The Icarus Line
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December 19, 2009

My Interivew with The Icarus Line – August 2006

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Here is my first ever interview with Joe from The Icarus Line. I spent a lot of time preparing these questions (about a year) and wanted to get them right. I can only thank Joe and the rest of The Icarus Line for their continuing patience. This interview was also re-printed on the Poptones website when Alan McGee was still in charge of a record label.

For the uninitiated, can you please tell us as to who you are, what roles you play within the band and how old you all are?

I am Joe Cardamone, ringleader.

Also, how would you describe your music and what do you think separates you from all the other underground rock acts in America (especially in Los Angeles)?

At this point I would have to say that we are one of the only true rock n roll bands that still plays rock n roll and with noise.

Do you have any heroes and what would you say have been an inspiration as being the main driving force behind the band?

My main inspiration would have to be the threat of not being able to cheat the rules of what is considered to be normal life. To have a run of the mill existence. To accept nothing less than what life is capable of.

What artist, philosophers and musicians would you say have been a principle factor in defining your sound and philosophy?

From Chuck Berry to Chuck Norris.

The Icarus Line have always been notoriously difficult to pigeonhole and are often regarded as being rather different from todays modern bands, with your own unique individual sound. How do you feel when you are labelled as punk and what are your opinions on the recent mainstream success of Green Day and the “new punk rock explosion”?

I don’t know how new the punk rock explosion is to you but to me it has been around my whole life. Punk rock has been going pretty good for a couple decades. If we are labeled punk, that’s fine, we grew up in it, threw up on it and kept walking.

What prompted Joe Cardamone and Don Devore to start their own side project, ‘Souls She Said’?

We started to do Souls before Don was ever in the Icarus Line. We had wanted to make music together for some time and when came up with the tunes I jumped at the chance to sing on em.

How do you think this new band compares to The Icarus Line and why do you think musicians often find a desire to channel their creativity through other outlets outside their main musical projects?

Totally different thing than The Icarus Line in direction but two of the same key ingrediants. I guess there is just too much time in a day not to have way too many songs.

The recent Souls She Said album clearly goes some way towards reminding us how much talent you guys possess, but what I’d like to know is what steps does the band take in composing its own songs and how do you think the band operates in order to write its music?

In the Icarus Line I usually try to have a lot of the song done before the band hears anything or at least the heartbeat of it. Then when we find some time we bang it out.

Who is responsible for main song-writing duties and how do you suppose this figures into the schematic relationship between you as artists and your art?

I guess being the primary creative director puts you right in it. It’s sink or swim all day long.

I was extremely saddened to hear about the unceremonious occasion when you were dumped by your previous record label (V2) after the release of Penance Soiree. For the record, can I ask as to who you are signed with now as Ive heard conflicting reports on it being either Dim Mak or V2 Worldwide. Also, what made you sign with one of the aforementioned record labels as opposed to going back to Buddyhead, and how come Buddyhead Records have nothing nice to say about you guys anymore?

Dont be sad. We are on Dim Mak/V2 all over the world. Going back to Buddyhead would be like going back to some girlfriend that gave you herpes and you never really liked that much in the first place.
Why dont they have anything nice to say? They only hype up acts that they can get something they want from. It’s a record label, no surprise.

You have a turbulent history of band members leaving and I dont think this has been more exemplified than through your run with drummers previous to The Captain. But what qualities do you think Don Devore has brought to the band since the departure of your previous bassist (Lance Arnao) and how do you think the band has been affected since the departure of Aaron North?

We can write at a much more productive, comfortable rate I guess.

How do you think this bodes for the groups collective mentality and musical output?

The freedom to pump out tunes like little babies makes us feel like proud mothers more often.

Will The Icarus Line consider collaborating with Aaron North again now that hes in Nine Inch Nails and what do you think the likelihood is of Aaron rejoining the ranks in future?

Yes, Aaron will be the lead singer of The Icarus Line when I die in 2009.

Your second album, Penance Soiree was considered to be a massive departure from the sheer fury of your earlier stuff. Why do you think this was and what can we hope to expect from your new album?

The same feeling of departure with a bit of familiarity involved as well. Most definately my favorite record to listen to that I have made.

Are you going to tour in support of the new album and if so, when will you be coming to the UK?

We always do.

Also, what can we expect to see from your live shows and do you have any surprises in store for us?

Full pyro, dancing girls, religious fanatics, and giant inflatable gorilla all the same shit manson and the stones.

Has there ever been a moment when youve considered giving it all up and if so, what would you do if all this ended tomorrow?

No, I’ve never really considered doing anything else besides this sort of thing, maybe when I’m old and wrinkled up but i have a feeling I might still be trying to write a tune.

What do you think have been the bands greatest accomplishments to date?

Everytime we get a new record finnished and out, I feel pretty satisfied. It takes a lot of work for us to put out records. Usually a lot of political strife.

What would you like The Icarus Line to achieve in future and how do you think this will translate to ensuring that the band evolves as a credible alternative to the generic output of lesser bands in the (mainstream) music industry.

Keeping a pulse for about 8 years now hasn’t always been easy but it hasn’t been without rewards either. Hopefully we can continue to make music that we like to play live and feel rock n roll and feed our pets and expand our knowledge and keep our dreams.

How would you like to be remembered in 20 years time and if you had the opportunity to describe yourself in three words, what would they be?

Im not sure if I care to be remebered at all. I’m the father.

Finally, but do you yearn?

I yawn.

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