The Icarus Line
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September 14, 2019

Interview with Aaron North

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As someone who has been a massive fan of The Icarus Line since THAT 5K Kerrang review, what can’t be emphasized enough is just how much of an impact Aaron North had whilst he was in the band – whether it be through Buddyhead or via his own numerous interviews that he conducted over the years. At the same time, Aaron also held a no holds barred approach towards his own stage performances, and this was adequately summarised by his unashamed attempt in “liberating” a guitar that supposedly once belonged to Stevie Ray Vaughan.


Of course, and despite the heady heights which Aaron Icarus reached during his 20’s, it was interesting to see how Aaron also came to emulate the same tragic flight trajectory of Icarus, with his 30’s signalling his own “sad descent… to nowhere“.


Nowadays, Aaron maintains a low profile and does comedy gigs on occasion. He also maintains an Instagram account, although his internet activity suggests that he isn’t at all interested in being an “influencer” to the same extent that he was when he was associated with Buddyhead. He’s also not interested in wanting to speak to a lot of people (as stated by Travis Keller – his one-time Buddyhead associate – in his ‘This Was The Scene’ interview at 51:34 timestamp). And I also found this to be the case when I tried to interview him a few weeks back. In any case, here is my “interview” with him… Enjoy!

Growing up, how were you introduced to rock music, and what made you pick up the guitar (as opposed to any other instrument)? How did your friends and family react to this, as well as your plans on becoming a musician?

I don’t know how to answer that honestly considering it was never a goal or “plan” of mine. My brother is a musician. He went to UCLA and majored in music. He performs and teaches. Still does. I’m sure at some point, considering they helped pay for his education, it was discussed with family members, etc. In my case, I was just jumping in shitty vans to make loud noises in front of confused strangers. I can’t read music… couldn’t if my life depended on it. I never took lessons or made attempts to become more “musician-like”… whatever that means. I picked up a guitar when I was 14 because it was enjoyable to me. My parents listened to a lot of rock n’ roll while I was growing up. They had a sizable record collection. All the big rock “standards” at that time… Beatles, Stones, Doors, Zeppelin, etc. A lot of Motown stuff as well.


To me, you’ll always be one of The Icarus Line’s greatest members. What does your stint within the band represent for you, and what is your proudest moment within The Icarus Line?

I’m proud of what we did as a band. I’m proud of the records we made. I don’t have an opinion on the records those guys made after I quit because I’ve never heard any of them.


As documented by LA Weekly, you were able to reconcile any differences between yourself and Alvin Deguzman prior to his passing. What is your favourite memory of your friend that you would like to share?

I wasn’t aware of having any differences with Al.


If it weren’t for being a musician, what career path would you have taken? At the same time, what made you decide to embark on pursuing standup comedy?

I don’t really know how to answer your questions about “career paths” or “the music industry”, etc. I haven’t played music in over a decade. When I did, it wasn’t because I was trying to make a career out of it. I played in bands when it was enjoyable and stopped whenever it wasn’t. I never made any decisions based on how they’d affect me financially. If my goal had been to “make it” as a “professional musician”, I wouldn’t have turned down offers to play with the Marilyn Manson’s, Queens Of The Stone Age’s, Chris Cornell’s, etc. As different as it is, my approach to standup is no different. I’m not trying to make a career out of it or appeal to everybody.


What are your future plans? Will you ever consider releasing an autobiography, getting back into the music industry, a possible reunion with any of your Buddyhead / Icarus Line, Nine Inch Nails, Jubilee cohorts, or starting another webzine etc?



When I said I didn’t understand or agree with the premise of some of your questions… I get the impression that your viewpoint on what you’re asking me about is skewed. Or just plain wrong. I feel like most of the information you’ve based certain opinions on is hogwash. Anything concerning my departure from The Icarus Line would be included. The story those guys have believed and perpetuated over time is that I quit The Icarus Line so that I could go join Nine Inch Nails and make a lot of money and be famous or some horseshit. Couldn’t be further from the truth. I suppose that would soften the blow for them, or make it easier for them to understand why I left or something? Naw… in the weeks after quitting the band I was furiously filling out job applications for nearby fast-food restaurants. The truth was that I quit because I didn’t like some of the people I was in a band with anymore, and would have rather flipped burgers to pay my rent than have to stand next to them on stage even one more time. The Nails thing happened some time later and had nothing to do with any of that. Anyhoo, post whatever ya want. Stay outta trouble.


It must be stated that Aaron declined to answer any more of my questions, even though it was never my intention to slight him. I just wanted to know more about the person behind the guitar. At the same time, I never intended to dismiss his foray into “punk” as being some sort of “career move”.


I did try to rectify this by redrafting my questions (which you can read below), but Aaron didn’t want to participate any further.


You were really outspoken during your 20’s and had an acute understanding of how the music industry operated back then. What was the biggest lesson that you’ve ever learned during your time within the music industry, and what advice would you give to musicians starting out today – especially with the music industry being so different to what it was like in your heyday?


Now that you’ve hit middle age, what are the biggest lessons that life has ever imparted on you?


Growing up, you’ve often mentioned that you were inspired by bands such as Guns N Roses as well as Black Flag. Who would you regard as being your heroes and role-models now?


Aside from your venture in stand-up comedy, what are your future plans?


Finally, and when this is all over, how would you like to be remembered? What would you like your legacy to be?

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  1. Michael

    Interesting interview!
    I always wondered if he was offered to play with MM and QOTSA, giving his association and friendship with some of the guys in the respective bands. I would’ve loved to hear more about how he was approached to be part of MM.

    It would’ve been awesome to see him play with Jeordie over there, always loved those 2 in NIN.

    • admin

      I will always be more of a MM fan as opposed to a NIN fan…

      Aaron playing for MM would have been the $hit!

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