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Icarus The Owl

Photo Credit: Sara Therese

On October 2nd at Paycheck’s Lounge just outside of Detroit, MI, AltRockLive member Patrick Marion sat down with Icarus the Owl to talk about the bands history and their current tour (Blue Swan Tour).

PM: Patrick Marion (AltRockLive)

JR: Joey Rubenstein(Guitar/Vocals)

ZM: Zach McLean(Bass/Backup Vocals)

PM: So guys, tell me how the band formed?

JR: The band started in 2009. My old band had just broken up. Members had kind of gone their separate ways but, I wasn’t ready to be done touring and making music, so I just created an album. We didn’t really have, I mean I didn’t really have members at the time. I had a bass player and a drummer who wasn’t intending to actually be in the band. He was just a drummer that was good who I knew. So we recorded ‘The Spotless Mind’ which is our first album and then from then on out we got members who could tour and the band kind of formed after that.

PM: I just have to know, where did the band name come from?

JR: So Icarus is a mythological character from the Greek mythology. The story of Icarus and Daedalus. Icarus flew too close to the sun and his wax wings melted. If Icarus was an owl and owls are nocturnal, flying at night, he wouldn’t have flown to close to the sun. This is just kinda our take on the story.

PM: I like it, haha. So what were your guys influences growing up? What bands inspired you to find the sound you have now?

ZM: I listened to a lot of alternative music growing up so a lot of the bands from the 90’s and when I was really young. Then when I started getting into bands like Brand New, Cave In, and These Arms Are Snakes, that’s what really started to get me into the scene. And I think that kinda comes out in my playing as far as what I have to contribute.

JR: I grew up listening to, like, punk music. Fat Records, Epitaph bands like NOFX and Pennywise and stuff like that. But, the one band that stuck out to me through all of that and made me want to be in a band was Blink-182. I listened to them really early on and they made being in a band look super fun. So that’s why I wanted to play music.

PM: That is my all time favorite band as well. If I had to pick an all time one, absolutely.

ZM: What’s your favorite album? Oh I’m sorry, you’re doing the interview haha.

PM: That’s fine haha. That is actually hard. I really like Dude Ranch because it’s completely different than before they became really popular, but, I’d also have to say, maybe their Self-Titled.

ZM: Joey, that’s your favorite right?

JR: Yeah, I’m the same way. Self-Titled is probably my favorite but like, Dude Ranch is so near and dear to my heart.

PM: So, what’s it like being on this tour so far? How is it being with the Blue Swan crew?

JR: I think it’s really great. They are all really nice people. Really good musicians and it’s fun to be, usually we are kinda like the more proggy band. It’s cool to be…

PM: You fit right in now

JR: Yeah! It’s cool to talk about like nerdy music stuff with people. Yeah, they’re really nice and good bands, so it’s been great.

ZM: We’re like the pop band on this tour, which is funny for us. Everyone has just been so nice and I feel like we’ve made some pretty good friendships and bonds. It kinda happened right out of the gate too, which is cool. It’s been a big bromance for 3 weeks.

PM: What are your guys thoughts on joining the label? Have they expressed any interest?

JR: Well, we’ve just been independent for so long and we haven’t really talked to them directly about anything like that. We are just kinda on their tour and we are perfectly content just being on their tour. They are a great label with great bands, but we kinda like doing things independently.

PM: Gotcha. That’s completely understandable. Did you guys also produce your most recent self-titled album too?

JR: We released it ourselves. The person who mixed it and recorded/engineered it was Kris Crummett. He’s a really talented guy and works with a lot of bands. He even did Stolas’ latest record as well. He’s also working on the new Dance Gavin Dance record.

PM: So, I know you guys have toured a lot before, but this seems to be the biggest and most extensive tours so far. Is this the most attention you’ve received so far in touring?

JR: I’d say so. We’re consistently playing to more bigger crowds. Before, on our other tours, we used to tour by ourselves and not with any other bands, just play with locals from each city that we went to. We would just kinda play to local crowds, which was cool, because, it gave us a bunch of new fans, but yes, this is the biggest tour we’ve done so far.

PM: So on this tour so far, what has been your favorite venue to play?

ZM: The Chain Reaction in Anaheim was really fun. That’s like one of those venues where you see a lot of your favorite bands play there. It was a really big crowd, it almost sold out. So that was really fun to perform at.

JR: Mine was probably the Masquerade in Atlanta. It was probably the weirdest venue I’ve ever been to. But in a really good way! I don’t want to misspeak but, there was like 4 or 5 stages and Alesana was playing the same night we were and they were still completely separate shows. You just walk up the stairs and you’re like, Oh! There’s Alesana headlining the ‘Hell Room.’ There’s different rooms like Hell, Purgatory, and Heaven. It used to be this old saw mill so it’s super industrial looking and it’s just awesome.

PM: That sounds awesome. Do you guys have any other plans to start another tour after this or is it just going to be a nice big break?

ZM: A break for the season. Let the cold go through.

JR: Haha, yeah. We are pretty terrified, but we will tour through the winter if the right things happen, but we’re not going to be go-getters in the snow. I think we’re gonna write more material and possibly record.

Check out Icarus the Owl on Facebook at www.facebook.com/Icarustheowl and pick up a copy of their latest album at icarustheowl.bandcamp.com

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