Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Interview with Iration

Interview by Chad Hillje
Editor - Kyle Hillje
Photographer - Mark Franzen

It was 70 degrees and sunny as the sun was setting in Boulder, Colorado. Reggae fans of all forms started lining up for the nights show featuring a band rooted in Hawaii and are on their first headlining tour. I was invited in and descended back stage where I met with Micah Pueschel, the lead vocalist and guitarist for Iration. Over the next fifteen minutes we discussed music and life. Enjoy! -DRS

DRS-Welcome to Colorado Micah! How are you feelin’?
M-Good man! Thanks for having us.
DRS-We know you guys are Hawaiian and Colorado and Hawaii seem to have an intimate relationship with one another. Do you guys have any ties to the Mile High City?
M- My mom’s side of the family is from Colorado and my mom actually just built a cabin out in Cortez. I’ve been coming out to Colorado since I was born actually. I was born in Hawaii and the vibe in Colorado is similar to Hawaii.
DRS-Have you guys ever been to, or played, the infamous Red Rocks in Morrison?
M-I’ve only seen it from the road, never played there, but that’s definitely a goal of ours someday to get up on that stage and rock it.
DRS-We’re sure you guys will, considering your album Time Bomb has reached #1 on the iTunes reggae album charts and the single “Time Bomb” has reached as high as #12 on the iTunes reggae single chart. That’s quite an accomplishment! How does that feel?
M-It feels really good. That was definitely the goal to hit #1 and to see what the tour has done for us in the past few months. That really shows that the work has paid off and there are people out there that want to hear our music, which is comforting and helps us sleep at night.
DRS-Since your previous two albums “No Time For Rest” and “New Roots,” what separates your third album “Time Bomb” from the previous albums?
M- Time Bomb is definitely a step above those albums. It’s kind of a new direction. We have had some changes in the band and took a new direction with it and focused a lot more on the synth and modern electronic sounds and rocked it a little more. Not really moving away from roots reggae but we really want to do something a little different every time we release. If you listen to all three albums, they are all different in their own way.
DRS-You guys are a great addition to LAW Records. How does it feel to be a part of such a great independent label among other bands like The Supervillains, Passafire and Pepper?
M-Pepper has been a huge influence to us and such great role models for us. They’re from the big island which is the same island where I grew up. We have grown up listening to their music. When we got into the music they took us under their arms and took us on our first tour and showed us the ropes and helped us skip a lot of steps of adversity that we would have gone through without them. So, it was good to sign with them. Of course we love Passafire, Supervillains and Pepper. We have toured with Passafire and Pepper before and we’re all good friends with those guys, even the Supervillains. Whenever we are in Orlando we are hanging out with Dom and Skart. They’re are good guys.
DRS-Does all six of you guys contribute to writing the songs?
M-We have done writing sessions where it was myself, Kai and Cayson with another producer and a couple of those songs are on the new album. The other songs are generally myself and Kai writing our own stuff and writing together. Then we bring the songs to the band and each band member gets to do their own thing musically to create the song. Everyone has their own part in the song and the music.
DRS-Being that you guys are from the big island, how does surfing and your Hawaiian roots influence your music?
M-Oh, huge! I mean, we all grew up by the ocean and all the guys try to surf every time we get a chance and we go back to Hawaii quite a bit and that’s just part of who we are. It’s the music that we like and the vibe we try to put out. It’s just a positive and a beachy kind of sound. But yeah, it’s a huge influence and it’s the culture that we come from so we can’t stray away from it, you know what I mean?
DRS-We know you guys are surfers, so have you tried snowboarding yet?
M-Yeah we ah…. Personally I have only skied… (laughs). I’m a dork, so whatever. I’m ok with that though! I’m secure with my dorkness. The other guys snowboard though. We went to Deer Valley in Utah and did some snowboarding there. In the off season when we are not touring we go.
DRS-You guys have come a long way since you started back in 2005. What have been some of your biggest challenges to this point?
M-Actually we have been playing back yard parties since 2003. Um… being poor (laughs). No, I mean, it’s just like any other band you know? It’s tough to go on the road and kind of cut your teeth and carve out a fan base. It is hard work in the beginning and when people find out about you, you have already done all that hard work and in most cases these bands have done all this hard work for years and years and people think they are overnight successes. We have been a band for five years, you know what I mean? I mean, that’s just what it is. The challenges are that and just trying to do something different and unique.
DRS-Awesome man. Who are your musical influences?
M-Every guy in the band has their own influences. Mine personally; I’m a Beatle maniac, like a total Beatles fan. I like everything, you know, like I listen to a lot of hip-hop, a lot of 80’s pop like Hall and Oats, stuff like that. 60’s and 70’s music you know, as long as it’s a good song and good music I’m into it. Of course roots reggae has a huge influence on us.
DRS-Who would you ultimately like to share the stage with someday?
M-We got to play with Kings of Leon and those guys are one of my favorites right now. That was amazing, but right now I’d have to say U2 (laughs). Realistically, in the next year, we have not been on tour with Slightly Stoopid yet, so we would like to get on the road with them at some point. They are doing big things and have really stepped it up a notch.
DRS- Excellent choice man! I was kind of hoping that you would say that. For my last question, everybody would like to know what you’re about and we want to know, as far as your music collection goes, if we found your iPod, and pushed play, what would we be hearing?
DRS-Don’t be scared! Were you about to say Backstreet Boys?
M-(Laughs) It might be on there if you hit random or shuffle or whatever. I bought it for my girlfriend or whatever.
DRS-Uh huh…
M-We just got to hear the new Expendables CD titled “Prove It” and you guys, it’s amazing! When it drops in early summer you guys need to get it. It’s sick! We just got off tour with those guys, they are dope.
DRS- We just want to thank you for your time Micah. We appreciate you guys coming out to Boulder. You guys are freaking awesome and we look forward to the show.
M-Thanks for supporting the show, we appreciate it.

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