On August 7-9, talent from all across the musical spectrum convened at Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, California for the 2015 Outside Lands Music & Arts Festival.
Rock Cellar Magazine was there all three days, taking in all the fun, food and music (read our detailed recap here).
While we were there, we were fortunate enough to meet up with Micah and Adam from Iration, one of the hardest-working bands on the reggae/rock/alternative scene today. They’re preparing to release their new album, Hotting Up, on August 28.
From Santa Barbara by way of Hawaii, Iration’s musical recipe is fully realized on Hotting Up, their fourth full-length record and first since 2013’s Automatic.
While some of their peers stick to the reggae/rock formula, Iration’s songs tend to be characterized by a more innovative, pop-oriented sound (something Micah conveyed to us in our chat), and these new songs give Hotting Up the chance to help Iration become an even more sizable force on the music scene than they already are.
Below, enjoy our brief conversation with Micah Pueschel (vocals/guitar) and Adam Taylor (bass) conducted at Outside Lands 2015, as well as the single Reelin’ (the first song released from Hotting Up):
Rock Cellar Magazine: Your new album, Hotting Up, is due out in a month or so. What can fans expect this time around, after your last album two years ago?
Iration (Micah): Our last record was about two and a half years ago, yeah. The new record is definitely more beat-driven, more up-tempo. We worked with a whole new production team, engineer, and we had Mark Needham mix the record, he’s mixed some of the biggest rock records of the past few years.
The sound is bigger, tighter, we added Micah Brown so we have another guitar in the band now, so…overall it’s a bit bigger sound, more danceable.
Rock Cellar Magazine: This is your first time playing Outside Lands. Have you guys had time to check out other bands and see the sights, and/or do you plan to before you have to head out of town?
Iration (Adam): We’ve actually been busy with press obligations so we got here a little later than expected, but we heard a little bit of Leon Bridges, the Revivalists were playing right by our green room. They were awesome. We’d never seen them, or really heard about them before, but they sounded really good.
Rock Cellar Magazine: Yeah, they were very good, we caught most of their set too. Is there a type of music festival you like to play the most in terms of cities, locations and so on? San Francisco is its own kind of environment, for sure.
Iration (Adam): Ones like this. This is the ultimate, this is the kind of festival you want to be playing. Here, Lollapalooza, Bonnaroo…there are smaller ones too, like Cali Roots Festival, Hangout was really fun.
Iration (Micah): We love festivals in general. There aren’t too many that aren’t fun, there aren’t too many that are painful to play…I mean there are some, but they’re not generally the ones that everyone’s heard about.
Iration (Adam): Ones in unique settings like this, when you’re here in this giant park in a city, Hangout Fest you’re on the Alabama gulf shores, ones with a cool environment and a good vibe that we don’t get to see too often are always good.
Rock Cellar Magazine: Cali Roots is in Monterey, right? Is it all trees and forests and such?
Iration (Micah): It’s where they had the Monterey Pop Festival back in the ‘60s, so it has that energy for sure.
Rock Cellar Magazine: From the artist’s perspective, what would you say is the most enjoyable part of playing a festival?
Iration (Micah): I think the most enjoyable part of it is just being able to reach a fan base that maybe you wouldn’t otherwise, one that wouldn’t necessarily know about you beforehand. Being able to reach new ears, that’s probably the best part about it.
Rock Cellar Magazine: To anyone that maybe hasn’t heard of you before, how would you describe your music influence-wise? Your music can’t really be reduced to the ‘reggae/rock’ catch-all descriptor that people use sometimes for this type of material. You guys have some different things going on…
Iration (Micah): I think the sound is very eclectic, all the records that we’ve done have had different influences and have come from different places. I think that for us, it’s obviously reggae, it’s obviously a little bit of rock, some pop, stuff like that. We just try to make good songs, really, that’s really our goal. It doesn’t matter what ‘style’ it is.