The Exclaim! Questionnaire
Aaron Riches of Royal City.
What are you up to?
Buying socks to keep warm for our upcoming gig at the Frostbite Festival in Whitehorse, YK. We are also looking forward to a West Coast tour in early April with Sarah Harmer, so I guess I should start looking for a rain jacket.
Hometown and Current HQ:
I was born in the Royal City. I live in Toronto, with Jimmy, Simon, and Nate. The Three Gut Records HQ is on St. Patrick's Sq.
Playing chess with Jimmy incessantly, American Spirits, Harry Smith's Anthology vol. 4, ear plugs & road maps.
Mind altering work of art?
T.S. Eliot reading his own poetry and Doc Boggs singing his own songs.
Most memorable/inspirational gig, and why?
When I played in a band called Minnow and we opened for Fugazi. Fugazi were the Beatles to me.
What should everyone shut up about?
I'm not sure what they are talking about, but they are talking through every live show in Toronto.
Your greatest strength/weakness?
Biting is my greatest strength and weakness. It is a strength because I can fight dogs, it is a weakness because sometimes I hurt the people I love.
Your vital daily ritual:
Poorly plucking the banjo in the morning while eating chocolate.
If I'm poor, Dairy Milk. If I got a couple of bills, Milka.
If I wasn't playing music I would be...
Wandering aimlessly through the stacks at Robards library, trying to form one coherent thought in Russian.
Most memorable day job...
Working at Paul Lee Barristers & Solicitors as a drunken and disorderly file clerk.
Best/worst advice received:
My dad told me free advice is worth exactly what you paid for it.
I would drop everything to play a benefit for:
The Alzheimer's Society
What makes you want to take it off, and get it on:
Dirty laundry. Clean laundry.
What personal trait would make you kick someone out of your band/bed...
When i think of Canada, I think:
of the Band singing about America.
Music and sex: is there a difference? Why?
I don't know if there really is a difference, but I've been told I'm not particularly good at either.
Strangest brush with celebrity:
When I was 13, I was driving with my family in a minivan on the 401. We saw a jeep pass us driven by Bruce Cockburn. Like a bolt of fucked up lightning, my family got the bright idea to follow him and see where he was going. Of course, we weren't entirely sure what we would do when we caught up with him, but the chase was on. He tried to lose us, but my dad was no fool behind the steering wheel and kept his eyes on the prize. We followed him off an exit into the parking lot of a strip mall. We pulled up right next to him. He rolled down his window, we rolled down ours. My father asked him, "are you Bruce Cockburn?" With terror in his eyes, he generously said "I am Bruce Cockburn, but I don't appreciate being chased down the highway by a speeding minivan with tinted windows. You scared me to death." Anyway, we recently met again at a folk festival and, not surprisingly, he remembered the story. I apologised profusely, and oddly, so did he! He was incredibly kind and I feel terribly that we scared him so.
What does your mom wish you were doing instead?
I think my mom is happy with what I am doing now. She comes to our shows and sings along.
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