Who are Icarus Line? As a band they’ve been around for over 10 years. Front man, Joe Cardamone et al have been living in the darkest parts of LA for the past few years, scraping up enough cash to get by – let alone make a record. Yet, here we are with new album, Wildlife, the band’s fourth, was written over two years and recorded in Room 3 at Sunset Studio – acquired with the help of Ariel Pink and Giant Drag’s Annie. Mixed completely by the inexperienced Cardamone, the album is virtually unchartered territory for the band and represents a new chapter – read below to find out more.
Can you give me a brief history of the band?
Joe Cardamone: The Icarus Line was born from a bunch of punk rock kids that wanted to make some loud noise over ten years ago in Los Angeles. Ever since then we have been recording, touring and getting banned from clubs.
What’s the difference between this album and the last?
Joe Cardamone: The main difference between ‘Wildlife’ and ‘Black Lives’ is that I produced and engineered/mixed the majority of the record by myself. Not that I had much of a choice. There was way less internal conflict in the group which provided a more realised album. I also feel my lack of technical training as an engineer provided accidents, frustrations and excitement that influenced the sonic results.
Where has the band gone musically?
Joe Cardamone: The band has been very focused. I feel like we got closer to what The Icarus Line actually is than on any pervious effort. The focus on songwriting took priority over anything else and it really paid off.
What do you think that mixing the album yourself, learning how to use the equipment at the same time, brought to the record?
Joe Cardamone: It brought moments of discovery which seem to be few and far between for bands that have been around for more than a decade. Remaining un-jaded is no easy feat when you are ten years into a musical journey. It’s so easy to just switch on autopilot. That has never really been much of a problem around here because I always seem to encounter some major adversity for economic reasons. A major part of the record is captured accidents.
Can you explain your writing process?
Joe Cardamone: I can try. It’s like an organic process. I usually cannot write the entire song before jamming on it in a room. I will come in with the bone structure and then let whatever happens in the rehearsal instantly inform me on the next phases. I cherry pick ideas as they come out. For some reason inspiration doesn’t move past the skeletal stage until I can really fuck with all the working parts. Being able to conduct the whole piece in real time is essential for me. There’s a good deal of waving hands and body language involved.
What were you listening to while you made the album?
Joe Cardamone: If I remember correctly these records were on the player: Aerosmith, Draw the Line; Todd Rungren, A Wizard, A True Star; Alice Cooper, Love it to Death; Swans and Roxy Music, the first four
Is there a tour planned?
Joe Cardamone: Yeah we should be in the UK by October.
What’s next for you guys?
Joe Cardamone: Right now I am writing for another record by The Icarus Line and also producing a couple great punk bands in tandem. Work.
The Icarus Line’s ‘Wildlife’ is out now