Aaron North

Last updated
Aaron North
Aaron North Edinburgh 2007-08-21.jpg
North performing with Nine Inch Nails in August 2007
Background information
Birth nameAaron Wright North
Also known asAaron Icarus
Born (1979-03-22) March 22, 1979 (age 40)
Origin Los Angeles, California, United States
Genres Rock, punk rock, industrial rock
Instruments Guitar, keyboard, harmonica
Years active1995–2008
Labels Buddyhead Records, V2 Records, Interscope Records
Associated acts Jubilee, The Icarus Line, Nine Inch Nails, Queens of the Stone Age, Buddyhead
Website www.buddyhead.com

Aaron Wright North (born March 22, 1979) [1] is an American musician. He was the co-founder and guitarist of punk band The Icarus Line, the lead guitarist of industrial rock group Nine Inch Nails, and vocalist/guitarist for Jubilee. North is noted for his chaotic and unconventional guitar approach, his use and command of feedback, and the flailing of his guitar wildly while on stage.

Punk rock is a rock music genre that emerged in the mid-1970s in the United States, United Kingdom, and Australia. Rooted in 1960s garage rock and other forms of what is now known as "proto-punk" music, punk rock bands rejected perceived excesses of mainstream 1970s rock. They typically produced short, fast-paced songs with hard-edged melodies and singing styles, stripped-down instrumentation, and often political, anti-establishment lyrics. Punk embraces a DIY ethic; many bands self-produce recordings and distribute them through independent record labels.

The Icarus Line was an American post-hardcore band from Los Angeles, California, United States.

Industrial rock music genre

Industrial rock is an alternative rock genre that fuses industrial music and rock music.


His reputation for being outspoken both on and off the stage resulted in equal criticism and praise from fans and music journalists, mainly due to his role as co-founder and owner of Buddyhead. More infamously, it also landed him in substantial legal trouble numerous times. The Buddyhead music website was an outlet for his ruthlessly opinionated writing, as well as the many notable interviews he conducted with the likes of Kevin Shields and Greg Ginn.

Kevin Shields Irish musician

Kevin Patrick Shields is an Irish musician, singer-songwriter, composer, and producer, best known as the vocalist and guitarist of the band My Bloody Valentine. They would become extremely influential on the evolution of alternative rock with their two studio albums Isn't Anything (1988) and Loveless (1991), both of which pioneered a subgenre known as shoegazing. Shields's texturised guitar sound and his experimentation with his guitars' tremolo systems resulted in the creation of the "glide guitar" technique, which became a recognisable aspect of My Bloody Valentine's sound, along with his meticulous production techniques.

Greg Ginn American musician

Gregory Regis "Greg" Ginn is an American guitarist, songwriter, and singer, best known for being the leader of and primary songwriter for the hardcore punk band Black Flag, which he founded and led from 1976–86, and again in 2003. The band announced another reunion on January 25, 2013. He was born in Tucson, Arizona. Since breaking up Black Flag, Ginn has recorded a few solo albums, and has performed with such bands as October Faction, Gone, Confront James, Mojack, and others. He also owns the Texas-based independent record label, SST, originally begun as an electronics company called Solid State Tuners when he was 12 years old and an amateur radio operator.

North's creation of Buddyhead Records later extended to his recording and producing many of their bands. Among the groups he signed or issued releases from were At the Drive-In, Ink & Dagger, and The Dillinger Escape Plan.

At the Drive-In American post-hardcore band

At the Drive-In was an American rock band from El Paso, Texas, formed in 1994. The band most recently consisted of Cedric Bixler-Zavala (vocals), Omar Rodríguez-López, Paul Hinojos (bass), Tony Hajjar (drums) and Keeley Davis. After several early line-up changes, the band solidified into a five-piece, consisting of Bixler-Zavala, Rodríguez-López, Jim Ward, Hinojos and Hajjar. At the Drive-In released three studio albums and five EPs before breaking up in 2001. Their third and final album before their split, 2000's Relationship of Command, received a number of accolades and is cited as a landmark of the post-hardcore genre. Following the breakup, Bixler-Zavala and Rodríguez-López formed the Mars Volta while Ward, Hinojos, and Hajjar formed Sparta. At the Drive-In reunited in January 2012 and played the 2012 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, as well as the 2012 Lollapalooza Festival. In 2016, the band reunited for a second time, with guitarist and occasional lead vocalist Jim Ward no longer participating. He was replaced by Sparta's Keeley Davis. The band released their fourth studio album, in•ter a•li•a, in 2017. At the Drive In headlined the Neon Desert Music Festival in 2018 in El Paso, Texas. The band announced an indefinite hiatus in November 2018.

Ink & Dagger were a hardcore punk band from Philadelphia that was active in the 1990s. The two permanent members throughout the band's career were guitarist Don Devore and vocalist Sean Patrick McCabe. Other members included Ashli State, Terry Yerves, Ryan McLaughlin, Joshua Brown, Jennifer Layne Park, Dave Wagenschutz, Derek Zglenski, and Eric Wareheim. Band members frequently incorporated references to vampires in their music, painted their faces, and played with fake blood. Some members were previously in Crud is a Cult, The Mandela Strike Force and Frail.

The Dillinger Escape Plan American metalcore band

The Dillinger Escape Plan was an American metalcore band formed in Morris Plains, New Jersey, in 1997. Developed from an earlier, defunct project called Arcane, the band originally consisted of bassist Adam Doll, lead singer Dimitri Minakakis, drummer Chris Pennie and guitarist Ben Weinman. During the course of their existence, they underwent various line-up changes; by the time the band ended, the only remaining member from the group's inception was Weinman. The band's final lineup also consisted of bassist Liam Wilson, vocalist Greg Puciato, drummer Billy Rymer, and rhythm guitarist Kevin Antreassian.

In 2008, North suffered a nervous breakdown. During his subsequent hospitalizations due to mental illness and health issues, he determined his disapproval with the directions of Buddyhead and Jubilee were beyond repair. He ceased involvement completely with both soon after, and has not participated in any aspect of music since. [2]

Recording career

1998–2004: The Icarus Line

North was one of the original members of The Icarus Line, and toured and recorded with the group as a guitarist between 1998 and 2004. During his time with the band they released two critically acclaimed studio albums ( Mono in 2001 and Penance Soiree in 2004) and three EPs (Highlypuncturingnoisetestingyourabilitytohate and Red And Black Attack in 1998 and Three Jesus Songs in 2003). The band was known for its chaotic live performances, including a notorious incident in 2002 when, during a performance at the Hard Rock Cafe in Austin, Texas, North "liberated" a guitar that had belonged to Stevie Ray Vaughan by breaking its protective case with the base of a microphone stand. He tried plugging it into his amplifier, but was then quickly set upon by security. The incident resulted in North receiving numerous death threats from outraged Texans, and legal troubles. [3] North quit the band abruptly in 2004, [4] citing a desire to move into a new direction musically.

<i>Mono</i> (The Icarus Line album) 2001 studio album by The Icarus Line

Mono was the first album from The Icarus Line. It was originally released May 8, 2001 in the U.S. by Crank! Records on CD, and Buddyhead on LP.

<i>Penance Soiree</i> 2004 studio album by The Icarus Line

Penance Soiree is the second full-length album released by Los Angeles band The Icarus Line. It was one of 2004's most critically acclaimed releases, and its reputation has subsequently earned praise in various publications, including the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

Hard Rock Cafe chain of restaurants

Hard Rock Cafe Inc. is a chain of theme restaurants founded in 1971 by Isaac Tigrett and Peter Morton in London. In 1979, the cafe began covering its walls with rock and roll memorabilia, a tradition which expanded to others in the chain. In 2007, Hard Rock Cafe International (USA), Inc. was sold to the Seminole Tribe of Florida and was headquartered in Orlando, Florida, until April 2018 when the corporate offices were relocated to Davie, Florida. As of July 2018, Hard Rock International has venues in 74 countries, including 185 cafes, 25 hotels, and 12 casinos.

2004–2007: Nine Inch Nails

North smashing his guitar during a Nine Inch Nails performance in Philadelphia NIN PHILLY 00031.JPG
North smashing his guitar during a Nine Inch Nails performance in Philadelphia

North joined Nine Inch Nails in 2004 as the lead guitarist in a lineup that featured drummer Jerome Dillon, former A Perfect Circle and Marilyn Manson bass player Jeordie White and keyboard player Alessandro Cortini. He has stated that the invitation resulted from a recommendation to band leader Trent Reznor by producer Alan Moulder, who had worked with both The Icarus Line and Nine Inch Nails. In The New Zealand Herald, Reznor described the first time North jammed with Nine Inch Nails:

Jerome Dillon is a professional musician, best known for his tenure as drummer with industrial rock group Nine Inch Nails from 1999–2005. After his departure, his own project, Nearly, released its debut album reminder in December 2005, along with a cd maxi-single for the song "Straight to Nowhere". "All is Lost", a song from reminder that Dillon co-wrote with 12 Rounds singer, Claudia Sarne, was featured in the 2008 film, Diary of a Nymphomaniac. In addition, an authorized limited release live bootleg EP/DVD entitled reminder Live 2006, was released in August 2006. Dillon has worked as a composer for feature films since 2001.

A Perfect Circle American band

A Perfect Circle is an American rock supergroup formed in 1999 by guitarist Billy Howerdel and Tool vocalist Maynard James Keenan. A Perfect Circle has released four studio albums, the first three during the early 2000s: Mer de Noms, their debut album in 2000, and followed up by Thirteenth Step in 2003; then in 2004, Emotive—an album of radically re-worked cover songs. Shortly after Emotive's release, the band went on hiatus; Keenan returned to Tool and started up solo work under the band name Puscifer; and Howerdel released a solo album, Keep Telling Myself It's Alright, under the moniker Ashes Divide. Band activity was sporadic in the following years; the band reformed in 2010, and played live shows on and off between 2010 and 2013, but fell into inactivity after the release of their greatest hits album, Three Sixty, and a live album box set, A Perfect Circle Live: Featuring Stone and Echo in late 2013. The band reformed in 2017 to record a fourth album, Eat the Elephant, which was released on April 20, 2018.

Marilyn Manson (band) American rock band

Marilyn Manson is an American rock band formed by namesake lead singer Marilyn Manson and guitarist Daisy Berkowitz in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, in 1989. Originally named Marilyn Manson & the Spooky Kids, they gained a local cult following in South Florida in the early 1990s with their theatrical live performances. In 1993, they were the first act signed to Trent Reznor's Nothing Records label. Until 1996, the name of each member was created by combining the first name of a female sex symbol and the last name of a serial killer, for example Marilyn Monroe and Charles Manson. Their lineup has changed between many of their album releases; the eponymous lead singer is the only remaining original member.

North was with the band for the "Live: With_Teeth" tour (in support of the 2005 release With Teeth ) and the "Performance: 2007" tour (the latter stages of which were in support of the 2007 release Year Zero ). While touring with NIN in 2005 North performed as a guest guitarist with the band Queens of the Stone Age at various acoustic "in-store" performances, and two "regular" shows in Los Angeles. In July 2006, North was named (along with Nine Inch Nails) in a lawsuit brought on by Wisconsin security guard Mark LaVoie. This suit alleged that he "intentionally, and violently" inflicted injury upon the guard while performing at Alliant Energy Center on Oct. 13, 2005. The lawsuit reportedly settled out of court with LaVoie receiving a substantial amount of money. [5]

North is included on the live DVD Beside You in Time and appeared in the music videos for "The Hand That Feeds" and "Survivalism". He left the group at the conclusion of the 2007 run.

2007–2008: Jubilee

North formed Jubilee in late 2007 with former Icarus Line band-mate, Troy Petrey, on drums, and bassist Michael Shuman (Queens of the Stone Age, Wires On Fire). The band embarked on a brief UK tour in January 2008 with members of Wires On Fire temporarily rounding out the lineup. The band returned to the UK in late 2008 to complete a more extensive tour. Upon their return, they played one show in Los Angeles. This is still the only performance the band has ever played in their native country. Jubilee released two singles in 2008, 'Rebel Hiss' and 'In With The Out Crowd', which were intended to be immediately followed by their debut album.

In late 2008, North suffered a nervous breakdown while mixing the Jubilee album. After subsequent hospitalizations, he ceased all activity with the band. A "motorcycle accident" was used as a public explanation at the time. Months later, attempts to form a new lineup of the band and finish the album were also abandoned by North. It was later learned that North had been diagnosed as being Bipolar I, and having Major Depressive Disorder among other mental illnesses. [2] The still unreleased album includes performances from a vast array of drummers and collaborators including Dave Grohl, Julian Gross, Nick Jago, Joey Castillo, Carla Azar, Josh Freese, Loren Humphrey, Kevin Haskins, Taylor Hawkins, Josh Homme, Trent Reznor and Maynard James Keenan.


North co-founded Buddyhead with Travis Keller in 1998. The independent record label and music "webzine" was infamous for its gossip section that frequently featured phone numbers of celebrities such as Fred Durst and Courtney Love. The gossip section also frequently slammed Axl Rose of Guns N' Roses. Buddyhead was also known for their infamous antics such as spray-painting "$uckin' Dick$" on the tour bus of The Strokes, as well as breaking into the Interscope Records building to steal three of Durst's baseball caps. With no explanation, North ended his association with Buddyhead in 2008.

Musical equipment

Many other guitars, effects and amplifiers have been used by North in his various projects, these are only a few of the confirmed pedals that he is currently or has used in the past.

Guitars [6]
Effects [9]
Amplifiers [10]


With The Icarus Line
With Nine Inch Nails
With Jubilee

Related Research Articles

<i>The Downward Spiral</i> 1994 studio album by Nine Inch Nails

The Downward Spiral is the second studio album by American industrial rock band Nine Inch Nails, released on March 8, 1994, by Nothing Records and Interscope Records in the United States and by Island Records in Europe. It is a concept album detailing the destruction of a man from the beginning of his "downward spiral" to his death by suicide. The Downward Spiral features elements of industrial rock, techno and heavy metal music, in contrast to the band's synthpop-influenced debut album Pretty Hate Machine (1989), and was produced by Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor and Flood.

Nine Inch Nails American industrial rock band

Nine Inch Nails, commonly abbreviated as NIN, is an American industrial rock band formed in 1988 in Cleveland, Ohio. Singer, producer and instrumentalist Trent Reznor was the only permanent member until the addition of English musician Atticus Ross in 2016.

Trent Reznor American musician

Michael Trent Reznor is an American singer, songwriter, musician, record producer, and film score composer. He is the founder, lead vocalist, and principal songwriter of the industrial rock band Nine Inch Nails, which he founded in 1988 and of which he was the sole official member until adding long-time collaborator Atticus Ross as a permanent member in 2016. His first release under the Nine Inch Nails name, the 1989 album Pretty Hate Machine, was a commercial and critical success. He has since released nine Nine Inch Nails studio albums. He left Interscope Records in 2007 and was an independent recording artist until signing with Columbia Records in 2012.

<i>And All That Could Have Been</i> documentary film directed by Rob Sheridan (2002)

And All That Could Have Been is a double album by American industrial rock band Nine Inch Nails, released on January 22, 2002 by Nothing and Interscope Records. The live album contains music recorded during the Fragility v2.0 US tour in 2000. Disc one is a live album of most of their normal set list of the time, while disc two contains a studio album titled Still, containing "deconstructed" versions of previous Nine Inch Nails songs and some new material. The double DVD set, sold separately, includes video recordings of the songs performed on the CD, as well as additional song performances and footage from the tour.

<i>Pretty Hate Machine</i> 1989 studio album by Nine Inch Nails

Pretty Hate Machine is the debut studio album by American industrial rock band Nine Inch Nails, released on October 20, 1989 by TVT Records. The album is compiled of reworked tracks from the Purest Feeling demo, as well as songs composed after its original recording. Production of the record was handled by Flood and Trent Reznor, among other contributors.

<i>The Fragile</i> (Nine Inch Nails album) 1999 album by Nine Inch Nails

The Fragile is the third studio album by American industrial rock band Nine Inch Nails, released as a double album on September 21, 1999, by Nothing and Interscope Records. It was produced by Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor and longtime collaborator Alan Moulder. It was recorded throughout 1997 to 1999 in New Orleans.

Head Like a Hole 1990 song by Nine Inch Nails

"Head Like a Hole" is a song by the American industrial rock band Nine Inch Nails, released as the second single from the group's debut album, Pretty Hate Machine.

Robin Finck American musician

Robert John "Robin" Finck is an American guitarist. He is one of only a few artists who has played in two different bands listed on VH1's "100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock": Nine Inch Nails and Guns N' Roses.

<i>With Teeth</i> 2005 studio album by Nine Inch Nails

With Teeth is the fourth studio album by American industrial rock band Nine Inch Nails, released on May 3, 2005 by Nothing Records and Interscope Records. The album was produced by Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor and long-time collaborator Alan Moulder. It also features contributions from musician Dave Grohl.

Alessandro Cortini Italian musician

Alessandro Cortini is an Italian musician best known for being the keyboard player in the American band Nine Inch Nails, Cortini is also the frontman for the Los Angeles-based electronic-alternative band SONOIO.

Lucky Pierre is a new wave band, founded in Cleveland in 1974 by singer-songwriter, guitarist and the only constant member, Kevin McMahon. The initial line-up of the band included McMahon on vocals, John Guardico on guitar, Dennis DeVito on bass and Brian Dempsey on drums. The band has released a string of singles in between the late 1970s and early 1980s, before entering to a hiatus and reforming in 1988, with guitarist Rick Christyson and keyboardist Trent Reznor, the founder of the industrial rock act Nine Inch Nails.

Buddyhead Records record label

Buddyhead is a music webzine and independent record label formed by Travis Keller in the summer of 1998 in Hollywood, California. Buddyhead engaged in criticism of popular culture and the music industry. Its gossip column resulted in Buddyhead being sued over a dozen times by numerous celebrities and record labels, including Korn, Courtney Love, Fred Durst, Moby, Drive-Thru Records, and Axl Rose.

Nine Inch Nails live performances band that plays Industrial rock

Nine Inch Nails, an industrial rock band fronted by Trent Reznor, has toured all over the world since its creation in 1988. While Reznor—the only official member until adding Atticus Ross in 2016—controls its creative and musical direction in the studio, the touring band performs different arrangements of the songs. In addition to regular concerts, the band has performed in both supporting and headlining roles at festivals such as Woodstock '94, Lollapalooza 1991 and 2008, and many other one-off performances including the MTV Video Music Awards. Prior to their 2013 tour, the band had played 938 gigs.

Ilan Rubin American musician

Ilan Rubin is an American musician, multi-instrumentalist, singer, and songwriter. He is known primarily for playing drums with bands such as Nine Inch Nails, Paramore, and Angels & Airwaves. He also has his own solo project called The New Regime.

<i>Year Zero</i> (album) 2007 studio album by Nine Inch Nails

Year Zero is the fifth studio album by American industrial rock band Nine Inch Nails, released by Interscope Records on April 17, 2007. Conceived while touring in support of the band's previous album, With Teeth (2005), the album was recorded throughout late-2006, and was produced by frontman Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross. It was the band's last album for Interscope, following Reznor's departure the same year over a dispute of overseas pricing.

Modwheelmood is an Electronic-Alternative band from Los Angeles, California formed by Alessandro Cortini and former Abandoned Pools guitarist Pelle Hillström in 1998.

Jubilee was an Indie rock band from Hollywood, California. The band was started in late 2007 by Aaron North who is the chief songwriter, and singer in the band. He plays guitar as well. Also on guitar, is Tony Bevilacqua. Jenni Tarma plays bass, and Troy "Boy" Petrey plays drums.


  1. http://www.theninhotline.net/archives/articles/manager/display_article.php?id=435
  2. 1 2 Marchese, David (3 September 2013). "L.A. Blues: Aaron North's Sad Descent From Nine Inch Nails to Nowhere". Spin.com. Retrieved 3 September 2013.
  3. Clinic, Icarus Line Highlight SXSW - News Story | Music, Celebrity, Artist News | MTV News
  4. http://matzahsaidwhat.blogspot.com/2005/04/matzah-interviews-aaron-north-of-nine.html
  5. "Nine Inch Nails Sued Over Microphone Stand Allegedly Thrown At Fall Concert" MTV News - Accessed January 14, 2007.
  6. Aaron North answers your questions theninhotline.com Retrieved:2009-12-31
  7. First Act Aaron North Double Cutaway Archived February 7, 2010, at the Wayback Machine firstact.com Retrieved: 2009-12-31
  8. Nine Inch Nails Guitarist Aaron North on the Road with Yamaha Guitars yamaha.com
  9. "Aaron North Selling NIN touring gear". Archived from the original on 2011-07-14. Retrieved 2009-12-31.
  10. Aaron North of Nine Inch Nails - The Gearwire Interview Archived 2008-02-19 at the Wayback Machine gearwire.com Retrieved: 2009-12-31