Interview: Ike Reilly

Ike Reilly‘s a tremendously talented singer and songwriter.  I first became aware of his talent when I got Cracker‘s great Countrysides record — my favorite track, by far was “Duty Free” — when I read the liners, I realized I had to check this Ike Reilly guy out, so I picked up his first record, Salesmen & Racists, almost immediately — and wasn’t let down (though I was confused by how “Duty Free” seemed to have a whole new set of lyrics, but more on that later).  Ike’s new record is the outstanding Hard Luck Stories, which just came out on CD last February.  Kittysneezes is lucky to have Ike sit down with us and talk about his new album, comedy, and the middle name “Ray”.

Part the First

KS: At this moment in time, what is your favorite song?

Ike Reilly: “Who Loves You Now” by Brendan O’Shea.

KS: What’s your favorite band that you don’t think a lot of people would have heard of?

Ike Reilly: I only listen to very popular bands.

KS: What, if anything, is on any particular wall (your choice) in your domicile?

Ike Reilly: My smashed guitar. It fell victim to a marital dispute.

KS: What’s the strangest thing you own?

Ike Reilly: It’s a toss-up between 5 pairs of bolt cutters and a creek bed.

KS: Of the things you’ve done, what’s your all-time favorite (however you want to interpret that, be it artistic works, actions, whatever)?

Ike Reilly: Avoided any real serious physical pain or injury.

KS: Who’s your favorite visual artist (excluding yourself)?

Ike Reilly: I don’t even know what you mean. Visual artist? Like Carrot Top? That must be what you mean, right? I assume it is. I’m sure that’s what you mean so I will say…Gallagher.

KS: What are the five most recent films you’ve seen?

Ike Reilly: The films I’ve seen recently or the most recent films? Well I’m gonna go with the films I’ve seen most recently.
1) Payday
2) La Dolce Vita
3) Step Brothers
4) saw Unforgiven last night
5) Hot Rods to Hell and Iron Man 2

KS: What’re your top three movies?

Ike Reilly: Tough one. Today they are Hot Rods to HellUnforgiven and On the Waterfront.

KS: Do you own any original artwork, and if so, whose?

Ike Reilly: Yes. I own many pieces of shit made by the artist Mickey Reilly. His output is huge and consequently the quality isn’t so good. I’m hoping when he advances into third grade I will see an improvement in his vision and then hopefully an increase in the value of his work. However, right now the original artwork by Mickey Reilly is pretty shitty. I will continue to display it anyway.

KS: What is your favorite game?

Ike Reilly: Basketball

KS: If you could say one thing to David Byrne, what would it be?

Ike Reilly: Nice silver bike helmet.

KS: What are your five most favorite books in the world?

Ike Reilly: A Confederacy of DuncesEast of EdenCannery RowThe Grapes of WrathOh yeah, a picture book I just saw at the airport called Awkward Family Photos. You really don’t read it, you just look at the pictures.

KS: What is the most boring thing you’ve ever experienced?

Ike Reilly: I don’t want to answer that question when I’m so excited about talking about myself to you in this compelling interview.

KS: If you could name a child anything in the world, what would it be?

Ike Reilly: I have had that opportunity many times and failed each time. I guess I like the name Slick or Roger. I also like the name Ray or Raymond as a middle name. My father’s middle name is Raymond. If you give anyone the middle name Ray, it makes them sound immediately like a criminal, assassin, or hillbilly. Try it. George Ray Bush. Michael Ray Jordan. Ike Ray Reilly. Shooter Ray Jennings. Joe Ray Biden. Joan Ray Rivers. Paris Ray Hilton… Maybe not everyone. It works better with two syllables in the first name.

KS: What is your favorite meal?

Ike Reilly: Fish

Part the Second

KS: Why’s Hard Luck Stories not credited to the Assassination?

Ike Reilly: Cause they didn’t play on all of it and we didn’t play together on it.

KS: You’ve made some appearances at Improv clubs and humor has always played a role in your music — what type of comedy speaks to you?

Ike Reilly: The funny kind. Dark, light, physical, mental. Mostly I like comedic situations that have to do with lay-abouts.

KS: What draws you to the podcast form?

Ike Reilly: Money and the lack of money.

KS: What would be the biggest surprise in your record collection?

Ike Reilly: Lorne Greene’s “Bonanza“. It’s an amazing record. Gonna play it on my next podcast.

KS: What did you think of Cracker’s new lyrics for their cover of “Duty Free”?

Ike Reilly: Those are my lyrics so I think they are great. Your confusion is rooted in the fact that that recording my friends in Cracker made is based off my demo of the song and it is almost note for note like my demo but they played the notes and sung the words a lot better.

KS: How’d you come to work with Shooter Jennings?

Ike Reilly: I usually took a cab but sometimes I had a rental car and one time Tom Morello drove me. Ya see, Tom introduced Shooter and me and he wanted to visit us in the studio so he picked me up and drove me there. I think one other time I walked… if I’m not mistaken.

KS: If you could work with anyone in the world, living or dead, who would it be?

Ike Reilly: Ben Franklin or Eli Whitney.

KS: Do you have any other upcoming projects you’d like to mention?

Ike Reilly: Videos being finished as we speak and a TV show. Another record and some sonnets about the sea and fish.

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