Tod A.

Tod A.

Tod A. is the stage name of singer, songwriter and bass guitarist Tod Ashley. He founded the rock music groups Cop Shoot Cop and Firewater.

Tod went to high school at the Peddie School in Hightstown, New Jersey, and lived in Cranbury, NJ before moving to Rhode Island. In 1987, Ashley formed Cop Shoot Cop with Phil Puleo, which with some lineup additions, including David Ouimet, eventually released five full length studio albums, two on Interscope Records. In 1995, when he left the group, Tod had several unproduced songs he had written. Recruiting the talents of (among others) Hahn Rowe, Duane Denison of the Jesus Lizard, Yuval Gabay of Soul Coughing, and Jennifer Charles of Elysian Fields, Tod used the material to record the album Get off the Cross... We Need the Wood For the Fire under the moniker Firewater. While the lineup has since changed, Tod remains the singer, songwriter, and bassist of Firewater.

Tod attended film school at Rhode Island School of Design for two years before abandoning film for the music industry. Tod had dabbled in music while at RISD with the group Dig Dat Hole with future Cop Shoot Cop collaborator Phil Puleo and Jon Rose; the same line up that played together under the name Loop. The band recorded an album named Kneejerk with Steve Albini, but only test pressings of the album were made. He also spent time while in art school in a band called Shithäus [Fayers, Adam. [ "SHITHAUS - CRUSH: LIVE CRUSH 84 - 85"] , "Get With It", December 28, 2005. Accessed November 6, 2007. " Shithaus is a pre-Pussy Galore band featuring Jon Spencer, Tod Ashley, Tom Fry and Jamie Jacquin. They released at least one cassette in 1985."] with Jon Spencer, later of The Blues Explosion. In 2003, Tod worked as a graphic designer for Jetset Records (Firewater's independent record label), designing many of the company's album covers, posters, and flyers.

In 2005, putting his musical career on temporary hiatus, Tod spent most of the year travelling the Far East, including Calcutta, India and Bangkok, Thailand. He has published a written account of his travels in a blog, which he calls [ Postcards From the Other Side of the World] .

As a lyricist, Tod's writing is often acerbic and self deprecating, utilizing a narrative style that draws heavy influence from Tom Waits, which can be seen in the following excerpts from Firewater songs:

Misery loves company/
that's why everyone loves me
- "Drunkard's Lament", "The Ponzi Scheme" (1998)

Baby, I could be a billionaire/
If I wasn't always broke/
And I could be a comedian/
If I wasn't such a joke/
Guess I knew it all along/
Being born's where I went wrong
- "Get Out of My Head", "Psychopharmacology" (2001)

External links

* [ The Tod Hole - A Firewater, Cop Shoot Cop, and related band depository]
* [ 90.3 WCPN Cleveland - Podcast interview with Tod A.]


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