The Auxiliary
Interview

When did you decide that a career in music was for you?

My parents are classical musicians so it always felt like the natural thing to do with your life. My rebellion of course was pursuing something outside of classical music. 

Who are your musical inspirations and why?

Too many to name, but they came in waves - first guitarists, then songwriters, then producer/artists. So Hendrix, Pearl Jam etc.  Then David Gray, Fiona Apple, etc. Now, Bon Iver, Frank Ocean, Sylvan Esso, The Japanese House, and lots of up and comers. I’m interested in folks making music in different ways with different sounds and tying it all together through sheer artistic will. 

What has been the best gig you have done to date and why?

Before The Auxiliary I was a solo songwriter and I opened back to back sold out shows at The House of Blues in Chicago. The buzz in the room was incredible and there was something very grounding about playing the same stage twice - at least to a touring songwriter who was always in motion.

If you could perform a gig at any venue where would it be and why?

I’d love The Auxiliary to play the Roundhouse in London and the Budokan in Tokyo. I used to watch all the old iTunes festivals at the roundhouse and some friends got to play the Budokan a few years ago. Legendary.

What has been your best achievement to date and what would you like to achieve in the future?

Shutting down and starting over. It was hard to walk away from my previous solo songwriter career, and even harder - especially with the state of the world in the past two years - to get The Auxiliary up and running. Momentum is real. Musically I just want to find my people and build as large a community around The Auxiliary as possible.

Tell me a story from backstage or after a gig?

At one of those HOB shows a random drunk guy came in the green room, used the loo, grabbed a slice of my pizza and walked back out. Security popped their head in a minute later and asked if i’d seen a guy wandering around. 

If you were not in the job you are now what would you be doing?

I mean it's always music. Doesn’t really matter where the money comes from, the music gets made. 

What has been the best gig you have been to as a fan and can you tell us about it?

At a very formative moment when I was young I went to the Crossroad’s Guitar Festival in Dallas Texas where I grew up. It was incredible. Every living guitar great in one place. BB King, Joe Bonamasa, Tedeschi/Trucks, Robert Cray, some kid called John Mayer, etc, etc. Guitar was my way out of the classical world of my parents and experiencing that festival at that particular moment really changed my course.  

What things do you like to do when you are away from music?

I’m an amatuer builder and am currently building out a studio in the basement. Everything is music adjacent. 

Do you think social media and the internet are a good thing in the music industry?

No. The attention and care it takes to make music at a professional level is generally incompatible with the time and energy it takes to ‘make content’ as an independent artist. When an artist you like is constantly posting content, the dopamine hit reward associated with that artist comes from the daily content, and not from the music. So the music, the art, the reason we’re all here, is devalued. I think social media can and is done well by a lot of people, but the vast majority seem to be focusing on one when they should be working on the other. 

How important do you think image is when it comes to being in the music industry?

Image as in having your presentation cohesive and as an extension of your musical art- vital. Looking good by some arbitrary societal beauty standard- not important. Can it help develop a following - sure - but if you make something that makes people feel something, you’re good.

If you run the country for a day what would you change about it and why?

I mean… How much time do we have?

What has been your experience during the Covid 19 situations.Can you tell us how this has affected you personally,how it has affected you professionally and maybe a story from this time or a message for people out there? 

Covid has delayed the launch of The Auxiliary by essentially two years. I was ready to go in spring 2020, but as the father of a young child during a pandemic, my priorities had to shift. As someone that has toured a lot, it felt inconceivable to launch without playing live, so I waited, and waited, and maybe after the vaccine? And maybe after Delta? Finally I just had to pull the trigger. I think the lesson I’ve learned is that the time is never going to be right, and you just have to go for what you want.

How would you answer the question "Who is The Auxiliary and what are the differences between you as a music artist and you away from music" ? 

They are very similar. I would say the artist is more likely to try something new. Always trying new approaches and new things so I never lose that beginner’s magic. Away from music I’m more likely to go for something old and reliable. 

What would say to someone thinking about becoming a musician and getting into the music industry?

Take your time to get to know yourself as an artist before you introduce yourself as such. It's hard to imagine when you’re starting out, but there is plenty of time. As I learned during covid, give yourself time to be ready, but don’t wait on anyone else. 

What things make you uncomfortable?

Deliberate awkwardness. I love The Office, I just have to pace around the house when it's on.

What has the rest of the year got in store for you?

More music. A lot. I’m putting the finishing touches on some things now and working on the next batch as I go.