Aaron Ramson is well-known in the Coachella Valley music scene … for a bass player. The mighty Hawaiian bassist has played in various metal bands over the years, but is probably best known for his time in both Perishment and Mighty Jack. If you’ve ever seen Mighty Jack in concert, you probably know that every show is “Aaron’s last show.” For more information, visit www.facebook.com/mightyjackband.
What was the first concert you attended?
When I was 15, the drummer from my band and I jumped on a plane and flew 500 miles to see Slayer. The venue was a converted industrial shop; the audience was 90 percent drunken Marines; and my drummer was wearing a yellow “Popo’s Cookies” shirt. It’s the first and still the best concert I’ve ever been to.
What was the first album you owned?
I got both Michael Jackson’s Thriller and Men at Work’s Business as Usual at the same time. I think they were a Columbia House 2-for-1 special. I used all my allowance.
What bands are you listening to right now?
I went and bought all three Run the Jewels albums. I like their style of rap—excellent beats and flow. Pelican is doing really interesting things in the stoner/prog genre. Lhasa De Sela, R.I.P., is what I always play in the background when I have company over. Her voice was a more sultry Fiona Apple.
What artist, genre or musical trend does everyone love, but you don’t get?
Mumble rap. I don’t know who any of these artists are. I don’t get it.
What musical act, current or defunct, would you most like to see perform live?
I’d love to go back and see The Mars Volta and System of a Down show I saw in 2005, but watch it not high as a kite this time. Both were in their prime and magnificent, at least from what I can remember …
What’s your favorite musical guilty pleasure?
Oh, Jesus … Watkin Tudor Jones and Die Antwoord. Don’t tell anyone, please.
What’s your favorite music venue?
The most exciting venue to have played in was The Palladium in Worcester, Mass, but to see live bands, nothing beats a small club like … The Roxy. You can literally reach up and touch the artists.
What’s the one song lyric you can’t get out of your head?
“I know I know, I’m supposed to know, more of Fitzgerald, more of Hemingway, more of Thoreau. But she keeps me distracted this devilish thing. She feels like brimstone, when I take her shirt off, she could have wings,” King 810, “Me and Maxine.”
What band or artist changed your life? How?
Metallica. I was a big fan of Michael Jackson, Prince and George Michael. But the first time I saw the music video for “One,” it changed everything. Gone were all my pop albums, and I had to explore this new kind of harder music.
You have one question to ask one musician. What’s the question, and who are you asking?
Wow. That is heavy. I would ask John Lennon if he really beloved love was all we needed. He was an incredibly complex and flawed man—deeply intriguing. His brain would be incredible to pick.
What song would you like played at your funeral?
“Chlorine and Wine” by Baroness.
Figurative gun to your head, what is your favorite album of all time?
.. .And Justice for All by Metallica, simply for its influence on my pubescent brain.
What song should everyone listen to right now?
“Love Again” by Run the Jewels. Because maybe John Lennon was right. (Scroll down to hear it.)