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Hawaiian-bred, Santa Barbara-based reggae rock band Iration is hitting the road this summer with their friends Slightly Stoopid as the main support on the "Sounds of Summer 2017" tour. The two month cross-country outing -- also featuring J Boog and The Movement -- will be stopping in Garrettsville on Saturday at Nelson Ledges Quarry Park.
Iration released a brand new single "Fly With Me" in May as a special treat for their fans. And their legions of followers returned the favor when the song debuted at #1 on the iTunes Reggae Songs chart that day.
This week, Iration's lead vocalist and guitarist Micah Pueschel talked with Record-Courier about growing up in Hawaii, the journey of the band and a new album.
How long have you guys been friends? How long have you been in a band together?
We're all from Hawaii. We went to high school together. We've know each other for a long time. We moved together to go to college in California. Living in Santa Barbara, we had an interest in playing music. We started covering songs. That's how the band started. Next year will be 10 years since our first tour. That was starting from the very beginning putting out a record, understanding how to record. Now we have a different lineup from when we first started. We're at a good place. We're figuring out the sound of the band.
Were you guys fans of Slightly Stoopid before this tour? How is it being on the road with them this summer?
We've known them for a long time. They're the OGs of the genre and playing reggae and rock. They have been around way before we were a band. It's very cool. We always wanted to be able to tour with them. Getting to know them on this tour has been awesome. They're all really nice down-to-earth guys. We're doing amphitheaters every day. It's like playing festivals because you're playing big stages, big crowds. Its been great venues. Everyone's enjoying it. We're playing about an hour of music every night.
You released a single specially for this tour. Tell us about your new song.
"Fly With Me" was a song that we wanted to take back to our basic roots. Something that would be a good song to enter into summer with. Something that we can play live and the fans of that genre would be into. It's a dreamy sounding song. It's about the cosmos and the exploration of space.
How did growing up in Hawaii influence your music?
Growing up in Hawaii, reggae is a huge part of the culture and music that everyone listens to. It started in the 1970's with Bob Marley hitting over there. I think a lot of the Hawaiian people took to it. I remember bands like Ziggy Marley and Alpha Blondy would come tour in Hawaii and local people loved it. Our parents would scramble for tickets. It's just part of the music growing up there.
You've been in the studio working on new music. What can we expect to hear on the new album?
I think it's going to be another eclectic mix. It has a bit of both rock songs and reggae songs and a couple in betweeners. We don't try to hone toward one specific theme or style. We just let it live. It's coming out very eclectic, but I think people like having each song a surprise.
Earlier you talked about finding your sound. Where do you see the future of the band?
We'll continue with the addition of our horn and trumpet player and just locking down that sound and we're working horn into it trying to incorporate new sounds. We'd like to be doing what Slightly Stoopid is doing headlining amphitheaters and bringing a show that offers a variety of very cool big sounds that goes along with the outdoor venue
Where can people go to check out your music and tour dates?
Irationmusic.com. We revamped the website. We're really happy with it. It incorporates all we do with our videos, music and lifestyle. The website is the newest thing we've changed up.