The reggae-influenced alternative rock band Iration recently released their newest seventh full-length album, “Coastin” via Three Prong Records. Their beachy single “Coastin” was released ahead of this collection and it invites listeners to be present in life, opening your mind, eyes and ears to your surroundings.
“‘Coastin’’ is a song about slowing down and letting the world and life come to you,” shares lead vocalist/guitarist Micah Pueschel.
Coastin’ is a 13-song musical journey showcasing Iration’s distinct hybrid style of music blending rock and reggae with elements of pop and newly incorporated R&B, funk and jazz sounds, set against meaningful and personal lyrics that push positivity, good vibes and good feelings into the world. Produced and co-written by David Manzoor (Lupe Fiasco, Cam, Method Man) and engineered by Will Brierre (Imagine Dragons, Chris Isaak), along with an impressive roster of song and mix engineers, Coastin’ includes the anthemic lead single “Right Here Right Now” featuring Eric Rachmany from Rebelution and Stick Figure. The track’s official music video celebrates the essential frontline workers, first responders, and everyday people helping throughout the COVID-19 pandemic via a wide selection of fan-submitted photos. The album also features their optimistic new single “Move Forward” as well as the band’s 2019 release “Chill Out,” which Iration recently issued a special at-home version of.
Since their formation over 15 years ago, Iration (Micah Pueschel [lead vocals/guitar], Adam Taylor [bass], Joe Dickens [drums], Cayson Peterson [keyboard/synth] and Micah Brown [guitar/vocals]) has racked up more than 1 billion total streams with multiple songs featured on alternative rock radio stations across the country, including The World Famous KROQ in Los Angeles. Their previous albums Hotting Up  and Automatic  both peaked at #1 on Billboard’s Reggae Albums Chart with Iration , Double Up  and Time Bomb  each reaching #2 on the chart.
The celebrated five-piece, known for their vivacious live performances and relentless touring, has brought their aloha spirit to festivals nationwide such as Lollapalooza, Hangout, BottleRock, SXSW, Life Is Beautiful and Outside Lands as well as special events for the San Francisco Giants, San Francisco 49ers and Bernie Sanders. In addition to their sold-out headlining shows across the country including last summer’s massive amphitheater outing, Iration has also toured and appeared alongside Slightly Stoopid, Rebelution, Sublime With Rome, UB40, Dirty Heads and many more throughout their impressive and growing career.
To learn more about Iration, check out “The Uplifter,” the band’s weekly podcast. New episodes are available every Thursday on all major streaming platforms including Apple Podcasts and Spotify. (https://audioboom.com/posts/7624786-learn-from-me)
Connect With Iration Online Here: WEBSITE
Learn more about Iration in the following All Access interview:
Thank you for your time. So, given these unusual Covid-19 times, what does a typical day look like for this band? How have you all adjusted to these times?
I have a 10 week old baby so I’m very much in a Groundhog Day type scenario. Wake up, coffee, feed baby, interviews/meetings, try to get some exercise/outdoor time, rinse and repeat.
What has been the hardest/most challenging part about being quarantined? Were you able to be together much? Is your city starting to open up more now?
No, we’ve been quarantining for the most part so we haven’t seen each other in person for a few months now. Our city, Santa Barbara, remains fairly closed so a lot of home time mixed in with nature distancing.
What has it been like having to reschedule so many of your spring, summer and most likely fall shows? What shows in 2021 are you are already excited for?
It has been tough obviously as we are a live act. We’re excited for pretty much any live performance in 2021 at this point.
Since we are all desperately missing live music, can you recall a favorite show of yours from the past? What do you think ultimately makes for a great show for this band?
The best show I saw in the last couple years was Jack White at the Santa Barbara Bowl. The show was incredible and that band was very tight, the sound and lights were impeccable and, of course, Jack is a virtuoso performer so all the factors came together. He also forced the audience to leave their phones in locked bags at the front of the venue which forced everyone to be present.
Let’s talk about your new studio album, Coastin’ released on July 10th. What was it like recording this collection? Did you approach the making of it any differently than your past albums? Did it get finished before the quarantine began in March?
We approached this album in a very collaborative way from the beginning ‘til the end of the writing process. Everyone had a part in all facets of the process and strangely, even though we finished it before the pandemic, all the songs feel very timely.
You worked with a variety of producers and engineers on Coastin’ who have worked with so many different kinds of artists and genres, so I am curious how that affected the album overall? Did you actively seek that out? What was it like working with all of them?
We actually only worked with one producer King David (David Manzoor), but we did work with multiple mix engineers. We did actively seek them out which was a cool process in that we were able to match each song or set of songs with the engineers that felt right. I think that gave the album an interesting sonic flow.
I would love to know more about your single and the video for “Right Here Right Now” featuring Rebelution’s Eric Rachmany and Stick Figure. What was it like recording it separately from these musicians? Have you done anything like that before? Where did the idea to feature fan-submitted photos of essential frontline workers, first responders and more for the song’s video come from?
It was a really fun process. We wrote and recorded all of my verse and the music then sent it to Eric and Scott and let them do their own thing on the song. That allowed them to kind of do their own thing creatively. The idea for the video came from one of our managers Xavier who thought it would be cool to involve essential workers and kind of honor them.
How do you think this new collection shows how Iration has grown over the years? What has remained the same? Do you think that what motivates you all to make music has grown and developed?
I think musically we stopped chasing trends or trying to fit the music into a criteria and just focused on making songs we liked and wanted to listen to. We kept the reggae tinged grooves and melodies that kind of make us who we are, but focused more on the “feel” of the songs than the style. I think we are always motivated to make timeless music. We never feel like we’ve reached where we are trying to go. I think as soon as you think you’ve made it, that’s when you lose your edge.
How has your weekly livestream chat and podcast “The Uplifter” been going? It’s a pretty smart thing to have right now during these uncertain times. How has it helped you guys? Do you plan on continuing it when things normalize somewhat?
It has been a really cool and unique way for us to connect to our fans and to offer up a positive perspective during a kind of dark time. I think we plan on doing it for a long while or as long as we can.
How do you think future music is going to be influenced by this incredible and absolutely necessary Black Lives Matter movement that the U.S. and even the world is going through now? Is it inspiring you and your music today?
I hope it is influenced in a positive way. Black Lives Matter has always been something we’ve supported and have felt was a priority, for Americans especially, to understand being that systemic racism has existed in this country pretty much since it was founded. We play Black music and are inspired by so many African-American artists so for us to not be involved or support the movement would be completely irresponsible and hypocritical.
Is it hard to believe that you have been a band for 16 years? Is there anything that you wish you could go back and change or tell yourselves 16 years ago?
Yeah, maybe to just be true to yourselves as artists and songwriters and just focus on what sound you love and not what others think you should.