Interview by Elle Gaston
I am a senior at Ventura High school and an intern for Visit Ventura. I’m also a big fan of Iration and jumped at the opportunity to interview the band when they came into Ventura. Read our exclusive interview below!
How did coming from Hawaii and originating your band in Santa barbara influence your band’s choice to play reggae music?
When you’re in Hawaii, reggae is a big part of the culture. It’s reggae music that everyone listens to and it has a lot to do with being on an island and the setting with the weather and things like that… growing up, some of the first music I remember hearing was reggae music… It’s just kind of what you listen to growing up over there and it’s kind of a natural thing. We didn’t just like discover reggae or anything like that it was just something we always listened to so it was just who we are as people and our general taste in music always had a bit of reggae in it.
So did you guys ever experiment with different types of music or was it from the very beginning reggae and only reggae?
With the band it was pretty much always reggae because when we picked up the instruments it was to play reggae songs, it was about playing not writing music at the time. We were listening to songs and trying to copy what we were hearing… trying to recreate them. We have at this point now obviously experimented – we try to play other stuff – but when we started, it was pretty much just reggae.
Who were the first artists you were trying to recreate when you guys started playing music?
It was mostly like Bob Marley and Don Carlos… It was a pretty big mishmash but in the end, it was mostly Bob Marley and the wailers that were the songs we were really into, and bands from Hawaii we were listening to. It was never a specific band it was more of a certain song. Any song we liked, we would try to recreate.
Does anyone in the band still live in Santa barbara or Ventura County?
Yeah, we all do except for Micah Brown. We all live in Santa Barbara or Carp.
What do you think is keeping you guys around here?
I think that it’s a great place to live… it feels like a smaller community and I think we all just kind of fit. It’s more like where we are from… It’s safe, the weather is really good, and it has all the things we like… the outdoor, the ocean, surfing, golfing. Anything we want to do, we can do in that little zone.
So speaking of golf, I play on the Ventura High School golf team and I’m interested to know what golf courses you like to play.
I golf at Sandpiper for the most part. I live pretty close to there so we do our usual spots like Sandpiper or Rancho San Marcos… We play during the week like every Monday and Wednesday in the mornings. It’s not very crowded and those are our spots. There are also a lot of spots in Ventura we really like, Saticoy Country Club and Ojai Valley Inn and that zone. Olivas links is a really fun little course.
With the show [at The Majestic Ventura Theater] coming up on Thursday, what are the emotions behind the band knowing that some of your original fans are going to be at the show?
Ventura for us, we’ve been playing there for so long and I think this will be the fourth or fifth time sold out… It’s fun for us just because friends and family can come and it’s close to home… you can drive home after the show it’s not like when you’re on tour.
Since you guys tour, where in the world or even in the United States did you find the most unexpected reggae fans?
There are a lot of places you wouldn’t expect, we just played a sold out show in Alaska. Anchorage, Alaska, is a kind of an underground spot, it’s a place you wouldn’t think people would think about reggae but we just played I think our second or third sold out show up there. So Alaska is one and middle of the country places like Nebraska and places like that. North Carolina or South Carolina, all over the place. Portland, Maine, is another one that is a really really big market. Montana is another.
So where is the farthest you guys have traveled from home?
I think from home it would be Guam, it’s eight hours from California -five hours to Hawaii, then another three or so from there. It’s a pretty long track.
Are there any specific shows or moments of playing that really would stand out in your mind as being a great moment or a great show?
This last show we did at Red Rocks in Colorado with 311 and Steel Pulse and some bands that we kind of grew up listening to. Being able to play a sold out show and having a bunch of our friends and family in the house was really cool. Playing with Revolution and selling it out was another really fun one. There are so many it’s hard to little them down… Red Rocks or the Greek Theater or even the Santa Barbara Bowl, you get to play these really cool shows and have a lot of people show up, it’s really kind of a surreal moment.
Going back to the surfing thing, do you surf personally?
No not anymore, I used to when we were younger but I kind of dropped off the map. Half the band does and half the band does not. Half of us surf every single day and the other half are golfers or do some other stuff.
Where in Santa Barbara and Ventura do the guys surf?
Rincon for the most part… Strand, Emma Wood, stuff like that. Kind of once you hit Rincon, all the way down the coast. We are very lucky, we have some nice places to surf. That’s another reason why a lot of the guys have kind of stayed around because the surf is good. It’s not super crowded and it’s not a crazy localized thing where you have to deal with a lot of aggro dudes all the time.
So you guys do travel with Pepper, Expendables, Rebelution and a couple other bands, what are the dynamics like with you guys? Are you all buddies?
We are all really good friends, we’ve toured with all of them multiple times. We’ve done at least two or three tours with Pepper, three or four tours with Rebelution and a couple tours with Expendables… When you’re on the road together, you bond because it’s such close quarters and you spend every day together. You’re just around each other all the time. You eat your meals, you’re in the venues together, you’re hanging out together, you surf or play golf together. A lot of those guys from those bands play golf too. So we play golf on the road a lot… You end up bonding and for the most part, pretty much all the guys that are on the scene and on the road are really cool… The dynamic is really good.
Well thank you so much for answering some questions.
Original interview took place in January 2017.