The Icarus Line
Last Rock n Roll Gang


Interviews and Articles

April 14, 2011

New Album, New Split, What Next?

It’s been a while since I’ve interviewed The Icarus Line camp, or heard any news about the band recently. Luckily, I was able to pin Joe down and talk to him about what he’s been up to, and what The Icarus Line intend to do for the remainder of the year.

It is worth noting that Joe was prepared to stay up till 4:15am PDT to answer my (never-ending barrage of) questions. And whilst many of us can never muster up that level of patience or energy, I can only thank him for this, and apologise for having taken up so much of his busy schedule when he really should have been getting some well-earned rest. I guess the old adage of “better late than never” really does apply in this instance, and if it does, then the wait for the new album will be worth the wait indeed.

Enjoy!

Joe Cardamone
How’s it going?

Az
Things are going well. How’s LA?

Joe Cardamone
Same old shit. Nice time of the year, I guess. So whats up?

Az
What’s happening with the new record? Is the title now called “Wildlife” or “JC VS TIL”? Are they two separate records, or the one and the same?

Joe Cardamone
JCVSTIL was more or less a working title.

Az
So the new record will definitely be called Wildlife?

Joe Cardamone
It’s called Wildlife.

Az
Will it be released via your Roar Scratch Records, or via Travis Keller’s Buddyhead Records?

Joe Cardamone
Wildlife will be released on Roar Scratch – mine and Annie’s (Giant Drag) own label.

Az
According to your Twitter account, you state that the master has been handed in, and that we can look forward to a release in August. Do you have a rough idea as to when the release date will be, and why not release the album sooner?

Joe Cardamone
The release is slated for the second week in August. The reason being that we need time to prepare for a live show and book dates.

Az
Nice. Will these include any festivals (such as Reading), and what plans do you have for touring the UK?

Joe Cardamone
We dont have any UK plans at the moment. It really depends on whether we can afford to get over there. Without label support it is going to be tricky. We are considering a Kickstarter account.

Az
I’ve heard of that. The idea of community funding in the age of the internet really appeals to those who want to get something more creative off the ground. Will you ever consider using Kickstarter for some of your other plans?

Joe Cardamone
Yeah, it looks like it’s the best option for us right now. Yeah, that’s always an option.

Az
You’ve mentioned that you are releasing a split single. Who is the other band? Is this the only single you intend to release in 2011, or can we expect any more?

Joe Cardamone
There is a split with Pen Expers and another with Devendra Banhart.

Az
I assume that means that you are releasing TWO split singles? If that is the case, do you have release dates planned for any of those?

Joe Cardamone
The Pen Expers split should be available any day now. The Devendra Banhart split is scheduled for this summer.

Az
What spurred The Icarus Line to collaborate with those two artists?

Joe Cardamone
I guess Pen Expers just asked us and we dig the band so we said “yes”. I asked Devendra Banhart because we have been talking about doing something together for years.

Az
Are the split singles coming out on your Roar Scratch Records label?

Joe Cardamone
Only the Devendra one.

Az
This might seem like a stupid question (probably because it is), but considering that you have been able to mend fences with Travis Keller, why didn’t you just ask him if he could release your records under his B’head brand imprint and label? You would be able to get a lot more publicity and exposure that way…

Joe Cardamone
It just suits me better to release my own material at this point in time. I have more control this way.

Az
Buddyhead has recently splintered with its other founder (Aaron North) going off and starting up White/Gray/Black. But he’s announced his intentions of releasing Giant Drag and TIL material in future. Does this bode for some kind of reconciliation between TIL and him, and if not, what does this mean for B’head?

Joe Cardamone
I dont know what to say about that. Probably not.

Az
How did White/Gray/Black get involved with your band, or should that be “how did Aaron North get involved with TIL again”?

Joe Cardamone
I dont know that we are involved. There were some ideas tossed around but nothing really to speak of right now.

Az
Do you know as to why Aaron left B’head?

Joe Cardamone
Not really.

Az
Going back to Wildlife, what does the new record sound like and how does it differ from previous recordings?

Joe Cardamone
It sounds like The Icarus Line. I guess the difference is that I mixed it alone and engineered a good deal of it alone so some of it resembles the spirit of my home recordings more than previous records.

Az
I assume “home recordings” refers to your very own work over at your studio – ‘Gang Bang Park’? How did that come about, and what motivated you to build your own studio?

Joe Cardamone
The studio has been moved and is now called ‘Valley Recording’. I guess my motivation was the fact that I can make records whenever I want. Plus, I don’t want to be a slave to the label system.

Az
Speaking of labels… and understanding your insistence for “control” (which I assume is financial as well as creative), but why haven’t you tried to secure the services of any labels so as to get PR exposure and have better distribution? It’s just that I’d rather see your band on (M)TV, than have to constantly watch endless repeats of Paramore and Avenged Sevenfold videos…

Joe Cardamone
Just like everyone else we have tried, no-one is waving deals in our face so it’s not an option. I am not going to pander or change what I do just to get some moron to try to market my band. It hasn’t worked in the past.
The record industry is filled with talentless hacks fighting like starving rats over a crumb of rotten cheese.

Az
The record label industry as we used to know it is certainly dead. No-one buys CDs anymore, so where’s the advantage? Even HMV are struggling now.

Joe Cardamone
Yeah, its over.

Az
What about creating your own music videos? I know that you’ve done some work towards this in the past, but what are the chances of seeing a more comprehensive band documentary in the future, with some new videos thrown in? Speaking of which, what happened to that DVD you were working on?

Joe Cardamone
There is a documentary in the works, but I’m not quite sure when that will be done. My movie is on hiatus since I have been so busy producing records.

Az
How did that Virgin TV advert come about?

Joe Cardamone
They offered me a bunch of money and I needed it.

Az
Does this signal you branching out into acting? Henry Rollins did it, and with your father’s acting background, I think it would be another way through which you could flex your creative talents.

Joe Cardamone
Not really. It’s not something I pursue. If something that pays well or is interesting falls into my lap then perhaps I would think about it.

Az
B’head used to have its own radio station and does have its own interview inspired web-tv show. I know The Captain used to be fond of those, as I remember him interviewing James Iha.

Have you thought about doing something similar with your band? Maybe make a spoof, like the Virgin advert, or even just allow each individual to explore a more soul-baring (and more goofier) side to their personality?
Even a podcast would be nice.

Joe Cardamone
Yeah, I am not really that kind of person. I would rather just do my job and work on records. I dedicate a great deal of my time producing other groups these days, and I dont feel like I have to reach out to the world much beyond my records.

Az
What made you decide to get involved on the production side of music, and is this something that you’ve always wanted to do?

Joe Cardamone
I guess I am just good at doing it – turns out I have a knack for helping people make great records.

Az
Speaking of records… what albums/bands are you listening to at the moment?

Joe Cardamone
As far as new stuff goes, I like the latest Black Angels record, Swans new one, Nick Lowe, John Cale.

Az
Considering that the heart of the music industry is based in Los Angeles – a city which you hail from and a music scene that gave TIL such a hard time when you first formed – how has it evolved since the band’s formation? Do you still get a hard time now, and what new LA bands are you really excited about?

Joe Cardamone
The LA music scene has more bands but less good ones. I like a band called Stab City and Queen Kwong is good. The new Giant Drag record is wonderful.

Az
So what other plans do you have for 2011 apart from a new record, two new split singles, and maybe touring?

Joe Cardamone
I am working with some pro-audio companies on developing new products like microphones, compressors and other studio gear. Blackspade mics and custom 77 guitars are great!

Az
We haven’t really spoken about the rest of the gang. How are James Striff, Jason DeCorse, Jeff Watson, and Alvin DeGuzman holding up?

Joe Cardamone
James is back in Jersey. He had to move back home and handle family business. Jason is a living legend. Al is a busy bee these days… a little too busy. Jeff is ordering parts and putting things together somewhere. Troy is playing drums in the band again.

Az
Troy Petrey? From Jubilee?

Joe Cardamone
Yup. From The Icarus Line.

Az
Did he quit Jubilee?

Joe Cardamone
I guess so… I know he’s not in that band.

Az
So who is The Icarus Line at the moment?

Joe Cardamone
Jason, Alvin, Troy, and of course me.

Az
So has James left the band along with The Captain? Will they come back? Or is their departure for good?

Joe Cardamone
James had family stuff to attend to. It was sad for everyone. We miss him and I’m sure he misses us too.
Jeff is on another planet.

Az
How did Troy get involved with the band again?

Joe Cardamone
I have been in touch with Troy over the years, and we just wanted to play together again. He is a great drummer. After all these years, he just got better which is really nice.
Sometimes you’ll jam with someone you haven’t played with in a while and it’s just underwhelming but Troy stepped in and just killed it. Everyone in the band got excited again after months of dragging feet and pulling teeth.
The cliche that things happen for a reason is kinda stiff but every once and a while it seems that way.

Az
What does this mean for Jubilee? Have they split up? Is Aaron’s project now officially dead?

Joe Cardamone
I have no clue what the status of Aarons band is, who does? I’m sure he’ll figure something out eventually.

Az
I’d have thought Troy knew. Or even you, or even B’head. Troy more than most as he used to be in that band.

Joe Cardamone
No-one knows.

Az
Finally, it’s nice to see that The Icarus Line are moving forward, and that you are evolving and moving into new (progressive) directions. Personally, what do you hope to accomplish with your life, and have you set yourself any goals that you want to achieve by middle age?
That sounds sooooooooo “rock n roll”, doesn’t it? “Middle age”? Ha ha.

Joe Cardamone
I’d like to keep making art, that’s all. I wouldn’t mind having a family one day too. Thanks.



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2 Comments


  1. Sunken

    Great interview!
    Glad us the fans have finally got an update on the situation of the band


  2. Sam

    Haha Jeff has left the band again? Wander what “On another planet” really means haha, I’m sure we haven’t seen the last of him.



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