I first heard IAMDYNAMITE when the producer of their EP, (and subsequently their debut album SUPERMEGAFANTASTIC), Matt Noveskey, of Blue October, slipped me a copy of their impressive demo in the Spring of 2011. Fast forward to the Fall of that same year when Blue October began the first leg of their “Any Man in America” tour in Phoenix, AZ with IAMDYNAMITE opening. This is when I had my first chance to meet and talk with Christopher Martin (Vocals & Guitar) and Chris Phillips (Drums & Vocals) which, if you happened to have missed that interview, you can check it out HERE.
Since that first meeting the Chris’ have been on the road virtually non-stop, coast to coast and all over the world, opening for bands like Sum 41 and Blue October as well as headlining in some smaller clubs. They’ve been a featured act on the bill at several radio station sponsored rock festivals (to say nothing of all the early morning “in studio performances” at those same stations) and, of course, they enjoyed a very successful showcase at this year’s SXSW in Austin, TX.
When we first met IAMDYNAMITE had yet to play any shows in Europe, since then the guys have toured extensively overseas and flown to Germany SIX times to date! Yeah, it’s true, I’ve got a few years on these guys but, holy shit! I’m exhausted just thinking about their travels in the last year and a half!
Such is the life of an up and coming band promoting their debut album. There’s little doubt that, five years from now, Rolling Stone and Spin will be hailing this dynamite duo as “overnight sensations”, despite the fact that those of us in the blogosphere will have been writing about them for over half a decade. The extremely popular, Grammy Award winning Black Keys are perfect examples of this strange show business anomaly and there is no reason to believe IAMDYNAMITE, with their strong melodies and expert musicianship, won’t eventually see the same kind of success, provided they stay the course and don’t burn out first.
This past week the band finally wrapped the “SUPERMEGAFANTASTIC Tour” and are home for some serious rest and relaxation, with only a few random shows intermittently scheduled throughout the Summer.
I had a chance to catch up with the guys a few weeks back as they passed through Arizona, (their third stop here in the last year and a half), and despite their seemingly endless travels on the long and winding show business road, they were just as funny, affable and ready to rock as they were the first time we met.
Pop Bitez: So guys, what’s your secret to staying sane on the road?
Christopher Martin: Aww, man, I think you just try to sleep as much as you can….
Chris Phillips: And headphones…. lots of headphone time!
Christopher: Absolutely, a lot of headphone time.
PB: When you look back on this tour what do you think your strongest memories are going to be?
Chris: I think the crowds, the crowds that weren’t vibing with us or just not feeling it tend to stick out in my mind or- likewise- if they went absolutely crazy.
Christopher: For me I think it’s the ‘firsts’, any of the big firsts, like the first time we played in New York City and the first time we played for a real big crowd- like thousands of people- the first time we went out to the west coast, our first tour in Europe, the first time a crowd was there to see YOU in some town you’ve never been to and they know all the words, that kind of stuff…that’s what I’ll really remember.
PB: And what’s the biggest difference between American “sweaty hugs” and European “sweaty hugs”?
Chris: You can understand what they’re whispering in your ear, (laughs), you know, in the U.S. it’s just like a “bro hug”, and that’s it, the Europeans full out hug and then they talk to you, you’ll share a conversation while ‘in hug’.
Christopher: (laughs) Yeah, and then you get a little kiss on the cheek, it’s kinda nice honestly.
Chris: European hugs are just a little bit more passionate than the usual U.S. hugs, I think.
PB: So I understand you’ve got one more video and single from the SUPERMEGAFANTASTIC album in the works?
Chris: Yep, we’re actually in the process of filming the video right now.
PB: And what’s the track?
Christopher: “Hey Girl”.
PB: Now I’ve been playing the hell out of this album for nearly 2 years and, as much as I love it, I know I speak for a lot of your fans when I say, we need some new stuff! So, where are you at as far as the sophomore album is concerned?
Christopher: We’re at a point where we’re starting to accumulate little bits of songs, melodies and parts and we’re puting them together, like a big stew, and some work for awhile and then you’re ‘no, no, I don’t want that’ and then you try something different, we’re in that phase right now. It’s kind of taking awhile because me and Chris are living in different states right now, you know, when we made the first album we were living in the same state and we could get together and practice and jam and fuck around all of the time, that being said, we’re going to try and make a new album in November, that’s the time everyone is on board for.
PB: So while you’ve been on the road you’ve been playing with some of these new ideas?
Christopher: Every time we go out we’re like, ‘THIS time we’re going to play some new songs’, and some shit happens, like someone gets sick, I get sick or Chris gets sick, and all of the sudden we don’t have any time to work on anything.
Chris: We have gotten together a couple of times on this tour where we just HAD to play, that’s it, we sit there and jam, but it sucks sometimes because, you know, it’s a struggle, but we just gotta DO it. We both got sick at different points and eventually you really need those days off, you get to that point at the end of the tour or even in the middle of a tour, you know, when that day off comes and you just want THAT DAY OFF! You don’t want to do anything! Also a lot of our days off right now are spent driving, but we’re on the same page with you guys, we want that sophomore album out and done as much as you do, so that we’ve got some new stuff to play.