Iration Lead Singer Micah Pueschel Speaks With Us About The Bands Evolution, Riptide And More
Reggae and the beach go hand-in-hand, and music lovers at the upcoming Riptide Music Festival will be able to enjoy that combination while listening to Iration, a reggae-inspired, alt-rock group based in California. The band will be performing at the festival on Dec. 2 at Fort Lauderdale Beach.
We recently spoke with lead singer Micah Pueschel about the band's evolution over the years, where the members get inspiration for new songs and more. Read highlights below:
What are you most looking forward to at Riptide Music Festival?
Probably seeing Weezer. They’re one of my favorite bands of all time. Rivers Cuomo is one of my heroes as far as songwriting goes, and music in general. I’ve been a fan of his since I was in high school and college.
How has the band evolved from its first albums “No Time for Rest” and “Time Bomb” to your most recent releases, "Borderlines" and "Fly With Me"?
A ton. I would say it’s almost like comparing two different bands at this point. I don’t know if some people like that or not, but you know, we’ve had changes in the band as far as with the members. I think the sound has kind of always remained pretty constant. We’ve always been open to working with new producers and new people to achieve different and new sounds; not being afraid to really push ourselves to sound different and not just go straight down the pipe. We're not trying to make records that sound the same. We’ve always been interested in evolving and changing. It’s never been our goal to always just strictly be a reggae band.
The earlier albums are very reggae-influenced and now the songs are more alternative rock. Would you agree with that statement?
Yeah, I think so. That’s kind of the vibe we’ve always been really into, and there’s still reggae there. It’s always going to be there. It’s kind of who we are and part of our sound and how we learned how to play music. I don’t think we’ll ever be able to get rid of that. We just try to make good songs and I think that’s what it always comes down to. We just want to make good songs and we don’t really care what genre the song is. It’s just kind of we write the song, and if we like it, we like it. If we don’t like it, then we get rid of it.
The song “Borderlines” touches upon the feeling of political turmoil in our country and the world right now. How do you think music can impact a divided country?
Hopefully in a positive way. I think “Borderlines” is really a song about everybody feeling like the country is divided and everybody feeling different, and it feels like there’s a real disconnect between people. I feel like our biggest issue is that no one is really listening to each other. Everybody’s shouting opinions and no one is listening to the other side. I think that’s really what “Borderlines” is about. It’s about listening and trying to be empathetic, rather than apathetic. I think that’s the theme in our music in general: be kind to one another and try to see the good in people.
What has been Iration's proudest moment thus far?
I think the proudest moments have to be headlining our hometown venue, Santa Barbara Bowl, playing these big festivals and being able to headline a lot of venues we’ve always looked at and dreamed about growing up. The proudest thing I think is just getting to play Red Rocks in front of our families. We’ve been there a few times now. It’s a place where my mom has personally seen Bob Dylan and people that she really looked up to, so being able to see me perform there was really cool.
Every member of the band is from Hawaii. How does that influence the music?
Being from Hawaii, being from the islands, our worldview is a little different than others. I think that stylistically it makes more sense that we’re a reggae-influenced band. If you’re from an island, you grew up listening to that kind of music.
What's next for Iration?
We’re finishing up our new album. It’s going to be out summertime, 2018. It’s going to be really, really good. The album’s 75 to 80 percent done. We have some really cool guests that are going to be on it. We haven’t really done a whole lot of guest appearances as far as some of our friends being on songs, so it’s going to be kind of a change up and it’s going to be really cool.
To purchase Riptide Musical Festival tickets and to see Iration perform, visit riptidefest.com.
Photos courtesy of Iration
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