It would be reasonable to suspect a rock band who borrowed their name from the works of Friedrich Nietzsche might be just another pretentious pop act but, when it comes to the new rock and roll duo IAMDYNAMITE, it would be safer to assume the exact opposite. In truth, the choosing of the name might just be a perfect example of the band’s playful and self effacing sense of humor.
IAMDYNAMITE are actually the anti-pretentious and, with American cynicism at an all time high, the timing of their arrival might just end up being perfect, both for them and for us. Gerald Casale of the band Devo recently described his legendary group as “the house band on the Titanic”, all I can tell you is, if this is the case, they’re going to need to make some room on the bill for IAMDYNAMITE, because, without a doubt, these guys are one of the best party bands to come along in over a decade. The musicianship is solid, the songs are instantly infectious and the band’s energy on stage is feverishly fun.
IAMDYNAMITE (Formerly Mahoney) are Christopher Martin (Guitar, Vox) and Chris Phillips (Drums/Vox). They honed their sound and vision while coming up in the rock scene of Detroit, MI before relocating to Raleigh, NC and are currently on the road with the platinum selling rock act Blue October, gaining immediate fans with every show they play. Nearly every day their Facebook page is growing substantially with “likes” and raves from new fans who saw them the night before and, with the iTunes debut of their terrific new album SUPERMEGAFANTASTIC , a definite buzz is in the air, as the new release is generating the kind of reviews most young bands dream of, but rarely ever see.
Pop Bitez: So, how would you describe the IAMDYNAMITE sound?
Christopher: Well, it’s drums and guitar and we just try to strip it down to what’s most important, which is strong melodies and lots of energy
Chris: It’s melody and rhythm.
Christopher: High energy and just, you know, fun.
PB: Who would you say were your biggest musical influences when you were growing up and learning to play?
Christopher: We grew up in the early to mid 90s so we listened to a lot of bands like Queens of the Stone Age.
Chris: Yeah, we were a little young for the super grunge. The big thing now is we try to stay as current as possible, we listen to everything as much as we can because we don’t want to start sounding like things that were done in the 90s, we want to soak everything in and make sure we’re staying relevant. Plus, we actually have very different tastes in music.PB: And that has to work to your advantage as collaborators.Chris: Definitely.Christopher: Yeah, it actually gives you some flavors you didn’t plan on, in a good way.PB: Give me some examples, Chris, what do you listen to that he doesn’t?Chris: I listen to more singer/ songwriter stuff, not all the time but, I just like that stuff more than he does.Christopher: And he’s giving no specific examples… (laughing)Chris: (laughing) I don’t want to give my specific examples…PB: Billy Joel, Barry Manilow….?Chris: I love Billy Joel!Christopher: The three Bs, Barry Manilow, Billy Joel….The Bee Gees (laughing).Chris: …And I really like Edwin McCain.
PB: Alright, Edwin McCain can be cool.
Chris: But hey, that’s weird! He doesn’t like Edwin McCain….
Christopher: …. I make fun of him for liking Edwin McCain all of the time, no offense to Edwin McCain.
PB: So Matt Noveskey of Blue October produced the new album?
Christopher: Yes he did.
PB: And how exactly did you guys discover each other?
Christopher: Well, we made an E.P., like, four years ago and our manager at the time knew Matt and he was just getting into the whole producing thing and we were one of his first projects. We just got friendly and we stayed in touch all of these years, he’s always just sort of helped us out and championed us to people and then about a year or so ago we decided we were going to make a record and he was wanting to produce it, it just worked out great and, you know, he’s always been super nice and it was just perfect timing, and he did a good job, it was fun, he “gets” us.
PB: Now when you were first starting out you were calling yourselves “Mahoney”.
Christopher: That’s right.
PB: So what precipitated the name change?
Chris: Well, you know, it was a few things, we had signed with Rainmaker Artists, who we’re with now, and they suggested it, we didn’t accept it right away but we gave it a fair shake because, you know, they’re the professionals….and they were like, “if you’re ever going to change it you better do it now.”
Christopher: Yeah, they were basically like, “this year’s going to be big and if you were ever going to change it…. “, we had actually never thought about changing it but we thought, well, if we can come up with something cooler we’ll do it, so we put some thought into it and we liked the name we came up with better so we just switched it, you know, we just thought it was cooler.
PB: It is cooler and you don’t sound like an Irish band anymore.
(they both laugh)
PB: What’s the best part of being a two man band?
Chris: Oh man, everything?
Christopher: I would say you don’t step on each others toes as much, you know, with a band where you’ve got five members, you bring in a song and there’s just a lot of nitpicking about the parts and… you don’t want to be a dictator…and it’s just a lot of arguing and squabbling but this is pretty easy, you know, he plays drums and I’ve got the guitar and sing lead and it’s just a lot easier, in every way.
Chris: Scheduling is a big one, wanna play a show? Bam! Done.
Christopher: We just thought we could get away with it and, you know, we have so far, we’re fooling everyone.
PB: A lot of the reviews I’ve read about your live shows have said it’s “two guys who sound like five”.
Chris: Yeah, it’s really been cool to hear that, pretty much all along.
PB: Alright so those were the “Rolling Stone” questions, now I’m going to throw a few “Tiger Beat’s” at you.
What’s your favorite movie?
Christopher: I’m still loving Inglorious Bastards.
Chris: Wow, favorite movie…(thinking) I want to say, Backdraft, I love that movie.
Christopher: There you go, it’s an honest answer.
PB: And your favorite book?
Christopher: I’ve read a bunch of books lately, ummm, I like The Trial by Kafka, that’s one of my favorite books.
Chris: One book that’s always stuck with me is Tuesdays with Morrie.
Christopher: (laughing) He’s such a cheese-ball, I can picture him sitting in his bedroom on a rainy day…listening to Edwin McCain, reading Tuesdays with Morrie, wearing a sweater…..
Chris: (laughing) That’s a great book though, you should read it, I’ll let you borrow it.
PB: And what’s your favorite color? (a “Tiger Beat” staple)
PB: If you could go back in time and see one specific concert or tour, who would it be?
Chris: I would like to see Led Zeppelin, you know, the whole drummer thing….
Christopher: Specifically though, like when?
Chris: I don’t know, early I guess, like ’69?
Chris: Europe would be cool.
Christopher: I think mine would probably be James Brown at The Apollo, that would have been a pretty fantastic concert to have seen.
PB: And now a few “Inside the Actor’s Studio” questions.
What sound do you love?
Christopher: These are actually “Inside the Actor’s Studio” questions, I love that.
Chris: A Breathy sigh.
Christopher: I love crickets.
PB: Except maybe at a concert?
Christopher: Well, even there ya know…
PB: If you’ve got a “sensitive moment” going?
Christopher: Yeah, exactly.
PB: What sound or noise do you hate?
Chris: Crickets, at a concert or in general.
Christopher: A Michigan accent.
PB: We’re talking Upper Peninsula?
Chris: Oooh, I want to change my answer to that!
Christopher: …the moms all have that nasal sound, ‘Heeey guys, how was da shoow“? When people make fun of Americans that’s usually the accent they use.
PB: What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?
Chris: I’m kind of interested in massage therapy.
Christopher: I think I’d like to be a lumberjack, I’ve said that for years….no, that’s not true…I think I’d like to be an architect.
PB: What profession would you not like to do?
Chris: I don’t know if I could be a bartender, I just don’t have the patience for it, it does not appeal to me in anyway. I’ve done it too and it’s just too much tension. I have so much respect for them.
Christopher: I think for me it’d be janitor at the high school I graduated from, although, I was thinking, it could kind of be awesome, you know? Just get drunk every day and have like this sweet mustache…but no, for real, it would be awful.
PB: What’s your favorite curse word?
Christopher: Just…”Fuck”, but it has to be with the hard F, it can’t just be “fuck”, you know?
Chris: I’m going to say “Shit”, because it can be used in so many different ways.
PB: Last question, are you ready for international fortune and fame?
Christopher: We’re SO ready.
Chris: Can’t wait.
Christopher: We are going to “sell out” so quickly it’s going to be shameful.
Chris: Whatever we need to push, we will!
Christopher: We’re going to be, head to toe, like Nascar drivers, patches everywhere. We’ll probably change our names to big corporations, he’ll be, like, McDonald’s and I’ll be Shell Oil.
PB: That’s hilarious.
Chris: No, we’re not kidding, we’re for real. (laughing)
Christopher: (laughing) Maybe we could kind of get away with it like, “Hey, we’re joking!“, but we’re really not…but we are joking.
Chris: We are so not joking.
PB: That actually might work, you could finance your next music video that way.
Christopher: I think that’s it, we’re just going to be awful.
Check out the first single, Stereo, from IAMDYNAMITE’S new album SUPERMEGAFANTASTIC
♦ For more info on merchandise and tour dates check out IAMDYNAMITE.com!