Hometown: Wingdale, NY. Obsessed with: ’70s rock and roll, vintage guitars and indigenous survival teqniques.
IWTBH: Are you a hillbilly?
AY: I prefer “Hill William”.
IWTBH: Don’t hillbillies hate cans?
IWTBH: Puerto Ricans? Dominicans? Mexicans?
AY: Most of the time I just really hate Americans…
IWTBH: How long could you survive in the wild with a toothbrush and a Speedo?
AY: Toothbrush could be sharpened into a knife. Is the Speedo used? Sounds nasty, but the fabric of the Speedo could filter water. The elastic band could be used as a tourniquet, a bow string, cordage for a snare, a noose in case you get trapped like that rock climbing dude who cut off his own arm with a Swiss Army knife. I’m definitely never going to cut my own arm off.
IWTBH: Not even if you woke up trapped next to a slumbering Rosie O’Donnell? She could probably sleep for 127 hours.
AY: Pass the toothbrush.
IWTBH: How would you describe your personal style?
AY: I’ve pretty much dressed the same since middle school. Cheap jeans, cheap shirt, funky hat, grubby shoes.
IWTBH: Do you have a style icon?
AY: I wish I was Jack Nicholson. Back in the day Jack, 1970s Jack.
IWTBH: Favorite shoe?
AY: Chippewa Katahdin Iron Works Boots. They’re an exact replica of the boots Chippewa made 150 years ago.
AY: Denim shirts are the best. I’m a big fan of the Canadian tux.
IWTBH: Favorite store?
AY: I love pawn shops. Before eBay was king, you could find the best deals on guitars and cameras at the odd pawn shop.
IWTBH: You make the most amazing things in the woods. What are you working on now?
AY: I just finished making a folding bucksaw out of birch. Right now I’m working on making kuksas out of burl wood. They were made by the Sami people of Scandinavia.
IWTBH: How is the teepee coming along?
AY: It’s actually a wigwam. All that’s left to do is find enough birch bark to shingle the outside.
IWTBH: Dream ride?
AY: 1960 Ford panel truck. Gotta throw a big block motor in there to piss off the environmentalists.
IWTBH: What can you do better than anyone else in the world?
AY: Oh geez… I have no idea.. should I make something up?
IWTBH: Making things up is the thing you do better than anyone else in the world. Last big purchase?
IWTBH: Yikes. How many times have you read Catcher in the Rye?
AY: I’ve actually never read Catcher in the Rye. I was always creeped out by the Mark David Chapman thing.
IWTBH: Favorite possession?
AY: It’s either my black 1979 Gibson Les Paul or my custom made Scandinavian knife.
IWTBH: That knife is really sweet. Who made it?
AY: A guy named Cody who lives in Saratoga Springs NY made it for me. His company is called Adventure Sworn.
IWTBH: Have you ever seen a UFO?
AY: I’m not sure. I’d say possibly. The real question is… has a UFO ever seen you?
IWTBH: Favorite book?
AY: Anything Kubrick. Especially The Shining.
IWTBH: T.V. show?
AY: Ray Mears Bushcraft (British), MacGyver, Ren & Stimpy, Star Trek, original Series.
IWTBH: You have amazing musical taste for such a young feller. What are some of your favorite bands?
AY: I go through phases with my music collection. Led Zeppelin, The Band, Duane Allman, Howlin’ Wolf. Basically 1977 and earlier is where it’s at. Anything ’60s psychedelic rock or poor black man blues is the way to go.
IWTBH: What was your last music purchase?
AY: Does collecting bootlegs count? Please don’t let Jimmy Page know that I found those scratch tracks from Headley Grange! Last legitimate purchase was Aretha Franklin’s 1970 album “This Girl’s in Love with You.” I had to have it after I heard there is a track or two featuring Duane Allman. Go to YouTube and search “It Ain’t Fair, Aretha Franklin” and turn those speakers up.
IWTBH: What’s your favorite instrument?
AY: My johnson.
IWTBH: No, favorite musical instrument.
AY: A heavy vintage Gibson guitar plugged into a screaming loud 50 watt vacuum tube amp.
IWTBH: Played with your johnson. Who do people tell you that you look like?
AY: Oh man, I’ve heard so many. It’s never anything really cool though: Jack Black, Bin Laden, Rob Thomas, Jerry Garcia.
IWTBH: Thats awesome. What was your first job?
AY: My first job was as a bus boy at the Old Drovers Inn. It was a famous 200 year old inn that Washington brought troops through a couple of times during the revolution. The job was ok, but most of the staff were always on edge because it was extremely haunted.
IWTBH: Scary. Have you ever seen a ghost?
AY: I’ve never seen an actual apparition. I have seen shadows move around and heard things . My apartment in college was in between two funeral homes. Sometimes the bathtub would turn on full blast or we would hear people walking around the attic. I wish I saw a real deal ghost. Then my dream of being Peter Venkman would come true.
IWTBH: “Heat em up”. What is your favorite drink?
AY: Beer. I’m usually a hefeweizen guy but sometimes you have to give in to what your body really needs. A nice cold shitty cheap ass beer. (Schlitz, Schafer, Golden Anniversary, Genesee Cream Ale, etc)
IWTBH: What is number #1 on your bucket list?
AY: I’d like to buy a plot of land somewhere and build a small pioneer-style cabin.
IWTBH: Ever jerk off to Laura Ingalls?
AY: I’m more of a Mary guy. Especially after she went blind. It’s the perfect setup. She can’t judge me by how I look and think of the things I could get away with!
IWTBH: Congratulations, you have just managed to lower the tone of IWTBH. I really didn’t think that was possible. Do you have an idol?
AY: I think that changes from time to time. It’s usually a guitarist, a famous woodsman or a crazy person. Alvin Lee of Ten Years After, Mors Kochanski, Nikola Tesla.
IWTBH: Proudest moment?
AY: The other day my father and I shredded synchronized blues solos for like 15 minutes. That’s something to be proud of. Oh I know –playing a sold-out Chance Theatre in Poughkeepsie, New York when I was in high school.
IWTBH: What event changed your life the most?
AY: Learning indigenous survival techniques.
IWTBH: What tattoos do you have?
AY: I have 3 tattoos. They’re all different Salvador Dali elements from some of his pieces. Most people don’t know who he is anymore.. Which is lame! … You know… The melting clock guy!
IWTBH: Never heard of him. Last question. 59 Million dollars but you have to drink a shot of Jagermeister every 15 minutes. Yes or no?
AY: No way, that’s what happened to John Bonham.
IWTBH: Thanks Alex.
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