Iration : Hotting Up

This past week, Scrimshaw had the pleasure of speaking with Adam Taylor, from the reggae, dub, rock band, Iration.  Iration just finished up their amazing Hotting Up tour and Adam had some time between surf sessions on the North Shore of Oahu to give us a little insight into the band and their recent tour.


Hey Adam, how is the surf today?

Hey man, it’s been pumping here recently.  I’m currently changing spots and heading to Rocky Point.  Today it’s been medium sized, but it’s supposed to get to 25 ft. later today.  It’s a little crowded today because its Saturday and Billabong Pipeline Masters is going off, but there’s always waves to be had.

Sick, is the band going to play out there at all or are you guys just surfing. 

Two of us are on the big island, and some are still in Cali, but I think we are going to play here in February though.

Tight, maybe we can make our way out there for that.  We just saw you play in San Diego at the Del Mar show.

Yea man that was a really fun one.  That was our 3rd time playing that outdoor venue.  It’s cool because that was technically not even considered part of the tour.  It was a special show for us because it was the last show of the year, except something possibly brewing in Mexico for us with Slightly Stoopid, Pepper (Check out Scrimshaw's interview with Pepper!), SOJA at some small festival.  Should be good.

Whoa, that sounds like such a fun line up.  Would be such an awesome way to end the year after a big tour and the Hotting Up album coming out.  How was the tour? You guys seemed to be on the road and doing a ton of festivals.

Yea we were all over.  The cool thing with the festivals though, is that they are mostly on the weekends, which means we have Monday through Thursday off.  Then we normally play the weekend and cruise out on Sunday.  But yea, we did a ton of festivals then did the Hotting Up tour which was really successful.

That’s so sick.  This album seemed to be something special for you guys.  I noticed that you guys brought in some bigger names to help produce and mix the CD (David Manzoor, Mark Needham, and Will Brierre).  A bunch of new writing with a new team behind the scenes produced this killer album, how was it working with everyone?

Yea dude, this was so exciting.  This is the first time we really used a producer let alone this type of producer.  We picked David because he was a hip hop producer (has worked with Lupe Fiasco, R.Kelly and Lloyd).  We wanted bigger beats and a harder sounding mix to complement our past work which is a little softer.  He added a cool element to our sound which added this edgier up tempo style.  It was exciting and fun to play.  I felt like our set just needed a few more songs for us to be able to cherry pick from our catalogue to produce a killer concert. And we got it!

I could definitely tell you had an amazing blend between your new music and your classics.  It’s cool to see where you guys came from, to working with these big producers and mixers.

It is crazy because the whole band went to high school together on the big Island of Hawaii.  We didn’t start the band until we all moved to California for college.  We picked up Micah Brown (lead singer) recently, who has been an awesome addition.  It’s funny because we played in school and it was always kind of a hobby, but then we got a little momentum and we felt the timing was right to try and pursue it as a career.  Perfect time to roll the dice and go for it.

Yea, you guys pretty much have one of the best real jobs out there.

It’s funny, one of my best friends is a doctor, and he still tells me that I won the lottery.  The grass is always greener, but I feel so lucky to do what I do.

What is also cool is that you also created this extremely loyal fan base.

It’s absolutely crazy who we have met at our shows, and the people who are doing full blown road trips, traveling overnight, to come see us play, because we are their favorite band.  That has an incredible impact on us and it still blows my mind every time. 

It must be such a unique feeling getting that response.

Yea we are definitely stoked because our fans aren’t just one demographic.  We span a large age demographic.  We have everything from little kids to older couples.  We have a lot of people who listen to Iration, and it’s always cool to see who comes out.

Sweet, and with this new edgier sound it obviously seems that people are responding well to it.  Now did you help write any songs, or how does that process work with you guys?

Every song is a little different.  Typically, Micah will write on the acoustic guitar and maybe hum the verse or just get a melody or a hook.  We will listen to it as a group and adapt as a band.  We never try and limit ourselves.  We let the song dictate how we are going to play it.  Sometimes we write a beat and then sometimes Micah will get inspired from that.  The songs that come out the best are when we have a couple hooks or beats that are circling us and then together we are all zone in and are like...that one, and we create something really amazing as a band. 

As a band, you all really have a solid element.  Did you always play the bass for the band?  Have you played anything else?

Actually yes, the first instrument I ever played was the clarinet as part of an orchestra on Oahu.  I played a little guitar, ukulele, and keyboard.  I actually only picked up the bass because Joe, our Drummer, and Rory who plays keyboard for Rebelution, were playing, and it sounded really cool, and I wanted to get in on their sound.  So I went back to Hawaii, bought a bass, taught myself how to play, and then came back and was like, hey guys I bought a bass.  Ha, I’ve never taken any lessons, which is actually how we all kind of are, self-taught.  It’s funny because we may not play the way we do with other people, but when we are together we really jam so fluidly.  Together we are a great fit.

Right, you guys have such a good grove playing off of each other’s strengths and weaknesses.

Absolutely, it really is such a pleasure all playing together. 

Hey man, well I appreciate you taking the time to talk to us.  Don’t want to take any waves away from you, enjoy the surf today, Adam. 

Yea man, I’m heading out to go get some solid waves.  Have a good one, great speaking with you!