As part of our Artist of the Month series, we recently sat down with Ithomiid, the Minneapolis punk band, and our Artist of the Month for February, to talk their new live new album, their inspirations, and their unique sound.
1) We usually avoid asking the ‘band name’ question, but yours is super interesting, not many people associate punk acts with butterflies so how did you settle on Ithomiid?
When I (Eric, vocals) started the band, I wanted to find a unique band name. I wanted something that was short, memorable and would out stick out in a list of band names. I was looking at an online dictionary for weird words, and clicked on a section that was to just view “weird animal names.” While scrolling through that list, Ithomiid stuck out because of it’s spelling. I had no idea what it was or how to pronounce it, but I really liked that there were the two i’s at the end. I just really liked how the word looked! Then upon doing some research, I found out that it’s an extremely rare butterfly that only lives in South America. Kevin (drums) and I are both from Brazil, so that was a pretty cool coincidence that I found a name pertaining to South America!
2) You are self described as a cross between punk and metal, how did that sound come together? Was it intentional or just a result of your different influences as musicians?
That was a result of our different influences as musicians. We all have very different tastes, Eric (vocals) is into punk rock, Kevin (guitar) and Nic (bass) are into progressive music, and Kevin (drums) is into metal. So we take all these different tastes and try to form our sound, combining elements of the genres we all like.
3) It can take a long time for some bands to start getting recognition, but four months in you guys come out on top of a battle of the bands, what did that mean to you guys?
It meant all our hard work paid off! We were very proud to win the first battle of the bands we entered. We took those first practices very seriously, practicing for usually 3 to 4 hours multiple times a week until we had a solid set we were confident in.
4) Not only that, but getting radio play on some online stations. Is it weird to turn on a station and hear your own music?
It’s very special and exciting to hear our own music on a radio station, whether that be online or live on the airwaves. Recently we had our new song Absentee played on 93X, and it was amazing to tune in to a radio station that plays our favorite music and hear our own song. Afterwords we were getting texts and snapchats from our friends saying stuff like “Just heard your song on 93X!” So it was fun for everyone!
5) Ithomiid has shared the stage with some impressive acts, which one meant the most for you guys?
We are always thankful to share the stage with bigger acts, but ones that stick out are The Misfits, The Color Morale and Phineas. Eric (vocals) is really into the late 70’s punk rock scene, so it was a huge honor for him to open for The Misfits, the band that is considered one of the most influential punk bands of all time. Kevin (guitar) and Kevin (drums) are both really big fans of The Color Morale, so that show was especially special to them. Garret Rapp even watched our entire set, talked to us after the show, accepted our demo CD and wrote on our Facebook wall after the show. That was unbelievable for us and we were starstruck.
6) You guys recently came out with a live album, it’s an uncommon choice for local bands so why make a live album? (This will most likely come out after it’s released so just answer like it has been released)
Ever since we released our debut album “A Thousand Journals” in 2014, we have been writing new material non stop. We really want to show every one our new music, but we have not had the chance to record our second studio album yet. So we thought that a live album would be the perfect way to release new songs and give people a taste of what our second album will sound like! Eric is an audio engineer and was given the soundboard recordings of 2 live shows that took place at The Garage in Burnsville in late 2015. He mixed and mastered those recordings, and that’s where our live album came from!
7) Any other news or things we should look out for on the horizon from Ithomiid?
We have A LOT of new material. We are going to start recording in the coming weeks and we are planning on releasing our second studio album this summer. We are also talking about what we will release after the album, currently we are thinking about an EP and maybe an acoustic album. Eric has a home studio, so we will be spending a lot time recording. So lots of new music is on the way, and of course we are still playing lots of shows in the twin cities and supporting other local bands!