Interview with Assembly Of Dust

Written by Send Me
July 30, 2009

Buckle up, because we have a fiery one today! With us is Reid Genauer from the energetic (and sometimes a wee dark) Assembly of Dust. Reid was kind enough to chat with us about AOD’s second studio release Some Assembly Required, the famous rocker that insists on calling him “Ned” and why the Internet is the greatest thing to happen in the history of the world. [His words but we totally agree!]

Ready? Here we go!

I’m a huge fan of you guys and your sound. How would you describe it to people who aren’t familiar?

Lyrically driven roots rock or, more to the point, Arenacana.

Who are some of your biggest musical influences? I’d say The Beatles have to be up there?

Yep Beatles, Neil Young, CSN, The Band. Paul Simon, Willie Nelson and Motorhead.

How did you guys get started and find another? Most probably recognize Reid from Strangefolk. How did Assembly of Dust come about?

We knew each other from the pits of rockdom despair. We had all played in bands for years and co-habituated the dark corners of rock clubs around New England. When it came time for me to find other musicians to play with, I just kind of flipped through my rolodex of awesomeness and these were the names my brains spit out: Andy Herrick, John Leccese, Adam Terrell, Nate Wilson and Barbara Streisand. “Barb” was unavailable due to scheduling conflicts and the rest is history.

Ha, awesome! What is success to you?

Happiness, personally fulfilled and a large golden statue of me at Buckingham Palace.

What themes would you say are present in your music?

The glass half full answer would be – everyone’s life looks better from the outside and sharing some inner thoughts, real or fictitious, has a comforting effect for the listener and the creator – it’s like “hey I’m not as messed up as I thought I was!”
The glass half empty answer would be – I hate a large segment of humanity. Can someone please silence my brain and stop the madness?

Your latest album, Some Assembly Required dropped on July 21st. What was that experience like?

Releasing an album is one of the most rewarding things I have ever done. It’s an artistic statement, or at least an artistic stake in the ground, and a bundle of hopes and dreams. Given the scope of this recording process, the stake and the dreams are a little bigger and that much more exciting…

Each track on this album features a guest performer. One of my favorite tracks is Arc of The Sun which features Mike Gordon from Phish. How did that idea come about and how did you pick who’d be playing with you guys?

I tried to pair artists with songs that I thought they would understand and feel comfortable playing on . In terms of the mother list of who to ask? – I started with my friends and expanded out to folks that I really admired. I guess I sort of feel, especially after this process, that Mike is both. Although he keeps calling me Ned when we see each other… Puzzling.

Do you think the Web has helped new artists break out? What have your experiences been on MySpace/YouTube/Facebook?

I think the Web is one of the greatest things that has happened ever in the history of the world. It is THE most powerful means of communication and the media form that defines our generation’s culture. That said, it creates as many challenges as it does opportunities for artists in that there is almost TOO much data out there. My experience is that the Web must be part of a larger storyline, whethe you are looking for information on Iran or a new band . It’s kind of like the sauce that the stew simmers in. Lots of times bands think if they spray enough sauce around the Internet they don’t need the meat, the substance – not true. Lots of sauce with no chicken makes for a hollow offering and a malnourished band.

What’s the one professional moment that stands out for you guys as a group?

Playing at Carnegie Hall with Sonya Kitchel is definitely top 3.

Are you going to be touring with the new album?

Yep, we are headed out in Sept for a run of dates that will take us all across the country. We are doing most of the dates with the Emmitt Nershi Band – Drew Emmitt and Bill Nershi.

What advice would you give to up and coming artist?

Play music for the right reasons and your life will be fulfilling and wondrous. Play music to get rich and you will die a shriveled, half drunk and disappointed gnome.

Oh, Reid, we think we’re in love with you! If you’re as smitten as we are, make sure to catch Assembly of Dust.