Joe Cardamone (Icarus Line) – The Collapse Board Interview
The new record is called Wildlife. Did you have an overall vision for it?
Not so much an overall vision because I didn’t even really know if it would be an Icarus Line record. When I started putting songs together for the record the band was pretty much in shambles. Jeff was living in Portland and we hadn’t played together for a while so when we put the record together I didn’t really know what direction it was going to go but it turned out to be an Icarus Line record in the end. At this point I feel like maybe that’s just what I do right now [laughs]. There was no grand vision it’s just a document of what was going around at the time around us.
Was there a point you realised it would be an Icarus Line record?
I didn’t know who I wanted to play on it and I convinced Jeff [Watson] to come down to L.A. for t10 days to maybe work on the songs with me. We hadn’t even spoken. We weren’t on good terms. He came down and we started playing and it instantly felt good. As soon as we had everyone in a room we knew we were going to make an Icarus Line rock n roll record. There was no question about it as soon as we started playing the songs.
It’s nice when things happen organically, when things just feel right.
I don’t think we’ve ever necessarily started out to do a record, they just happened upon us. That’s why it takes so much time in between records for us because no one ever has any money. We never know if the band will ever do another tour or another record but these days more than ever I feel that we probably will make another couple of records. We’re actually working on a new one right now. They’ll be another Icarus Line record recorded by the time this one comes out.
Wildlife will be released on your and Annie’s label Roar Scratch Records right? And the next record will be released by Buddyhead in the [US] fall?
Yeah, that’s kind of the idea. I’m not sure when the newest one will be released but it will definitely be in its final stages in the fall.
How do you feel about Wildlife?
I feel like I feel about any of my records, I always think I could do a better job. That’s why we’re doing another one. I’ve never been that satisfied. I am happier with Wildlife than anything else we’ve done but I still think we can beat it and do better. I think we can do a record that can reach people in a broader way without sacrificing any ounce of integrity.
What’s your favourite track on the record?
It’s weird ’cause some of the recording come out better than we performed them. ‘All The Little Things’ is probably my favourite song to play live because it feels really good. On the record I really like the way ‘Soul Slave’ came out. The thing about this record is it’s the first record that I produced, engineered and mixed all by myself.
Going into the record and the recording process I really had no technical experience whatsoever. I had experience working with engineers we’ve record with and I knew what certain pieces of gear did and I knew what to ask for like, “Can you put the 1176 compressor on the vocal?” but I wasn’t really involved before with that because we always had the budget to work with people we trusted. That’s how we made records up to this point.
When we got money to make Wildlife I had a feeling that the record industry was going into the shitter. I was right. I got a bunch of gear and knew that if I build a really nice studio with this money and learn how to use this shit I’ll at the very least still be able to keep making records. Even if I’m working at 7-11 selling cartons of cigarettes I’ll still be able to go home and make really great sounding records. Starting this record I spent hours and hours in the studio, not just working on the record but really learning how to make a record. I’ve really had great guidance. There’s people like Greg Gordon, he’s one of the best engineers I’ve ever met in my life. He tracked the drums for Wildlife. He’s been on all kinds of stuff like Supergrass and Oasis records — huge records! He’s been a good mentor to me. I could call him with all kinds of questions.
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I believe in thoughtful in-depth interviews! My blog Conversations with Bianca is my love letter to the universe. I am the 2011 Australian Zine Maker of the Year. My Conversations With Punx Project won an award for Best Zine Produced in Australia (as a series). Marky Ramone once told me “Your heart is in the right place.”