If there’s one thing the greater Akron area has become known for in the decades since the rubber industry packed up and peaced out, it would have to be unleashing upon the world a number of musically talented oddballs. Personally, I’d much rather see that as our lasting legacy as opposed to the Rubber Capital of the World. We are responsible for the Beefheart-inspired zaniness of Tin Huey, the X-rated (and, at times, just plain fucked-up) country stylings of David Allan Coe, the warped, catchy pop of The Waitresses and, of course, the energy dome-sporting New Wave prophets Devo. And that’s definitely something to be proud of. Carrying on this fine tradition of weirdness is Robert Ledyard. You may know him as the bassist and co-vocalist of New Body Type. Or perhaps you’ve caught him with The New Civil War Adventure Band — or maybe you were lucky enough to witness Radar Secret Service a few years back. But, if you’d like to see some truly strange shit, you should probably check out the man on his own. BB: Tell me a little bit about your solo performances. RL: My solo performances stick to a time-tested formula of fumbling my way through [Kent hardcore pioneers] Sockeye covers on my mother’s acoustic guitar and reading from a Crate and Barrel catalog. One of these days all of this funny business will evaporate and it will become evident to certain people that I have been spreading some sort of leftist/socialist propaganda. BB: How long have you been performing music? What made you love doing it? RL: I’ve been playing music since I was 14 years old. I have two sisters and they also both enjoy playing and singing music. I’m 30 now and I honestly cannot remember what exactly made me want to play the piano or the guitar, but I suppose it is kind of nice to now be able to write a song when I feel overwhelmed by some emotional extreme or hunger. BB: I know you’re in New Body Type and was obsessed with “Pink Boys” for a spell. You’ve also played with the Lite Boys, Radar Secret Service and the New Civil War Adventure Band. Am I missing any? RL: I also had a band circa 2004 called Human Caveman that I am not supposed to talk about. I am currently playing with some folks in Cleveland in a band called Platonic Life Partner. Radar Secret Service was my first band. That started when I was in high school in 1997. We practiced in an aircraft hangar. You would have to ask the guitar player of Radar Secret Service — his name is Josh — if the barn we practiced in actually had ever been an aircraft hangar. That’s what he told me. My other hobby is building model airplanes. I also like watching trains. BB: You’re always changing your billed name while performing solo. What are some of the names you’ve performed under? RL: My cat has a new name almost every week and I must therefore expect no less from myself. I am also a coward. I honestly cannot remember most of the names I have performed under, since they were often only employed for an evening — but I do remember most of my cat’s names: Johnny #1, Clifford, Danger Man, Overtime, Cuba, David Giffels the Cat and currently, Wizmo. BB: How does your solo work differ from your work with New Body Type and your other bands? RL: I care about New Body Type and Platonic Life Partner. I don’t care about myself. That’s as a performer — I brush my teeth and take care of my body and get a good night’s rest and exercise when I have the time. BB: What are your feelings on the current state of the local music scene? RL: Call me nostalgic, but I wish it were more like an episode of “Welcome Back, Kotter” or “Happy Days”. I miss that kind of camaraderie. I’ve enjoyed most of the bands I’ve played with, especially those with whom I have played with in the last two months. BB: What/who have been your musical inspirations/influences? RL: These are my four favorite bands. I like everything they have ever recorded, unconditionally: The Country Teasers, Joy Division, Sockeye, Kill the Hippies. The biggest influences on my solo performances, however, have been Bryan Ferry, “Weird Al” Yankovic, Bertolt Brecht and the Muppets. BB: Any upcoming releases we can look forward to, either from you or any of the bands you’re in? RL: I think Platonic Life Partner will be recording in February following our show February 18 at the Happy Dog in Cleveland. I have many recordings of my own material that I would like to burn to CD-R. BB: What should we expect from your Annabell’s performance on February 13? RL: Holidays tend to break up the monotony a bit and I tend to perform material appropriate for the season. My fiancée, the Hammer, and I will be doing a duet on “Leather and Lace.” Who doesn’t love a good Don Henley/Stevie Nicks cover?