Exploring Entertainment in Florida's 850 & Beyond
When you are a band like ionia, who takes both your band name and inspiration from figures like Carl Sagan, music is about way more than the sounds you create.
“The band name came from a Carl Sagan novel, ‘The Cosmos’. We took it from there because it was this whole philosophy behind the story of a single concentration of power – it wasn’t about any one of us – it is about the music. It is very important to us as a band to find a name that kind of represented that philosophy and that idea.”
All of the band’s various websites feature a quote from The Cosmos: “No single concentration of power could force conformity. Free inquiry became possible. They were beyond the frontiers of the empires.”
“The reason we put that up is the idea of moving beyond one’s self and into a more positive sense of socialism.“
“We are from the mentality that if we are going to do something, that we should try to be a part of the solution and not the problem. It is very important to us, and we take it very seriously, the content that we push. It is kind of all about that for us. If we weren’t doing that then we have to kind of find something else to do.”
That doesn’t mean that the music takes a backseat to the message for ionia. “Ultimately, we are all music fans. We hope to inspire people, the way that music inspires us. And I think that music can inspire change, can push the envelope – it has just been kind of saturated by the commercial idea that commerce is more important than humanity. Art has always come from a place of evolution, evolving the creative consciousness past where it currently stands. If we can be part of that or a catalyst in that in any way, then that is the only thing we could hope for. As long as it is provoking thought or provoking conversation, inspiring people, then that is more than we can ask for.”
Blaise grew up in Alaska and after a series of moves, found himself in New York City at 17. “I met Freddy, our bass player. Me and him always talked about putting something together that was worth something to us. It kind of took us a while.”
“Ionia became sort of a concept, but it didn’t become a band until a couple of years ago.”
“We are super excited about things and I think we are coming into our own in the last couple of months – figuring out who we are and what kind of voice we want to have. We are very premeditated about that stuff, it is very important to us – I guess we aren’t very ethereal guys. We aren’t very like ‘hey man, let’s just go with the flow’ we are more calculated killers than that. We try to be really exact with that we are saying and what we are, and these things matter to us.”
Ionia has released a record an EP, but they are currently working with producer Mike Sapone (Taking Back Sunday / Brand New). The band has already recorded a mass of 30-40 songs.
“We are trying to get to a point where we have recorded a whole lot of things that we are proud of and figuring out what we want to release first, and how we want to release it.”
The band is also working on music videos. “We just shot two music videos that I directed and wrote the treatments for, which are connected to our first music video which I directed and wrote. It is kind of this ongoing film taking place, we are excited to release some of that and soon as we get home.”
“We definitely do not have a shortage of content.”
Right now ionia is on the road with Mushroomhead – a tour that will be making a stop at Club LA in Destin on October 16th.
“This tour with Mushroomhead is for their 20th anniversary and the interesting thing about this tour is it is a very diverse tour. We are a very different band, we are more post-hardcore music and metal. The tour has been really awesome so far and people seem to be really enjoying the diversity of the ticket. I think that is something that should be attributed to Mushroomhead is they always bring out bands that are very different from them and I think it adds to the richness of the show. It is a bargain deal to come out to this type of show because it is more like a festival in the sense that the bands are very niche and cultural differences. I would say get the hell out to the show and I can guarantee you that if you like rock music of any kind you will like one – if not all – of the bands.”
As for ionia? “We have a bunch of music videos coming out, a bunch of content coming out, so check us out and we welcome feedback. We love people coming to talk to us and we are always there.”