Brian: On DC Music Rocks, we're shining a spotlight on the great songs, artists and incredible people behind the DC region's local music scene. Aaron Miller started and runs a PA rental and sounds services business called Gold Pants Rentals. He was born in Connecticut, grew up in New Jersey and now is living in DC. Aaron's the bassist for the local cover band The Perfectionists, so he knows what it's like to be a performer and that live, that performance side of things. He's also a self-taught live sound engineer, and has taken some studio, recording and mixing classes with local engineer Howard [Rivuck 00:00:36]. Also he's self-taught on bass, guitar and ukulele, but he does have classical training in the piano. Holy smokes, Aaron. That's a lot of stuff, man. And I've worked with this guy. I've played shows with The Perfectionists, with his band, I've also worked with him as a sound guy, and he's just overall a freaking amazing guy. So thank you for being here with me today, man.
Aaron Miller: Well gee thanks. Thanks for having me.
Brian: Absolutely. Not so talk about, we brought up some things here, so what is it ... talk about Gold Pants Rentals and what makes it special.
Aaron Miller: Yeah, so I started the company because well for a few reasons. One I had recently been laid off from my day job and I really wanted to build a business, and build another stream of income so I wouldn't be caught with my pants down, so to speak.
Brian: Not with your gold pants down?
Aaron Miller: My gold pants down, yeah. If you dig deep enough into my Facebook profile, you will find the picture to which my business name refers.
Brian: Oh my God, don't tease me like that. Okay, got it.
Aaron Miller: Yeah, you're going to have to do-
Brian: So you're going to have to share that.
Aaron Miller: ... some serious, serious Facebook stalking.
Aaron Miller: I started the business, I was looking for a niche, and my band we, as a cover band, we play venues that typically don't have any sort of PA or sound engineer, or if they do it's very minimal. Usually half the channels are broken, like it's tough to put on a good show if you don't have the right gear, and I was chatting with Miles, because he owns-
Brian: Seven Drum City.
Aaron Miller: ... Seven Drum City, and he said, "Yeah, I get requests for a PA all the time and I just can't take it off my walls and rent it out, but I think that that would be something that people would be interested in." So I did some more research. I put together a basic rig, and just sort of hit go, and people for whatever reason keep hiring me, which is great.
Brian: Yeah, and what is forever ... you said for whatever reason, what makes Gold Pants special? What is it even?
Aaron Miller: Well I've researched my competition and I think we occupy this sort of niche between the really, really high-end pro shops that will drop a stage in the middle of a field and Paul McCartney can play there, and then guys who will just put up an ad on Craigslist and just keeping renewing it. Hey, you know rent my rig, come visit me and I'll set you up with gear. I wanted something with a professional feel but also more of a home-y type of touch. So you can go to my website, you can rent all my gear through my website.
Brian: What is the website?
Aaron Miller: Goldpantsllc.com
Brian: Got it, okay.
Aaron Miller: I don't know why Gold Pants was taken, but otherwise ...
Brian: And while you're at it, check out what goldpants.com is, but then go to goldpantsllc. Got it, okay.
Aaron Miller: All my prices are upfront. Service fees and rental fees, and I just try to be really upfront and you know what you're getting. Once you know that, I deliver. I'm going to be there early, I'm going to have everything you need. If something does break, I'll have a replacement there. I'll take care of you, I'll make sure your show goes on.
Brian: So it's like a full service thing but it's not at a huge incredible price. It's a good deal.
Aaron Miller: I think it's a very good value for what we provide, yeah.
Brian: That's amazing, man. Alright, and so now gold pants, tell the story. We don't have the picture, but tell the story. Were you wearing gold pants? Why is it called Gold Pants?
Aaron Miller: Alright, so I don't drink a lot, which ends up making me a very lightweight when I do drink, and I don't know maybe 10 years ago, I went to a New Year's Eve party. The New Year's Eve party was 70's themed, and my girlfriend now wife, at the time she married me, whatever reason, she married me.
Brian: Because you're an amazing dude, and she's an amazing woman. I love it.
Aaron Miller: She was wearing a set of gold tights. She looked spectacular in them. I thought I would look even more spectacular in them-
Brian: Oh please tell me you put them on.
Aaron Miller: I surely did, and-
Brian: Stop it.
Aaron Miller: Yes.
Brian: Oh, that's awesome. Okay.
Aaron Miller: So when I did something so dumb as to start my own business, I thought I would name it after that dumb thing I did in my twenties.
Brian: Oh my God, that's amazing.
Aaron Miller: Yeah.
Brian: And now it's turning out that both of those ended up being smart things that you did.
Aaron Miller: Yeah, like-
Brian: You started a business and you put on some gold pants and came up with a name for your business.
Aaron Miller: Yeah, I think so.
Brian: I love it. Oh my God, that's amazing. What's your DC region connection? You said you was some from New Jersey. When did you get here?
Aaron Miller: Well I went to GW. New Jersey's greatest export is college students, because we all want to leave.
Brian: Okay, got it.
Aaron Miller: So I went to GW. I got a job at the now defunct DC Snacks. We were such a stoner company. We would deliver ice cream and cigarettes to you at 2 in the morning. From there I went to another DC institution, Georgetown Cupcake. I handled their local deliveries, and then I ran their national shipping business.
Brian: Holy smokes.
Aaron Miller: Then I started delivering flowers for a company called H Bloom, and from there, yeah-
Brian: So basically you've been at all these different businesses, but how long ago did you get to DC?
Aaron Miller: I guess-
Brian: What year would have that been?
Aaron Miller: ... in 2005, fall of 2005.
Aaron Miller: Yeah.
Brian: Wow. Amazing time, and now look at you. You got this wife that looks great in gold pants apparently, and-
Aaron Miller: Not as good as me.
Brian: ... this cool business. Not as good as you, though.
Aaron Miller: No.
Brian: Yes, we did establish this. My God, if we ever do an event, you're going to have to wear the gold pants one time, just I don't know, for old times' sake. That's amazing. Alright, now talk about you on the personal side. What do you do as hobbies or outside of all this work that you do?
Aaron Miller: Well, you know it's when I'm done for the weekend, I really like to unwind with my wife Caroline. We binge watch Netflix a lot. I mean I know-
Aaron Miller: ... that's pretty-
Brian: What are you watching?
Aaron Miller: ... standard. Right now we're watching Mindhunters which is-
Brian: I've heard such good things.
Aaron Miller: ... amazingly creepy. It'll give you bad dreams, so yeah-
Brian: Oh man, alright. Got it. So Mindhunters for nightmares, got it. Okay.
Aaron Miller: So then on a lighter side we're watching Maron, which is Marc Maron's, I guess it's sitcom, or his show about his, you know, sort of a great comedian, not a great guy really. Just you know show the-
Brian: I got it, yeah. Oh man, amazing. So a little bit of Netflix. Any other stuff that you do to kind of wind down as you're ... is it just a lot of relaxing?
Aaron Miller: A lot of relaxing. Can I mention that I do Crossfit now? I totally do Crossfit.
Brian: You do Crossfit now? I love it.
Aaron Miller: Yeah.
Brian: Yeah, there's a lot of ... I feel like there's people that love Crossfit and hate Crossfit. Which one are you?
Aaron Miller: Oh I hate it. It is the worst.
Brian: But it's so good for you.
Aaron Miller: I am so sore all the time. It just hurts.
Brian: I love it. Well you're looking trim, dude. So I love that-
Aaron Miller: Oh, well thanks.
Brian: ... you're doing it, man. This is good stuff.
Aaron Miller: But one of the rules is that I have to mention it in every conversation, so-
Brian: Yes, one of the first rules of Crossfit is that you talk about Crossfit.
Aaron Miller: Exactly.
Brian: Yes. I love it. Alright, now if you could offer ... one of my favorite questions to ask. If you could offer one piece of advice, what would it be?
Aaron Miller: Just do it.
Brian: Just do it.
Aaron Miller: Just like Nike, you know, but actually just do it. I was always talking about starting a business. When I finally just pushed myself to spend some money and do it, it all tumbled forward.
Brian: There it is. So just do it, and that's where Gold Pants came from. Has other things come from that too? Is that where The Perfectionists came from? You've been playing music too. Yeah, the music. You've been playing classically trained piano. Talk a little bit about the music.
Aaron Miller: Sure. So I started playing piano when I was six, did the classical, all the scales and all that. You know, I can play For Elise with the best of them. I got bored with that. I started taking some jazz lessons. I don't know if you know this, but you can actually play piano in a marching band. I did that.
Brian: How do you do that?
Aaron Miller: Well they have a pit, so I'm not being dragged around.
Brian: Oh okay. I was going to say-
Aaron Miller: Yeah.
Brian: ... the pit orchestra. Yes, I did know that.
Aaron Miller: Yeah, so I was technically a part of the percussion section and that was in high school-
Brian: Sure, excellent.
Aaron Miller: ... so I got to wear a wonderful uniform.
Brian: Oh man, but then you play bass now.
Aaron Miller: I do.
Brian: When did that happen?
Aaron Miller: So I took ... GW has a music program, and you can take lessons for non-majors. So I wanted to take more piano lessons, and I guess I wasn't very good at it, because my teacher said, "Hey, one of my other students, he's starting a band. Why don't you play bass for him? You said you had a bass, right?"
Brian: Wow, so you got kind of bumped into doing some bass.
Aaron Miller: But I love the instrument. I started listening to Victor Wooten, and he's just incredible.
Brian: Phenomenal bassist.
Aaron Miller: And it's like, "Oh, the bass can do that." And then you start listening to bass lines in all the Beatles songs, and it just ... it's just a wonderful instrument. I love playing it.
Brian: [inaudible 00:10:31] there's a lot of bass. I love that, man. Now last thing, folks if they want to find out more about the stuff that you're doing, we talked about Gold Pants, and where are the places they go online to find that stuff?
Aaron Miller: Facebook. Yeah, all Facebook. I am on it way too much, so you should go there.
Brian: Facebook. So it's facebook.com/ ...
Aaron Miller: Goldpantsrentals.
Aaron Miller: Or perfectionistdc.
Brian: Or perfectionistdc, that's the band.
Aaron Miller: Yeah.
Brian: Very cool, and Seven Drum City.
Aaron Miller: Of course.
Brian: And the other, the business partner there. Great, great things happening there.