Heavyweights Iron Chic visit Dayton
By Tim Anderl
Photo: Iron Chic perform on April 4 at Blind Bob’s Bar; photo: Nicole Guglielmo
Iron Chic’s long-awaited sophomore full-length album, The Constant One, ups the band’s ante, boasting nearly 40 minutes of their heartfelt, signature melodic punk with big buildups, warm harmonies and gripping climaxes. The band tackles somewhat similar subject matter to 2010’s Not Like This with deeply embedded metaphors hinting at themes of communication, perseverance and self-worth. This makes their Bridge Nine Records debut no mere sequel, but rather its own set of cleverly-cloaked ideas, soundtracked by a bed of driving riffs and life-affirming melodies.
The band launched an extensive tour in February in support of the record, taking along Dayton’s own Josh Goldman, of Rad Company, The Raging Nathans and Rad Girlfriend Records, as a substitute for their regular guitarist whose obligations forced him to sit the jaunt out.
Dayton City Paper caught up with vocalist Jason Lubrano prior to their Gem City stop to discuss, among other things, the actual Iron Sheik, Goldman’s participation and the difficulties of explaining the creative process to outsiders.
Josh Goldman, who is from Dayton, has joined you on this tour. How did you meet him and what prompted the invite to join you guys?
I think a bunch of us know Josh through different channels. I met him doing artwork. I believe he was in touch with my partner at the time, so I met him that way. My partner met him through his record label, trading records. We’d also see him around a lot when our bands crossed paths. I think he put it out there he’d play guitar if we ever needed him. We knew he played with other bands on the road and had a flexible schedule, and that combination of factors made sense at the time. We know he’d be excited to do it and wouldn’t mind being out long stretches at a time. So, he seemed like the right guy to ask. – Jason Lubrano
You guys recently did an interview with the wrestler Iron Sheik for Noisey. What was that like?
It was interesting. It was all through email, spur of the moment. When we got it going, it was pretty cool. – JL
You guys have been playing music for quite a while. Have you seen changes in the way music is delivered to fans and how they respond to it?
Definitely. With the Internet, it is easier to get people to hear things. You still need to have that initial interest or something that will get them to you. But the delivery system is way more accessible to bands and for people who want to hear new music, too. It’s maybe led to a bit of a fracturing in the type of music people listen to. In the past, if you liked emo, you had to pick through a bunch of bands to find one you really liked. You’d get exposed to a lot of sounds along the way. Now, you can get what you want pretty easily. It’s more of a buyer’s market I guess. – JL
Have you found working with Bridge Nine has helped you achieve some of your loftier goals?
It is a little early to say. They have been very receptive to our ideas. We’d always done all those things ourselves before. So, we always had a hand in every aspect, and they were understanding about our reluctance to give up that control. They’ve worked with us. They’ve brought a lot of ideas to the table that weren’t things we would have thought of before and provided opportunities we wouldn’t have had access to without them. – JL
Does it take some pressure off you to put that in someone else’s hands?
That’s the ultimate goal that pushed us to pursue that relationship. Now we’ve got a different set of things to be nervous about, things we don’t control anymore. In the end it evens out. We have a manager for the first time ever, too. We probably spend half as much time yelling at him to do stuff as it would have taken us to do it in the first place [laughs]. – JL
Do you find yourself comfortable being interrogated by the press on making music and being in the band?
I’ve done a few [interviews]. It’s hard for me to explain the mechanics and thought processes. It doesn’t make me resentful, per se, but it is difficult to engage a person in that conversation. And it is an obvious thing people want to know about, as I have with bands that I like. – JL
I read that when you were doing Shitty Rambo there were personalities in the band that made it uncomfortable to accomplish your goals. Do you believe the personalities you have on the road are poised for making the run a success?
We’re weird and sarcastic. You can’t speak in front of one of us without getting torn into for an hour afterwards [laughs]. But it is like a family in that way. There is good and bad that comes with that. The Shitty Rambo thing was beyond inter-band politics. It bled into real life. It was a thing that affected all of us. There has never been another thing we’ve encountered like that. – JL
As Iron Sheik said, “Are you ready for the Wrestlemania of music?”
Oh, yeah, yeah [laughs].
Iron Chic perform at Blind Bob’s Bar, 430 E. Fifth Street, on Friday, April 4. Admission is $5 for 21 and up. Doors at 9 p.m. Also on the bill are Broadcaster, The Dopamines, The Raging Nathans and Shut Up. For more information, please visit ironchic.net.
Tim Anderl is the web editor and a contributing writer at Ghettoblaster Magazine, and maintains his own music blog at youindie.com. Reach DCP freelance writer Tim Anderl at TimAnderl@DaytonCityPaper.com.