The Wiredogs' Dan Aid on How the Industry is Killing the Artist and Hyping the Trash

Wiredogs got their new album name from a conversation with Iggy Pop.
Wiredogs got their new album name from a conversation with Iggy Pop.
Courtesy of the band

Two major things inspired the Wiredogs' newest album, Kill the Artist Hype the Trash: trauma and Iggy Pop. The personal trauma the band experienced in their daily lives is responsible for the album's deep, personal lyrics and frustrated, aggressive tone. The title? That was all Iggy.

At Riot Fest in 2013, Wiredogs drummer Stefan Runstrom had the honor of being Mr. Pop's driver. After his set, Iggy waxed about the current state of the music industry, finally announcing that it seemed its current model was "killing the artist, hyping the trash." Runstrom took the story and the sentiment back to his bandmates -- guitarist/vocalist Dan Aid, bassist Mark Hibl and guitarist Steven Beck -- and a concept was born. Before Saturday's album release show at the Marquis Theater, we talked to Aid about what the phrase meant to him and how to forge ahead in the face of its reality.

See also: The Wiredogs Truly Connect With The Resistance

Andy Thomas: When Stefan told you about what Iggy said, what did it mean to you?

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Dan Aid: We both realized that this concept, which had seemingly randomly come out of Iggy's mouth, is what we've really been pushing toward a lot in our new writing. It allowed us to home in on what became the songs for the record.

What is the trash? The music itself or the way it's hyped?

My experience with the industry as a business is that it's about a bottom line and a dollar amount. Very little has to do with encouraging the artist as an artist. I don't see a lot of people going out of their way to help young artists gain tools to explore their art. Art isn't about end points, and it's not about dollar amounts.

Obviously, Iggy has been at it for a while. Did you think he was speaking about the current state of the music industry or the way it's always been?

It seems like he was speaking about this day and age, but I've read interviews where he says he's never made a lot of money from music. The statement resonated a lot with me in that a lot of the conversations we've been having as a band lately revolve around this idea of honesty and speaking your truth, whatever that is, not trying to create a story for yourself that doesn't actually exist. We found if you dig deep enough into who you are, it allows other people to share that story with you in a way they wouldn't otherwise.

Is it possible for "true art" to be successful?

Very few people have a chance to actually display their art the way they would want to and have it be received by a mass audience. Those people were in the right place at the right time, doing the right thing, and it was absorbed into the community in a way that they didn't have to make compromises.

I want to play the biggest shows in the world and play for the biggest audiences I can. I don't write for myself. I want to tell people these things that I'm seeing and these things that I'm feeling. This is the first time that I've created something that I'm not scared of. I know how much I put into it, and it comes from as sincere, honest and fucked up of a place as I could figure out how to be in and still tell the stories to others.

Kill the Artist Hype the Trash Release Show: 7 p.m., Saturday, January 24, Marquis Theater, $10.

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