Saturday, March 12, 2011

Aaron's Laika Send-Off

Hey blogosphere!! Aaron here!!

First off, I have to warn you this is going to be a long post. I only post on here like once a year, so when I do, I like to really "go for it."

So for the last few years, in addition to playing with Red Fang, I've also had a regular 9-6 (sometimes 8-7) job working at Laika Entertainment - the people who brought you Coraline. I worked in the Puppet Department on Coraline for about a year, had some time off (Prehistoric Dog video / self-titled album / Clutch Tour, etc...), then went back to work on the feature they are currently shooting. Because of a non-disclosure agreement, I can't tell you anything about the new movie except that it is going to be totally amazing!!! And also awesome.

Anyway, because our tour schedule this year is so crazy busy, I had to leave Laika early. This is awesome because it means Red Fang is kicking ass right now, but it is also sad because I have truly loved working at Laika and have become very close friends with a lot of people there. Apparently there are no hard feelings, as you shall see...

First, I arrived at work to find a giant pinata of my head hanging above my desk:

The pinata was made by my friends Jeremy (who also plays bass in my other band, Ancient Age). If you can't tell what he's doing, he's got a painting of me (by Josh Storey - amazing painter!) on a Q-Tip in a vise.

and Miel

Around 5:30 the whole puppet department headed over to the one clear spot in the studio and watched me smash the pinata to bits, using the plywood SG guitar that Jeremy and Miel had also made. There was no mad rush for the booty, though, because my head was filled with tour supplies just for me and the dudes! Here's an "after" photo of the head and the plywood guitar:

and here's a photo of some of the loot that was inside:

Apparently they spent nights all week working on this thing and buying all the goodies to put inside. And let me tell you, it was stocked. There was like 10 pounds of candy, some 9 volt batteries, 6 pairs of socks, 3 pairs of underwear, some travel-sized booze, various hygiene products (so many, actually, that it made me wonder if they were trying to send me a message), band aids, beef jerky, cough drops, laundromat quarters, etc. - just look at the damned photo!

Ok, not all of what you see in the photo was inside the head. That sultry lady painting and the bags of Asian snacks were from my friend Chris Rabilwongse. The bottle of Laphroaig 10 year, and the flask were gifts from my amazing bosses, George Hayns and Jill Ahlstrand, who I need to thank for being so awesome! I hope I can work with them again in the future. I also need to take a second to thank my friend Cynthia Star, without whom none of this would have been possible, since she got me a job at Laika in the first place. And thanks as well to Scott Tom, who also helped me a lot on Coraline. Things were a bit overwhelming on Thursday, so I forgot to take a single photo. All I have is this one that Jeremy took for me of George:

Oh, and that's not all. I also received a Steno notebook full of portraits of me. What the hell?!? There were over 40 of them, so I can't post them all, but here are a couple for you to look at:

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All in all it was a pretty good day. Anyway, they're trying to kick us out of this hotel, so I gotta get back on the road - first show of tour is tonight in San Francisco! See you there!!



  1. great post, Aaron! look forward to seeing you back in Houston sometime soon!

  2. Hey Aaron,
    That was nice to know and cool to see. You have the best of both worlds, and those are nice worlds to be nice in.
    Joe Otro Nubs Nu!