Honest Iago

In college at UCSD one of my first orders of business was to find a band. I had joined a few mediocre ones on Craigslist before seeing Next To Impossible at the Che Cafe and thinking they rocked. They were a three piece that sounded a little like Alkaline Trio, so I went up to the singer, Matt Fradkin, and asked if they needed an extra guitarist. He told me to record some parts and get back to him.

I flaked out (partially due to being intimidated by how good they were), but a mutual friend of ours (the former bassist/current photographer Scott Toepfer) approached me to play classical guitar for Matt's new project, a "punk band with classical instruments." We recorded some demos and hit it off. That was 2005. We got asked to play a show and didn't have an orchestra so decided to recruit a drummer, Craig Vermeyen. We also started asking whomever we could get to join us for shows, so we always played with a rotating lineup of my classmates in the UCSD music department. One time we had clarinet, upright bass, keyboards, a Nintendo Wii turned into a noise box, and two people painting onstage.

If we'd known what we were doing we probably would've recorded some of it. We made our first album after college as a semi-standard rock four piece, though I was living in London at the time so we were emailing tracks back and forth and attempting to learn bedroom engineering.

The first record, Straight On 'Til Morning came out in September of 2009. We played a bunch of shows around then, and then geography got in the way again as our bassist Hunter Knight, who had joined when Scott moved to Boston, moved to Edinburgh. Years went by with us in different places, jamming and playing shows whenever we could.

One of my favorite things we ever did was to book a secret show in Seattle for Matt's 30th birthday and fly up there to surprise him. I said I had a meeting to go to and went and borrowed another band's equipment to set up at a bar. I even snuck his gear out of his house. He knew he was having a birthday party but had no idea that we were playing our first live set in at least three years. It was a hell of a good time and perhaps my favorite concert I've ever played.

In 2015 we were all back in Southern California and decided it was time to finally knock out the second album. We drove out to Joshua Tree for a long weekend to tighten up all the pieces of songs that had been floating around for the previous ten years, then met up with my good friend Nick Tipp to make the record, which we've named 29 Palms after the place where we finished writing it. That basically brings us up to today. We released the first single off of 29 Palms, A Glorious Field For Sawmills, on October 27, 2017, and plan to have the album out by next summer.




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  • 02/27/2010 A & D Vintage Warehouse Los Angeles, CA
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