortion, will be in Columbus, OH: Wednesday, June 27 at Express Live!

When you experience a live performance by ALT and his incredible band, you will witness four dudes who have figured out how to build a rocket ship out of songs to transport themselves to a far better place, and they'll take you with them if you only believe. - Erica Blinn

EB - Your new album Karma for Cheap comes out this Fall; in a previous interview, you said that if this record doesn't find the commercial success you're hoping for that you'll probably quit and open a chain of Chinese buffets. Is that still your plan or has it changed?

ALT - That plan changes daily. I'm always planning for a forced retirement. My manager will likely release a statement to the press about all my "years of service" and how everyone is "sad to see me go" meanwhile I'll be reluctantly agreeing to go to hair cutting school after a long talk with my Dad.

EB - What is an experience you've been hoping for on the road but hasn't happened yet?

ALT - A gig where I don't worry about anything.

EB - What planet would you most like to visit and what is the main attraction that is drawing you there?

ALT - I know a girl who was in the running to go to Mars so I guess I'd visit there. At least there's a chance I might know somebody.

EB - Of the planets that you have visited, which has been your favorite?

ALT - There's this planet on my front porch...it has an inflatable pool and a bubble machine and a person who has stolen my heart. It's my favorite planet in the universe.

EB - Which pair of animals should've been left off "The Ark"?

ALT - Mean-spirited snakes.

EB - In your opinion, how many strings does the ideal guitar have?

ALT -  Keith is king.

EB - Who would you say has had the least influence on you?

ALT - Ryan Adams's recent Instagram posts.

EB - When would you say would be the best time to exact revenge on someone and how would you do it?

ALT - When they're least expecting it. I would use a palm pilot. No one even knows the technology any more.

EB - What is your favorite thing to get from the ice cream truck?

ALT - Flintstones tangerine push pop.

EB - Shaken or stirred?

ALT - Shake, rattle and roll.

EB - Sunrise or sunset?

ALT - Sunrise in the evening, sunset at dawn.

EB - Would you say that you tend to: a) overreact b) under react c) react appropriately d) none of the above

ALT - I act like I don't know what I'm doing.

EB - You've competed in a lot of pageants over the years; what is one of your favorite memories from your time in the pageant industry?

ALT - I played the Mayor of the munchkins in the Delaware Children's Community Theater production of The Wizard of Oz. I got to wear a sash for the role. That was as close as I ever came to winning a pageant.

EB - If you could only wear one thing every day for the rest of your life what would it be?

ALT - Sparkle shoes and/or David Bowie's outfit in the Diamond Dogs photo by Terry O'Neill.

EB - What is your favorite Quentin Tarantino film?

ALT - Jackie Brown. I like the happy ending.

EB - Which of your prize winning show horses is your favorite?

ALT - Oprah Whinniefrey, Oats-Hay Simpson or Pony Bennett.

EB - What's the most money you've ever spent on Sparklers?

ALT - I've bought far more fireworks than I've ever set off.

EB - If you could be any dinosaur, which would you be?

ALT - Dinosaur Jr.

EB - If you were just starting on this record today, what would you do differently?

ALT - Record a cover of Party In The USA by Miley Cyrus. 

EB - Was there any fun gear that you used on this record? What were some of the effects pedals you used/acquired specifically for this record?

ALT - We used a lot of tape varispeed to make the guitars sound like they're melting. I used a fair amount of Sheryl Crow's guitars on this album, too. Please don't tell her. 

EB - If your band was more like the T.V. show Survivor how would touring be different (if at all)? Who would be voted out of the van first?

ALT - Me. I'm far and away the most annoying one of our whole band. Everyone knows it. No one is bigger or better at being annoying than me.

EB - No further questions, Your Honor.

Aaron Lee Tasjan's new record Karma For Cheap comes out this Fall on New West Records.