By Nicholas Jason Lopez
On Jul. 10, 2020, Reggae-Influenced alternative rock band Iration will release their seventh full-length album ‘Coastin” via Three Prong Records, which was described by the band as being about “sharing thanks for the moments we have in front of us.”
The 13-track album has been carried so far on the strength of their singles “Coastin’,” “Moving Forward,” “Chill Out” and “Right Here Right Now,” the latter of which features Rebelution’s Eric Rachmany and Stick Figure. Common Kings and Hawaiian-based female reggae vocalist Eli-Mac also make guest appearances on the album. It was produced and co-written by David Manzoor (Lupe Fiasco, Cam, Method Man) and engineered by Will Brierre (Imagine Dragons, Chris Isaak), amongst a roster of top-notch industry song/mix engineers.
Iration, who formed over 15 years ago and have since shared stages with the likes of Sublime With Rome and Dirty Heads, is lead vocalist/guitarist Micah Pueschel, guitarist/vocalist Micah Brown, bassist Adam Taylor, drummer Joe Dickens and keyboardist/synthesist Cayson Peterson.
The Music Bugle recently had the chance to chat with Pueschel about ‘Coastin” and more.
Music Bugle – What excites you the most about the reggae-rock sound?
Micah Pueschel – I think what excites me most is the variability of the sound. I think it’s a fairly wide-open genre as far as musical interpretation. The average listener is not as familiar with reggae as they are with more popular styles like blues, rock, jazz or R&B, so I think that allows us to move around musically more.
Music Bugle – How did you guys get your name?
Micah Pueschel – It was a lyric in a Bob Marley song we were covering and the guys liked the sound and general meaning “beginning of time.” It’s an homage to our roots as a reggae cover band.
Music Bugle – What was your biggest challenge in making your latest album?
Micah Pueschel – I think the challenge is always pushing ourselves to find a new sound while also staying true to the sound that our core fans love. It’s a tightrope.
Music Bugle – How have you felt the band progress through the years?
Micah Pueschel – We have progressed through changes in our lineup as well as general musical changes. We tour with a horn section now and the addition of Micah Brown allowed us to rely on two guitars, which opened up doors musically. I think we’re more mature and I think the songwriting has gotten tighter and better all-around.
Music Bugle – What song do you feel represents ‘Coastin” the most?
Micah Pueschel – I guess probably the title song, although I never feel like one song defines an entire record for us. That song really sets the tone for the vibe and feel of the record both musically and lyrically.
Music Bugle – How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected you?
Micah Pueschel – It has affected us in multiple ways. Obviously, we were forced to cancel our touring this year, but it forced us to branch out and diversify our connection to the fans through our podcast The Uplifter and our Irationlive Twitch channel.
Music Bugle – What frustrates you the most about today’s music industry?
Micah Pueschel – I think the most frustrating part of the industry is the reliance on genre. I think it makes it very difficult for acts like us to evolve and grow because in general you get lumped into the genre in which you first break out. We often times get dismissed as a “reggae” act even though I think we’re much more than that.
Music Bugle – If you had the chance to chat one-on-one with one of your musical influences, who would you choose?
Micah Pueschel – Paul McCartney. I think that’s pretty self-explanatory! (Laughs)
Music Bugle – What’s something people should know about the band?
Micah Pueschel – We all either surf or golf, which is also how we spend most of our days off on tour. We also all love food and wine. Big shock!
Music Bugle – What do you feel is still left for the band to accomplish?
Micah Pueschel – We know we have fanbases in Europe and South America that we’d love to meet and play for.