Q&A with IRONTOM – Working with Charlie Sheen, Jack Irons of RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS + PEARL JAM, Aaron Bruno of AWOLNATION and Upcoming Debut Album!
Posted On 06 Apr 2016
Tag: Aaron Bruno, Academy Award, AFX Studios, All Access, All Access Exclusive Interview, All Access Music Group, allaccessmusicnicole, American Horror Story, Arctic Monkeys, AWOLNATION, Barracuda, Beastie Boys, Beatles, Bob Dylan, Charlie Sheen, David LeRoy Anderson, Dawn Of The Dead, Death From Above 1979, Dion, Doo Wop, Down By The River, Feel Good Inc., Finish Ticket, FX, Gorillaz, Heart, Heather Anderson, Hello Goodbye, Hello Nasty, In The Day and the Dark, IRONTOM, Irontom Band, iTunes, Jack Iron, James Brown, Kashmir, Kid A, Led Zeppelin, Magical Mystery Tour, Magritte, Marcello Altieri, Men In Black, Neil Young, Ones To Watch Tour, Pearl Jam, Radiohead, Rolling Stones, Runaround Sue, Salvador Dali, Soundcloud, Spin The Black Circle, Spotify, The Beastie Boys, The Beatles, The Minista, The Rolling Stones, Vinyl Theatre, Zach Irons
IRONTOM emerged in early 2012 forging a presence on the Los Angeles music scene. With influences ranging from Arctic Monkeys to Led Zeppelin, the music exhibits a variety of styles and sounds on top of a classic songwriting sensibility. The five band members combine to form an undeniably powerful and energetic sound. The band includes: Zach Irons (Guitar), Harry Hayes (Lead Vocals), Dane Sandborg (Bass), Daniel Saslow (Keys) and Dyl Williams (Drums).
All Access Music writer, Nicole DeRosa had a chance to catch up with IRONTOM to chat about their new single, ” Be Bold Like Elijah” (which you can listen to via Soundcloud here ), working with Aaron Bruno of AWOLNATION who is producing their upcoming debut album and much more!
Be sure to catch IRONTOM live during their upcoming summer tour with AWOLNATION and Death From Above 1979.
Hey there Harry, Zach, Dane, Dan and Dyl! I know you guys recently wrapped your Ones To Watch Tour, so where does our interview find you today and what’s on the agenda besides our interview?
We’re currently in the process of making our first record with Aaron Bruno (AWOLNATION) producing. The Ones To Watch Tour was such a great experience. Finish Ticket and Vinyl Theatre are both amazing bands that we can’t wait to play with again.
So, first things first, for those that are not familiar with IRONTOM and your music, who or what was the catalyst (inspiration) for you to want to live the life of a musical gypsy?
We all grew up loving music from a young age and some of us have family members that are musicians. Being a touring musician is such an exciting way to live. It is the most gratifying feeling to be able to perform our art and to have people respond back with such excitement.
For your video, “The Minista” you collaborated with David LeRoy Anderson, Academy Award winning makeup artist, whose past works include: Men In Black, Dawn Of The Dead and FX’s current hit show, American Horror Story to name a few. Did you help come up with the treatment for the video as well? What was the inspiration for the look of the video?
Everything in the video was heavily inspired by Salvador Dali, Magritte, and all other surrealist art. David planted the seed for the surrealist ball concept and from there, we collaborated with his wife Heather Anderson, AFX studios, and Marcello Altieri on the look of the video. They are all such brilliant artists and it was a great experience working with them.
Actor and tiger’s blood enthusiast, Charlie Sheen who describes IRONTOM “like Led Zeppelin and the Beatles had a baby, and it was raised by wolves” has a cameo in the video. How did that all come about casting Charlie? How was that experience working with him?
“We met Charlie Sheen through a mutual friend who introduced him to our music. He loved what he heard and wanted to be involved. He’s an incredibly kind and generous person. We had so much fun spending time together and bonding on our mutual love of classic rock. Charlie is the life of the party in any room that he is in, and is easily one of the funniest people any of us have ever met!”
Who have been your inspirations growing up that also inspire you today?
We all grew up listening to The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, the Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, and more recently the Arctic Monkeys and Radiohead.
What did you learn between your previous bands and playing live, that you felt you wanted to infuse into your latest work?
Getting to tour all across the country over the last year has been a great test for new material. Playing a song in front of an audience can totally tell you what works and what doesn’t. We’ve learned a lot about what kind of a show we want to put on for our audiences.
Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, Jack Irons of the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Pearl Jam produced a few IRONTOM tracks: “The Minista”, “In the Day and the Dark”, and “Feel Good Inc.” (Gorillaz cover) . It’s no coincidence too that Zach and Jack have the same last name either. What was it like working and learning from one of the best in the biz?
“Jack Irons is the real deal. He’s achieved a level of success as a musician that isn’t really possible anymore. He’s been a mentor for our group since we began and he’s a brilliant producer. He worked incredibly hard on those songs and was committed to making sure they were the best they could be. We’re very proud of the recordings we’ve done with him.”
Nowadays, everything is so instant…you push a button and it’s yours a la Spotify, Soundcloud, iTunes etc. What was the first album you saved up your money as a kid and bought for yourself?
Harry – For me it’d have to be The Beatles 1 album. I think I was given it for Xmas when I was ten or eleven. After some time I came to realize that I got more joy out of those songs then out of anything else in my life.
Dan – I got a James Brown collection that covered his early days to his late 70s recordings. The rhythm sections on those recordings taught me a lot about effective instrumentation and the value of being a good player with good parts that compliment the other musicians.
Dyl - I’d say any of the early Pearl Jam albums had the most impact on me growing up. I would make my parents play my Vitalogy cassette in the car over and over again. “Spin The Black Circle” was a personal favorite that would get me screaming along in the back seat.
Zach – The first album that I loved as a whole was Hello Nasty by The Beastie Boys. My moms friend had it in her car and I got so obsessed with it she eventually just gave it to me. I was 8.
Dane - There have been many albums that influenced me. I remember being first introduced to Radiohead through a series of randomly downloaded MP3’s. After listening through hybrid mixes of their albums I sought to go out and buy Kid A. I listened to that album obsessively for over a year. I loved the sounds, songs, production, and over all narrative of the album. Seeing how Radiohead had evolved towards making Kid A was very inspiring.
What was the first song you fell in love with (that you can remember) and why?
Harry – “Runaround Sue” by Dion. I was seven years old and my dad was playin’ it in the car. I loved the pulse of the song and the whole doo wop vocal dynamic was so melodic and uplifting. His other songs were cool too, but that one was most potent to me.
Dan - “Hello Goodbye” by The Beatles. I loved the sounds, the moving bassline, all the different parts, the outro. I listened to the Magical Mystery Tour a lot, so looking back I’m not sure which was my favorite when I was first listening to it, but “Hello Goodbye” is the most nostalgic for that time.
Dyl – “Barracuda” by Heart. I remember being a little kid and the energy of this song made me more excited than anything ever had. I had a pair of drumsticks and I would aggressively bang them on the ground of my parents bedroom as fast as I could along to this song.
Zach – “Kashmir” by Led Zeppelin because it’s the best. I was young.
Dane – Neil Young’s “Down by the River”. I loved the gritty guitar tones and over all movement to the song. Although simple, I found it very easy to lose myself in it. It’s still the same to this day.
What’s on tap next for you IRONTOM? What are you most excited about for this year?
We’re looking forward to touring again with AWOLNATION and Death From Above 1979 this summer.
In the coming months before then we’ll be finishing up our debut album with Aaron Bruno. It’s been incredible working with him so far. He’s so passionate and has put all of his love into making this record with us. We’re all so excited for people to hear it.