Interview by JD Alvarez
It was another beautiful day in the Southern California sun, specially at the Orange County Fairgrounds in Costa Mesa. It was a typical day at the OC Fair, filled carnivals rides, the sound of laughter and the smell of hot dogs and funnel cakes. What wasn’t the norm was the band that came into town to entertain the masses.
This night, Iration was the band on the marquee to take center stage. For me, this was the second time I had an opportunity to sit down with lead singer and guitarist Micah Pueschel and bassist Adam Taylor.
For those who are not as familiar with Iration as you should be, the band is originally from Hawai’i, but now call Santa Barbara home. They formed in Isla Vista, California and began to play a genre of music that is so localized, it is best known as Jawaiian with elements of reggae, dub, ska and rock. They have a distinct sound, most likely as a result of their influences, bands like Black Uhuru and the Police.
The last time I sat down with the guys, they just came off a show case at San Diego’s powerhouse alternative radio station 91X. I was already a fan of their music, so I was happy to see they were getting bigger gigs. When I asked the guys how was it to be on a big stage like that, Micah said they had to pinch themselves to be hanging out with bands like Incubus. In the early days, they toured with bands like fellow Hawaiian legends Pepper. Micah went on to say the cross between their sound and traditionally alternative groups was a fun time for them. Truth be told, Iration has gained much respect from the reggae, dub and ska communities as a result of their albums No Time For Rest, Time Bomb and now Automatic.
The funny thing about Micah, he comes off as the way you would think we would all act if one day we woke up and we became a rock star. He is humble and appreciative of their fans. What made me smile was how he described being “stoked” each time he takes the stage for their fans. He is also very appreciative of the support they get from the bands they consider their friends, bands like The Green, Pepper and The Expendables. It’s a refreshing thing to hear when you have a band that is going in the right direction and focusing on the right things, but more importantly… they don’t forget those who support them.
We shifted to their latest work Automatic. The title in itself is something that made them smile, they said it’s just who we are. For them, it means “operating devoid of external influences,” or simply Automatic! They feel the album is a good representation of who they are, the music will define their unique sound that will make everyone who follows Jawaiian tunes smile. Both Micah and Adam acknowledged and were very appreciative of some of the collaborations on this album, specifically Lincoln Parish of Cage the Elephant.
The good news for the fans at the OC Fairgrounds was that Iration delivered. The fans screamed at the top of their lungs to their hits Time Bomb and their mega-hit Turn Around. The song that most impressed concertgoers was their latest tune making the radio airwaves on local radio stations like 91X in San Diego and KROQ in Los Angeles, that song is called Back Around. Micah has a dynamic and distinctive voice and plays a nice guitar. Joseph Dickens keeps a great beat, Adam Taylor has a nice smooth sound on base and Kayson Peterson holds it all together on the synthesizer. Their fans and concertgoers who just happened to go to the fair and decided to take in the show left with that Automatic smile Micah mentioned. Suffice to say these guys have come a long way since they use to open up for Pepper. It’s just my opinion, but I see a very bright future for this band. I highly recommend checking them out when they come to your neck of the woods.
Iration is currently on tour in support of their album Automatic. For more information on their tour or anything you want to know about the band, go to their website at irationmusic.com