Well, one of the most anticipated weekends this spring for the West Coast garage rock lovers has come and gone. Burgerama 4 last week has certainly exceeded it’s “hype.” Surrounded by a sea of (mostly) Californian sunbathed teens, I, as well as a few thousand others, discovered some great new artists and solidified my obsession for my favorites. As I mentioned a few weeks ago about who I was stoked to see- Burgerama’s lineup this years was a perfect mix between modern-day legends like Roky Erickson, Weezer, and Gang of Four, as well as over a dozen fresh bands like Girl Band, IAN, Palma Violets, Twin Peaks and so so many more. These bands are slowly remolding what it means to be a punk or garage band in 2015.
One band that seemed to steer away from the “Burger-sounding” theme of the weekend was IAN. This Los Angeles/Boston based band had the relatively tough time slot of 2PM on the smallest of three stages on the first of the festival. Competing against popular acts such as the local-favorited Cosmonauts, and Together PANGEA – impressively, IAN had no issue packing out their room. Front woman, Jillian Medford, definitely knew how to grab the attention of the audience between her sassy stage banter and perfectly tuned yelp-type screech in between her guitar riffs. This past week I’ve had the chance to chat a bit with her, and get the full scoop where IAN’s sound came from, as well as her opinion on the festival in general.
AudioFemme: Ok so let’s get some background on IAN- where did ya’ll meet and how did you decide to collaborate?
Jillian: We all met at a house show in Jamaica plain, MA. At Whitehaus. I was playing a show with a different drummer at the time (just me and drums) and Tim, my current drummer came up to me after the show and asked if he could play bass for me! I was totally into it and the day we were all about to get together to play some tunes, my drummer at the time said he couldn’t commit to being in the band and going on tour… So I asked Tim if he would possibly play drums and could tour for two weeks.. Oh and if he had a working van… and he said yes to all of these and it was a match made in heaven. And later sweet Damien was added to the mix!
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AF: Wether it be an era, band or specific person, what would you say influences your sound most?
JM: I look up to so many people, and feel that I mostly draw influence subconsciously. I very much adore Karen O., both in the Yeah Yeah Yeah’s and solo. My mom is also one of the biggest influences for me, although she doesn’t play an instrument she is such a creative, beautiful, intelligent and encouraging human being. The era I’m feelin’ most would be right now. I am currently and constantly surrounded by such driven people who are always willing to expose new ideas and embrace everyone’s strengths and weaknesses…this keeps me in check and also sometimes unchecked, but that’s probably for the best. You can’t always be a straight line. That would be so boring
AF: I love the raw and organic sound if your self-titled EP on your Bandcamp. Can you tell us a little about that recording process?
JM: YES! So we recorded this EP in two days in August in a very hot, sticky and stinky Allston apartment with Mark Feede (who will be recording our full length). It was pretty insane thinking back to have recorded in just two days, but we were on a tight timeframe and budget! We just wanted to put something out that we could sell on our upcoming tour. Didn’t really realize it would resonate with people as much as it has on the first go round and that has been very special for us! We love to record live and together. Would hate to have to track instruments separately. it’s so rewarding to look at my boys rockin’. That’s the best part is when we can all face each other and just jump around.
AF: It was your first time playing Burgerama this year. Well… what’d you think? Were you as stoked as your crowd seemed to be?
JM: Burgerama was crayyyyzeeee!! We have played the Constellation Room before (where we played at Burgerama) and it’s definitely one of our top favorite places to play! The crowd is always so responsive and the place ALWAYS fills out completely. It’s shocking! And it’s mostly people who haven’t heard of us before, so it gave us a chance to hopefully win them over. I think the Burgerama show was the best show we’ve ever played. The crowd gives you so much you can’t help but lose your shit a bit. I hopped around so much during out set, the next day I was so sore I made Tim give me piggy back rides everywhere!
AF: Any bands that you had never seen or heard of before that you really enjoyed?
JM: I hadn’t seen La Luz before and I am a huge fan! they put on a really rad set! Was really inspiring to watch! Also, a moment for Weezer and remembering when I was seven my babysitter would blast “We Are All On Drugs” on the way home from gymnastics practice… It was good to see Weezer, I know all the words thanks to her ha!
AF: Ian rules. Tell us about some future gigs/plans for ya’ll.
JM: We are now back In Boston for a few months after spending some much needed time in LA. We are out here now recording our album & I have to graduate from college in May, and we are also doing a lil tour round the Midwest/south with our buddies Kal Marks in June! We are trying to jam pack tons of fun stuff into our stay out here before we head back to LA to finish up the record there! Then after that….there’s a bunch goin’ on OH MY! So psyched!