- Tod A.
Tod A. is the
stage nameof singer, songwriterand bass guitarist Tod Ashley. He founded the rock musicgroups Cop Shoot Copand Firewater.
Tod went to high school at the
Peddie Schoolin Hightstown, New Jersey, and lived in Cranbury, NJ before moving to Rhode Island. In 1987, Ashley formed Cop Shoot Copwith 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 Denisonof the Jesus Lizard, Yuval Gabayof Soul Coughing, and Jennifer Charlesof Elysian Fields, Tod used the material to record the album Get off the Cross... We Need the Wood For the Fireunder the moniker Firewater. While the lineup has since changed, Tod remains the singer, songwriter, and bassistof Firewater.
Tod attended film school at
Rhode Island School of Designfor two years before abandoning film for the music industry. Tod had dabbled in music while at RISD with the group Dig Dat Holewith 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. [http://www.pop-catastrophe.co.uk/296.aspx "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 designerfor 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, Indiaand Bangkok, Thailand. He has published a written account of his travels in a blog, which he calls [http://postcards.blogs.com/postcards_from_the_other_/ 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", "
* [http://www.geocities.com/thetodhole/ The Tod Hole - A Firewater, Cop Shoot Cop, and related band depository]
* [http://www.wcpn.org/index.php/WCPN/an/12194/ 90.3 WCPN Cleveland - Podcast interview with Tod A.]
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