Unfortunately I missed IAMDYNAMITE when they came through Pittsburgh in November because of the head cold that melted my head. Luckily those who attended the show at Altar Bar had their heads melted with a raucous spectacle. Any comments from people that attended the show would be appreciated. The grapevine produced raved reviews.
Love this video by the guys!
I was able to catch up with Guitarist Christopher Martin (CM) and Drummer Chris Phillips (CP) via email to get a better understanding of what IAMDYNAMITE is all about. I realize I’m only scratching the surface with these cats but you’ll be more informed by the interview below…
At what point did you guys decide to have a go as a two piece?
CM: we were in your typical, not so good local rock band and we hated it. Our songs were long, poorly played, not well written and not well sung, playing in small clubs with shitty p.a.’s and uncaring sound guys who hated their lives. Some bands can still make that exciting with Passion and energy, but we didn’t. In other words: We were boring. We were tedious. We didn’t like watching bands like that, let alone being a band like that. So it was time for some change. If the sound at the clubs was going to be shitty, then why don’t we just get rid of all the extra instruments. What matters most is the human voice. The melody. And to make people move how we wanted we needed powerful and simple drums. Much easier to cut through a bad pa with only those things. The guitar provides another source of rhythm and dynamics, and also gives the melodies harmonic context. Done deal!
(for C.Martin) Guitar players are typically apprehensive about not having other musicians to accompany them. Did you spend a lot of time getting your rig together for live shows to get that big sound?
CM: Not really, my rig back then was already capable of filling up the low end pretty well. Some amps and setups obviously may not work as well as others.
(for C.Martin) Can you give us a “rig run-down”? We love these!!
CM: A rig run-down, eh? Okay.. first off, my rig is pretty ghetto. My amp head is usually kept upside down because the tubes keep falling out and I was too lazy to have someone to fix it. I LOVE hollow or semi-hollow guitars. They don’t look as RAWK, but I think they sound amazing. That said, my rig:
Guitars: gretsch hollowbody and an ibanez artcore w/ gibson classic 57 pickups
Amp: Early 70s fender bassman head
Mesa boogie 2×12 cab
Pedals: just a Big Muff tone wicker, that allows you to bypass the tone knob.
CP: why cant i answer this one? Yamaha oak…. sabian cymbals and a 27in wuhan
(for C.Martin) I’m impressed with your melodic sensibility. Do you bring the idea to Chris Phillips and complete the song or do you guys just belly up and start writing together?
CM: I come up with a “song”, usually 3 or 4 melodies with rough guitar parts. It’s mostly an outline. We jam on it, take it apart, argue, play it live, rewrite the lyrics, add harmonies, play it live again, argue some more, demo it and change it all around again, then play it live, and then continue this process until its time to make a real record. Even then we still fiddle with songs after the record comes out.
(for C. Martin) What new or old music have you been listening to?
CM: Neil young’s “after the gold rush”, I really love purity ring’s album, baroness… teenage Jesus and the jerks, which I had never listened to until recently. I never really listened to no wave, but i love the pure raw energy of it.
(for Chris Phillips) Who were your childhood rocker heroes?
CP: Bonham for his power and his grace. he was a basher on the drums but still nobody could touch his playing. and the drummer from night ranger…. Kelly Keagy…i mean he sang “sister christian”
(for C. Phillips) What new or old music have you been listening to?
CP: I still have been listening to MUTEMATH, their newest album is awesome. Ive also been listening to Little Hurricane and the Whitest Boy alive. MC Hammer is always in my mind
“Where Will We Go” is a banger. When did you realize it was commercially viable and was going to open some doors for you?
CM: It’s commercially viable? I don’t know, we write songs to be powerful and melodic. I think we knew we liked it and that we hoped other people would be affected by it too. Making something melodic and interesting and simple seems to be a pretty good recipe.
Do you have any goals in the upcoming years that might blow our minds?
CM: Writing our next record. Minds blown! …….Japan
How’d you like Pittsburgh guys?
CM: we LOVE Pittsburgh. Good people, great beards
CP: Pittsburgh chicks have the best tattoos
Do you guys like canoeing?
CM: Ah, the infamous out-of-left-field-last-question-to-end-interview… Hmmm, yes we do… Yes we do…
CP: i am more of an amateur kayaker
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