Iration will bring a bit of island-music sunshine to Park City Live
Iration will bring a little bit of island-music reggae to Park City Live on Saturday, Feb. 28.
It’s been a while since the Hawaiian-bred, Isla Vista, California,-based group has been to town, said vocalist and guitarist Micah Pueschel.
"We haven’t been there in a few years, so we’re stoked to come back," Pueschel said during a phone call from the band’s stop in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Iration — Pueschel, bassist Adam Taylor, drummer Joseph Dickens and keyboardist Cayson Peterson — just wrapped recording its new album, the follow-up to its third release, "Automatic."
"We’re planning to release it in the summer," Pueschel said "We’re really happy with it and feel it’s the best record we’ve done by a long shot and stoked to get it out. We’re going to play at least one new song when we get to Park City."
Although the songs are new, they still have that laid-back island feel, Pueschel said.
"Being from Hawaii and having that island-music background influenced what came out of us," he said.
All the band members grew up in Hawaii and moved to the mainland to pursue higher education, according to Pueschel.
"We all went to high school on the Big Island and then went to college in California and formed the band there," he said "We never had any grand ambitions with the music. We just wanted to play the music we wanted to hear, which was reggae music, and we played strictly covers at house parties in Isla Vista."
After a few parties, Iration began drawing bigger crowds and started performing paying gigs in clubs around downtown Santa Barbara.
That’s when they began playing original songs.
"When I learned to play guitar, I began writing my own songs, even though I had no idea what I was doing," Pueschel said. "I felt the need to do it and started writing songs and the band had a bunch of music parts that didn’t have any song in them. So I started putting lyrics to them and it progressed from there.
"We’re lucky enough to learn from people like Chuck Brotman, who is a Grammy Award-winning producer for Hawaiian music," he said. "He taught us the basics of songwriting and led us through our first sessions."
As the songwriting progressed, so did the band’s live performances to the point where Iration played on Cypress Hill’s Smokeout Festival, Lollapalooza, Wakurasa and South by Southwest to name a few.
"When you get on a big stage, it can be a little nerve wracking, but then it becomes more natural to be on a bigger stage," Pueschel said. "The first time we played a 300-capacity show was nerve wracking, but you get used to it. Then playing Red Rocks, which was in front of 15,000 people was nerve wracking as well.
"It was a natural progression," he said. "We started off with small stages and then went on tour with bigger bands and played bigger stages. Then you end up headlining and then back to being an opening band and playing side stages and headlining again. You are constantly evolving and taking the steps you need to take."
However, being away from home for most of the year on tour does prove to be challenging.
"A lot of people tell us it’s so cool that we’re off traveling and playing music for people, and that’s true, but it’s also tough for us to have a normal home life," Pueschel said "You have to find a life partner who is OK with you being gone all the time.
"It’s also tough to have pets and stuff like that, because you live the life of a vagabond," he said. "However, it is true that you are able to see and do things that other people don’t get to do. We get to play and see places that people only dream of. I consider us lucky and we don’t want to lose track of that."
Once the band gets off the road, Pueschel, who cited Beck, the Beatles, Jack Johnson and Led Zeppelin as influences, finds himself in songwriting moods.
"We also take that time to think about the next step and new sound and which direction we want to go as a band," he said. "It’s a constant process. Like with any business or endeavor that you do in life, the moment you stop progressing, you begin to go backwards. We want to continue to go forward. We want to improve and bring something new to our fans."
Iration perform at Park City Live, 427 Main St., on Saturday, Feb. 28. Doors open at 8 p.m. Tickets are available by visiting http://www.parkcitylive.net.
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Aiko ready for a two-night jam session in Park City.